Two Webby Award nominations for USC Annenberg affiliated sites

The Webby Awards, an international award honoring excellence on the Internet, have named their 2015 nominees and two USC Annenberg affiliated sites have been recognized. Religion Dispatches, a source for writing on critical and timely issues at the intersection of religion, politics and culture, is nominated in the Religion & Spirituality category. Truthdig, a site that 'drills beneath the headlines,' is a nominee for Best Political Blog/Website. Each site announced their nomination and called for readers and supporters to vote — which ends on April 23. Religion Dispatches shared their excitement:

"We are thrilled. The Webbys are the Oscars of the Internet. We've been honored with a Webby nomination a number of times before and it never gets old."

Lisa Webster, editor of Religion Dispatches, noted this is the second year in a row the site has been nominated since joining with USC Annenberg. She joked, "We’re pretty sure there’s something in the water." "It’s a real honor to be nominated for an award, but it’s also pretty incredible to be part of this creative community," Webster said. "It feels we’re only beginning to tap some of the potential for collaboration, for real innovation in digital publishing, that exists here." Editor-in-Chief Evan Derkacz added: "Religion is never an easy or simple thing to discuss, but with such insightful contributors, loyal readers, and generous support RD has been fortunate enough to both keep the discussion going and be recognized for it." Truthdig has also previously been recognized by the Webby Awards, with both nominations and wins.

"We are pleased to share this news with our readers, who represent our first priority and our main motivation for doing what we do. No matter the results, one thing's for sure - Bob Scheer's five-word speech from the 2010 Webby ceremony (which was, it should be noted, held at Cipriani Wall Street) is still a tough act to follow."

In their statement on the nomination, Scheer also noted the awards are "the Oscars of the Internet." "We are thrilled by the possibility of winning this industry-standard award,” Scheer said. “To be nominated by our peers for this prestigious award is a great honor. It shows that digging for the truth and upholding the highest journalistic standards are still qualities that people want,” Zuade Kaufman, Truthdig publisher, added. The 18th annual Webby ceremony will be held May 19 in New York City, hosted by comic Hannibal Buress.