GrowthSpotter took home the first place award for best niche site/app from the Florida Society of News Editors Thursday during the 2022 Florida Media Conference in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Launched in 2015, this is the first win for GrowthSpotter in the prestigious contest. The real estate-focused website placed second in the same category in 2020.
GrowthSpotter was created by Orlando Sentinel editor-in-chief Julie Anderson to provide Central Florida readers with in-depth real estate and development coverage. Veteran journalist Laura Kinsler joined the company in its inaugural year and has been editor since 2018. Reporter Amanda Rabines also was recognized for her work in 2021.
“We’re a very small operation, so it’s truly an honor to be recognized by our peers as the best niche website in this news-rich state,” Kinsler said.
The award was one of six first-place awards for the Orlando Sentinel staff in the contest. The series “Locked Out - How COVID exposed Florida’s eviction crisis,” written by Caroline Glenn and Desiree Stennett, won first place in business reporting. The series also won third place in the community leadership category.
Sports columnist Mike Bianchi took first place in the columnists’ competition, with Sentinel news columnist Scott Maxwell coming in second.
El Sentinel editor Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio took home two first-place awards in the Spanish language categories – one in news reporting for coverage of the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting and one in enterprise reporting for a story on a 95-year-old Marc Anthony fan.
The front page of the June 12, 2021, edition of the Sentinel, which commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Pulse shooting, won first place for best design.
The Sentinel also won second-place awards in community leadership for its “ghost” candidate reporting, in multimedia for its Joel Greenberg podcast series, in news interactive for its map exploring Black history in Central Florida and in features video for coverage of the Pulse anniversary.
Other third-place awards included the “ghost” candidates stories in enterprise reporting, a transgender golfer in features and photo entry in sports photography.