The award marks the third time in less than two months that News.com has been honored for excellence in journalism.
In the breaking-news category, News.com won first place for "Aftershocks from the Microsoft breakup." According to the judges, News.com offered its readers "comprehensive treatment of the year's biggest trial, using a limitless news hole to combine straightforward reporting with in-depth legal documents and an explanation of a complicated case."
The judges continued: "If you were researching the subject and needed to know everything relevant in one place, you couldn't do much better than to use this single site. The report was exhaustive and of high quality. Especially compelling were the interactive graphics describing what's next in the legal path and full details of the various documents involved in the case."
News.com was a finalist in two other categories: "general excellence in online journalism" for "fulfilling its editorial mission," and "enterprise journalism" for the special report "Napster Wildfire," which examined the impact of file-sharing technologies.
"One of ONA's major goals is to recognize and honor journalistic excellence, and it's truly gratifying to see just how much tremendous work is being done online," said Rich Jaroslovsky, president of ONA, co-chair of the judges, and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Online.
Added Tom Goldstein, dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism: "This marks the first time that such an ambitious contest has been held for Web journalism."
Other winners in the annual contest included The New York Times on the Web, the Associated Press, MSNBC.com and Salon. Finalists included Business Week Online, WSJ.com, TheStreet.com and WashingtonPost.com.
In October, CNET News.com was named "Best News Web Site" by Wired magazine. The award, which came as a result of Wired's annual readers' choice poll, recognized News.com for "consistently high-quality levels of technology news reporting and analysis by a online media company."
In November, News.com won several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California chapter. SPJ is the United States' largest and most broad-based journalism organization.