MOSCOW, November 22 (RIA Novosti) - RIA Novosti projects have won five 2012 Runet Prizes, awarded for their contribution to the development of the Russian Internet.
The contest was organized by the Russian Association of Electronic Communications (RAEC). The ninth Runet Prizes were handed out on Wednesday, with awards in 11 categories (six major and five special prizes). The winners were selected by an expert jury consisting of 270 members.
This year RIA Novosti scooped more prizes than in all the previous years. Moreover, the agency this year won more awards than any other online media outlet has received since the inception of the competition. RIA Novosti is now a nine-time Runet Award winner.
“I don’t think the organizers can speak on behalf of experts, but my professional opinion is that RIA Novosti is not just a media outlet but a huge multimedia organism, whose livelihood centers around information. It was impossible not to acknowledge this giant,” RAEC Director Sergei Plugotarenko told RIA Novosti.
RIA Novosti won the 2012 Runet Prize in the “Culture, Media and Telecoms” category for their multimedia coverage of current issues and the launch of the new version of its website. Last October, RIA Novosti unveiled a completely new design for its website, with a new configuration, design and functionality. Now visitors to the ria.ru online resource can manage news subscriptions and follow particular stories.
“The new website is only one and a half months old and winning the Runet Prize is a big achievement. I would like to stress that this is a victory for the entire team,” RIA Novosti Editor-in-Chief Svetlana Mironyuk said when she accepted the award.
Mironyuk said that many new regulations have been initiated over the past year to improve online communications in Russia. She hopes they will only make things better.
“I see many people here who are involved in this regulatory work. Runet is totally dependent on them for its development and improvement. I think that over the past year there have been more changes to Internet-related regulations in Russia than over the previous 20 years. I really hope that these changes will only make things better,” Mironyuk said.
The prize in the “Culture, Media and Telecoms” category was also awarded to the Rossiya 1 television channel for the high quality of its online version, and the ivi.ru online movie theater for the development of a copyright protected online movie screening system.
RAEC Director Plugotarenko noted that there is no monetary reward for Runet Prize winners. The gilded figurine symbolizes the winner’s social responsibility and contribution to the industry, rather than any commercial success.
“This prize can be regarded in the same way as a certain well-known movie award. Some say they don’t care about being nominated while others are happy to be nominated and win. But the fact is that it is the only prize of such significance in Russia which is widely recognized at all levels,” RAEC Deputy Director Sergei Grebennikov said.
Social projects, culture and sport
The Social Navigator project won the Runet prize in the Health, Entertainment and Leisure category. Social Navigator collects information about healthcare, education, housing and utility and other social organizations and services to help people choose the right facility. The site also offers professional rankings of universities, schools and dental clinics.
Other winners in this category, apart from RIA Novosti, are the United Country foundation for people with disabilities, which received the prize for helping people with special needs to achieve personal fulfillment via the Internet, Zabava.ru for promoting the use of legal content and YouDo, which helps users to find the people with the best skills to carry out various types of work.
The prize in the ".рф и не только" (.rf and not only) category went to the RIA Novosti project Russia For Everyone, The project provides information on the culture, traditions and life of the various ethnic groups living in Russia, as well as in neighboring states. It is available in seven languages.
The project This Is My Way received the prize for promoting entrepreneurship as a way of life among young people.
The winner in the Science and Education category was the RIA project 1812: War and Peace. A New Look, dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Russia’s victory in the War of 1812, for their high-quality online reconstruction of a historical event.
R-Sport, which is part of the RIA Novosti media holding, won the Runet 2012 Prize in the Sport category. The rsport.ru site was the most frequently cited online media source in the third quarter of 2012, according to Medialogia, a real-time media monitoring and analysis system. RIA Novosti’s Olympic project London-2012 won first prize in the Specialist Media and Sport categories of the XII National Annual Internet Competition Golden Site.
R-Sport encountered tough competition from Youngstars.ru (Young High-Performance Sports Talents), Sports.ru (the first professional online sport project on Runet) and Redbull.ru (Extreme Sports).
The government, economy and innovation
Prizes in the Electronic State in the Information Society category went to the Deaf World foundation for promoting an active civic stance among people with hearing impairments online, the Dnevnik.ru educational platform which helps educational establishments to go electronic, telephone services provider Rostelecom for the Web Elections 2012 project, and the Modernization center for strengthening the principles of e-democracy, openness and civil engagement in Russia.
There were three winners in the Economy, Business and Investment category: Alfa Bank for improving online banking transactions; the Megaplan service for creating a business automation platform based on cloud computing; and the PayOnline e-payment system for developing the online and mobile payments market in Russia.
The All The World’s Domain Names project of Ru-Center received the prize in the Innovation and Technology category for their innovative approach to the development of the domain name industry in Russia. Other winners in this category were the provider of intranet solutions Bitrix24 for creating a business communication platform based on social network systems, the GetTaxi online taxi service for using innovation and online technology in an offline business, and UsabilityLab for developing the market of usability services and for research activities.
There were two winners in the Startup Navigator of the Year category: the Firrma.ru online resource about startup companies (for promoting the service) and the Digital October center for creating a unique platform to bring startups and investors together both online and offline.
Experts also named winners in the Safe Runet category: Kaspersky Lab for its information security products and services, MTS for devising and supporting cyber security projects, and the Interior Ministry’s Department K for its contribution to fighting cybercrime.
According to the popular vote held within the framework of the Runet Prize, the winner in the Popular Online Project was Yarmarka Masterov, an online service offering handmade clothes, decorations, dolls and toys. The public choice for the best online game was Warface and the best online community This is Horosho.
The first Runet Prize was awarded in 2004 to celebrate 10 years of the Russian-language Internet and was intended to be a one-off event. But the ceremony has been held every year since then.