Cybern@ut 

Webby Awards Part V

Five weeks later and the end of the road is in sight. The Webby Awards are the Web equivalent of the Oscars, and are presented to the best of the best in 27 different categories. I'm picking my favourite and the runner-up in each category. Last week I got to Politics.

Just nine categories left.

Print & Zines

Every Web 'zine in this category deserves a Webby for attempting, Utne Reader style, to promote literate, alternative news coverage and analysis that goes deeper than conventional news. This is free speech at its best.

Two of the Zines dealt primarily with sex, art and politics, and the other three were a mix of politics, sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

After careful consideration, I chose Feed at www.feedmag.com as my pick for the Webby, and Plastic at www.plastic.com as the top runner up.

Feed collects news and views from around the world and around the Web on a daily basis so the content is always fresh and generally controversial. Every story or column invites public input, and you can read these different opinions and reactions - most readers are generally quite literate and insightful. They also often represent various fringe groups, so you can always see a side to the story that you would never have seen in a million years.

Plastic is similar to Feed in that it is a recycler of news from around the Web. On the front page alone, you can find headlines from over 15 different alternative sources. You can also make and read comments on every story. If it has a flaw compared to Feed, it's that there are almost too many titles to read - how much free time does anyone have to read them all - and it isn't updated as frequently.

Radio

Personally, I would like to see this category go to the BBC World Service at www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice . CBC used to carry BBC World new feeds at around two in the morning and I would tune in whenever I was pulling an all-nighter. They had correspondents in countries I never heard of, and in the middle of wars that the mainstream media forgot to mention. Nothing is missed. The BBC truly sets the standard for news radio on a scale I can't even begin to comprehend.

For runner-up, I'd choose COMFM at www.comfm.com . They can direct you to almost 4,300 online radio feeds around the world, hundreds of Web cams, and special features such as live concerts.

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