The finalists for the 2010 Online Journalism Awards given by the Online News Association have just been announced, and we thought we’d highlight the four finalists in the category “Outstanding Use of Digital Technologies (Professional).”

The Las Vegas Sun gets a nod for its multimedia package “Bottoming Out: Gambling Addiction in Las Vegas,” which Jill Drew also highlighted in her feature on video journalism in the latest issue of CJR.

The next entry is a complex but clean interactive tool by The New York Times on the oil spill in the Gulf, with, among other things, a time-lapse Flash map showing estimates of the oil’s damage:






The Texas Tribune is on the list for its collection of data applications, which track topics from candidates’ personal financial statements to visualizations of the state’s legislative history and its changing population.

A real standout on this list of finalists is CNN, with their stunning interactive map entitled “Home and Away: Iraq and Afghanistan War Casualties,” showing where American soldiers have died and where they are from. The screen is split between U.S. hometowns on the left, and corresponding coalition casualties on the right. It’s visually simple, data-rich, and strikes just the right note: subtly, emotionally affecting:






There’s also a “Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism,” the finalists for which are: AP’s new social-media-savvy stylebook app, CNN’s iPhone app that integrates their “iReport” feature, and NPR’s innovations in using API to improve listeners’ engagement online.

There are many, many categories of ONA awards, and the finalists for all categories can be found here.

Except for the saddest part of the list, here:

Outstanding Use of Digital Technologies, Student
No award given

What gives, kids?

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Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner