Awards Mark Second Straight Year as Best Overall Digital Experience

dr-feelgoods.com won four top honors in the 2016 America East Digital Media Contest for the second straight year, including Best Overall Digital Experience. dr-feelgoods.com is an independent, woman-owned digital newspaper published by one photojournalist who writes the all-original content, shoots most of the photos, manages the social media accounts, and sells the ads. Members of the community contribute photos, videos, and news tips to the publication.

“I am honored that dr-feelgoods.com has been recognized once again for its commitment to providing Lititz readers the best experience in digital media, and I praise God for this accomplishment,” said Lynn Rebuck, editor and publisher of dr-feelgoods.com. “I set out with a distinct creative vision for a news site, and it’s been truly remarkable to see its reception.” The publication has received twelve awards since it started publishing in the fall of 2014, including a national 2015 EPPY Award Honorable Mention for Best Photojournalism.

In addition to Best Overall Digital Experience, dr-feelgoods.com was also awarded first place in Best Use of Video, Best Use of Multimedia, and Best Overall Use of Social Media in two divisions. Judges with a wide variety of experience in the digital publishing industry selected winners based on rigorous criteria in each category. This marks the first year that videos published on dr-feelgoods.com received separate America East recognition.

“I share these awards with the members of the community who have contributed to the success of dr-feelgoods.com, including those who have contributed amazing cutting-edge videos,” said Rebuck. Video stories published over the past year, which have been viewed over 6,400 times,  include a reader-submitted drone video of sledding on a local hill, and a reader-submitted aerial video of the town’s Fourth of July fireworks display shot by two local pilots.

The multimedia category is judged on creative use of videos, photo galleries, slideshows, and graphics, as well as community involvement and ease of use for readers. Popular galleries on the site over the past year included the high school prom and graduation selfies, as well as events like the grand opening of the Star Wars movie in Lititz, the Fourth of July celebration, US Women’s Open, Community Days Air Show, and the Fire and Ice Festival.   Catching local readers in action while sledding on Bomberger’s Hill and in a regular feature called “A Walk in the Park,” as they visit Lititz Springs Park, have also proven popular on the site.

“From a little girl’s spontaneous choreography at an outdoor Christmas caroling event, to a local car dealer’s dream of flying a Navy jet, dr-feelgoods.com seeks new ways to use multimedia to tell the stories of long-established events in the community,” said Rebuck, who publishes video to the site’s YouTube channel and broadcasts live from events via Periscope. Rebuck encourages readers to send in video from events or to tag @LititzDaily on Instagram to share video and photo content with the community.

Social media has proven to be another strength for dr-feelgoods.com, which received top honors for Best Use of Social Media for the second consecutive year for its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds that are followed by more than 3,500 combined followers. In October of last year, Rebuck was invited to the White House as a result of the dr-feelgoods.com Instagram account to photograph the White House on a special tour. She was one of only 40 photographers from around the country invited to the social media event.

Although dr-feelgoods.com was entered into the division for news media websites with less than 50,000 average monthly unique visitors, it received first place in Division II as well, for websites with up to 250,000 average monthly unique visitors.

“It is truly an honor to receive this recognition, especially in light of the larger and distinguished publications against which we competed,” said Rebuck.

Rebuck will receive the awards on behalf of her publication at a ceremony on April 4.