The Foundation notes that these awards are like the “Putlitzer Prizes for travel journalism.” They are:
- open to all North American journalists, not just SATW members, and
- judged independently by the faculty at top U.S. schools of journalism
Matador is more than just a high-quality online travel site. It is a great community of travel enthusiasts who mix expert advice and local knowledge through blogs, forums and destination pages. The network goes beyond creating a place to aggregate eyeballs and cheap user-generated content for advertisers. Its unique Matador U is aimed at helping get better — and not just more — travel content on the Web. The training and advice in MatadorU is a model that other fields of journalism should examine.
Although individual Matadorians have won Lowell Thomas Awards in the past, this was the first time that Matador itself was recognized.