Top Twitter Users to be Honored by Shorty Awards and Knight Foundation

'Oscars of Twitter' will be held on March 3, 2010

NEW YORK (Jan. 26, 2010) – One of the top trending terms on Twitter is “Shorty Award” as a result of a massive public effort to nominate the best people and organizations on Twitter. Thanks to support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the second annual Shorty Awards will culminate in a ceremony at TheTimesCenter in The New York Times Building on March 3, 2010. These unique awards recognize excellence in short form content creation over the past year.

"We learned in 2009 that short content is a big deal,” said Gregory Galant, the CEO of Sawhorse Media, which created the Shorty Awards. “The Shorty Awards are back on a much larger scale this year because people want to know who is mastering the medium."

Those who do master the medium have the ability to inform and engage people worldwide, said Gary Kebbel, Knight Foundation’s journalism program officer.

“Twitter has emerged as one of the most effective, ubiquitous and resilient means of communication in times of crisis and turmoil,” Kebbel said.

So far, the Shorty Awards have grown ten times the size they were last year. Since the democratic online voting process began in early January 2010, there are already more than 200,000 nominations across 27 official categories and new crowd-sourced ones. The nominations also have garnered attention from celebrities, journalists, and bloggers. The Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences, comprised of leaders in technology, journalism, business and culture, will play a role in choosing the winners from the groups of finalists. The group includes Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen, novelist and public radio host Kurt Andersen, entertainer MC Hammer, Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito, actress Alyssa Milano, MIT Media Lab Director Frank Moss, New York Times columnist David Pogue and Columbia Journalism School Dean of Student Affairs Sree Sreenivasan,

Last year’s sold-out ceremony featured special guests that included event host and CNN anchor Rick Sanchez. NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, made a virtual appearance via video. Winners flew in from as far as Australia and Russia to receive awards.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

About Sawhorse Media

Sawhorse Media filters, curates, and makes sense of the real-time web by creating fun, engaging, and useful products. Sawhorse sites include the directory of Twitter people and lists Listorious, the leading destination for journalists on Twitter Muck Rack, and a network of more than a dozen vertical Twitter sites. For more, visit

To learn out more about the awards, vote, or purchase tickets, visit


Media Contacts:

  • Lisa Gruber, Porter Novelli; 212-601-8358;
  • Marc Fest, Knight Foundation; 305-908-2677;

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit