For the overworked, underpaid masses of highly competitive journalists, there is no salve for the battered ego that can match the healing power of the official, professional accolade. At San Francisco's Online Journalism Awards tonight, a select few received their hero's laurels.

Although the "literature on a deadline" aesthetic of journalism is not hard-wired for nostalgia and hasn't often the leisure for back-patting, several individuals, stories, and websites stand out for their achievements in the field and their contributions to our collective knowledge and engagement this year. Read on for the list of honorees and our assessment of their contributions.

The full list of award-winning organizations is here. Many of the honorees will be inducted into the Washington, D.C.-based Newseum, a sort of journalistic Hall of Fame.

Journo/reader collaboration site Publish 2, which focuses on news curation, received $5,000 as the first Gannett Foundation Award winner for technical innovation in the service of digital journalism. The Gannett Company, an undisputed titan of news media, aims to use foundation funds to ensure the future of journalism and contribute to other charitable causes.

The Gotham Gazette, an NYC-focused civic resource, was recognized with a Creative Use Award in 2004. This year, the outlet was given an award for its contributions to the microsite category. Well known for its hyperlocal focus, it's essentially the Batman of the Internet, an arm of the Citizens Union Foundation of the City of New York, which itself is an NYC-focused government watchdog group.

In a coup of navel-gazing, the organization awarded a project entirely devoted to investigating the death of a journalist. The Chauncey Bailey Project was an investigation by more than 24 journalists into the murder of an Oakland Post reporter. The project took home two awards, receiving $5,000 for the Knight Award for Public Service and OJA's award for investigative journalism in the small site category.

Also of interest is the Guantanamo: Beyond the Law endeavor. Spearheaded by McClatchy journalists Tom Lasseter and Matt Schofield, the project was honored by ONA for investigative journalism for a large site.

As large sites of general excellence, ProPublica, the Las Vegas Sun, and The New York Times were also honored.

Of course, we can't wait to hear your personal picks. We were disappointed that journo-source matchmaker site HARO was left out. What was your favorite news site this year, and why?