A. JOURNALISTS OF THE YEAR
A $1,000 CASH PRIZE: BEST IN SHOW:
Greg Katz, Los Angeles Daily Journal
A1. PRINT (Over 50,000 circulation)
Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times.
Judges’ comments: In a year in which no story mattered more than the pain caused by the economic downturn, Semuels nonetheless found fresh and engaging ways to bring a heavily covered story to life. Whether profiling a dying lumber town or a booming community of pot farmers, Semuels brought the economy to life in human terms and took a story often reduced to lifeless statistics and made it viscerally real. Her story about the web of connection linking a handful of the recession’s victims was masterful storytelling. And listen to this lede from the aforementioned pot-growing story: “Education has long been preached as a way to keep kids away from drugs. It’s the walk to school that has Superintendent Tom Barnett worried.”
2nd: Christine Pelisek, LA Weekly
HM: Patrick Range McDonald, LA Weekly
A2. PRINT (Under 50,000 circulation)
Greg Katz, Los Angeles Daily Journal.
Judges’ comments: Mr. Katz work uncovering the startling lack of basic civil rights in California’s secretive parole system will leave you speechless. First-class reporting and excellent writing.
2nd: Ryan Vaillancourt, Los Angeles Downtown News.
HM: Amy Alkon, Creator’s Syndicate.
A3. TELEVISION JOURNALIST
Ana Garcia and Fred Mamoun, KNBC News
Judges comments: Ana and Fred have created some great, high quality investigative journalism pieces. They are well put together and have great flow. We are surprised they did it all in one year.
A4. RADIO JOURNALIST
Molly Peterson, KPCC
Judges comments: This was a challenging and rewarding category to judge. The pool of entrants represented the best in radio journalism from the reporter holding officials accountable, to hard questions being asked, and creativity that informs through traditional and new media means. Ms. Peterson’s work stood out for her relentless pursuit of the truth for the public good. She demonstrated versatility as a reporter.
2nd: Patt Morrison, KPCC
HM:Larry Mantle, KPCC
A5. SPORTS JOURNALIST
A6. ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST
Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Ryan almost deserves to be named Entertainment Journalist of the Year
solely for the 73-word sweep of the lede in “King of Pop is dead at
50.” Her grasp of, and ability to convey the significance of, Michael
Jackson’s role in American culture makes her the clear winner in the
year of his death. But Ryan doesn’t just earn the distinction with her
2nd: Scott Foundas, LA Weekly
HM: John Horn, Los Angeles Times
A7. PHOTO JOURNALIST
A8. DESIGNER –
Kelly Lewis, OC Weekly,
Judges comments: Kelly’s designs are sharp and engaging. She uses the black & white format of the weekly to its fullest with nice typography and excellent detail. Her work in the Best of OC package shines – maintaining an interesting, consistent approach throughout the huge feature.
2nd: Darrick Rainey, LA Weekly
A9. ONLINE JOURNALIST
Bill Boyarsky, Truthdig
Judges Comments: In a highly competitive field, Boyarsky set himself apart by taking on health care reform – arguably one of last year’s biggest stories – in a personable, yet informative approach. Boyarsky had a very controlled balance in his writing that really told the reader what was happening in a rather complex story and why it mattered.
2nd: Robert Scheer, Truthdig
HM: Eric Longabardi, ABCNews.com
B. DAILY/WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS
Over 50,000 circulation – including news bureaus and correspondents
B1. HARD NEWS
Tracy Manzer, Kelly Puente, Long Beach Press-Telegram, “3 die in rampage”
Judges comments: Good retelling of the incident from officials sources. Good decision to take the next step of interviewing witnesses, with Collins delivering a dramatic quote. The reader can appreciate the attempt, on deadline, to discern the shooter’s motive. The timeline helps add depth to the reporting. Fine work.
2nd: Greg Mellen, Long Beach Press-Telegram, “Shooting stuns city”
B2. NEWS FEATURE
Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, “ Ana’s Story”
Judges comments: This is an intricately researched and written story that takes you into Ana Rodarte’s travails on so many levels that you are left certain that the reader will know more about some aspects of this story than some of the main characters in it. The four-year relationship with the main subject is impressive work, and the bold digression into first person only humanizes the story more. The detailed medical explanations, meanwhile, leave no doubt about what is going on and why. In a category with several excellently written or reported stories, this presents the most artful combination of those two skills.
2nd: Courtney Moreno, LA Weekly, “ Help Is on the Way: Tales of an Ambulance Driver”
HM: Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times, “ Watching the bad news trickle down”
B3. PERSONALITY PROFILE
Vickie Chang, OC Weekly, “Skitch in Time”
Judges comments: The goal of a personality profile is to get to know someone, and this reporter not only introduces readers to a 57-year-old pioneer surfer/skater, but lets them learn about who he was, which is key to who he is now. Well-written and descriptive, with colorful and honest quotes.
2nd: Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times, “She Finally Has a Home: Harvard”
HM: Christine Pelisek, LA Weekly, “Grim Sleeper’s Sole Survivor”
B4. CONSUMER JOURNALISM
Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, Pro-Publica and the Los Angeles Times, “When Caregivers Harm”
Judges comments: This is what investigative journalism is all about: Combing through thousands of pages of documents to discover a broken system in which nurses who harm their patients are allowed to do it over and over again. Truly outstanding journalism.
2nd: Jason Song, Jason Felch, and Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times, “Failure Gets a Pass”
HM: Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times, “Promise and Peril in South L.A.”
Gendy Alimurung, LA Weekly, “Man on Man: The New Gay Romance … written by and for straight women”
Judge’s comments: This is an utterly fabulous story: surprising, thorough, well-reported, and briskly readable. Who knew that the latest booming genre of romance novel was man-on-man gay porn written by and for women?
2nd: Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times, “Watching the Bad News Trickle Down”
HM: Chip Jacobs, Los Angeles Times, “Facing a New Frugality”
Daniel Heimpel, Los Angeles Daily News
Judges’ comments: In separate guest columns, Heimpel calls stark attention to a tragic crisis in our nation’s foster-care system. The writing is clear and the facts are startling.
2nd: Rich Archbold, Long Beach Press-Telegram, “Clean Trucks and Hot Air,”
HM: Amy Alkon, Creator’s Syndicate
Gustavo Arellano, OC Weekly, “Ask a Mexican”
Judges comments: With equal measures of humor, intelligence, common sense and bravery, Arellano addresses some of the most crucial issues facing our country.
He debunks myths making their way unchallenged through the mainstream media; he’s also not above giving serious thought to questions that might seem trivial. He lets readers be curious about cultural differences (which is, after all, human nature), and shows that only through open discussion of those differences can we transcend them.
Arellano is single-handedly defending important territory in this nation’s culture wars.
2nd: George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, “Capitol Journal”
HM: Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, “The Big Picture”
B9. ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS/CRITICISM/COLUMN 1st Place
Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, “Critic’s Notebook”
Whether she’s writing about President Barack Obama or the “real”
housewives of Orange County, McNamara delivers helpful insights into
what we’re watching and why we’re so fascinated by it (sometimes
against our will). McNamara consistently provides the crucial reminder
to be skeptical of what is presented as the truth – whether it’s on
television or at church.
2nd: Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times, “Critic’s Notebook”
HM: Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly
B10. ENTERTAINMENT NEWS OR FEATURE
Martha Sarabia, La Opinion, “Telenova Phenomenon”
Judges’ comments: Solid pieces that delve into novelas. Well-researched and good sources.
Andy Fixmer and Sarab Rabil, Bloomberg News, “Plunge may force studios to write down movies”
Judges comments: From an investors’ viewpoint, this story is chilling. Write-downs hurt bottom lines, but DVD losses are alarming. And then to hear, “Making a movie just won’t be as profitable as it once was,” could send investors running for the exits. Excellent, tight writing.
HM: Vickie Chang, OC Weekly, “Pay for Play”
Jon Gold, Los Angeles Daily News, “Mission:Possible,”
Judges’ comments: Mr. Gold gets inside Midnight Mission basketball and the men whose darkened lives have been rekindled by hope. Rarely do we see this kind of writing and reporting in the daily sports pages.
2nd: Devra Maza, USA Today, “Curtain Calls: 10 Season Highlights”
Amy Alkon, Creator’s Syndicate, “When Hairy Palms Met Sally”
Judges comments: A hilarious classic.
2nd: Rich Archbold, Press-Telegram, “Wilson’s Lost Melody”
HM: Amy Alkon, Creator’s Syndicate, “Eat, Pry, Love”
Darrick Rainey, LA Weekly, “Bad Little Suburban Boys”
Judges comments: Powerful imagery complements the story exceptionally well. The combination of photos and graphics interspersed throughout the piece creates a striking package that elicits very strong emotions.
2nd: Darrick Rainey, LA Weekly, “Left To Themselves”
HM: Kelly Lewis, OC Weekly, “Best of OC 1999”
C. DAILY/WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS
Under 50,000 circulation
C1. HARD NEWS
Alfred Lee, Pasadena Star-News, “Cities selling stimulus money”
Judges comments: This is a textbook example of good reporting.
Using solid, verified facts and numbers, supported by quotes, Lee details succinctly a fascinating, peculiar and legally questionable effort by cities to sell federal stimulus dollars. No wonder the New York Times picked up this piece and MTA dropped the practice.
2nd: Andre Coleman, Pasadena Weekly, “Tale of the Tape”
HM: Ciaran McEvoy, Greg Katz, LA Daily-Journal, “Authorities probe pay”
C2. NEWS FEATURE
Theresa Marie Moreau, The Remnant, “With God in China”
Judges comments: Her gripping account of life for two Catholic priests in China is superb. She calmly explains the constant political upheaval in China, the awful effects of those changes on Winance and Zhou — and their unflinching faith — and finally, how they emerged later with new lives. It’s a history lesson, a faith lesson and a stark recitation of a dark time in history.
2nd: Greg Katz, Los Angeles Daily Journal, “Leadership Fight in L.A. D.A.’s Office Pits Steve vs. Steve”
HM: Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, “When The Going Gets Tough, Where Do You Go?
C3. PERSONALITY PROFILE
Chip Jacobs, Pasadena Weekly, “An air of deceit”
Judges comments: From the first paragraph, Jacobs provides a gripping account of a woman whose high-flying dreams led to her downfall and criminal conviction. The story is filled with compelling details and crisp, clear writing that in lesser hands would not have been as interesting a read.
2nd: Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Won’t back down”
HM: David Suissa, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, “Rivka’s special need”
C4. CONSUMER JOURNALISM
Joe Piasecki, Pasadena Weekly, “Crisis Comes Home.” Judges’ comments: Excellent job putting a human face on the housing crisis.
Greg Katz, Los Angeles Daily Journal, “Revoked”
Judges’ comments: Reveals the flaws inherent in the California parole revocation hearing system. More than 90,000 cases a year heard behind closed doors by inexperienced judges and argued by ill-equipped public defenders.
2nd: Tina Dupuy, Los Angeles Daily Journal, “Babies and Bibles”
HM: Jake Armstrong, Los Angeles Daily Journal, “Just Too High”
Alexa Hyland, Los Angeles Business Journal, “The Big Slip Up”
Judges’ comments: Excellent treatment of a story within a story. It reveals how a documentary film may be more fiction than fact. We’ll written and reported.
2nd: Martin Berg, “From Tijuana to Compton, via Harvard Law,” Los Angeles Daily Journal
HM: Martin Berg, “Lawyers Find New Way to Fight Loan Sharks,” Los Angeles Daily Journal
Amy Alkon, Creator’s Syndicate. Judges’ comments: Ms. Alkon’s razor-sharp wit and her disarmingly pragmatic advice combine for a potent column.
2nd: Thomas Elias, California Focus.
HM: Martin Berg, Los Angeles Daily Journal.
Jon Regardie, Los Angeles Downtown News, The Regardie Report
2nd: David Suissa, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, “Child of Moses”
HM: Amy Alkon, Creators Syndicate, “The Advice Goddess”
C9. ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS/CRITICISM/COLUMN
Kevin Uhrich, Pasadena Weekly, “Cartoon crisis”
2nd: Tom Teicholz, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, “Holocaust Movies: Winners and Losers”
C10. ENTERTAINMENT NEWS OR FEATURE
Charles Proctor, LA Biz Journal, “Speaking Terms”
Judges’ comments: Excellent feature about podcasting as a talk show format used by a man bouncing back from a layoff.
2nd: Alexa Hyland, LA Biz Journal, “Branding Brando”
HM: Tom Teicholz, Jewish Journal, “Extraordinary Oddities”
Brad A. Greenberg, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles¸ “Jordan Farmar and the Jewish (Hoops) Future.” Judges’ comments: A detailed portrait of Jordan Farmar and an examination of the past, present and future of Jewish basketball. Skillfully weaves a personal narrative with an historical perspective.
2nd: Ryan Vaillancourt, Los Angeles Downtown News, “More Than Just a Game.”
HM: Charles Proctor, Los Angeles Business Journal
Tom Hicks, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Kind of a drag”
Judges comments: This is a good example of a label hed to grab attention, followed by an actual headline to define story content. The front page play and variation in size makes sure this hed gets read.
2nd: Jon Regardie, Los Angeles Downtown News, “In skid row, manure happens”
HM: Tom Hicks, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Apparel: Do these jeans make my bill look big?”
Robert Landry, Los Angeles Business Journal, ”Wealthiest Angelinos”
Judges comments: Clean, organized layout that feels streamlined and makes it easy to absorb and be engaged in the information presented.
2nd: Brian Allison, Los Angeles Downtown News, ”The ‘Don’t Miss Summer’”
Print – Newspaper/magazine/wire service/online
D1. NEWS PHOTO
Jeff Gritchen, Long Beach Press Telegram, “Tearful Farewell”
Judges comments: Emotional moment, great job for having the courage to
get close to the action.
2nd: David Crane, LA Daily News, “Fire Storm”
HM: Stephen Carr, Long Beach Press Telegram, “Melody Memorial”
D2. FEATURE PHOTO
John McCoy, LA Daily News, “Heat Wave”
Judges comments: Nice moment, clean background.
2nd: Mike Baker, LA Daily News, “Jump!”
HM: Brittany Murray, Long Beach Press Telegram, “Bulldog Beauty”
D3. SPORTS PHOTO
John McCoy, LA Daily News, “Victory”
Judges comments: One of the best post game moments the judges have
seen. We all would like a photograph like that in
2nd: Stephen Carr, Long Beach Press Telegram, “Big Wave”
HM: Hans Gutknecht, LA Daily News, “Celebration”
D4. ENTERTAINMENT PHOTO
D5. EDITORIAL CARTOON
Steve Greenberg, Ventura County Reporter
Judges comments: Strong themes that support working class citizens
in crisis. The imagery needed no words to convey the artist¹s point of view.
2nd: Doug Davis, Los Angeles Downtown News
D6. PHOTO ESSAY (single topic)
Ted Soqui, Ted Soqui Photography (Freelance), “Prison”
Judges comments: Great access. A detailed look at prison life.
2nd: Kevin Scanion, LA Weekly, “LA Portraits”
HM: Ted Soqui, Ted Soqui Photography (Freelance), “Wildfires”
E. TELEVISION – including online and cable TV and material produced in Southern California for distribution by an out-of-town station, network or syndication outlet.
E2. BREAKING NEWS
Bret Marcus, Karen Foshay, John Larson, Justine Schmidt, Linda Burns, Alberto Arce, Michael Bloecher and Joe Whiting, KCET-TV, “Is Anybody Listening?”
Judges Comments: Great segment about how the economic downturn has affected the children. These kids who feel like they have no control over their lives and how they took control. We were amazed at how these people are living in such poor conditions, but still have hope and are so unselfish. The reported created the right mood for the piece. The piece was well thought out and the editing was great. It enticed the viewer and kept the emotions going throughout.
2nd: Bret Marcus, Karen Foshay, Angie Crouch, Justine Schmidt, Linda Burns and Alberto Arce, KCET-TV, “The Year of Living Dangerously”
HM: Bret Marcus, Saul Gonzales, Judy Muller, Justine Schmidt, Linda Burns and Michael Bloecher, KCET-TV, “Beauty, Brains & Eggs”
Bret Marcus, Karen Foshay, Judy Muller, Justine Schmidt, Linda Burn, Alberto Arce and Val Zavala, KCET-TV, “Up In Smoke”
Judges comments: A very thorough well written and produced piece on how easy it is to open a medical marijuana dispensary, and the inaction of the local government. This piece was able to convey a lot of information in a very organized and simplified manner.
2nd: Eric Longabardi, Joseph Rhee, Asa Eslocker and Brian Ross, ANC News and Telemedia News Prods., “A Wing and a Prayer”
HM: Bret Marcus, Karen Foshay, Judy Muller, Justine Schmidt, Linda Burns, Alberto Arce, Val Zavala, Lata Pandya & Brian Frank, KCET-TV, “Hung Out to Dry”
Bret Marcus, Karen Foshay, Angie Crouch, Val Zavala, Justine Schmidt, Linda Burns and Alberto Arce, KCET-TV.
Judges comments: Nicely produced piece, it really brought us into the story. The story was was clean and concise. It brought out the emotion of the story and made it easy to follow along.
E7. ENTERTAINMENT NEWS OR FEATURE
Bret Marcus, Rick Wilkinson, Val Zavala, Justine Schmidt, Linda Burns, Alberto Arce and Brett Wood, KCET-TV, “Behind the Big Top”
Judges comments: A wonderfully produced piece with great insight and information about the behind the scenes of traveling Cirque de Soleil. It was a very visually pleasing video. It could have been too “busy” with a lot of information and visuals, but they did a great job of breaking it down to make it pleasing, not overwhelming.
2nd: George Pennacchio, KABC, “Misty Upham”
HM: Bret Marcus, Joseph Angier, John Ridley, Cristal Smith, Justine Schmidt, Linda Burns and Alberto Arce, KCET-TV, “Running Out of Luck”
E8. TALK/PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Staff, KCET-TV, “Driving While Distracted”
Judges comments: Great piece and very thorough. Very timely information on how texting and mobile phones affect how well we drive. I hope the topic caught the attention of many viewers, and the well done editing kept the attention of the viewer.
2nd: Angela Shelley, Vince Gonzales, Lisa Ling, Judy Muller et al, KCET-TV, “State of Foreclosure”
HM: Bret Marcus, Rick Wilkinson, Karen Forshay et al, KCET-TV, “California’s Pot of Gold”
Bret Marcus, Angela Shelley, Justine Schmidt et al, KCET-TV, “Return to Locke High”
Judges comments: This was an emotional documentary , that did a great job of bringing out the positive nature of the human spirit, especially from young people who have so little. We are thankful we were able to to see the documentary and a snippet of these inspiring young adults. Great job of putting this altogether in a cohesive piece.
2nd: Gry Winther and Veslemoy Zwart, Documentary International, “Women in White”
HM:Staff, KCET-TV, “Is Anybody Listening?”
E10. PUBLIC ACCESS
F1. ANCHOR Any anchor person or host
Alex Cohen, KPCC
Judges comment: Alex has a great conversational tone and style to her anchoring that made us feel like we were part of the conversation. She transitions well between breaking news and feature material – handling both emotionally intense and lighthearted subjects with ease. Her interview with a man whose house burned the night before was particularly compelling.
2nd: Warren Olney, KCRW
HM: Conan Nolan, KCRW
F2. BREAKING NEWS
KPCC “The Station Fire”
Judges comments: Calm and collected coverage of the kind of natural disaster situation that can send even the most jaded journalists into histrionics. No embellishment, no guessing about what’s happening (especially not with all those reporters on the ground), but the coverage still conveys a sense of urgency that this is truly a big deal — even by SoCal brush fire standards.
2nd: Lance Orozco, KCLU, “Fillmore Fire”
HM: Lance Orozco, John Palminteri and Jim Rondeau, KCLU, “Jesusita Fire”
Steven Cuevas, KPCC, “Neo Nazis”
Judges comments: Nice reporting on a subject that’s not easy. The reporter was able to get candid interviews so listeners get a deeper understanding and better perspective about what is happening in the community. This type of reporting is important so people don’t just look the other way.
2nd: Kurt Andersen and Derek John, WNYC/Studio 360, “Can Los Angeles Save Detroit?”
HM: Francis Anderton, KCRW, “Welcoming Police Stations”
Molly Peterson, KPCC, Pumps Under Pressure
Judges comments: A thorough account of the surprising peril New Orleans still faces, years after many people were lead to believe the threat of future floods had been essentially eliminated — or at least minimized. Excellent use of sound and words to help the listener picture the pumps and how they work (or don’t). And a devastating conclusion that reminds us of the some of the unpleasant, and unavoidable, truths about human nature.
2nd: Patricia Nazario, KPCC, “Dental Clinic”
HM: John North, KCLU, “Not In My Backyard”
F6. ENTERTAINMENT REPORTING/CRITICISM
Steven Cuevas, KPCC, “Beatles at the Bowl”
Judges comments: We loved how this piece started out nonchalantly – with the ease of a summer job. Then, that first memorable chord hits – the one all of us know. Then, the fun begins. As a listener, you are drawn into world of anticipation of the Beatles. We were impressed by how he mixes Beatles music with audio from the radio with interviewees’ cuts – with little input from the reporter, only what’s more important.
2nd: Brian Lauritzen and Gail Eichenthal, KUSC Classical Radio, “Nancy Bea Hefly”
HM: Anthea Raymond, NPR, “In Hollywood, Too Many Extras”
Susan Valot, KPCC, “The Science of Hockey”
Comments: Valot did a great job of getting me interested in the story with the opening scene on the ice. Great NATS and other production elements. Reporter also managed to make the story more than just about a new exhibit. Great writing and production.
2nd: Lance Orozco, KCLU Radio, “The Oldest Dodger”
HM: Kitty Felde, KPCC, “Maury Wills”
F8. USE OF SOUND
Cason Smith, KSAK, “ Digital TV”
Judges comments: An excelling overall production. The use of various sounds, effects and soundbites made the story interesting and fun to listen to.
2nd: John Kalish and Marty Goldensohn, KCRW, “Lord Buckley”
HM: Steven Cuevas, KPCC, “Beatles at the Bowl”
F9. TALK/PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Barbara Osborn and Howard Blume , KPFK, “Deadline L.A.” (03-09-09)
Judges comments: The hosts have a comfortable on-air rapport that makes the show more of a conversation that an interview. You become engaged with the topic because you’re engaged by the hosts.
2nd: Michael Linder, KABC Radio, “Think Cure: LA’s Quest to Conquer Cancer”
HM: Warren Olney, KCRW, “Which Way L.A.?” (12-08-09)
John North, KCLU, “Not In My Backyard”
Judges comments: A very in depth look at the issue. Lots of voices, linked well by the host. Controversial issue, no doubt. Well done.
2nd: Brian Lauritzen and Gail Eichenthal, KUSC, “EP in LA: Reinventing he Los Angeles Philharmonic”
HM: John Kalish and Marty Goldensohn, KCRW, “Lord Buckley”
Including magazines with L. A. bureaus
Richard Siklos, Fortune Magazine, ”The Fight Over Michael’s Millions.”
Judges comments: This is a detailed, vivid and immensely readable account of Michael Jackson’s finances that explores the business empire built by one of pop culture’s most enigmatic figures.
2nd: David Evans, Bloomberg Markets, “Big Pharma’s Crime Spree.”
HM: Radley Balko, Reason, ”Forensics Fraud?”
Richard Siklos, FORTUNE Magazine, “Sony: Lost In Transformation”
Judges Comments: A well-researched, well-organized and well-written feature
about the CEO who is ‘redefining’ SONY, the Japanese electronic
conglomerate. The writing is well-paced and engaging for the business
readership as well as for the general magazine audience. The author
seems to have honed his interrviewing skills, and, as well,has been
able to create and provide a factual and detailed backdrop for his
2nd: Dianne Bates, Westside Magazine, “The Accidental Rebel”
HM: Lisa Ingrassia, People Magazine “I Knew If I Didn’t Get Help I Would Die”
G3. ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS/CRITICISM/COLUMN
G4. ENTERTAINMENT NEWS OR FEATURE
Richard Siklos, Fortune Magazine, “The fight over Michael’s millions”
Judges Comments: The death of Michael Jackson was a story no newspaper or magazine on the planet could, or did, ignore. What Siklos did was dive deep below the surface of the Michael Jackson story to unravel the intricacies of Jackson’s finances and his ill-fated final concert tour.
2nd: Anthony Effinger and Daniel Taub, Bloomberg Markets, “All shook up”
HM: Lisa Ingrassia, Champ Clark, Lorenzo Benet, Pernilla Cedenheim, Johnny Dodd, Mary Green and Jessica Herndon, People magazine, “The talent and tragedy: Michael Jackson”
G5. IN-HOUSE OR CORPORATE PUBLICATION
Mary Lee, San Diego Community College District, San Diego Community College District’s 2008-2009 Annual Report to the Community
Name to Appear on Award: Mary Lee, SDCCD Public Information Office
Judges comments: Colorful, interesting, information-packed corporate publication
2nd: Dave Wagner, Juan Carlos Sanchez, Eric Santiago, The Firemen’s Grapevine, The Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association, The Firemen’s Grapevine
HM: Mary Lee, SDCCD Public Information Office, “San Diego Community College District’s 2009-2012 Strategic Plan”
H1. ONLINE NEWS STORY, FEATURE, SERIES OR PACKAGE
Molly Peterson, Southern California Public Radio, “Pumps Under Pressure: A story of risk and reliability after Katrina”
Judges Comments: An incredibly thorough and eye-opening piece with numerous links and other online components such as timelines, testing records and reports, and reader feedback. It left me feeling discouraged about government but inspired by the power of journalism to shed light on such issues. In an age when minute-by-minute celebrity gossip seems to dominate the Internet, it’s heartening to see some members of the media are taking their roles as members of the fourth branch of government.
2nd: Callie Schweitzer, Holly Butcher, Bethany Firnhaber, Julia James, Jessica Flores, Madeline Scinto, John Guenther and Amanda Tran, Neon Tommy, “Secrecy About Swine Flu Deaths Breaks State Law, Experts Say”
HM: Tom Teicholz, YourTango.com, “My Wife Was Fertile –– I Wasn’t”
H2. MULTI MEDIA PACKAGE
Staff, Los Angeles Times, “Mexico Under Siege: The drug war at our doorstep”
Judges comments: This package is eye-catching and intriguing the second the page opens. The climbing number of drug-related deaths and other red, large type numbers give perspective and set story tone right away. Rotating multimedia promo box – with video, recent stories and featured comment/quote – give reader choices. The best feature is the interactive map showing drugwar hotspots, but also quick info of drug-war players, who they are and why they matter. The multimedia gallery also quickly shows the seriousness of this package, and lets the reader dive deeper into the subject matter at thei own pace. This package is compelling, thought provoking and easy to navigate, making it both informational and easy to understand.
2nd: Peggy Lowe, Michael Goulding, Lenin Aviles and Julie Gallego, The Orange County Register, “Work”
HM: Staff, Los Angeles Times, “Promise and Peril in South L.A.”
H3. ONLINE COLUMN/COMMENTARY/CRITICISM
Christopher Hedges, Truthdig.com
Judges comments: A brilliant and insightful writer with an intellectual and practical grasp of the Middle East.
2nd: Richard Siklos, Fortune.com
HM: Devra Maza, Huffington Post
H4. DESIGN AND LAYOUT– budget over 10K.
H5. DESIGN AND LAYOUT — with budget under 10K.
Eric Longabardi, TheEnterpriseReport.com
H6. ONLINE SPORTS NEWS/FEATURE/COMMENTARY
Mark Heisler, Truthdig.com, “It’s not about Tiger Woods, It’s About Us”
Judges Comments: In a diverse field, what stood out the most about the first-place entry was the thoughtfulness of it. The writer went beyond the basic subject matter — Tiger Woods’ personal problems — and delved more deeply into the bigger picture of the media’s role and especially society’s role as a whole in this story. The reader was given plenty to think about as well reasons why they should be thinking about it.
2nd: Robert David Jaffee, Huffington Post, “Baseball Before The Fall”
HM: Sara Catania, LA Observed, “Hurts So Good”
H7. ONLINE ENTERTAINNMENT NEWS/FEATURE/COMMENTARY
Zachary Pincus-Roth, Slate, “Best Weekend Never”
Judges comments: A provocative analysis of a pop culture phenomenon.
2nd: Amy Silverstein, Neon Tommy/blogs.uscannenberg.org, ”Competition Turns Ugly at Christmas Tree Lots”, blogs.uscannenberg.org
HM: Amy Scattergood, LAWeekly.com, ”Eric Greenspan’s 95 Theses”
H8. WEBLOG, INDIVIDUAL
Brad A Greenberg, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, “The God Blog”
Judges Comments: Calling The God Blog a “thoughtful look at religion and its pervasiveness …” is only part of the story. Words like funny, insightful and unafraid should also be used to describe this effort that, through its humor, allows us to appreciate our differences while getting a good chuckle. Well done.
2nd: Amy Alkon, Creators Syndicate, “The Advice Goddess”
HM: Joanie A Harmon, Freelance, “Girl Meets Soup”
H9. WEBLOG, GROUP
Jason Kandel, Southern California Public Radio, “Fire Updates”
Judges Comments: SCPR’s aggregation and presentation of maps, photos, video and real-time first-person accounts created a tremendous resources for those affected by the disaster.
2nd: Staff, Los Angeles Times, “Culture Monster”
HM:Truthdig Editors, truthdig.com/eartotheground/
H10. WEBSITE, EXCLUSIVE TO THE INTERNET – budget over 10K.
Judges comments: Website presents a good mix of staff driven aggregation and community interaction. Strong, decisive viewpoints and commentary encourage readers to continue deeper into the site.
H11. WEBSITE, ONLINE-ONLY Website with budget under 10K.
Derek Staahl, http://www.atvn.org/, Annenberg TV News
News about life in the University of Southern California community has a fine home at atvn.org. A nice snapshot of what’s going on in Trojan Nation.
2nd: Eric Longabardi, TheEnterpriseReport.com
HM:Jackie Tsai, atvn.org/closeup, Annenberg TV News
H12. WEBSITE, NEWS ORGANIZATION
LA Weekly Staff, LAWeekly.com
2nd:Nich Gillespie, Reason.com
I. INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISM
I1. HARD NEWS
Tom Walters, Adam Blair, CTV-News, “Wild Fire”
Judges comments: Going beyond the advantage provided by the dramatic visual presentation, this report comes from ground zero with interviews from firefighters putting their lives on the line. Excellent work.
2nd: Barbara Gasser, Kronehit, www.kronehit.at, “Schwarzenegger Lands”
HM: Barbara Gasser, Kronehit, www.kronehit.at, “Michael Jackson”
I2. NEWS FEATURE
Barbara Gasser, M, My Entertainment, “Bruno”
Judges comments: Bruno comes across as hilarious and irreverent – a tornado that one should flee, but at the same time must be observed. The way the story is handled, with the reporter getting out of the way and letting the subject talk, is a plus. Even so, there is no sense of location or the gesticulations and expressions that help bring a subject to life.
2nd: Tom Walters, Adam Blair, CTV-News
HM: Michael O’Sullivan, Voice Of America, “Street Life”
I3. ENTERTAINMENT NEWS OR FEATURE
Tom Walters and Adam Blair, Canadian Television, “Les Paul”
Judges comments: This was a very insightful piece. The information and editing was put together in such a way that even though it was a brief spot, it was still heartworming and informative.
2nd: Matthew Garrahan, Financial Times, “The Rise and Fall of MySpace”
HM: Barbara Gasser, “M” MyEntertainment Magazine, “Game: Live, Epic Star Wars”
I4. COLUMNIST OR CRITIC
Tom Walters, CTV News, “Barbie’s Ex”
Judges comments: excellent commentary! Loved the way reporter used Ken’s voice to dish about 50-year-old iconic couple’s many incarnations. The old commercials and footage proved perfect humor augmentations. Informative — and entertaining.
Barbara Gasser, “M” My Entertainment Magazine, “Epic Star Wars”
J. YOUTH AND STUDENT MEDIA
J1. BEST COLLEGE NEWSPAPER
LA Collegian: Clean and colorful layout jammed with a nice mix of interesting and well-written stories that ranged from typical upbeat college stories like “Math Team’s Secret Recipe for Success” and “City College Dancer Pursues Passion,” to newsier items like “Murder Trial Set to Begin for Former LACC Instructor” and a more in-depth piece on how H1N1 spreads paranoia. Two presentation standouts were features about trips taken by students, one in the Crimea and another to West Africa. In both of these features, excellent layout and writing, and wonderful handling of what could have been fairly routine student travel stories.
Room for improvement: This paper would greatly improve with a stronger emphasis on hard news, and far less of the easy-to-do opinion columns that are frontloaded into the newspaper.
CSUN Daily Sundial: The Sundial is clearly emphasizing hard news, and several stories stand out: The return to the US of Esha Momeni, a CSUN student imprisoned in Iran, and the followup story about her graduate project focused on her imprisonment; a detailed look back at the Metrolink tragedy; and a piece about two top basketball players facing felony stealing charges for pulling an inside job to steal high tech equipment from a Best Buy.
Room for improvement: The filler stories from Associated Press greatly take away from the overall quality of what is an excellent student paper, suggesting that the Sundial and its faculty advisors badly need to attract more journalism students to create original content for the print version of the Sundial.
J2. BEST HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPER
J3. BEST MAGAZINE
Collegian Times 80th Anniversary:
A crisp and readable special issue filled with interesting personality profiles and excellent photos. One standout story was “Focused on the Future,” about a gifted photographer whose previous life was a personal train wreck. Another excellent piece was a detailed take-down of the disastrous LACC baseball program under disorganized and divisive new head coach George Hinshaw.
J4. BEST NEWS WEBSITE OR BLOG
Annenberg TV News (Website Manager Derek Staahl) shows what happens when you mix talented students with plenty of well-funded, high-end technology. This site offers a lot of excellent coverage and reports, heavy on sports and entertainment, but not afraid to dip its toe into City Council controversies and other hard news.
Daily Sundial (Jacky Guerrero):
This site is a solid mix of news and blog posts, well presented and easy to access, with a strong multimedia component and a good mix of news and lifestyle coverage.
Annenberg TV News (Website Manager Jackie Tsai) offers a multi-media complement of photos, videos and text within the larger site. It’s filled with interesting real-life stories of students, trend pieces and newsier stories with a social message.
J5. BEST NEWS BROADCAST OR PUBLIC AFFAIRS– RADIO OR WEB RADIO
Annenberg Radio News, airdate March 12, 2009
Smart, fast-moving, and easy to understand. Excellent editing and sound. One standout interview is with an employee of the MTA where mechanics working on a fleet of hundreds of buses are replacing old engines with fuel-efficient ones. The worker is explaining that says the federal stimulus money will be important to the plan to make the fleet cleaner. Another good report is on farmer’s markets, highlighted by a quirky interview with a man who loves farmer’s markets because he wants to taste the “real” taste of food.
Room for Improvement:
Despite the need for brevity in radio, these reports would be improved by a quick explanation of the “other side” — even a very brief nod is better than nothing. Not everyone agrees that costly new parks are a good expenditure during a recession, nor do economists agree whether stimulus money should go to existing projects such as those described at the MTA. Similarly, quoting partisan spokesmen who are being paid to attack other politicians is fair game, but the reporter should make clear who the speaker is. Adding as little as five seconds to each report will create a more balanced and intelligent program.
J6. BEST NEWS BROADCAST OR PUBLIC AFFAIRS TV OR CABLE
Annenberg TV News, March 30, 2009
Excellent package of coverage dominated by the story of the terrible hit-and-run death of Adrianna Bachan outside USC. Several strengths stand out, including the reporting of Mat Mendez, who gathered riveting and horribly sad coverage of the sobbing mother shaking photos of her dead daughter at passersby and journalists. The producers followed this dramatic segment with an excellent feature about the favorite memories of the dead student’s friends, and wrapped up the package with several additional reports involving questions of whether USC officials had done enough, whether pedestrian safety is sufficient in the area, and the psychology behind hit-and-run crimes. Excellent editing and sound.
Room for Improvement: While it is nice to see university students training for future careers as news anchors, it is disconcerting to see young people exactly copying the formulaic segues, vocal intonations and slightly disinterested air practiced by adult anchors. TV news anchoring is often the butt of jokes. It would be nice to see students stretch their wings and try something new rather than striving so hard to closely emulate the adults at channels 2 through 11. There won’t be many chances to do it differently once they land those jobs at the nightly news.
2nd: Annenberg TV News, December 2, 2009
Excellent reporting on the Tiger Woods fiasco, and a warm and personable presentation by the anchors.
J7. BEST WRITING—PRINT
Mars Melnicoff, Los Angeles Collegian, “Paper Trail May Lead to Problems for Men’s Basketball.” http://lapressclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/finalists3.docx
An excellent and hard-hitting investigative story about apparently false statements by LACC basketball players about where they went to high school, which could affect their eligibility to play basketball at LACC. The story includes on-the-record threats made against the student reporter when the reporter contacted LACC basketball coach Mack Cleveland for comment. The hair-raising experience of reporter Melnicoff, who quoted Coach Cleveland as saying, “If you want to stay [at LACC] I highly recommend that you drop this story” is a reminder that college students are engaged in very real journalism, often with high stakes, in which they must buck the status quo. Bravo to student Melnicoff for refusing to be cowed.
Daniel Oh, Los Angeles Collegian, “Ratatouille.” Fabulous writing.
Daniel Oh, Los Angeles Collegian, “Obama Madness.