Austin Bragg and Andrew Heaton, Reason, “2020 Presidential Candidate Blowout!”
Judges’ comment: Bragg and Heaton’s writing is timely, balanced, well-written and laugh-out-loud funny.
2nd Rick Adams, Spectrum News 1, “Robot Banker”
3rd Joel Stein, The Hollywood Reporter, “Breakup Letter to My Agent”
OBITUARY/IN APPRECIATION – Film/TV Personalities
Owen Gleiberman, Variety, “John Simon: Now That He’s Gone, the Image of the Critic as Hater May Have Died Out Too”
Judges’ comment: Gleiberman’s wit captures a convincing vision of Simon in this excellent appreciation of his life.
2nd Alonso Duralde, TheWrap, “Doris Day Appreciation: Sweetness and Light Met Grit and Tenacity, Both on Screen and Off”
3rd Spectrum News 1 Team, Spectrum News 1, “Nipsey Hussle”
OBITUARY/IN APPRECIATION – Politics/Business/Arts Personalities
Aitana Vargas, Público, “Entre Bordados y Alfileres”
Judges’ comment: A powerful, personal reminiscence of the writer’s grandmother that weaves the tragic history of Spain’s Franco into the woman’s life. Some beautiful images and imaginative writing.
2nd Tom Walters and Liam Hyland, CTV National News – Canadian Television, “Toni Morrison Obit”
3rd Carribean Fragoza, KCET, “Artbound: I Am a Mexicano: The Legacy of Chicano Journalist and Activist Raul Ruiz”
ACTIVISM JOURNALISM — Print, Online
Patrick Range McDonald, Housing Is A Human Right, “Garcetti-fication: A Gentrification Cautionary Tale”
Judges’ comment: This article does a great job of presenting a complex topic in a clear, understandable way.
2nd Angelika Albaladejo, Capital & Main, “Child Law Penalizes Moms for Abusive Partners”
3rd Vic Gerami, The Blunt Post, “LGBTQ Armenians Face Resign of Terror”
ACTIVISM JOURNALISM — Broadcast
KCET, Tastemade and Roy Choi, KCET, “Broken Bread”
Judges’ comment: This episode does a great job of showing the restaurant’s impact on the community and its employees, all while exploring the history of Watts.
2nd Karen Foshay, Vince Beiser, Andy Viner and Dennis Nishi, KCET, “SoCal Connected: Who Killed Josiah?”
3rd Anna Buss and Sonali Kolhatkar, Free Speech TV and Pacifica Radio, “The Fight to End Urban Oil Drilling in Los Angeles”
PUBLIC SERVICE NEWS or FEATURE
Zach Weissmueller, Reason, “We Shut Down State Mental Hospitals. Some Want to Bring Them Back”
Judges’ comment: Weissmueller’s balanced and well-sourced piece covers in an engaging way a topic that has been taboo and a huge impact on the public.
2nd Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, “Larger Than Life”
3rd Karen Foshay, Vince Beiser and Andy Viner, KCET, “SoCal Connected: It’s Not Easy Being Green”
CONSUMER NEWS or FEATURE
Leslie Berestein Rojas, KPCC/LAist, “LA street vendors can sell legally now, but costs tied to new program are a worry”
Judges’ comment: The real cost of being “legal” for immigrant street vendors is nearly impossible for some. The issue is well-told in human terms by this excellent report.
2nd Anna Scott, KCRW, “Effort to Make L.A. More Eco-Friendly Means Foreclosure for One Homeowner”
3rd Steve Appleford, Capital & Main, “Are Offshore Aircraft-Repair Stations the New Normal?”
SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM, Print/Online
Alena Maschke, Long Beach Business Journal, “Smart Cities: Civic Evolution Or Tech Dystopia?”
Judges’ comment: An excellent, comprehensive look at affordable housing issues in Long Beach, with close-ups of proposed improvements such as relocation assistance and “granny flats.”
2nd Michaela Haas, New York Times, “Would You Open Your Home to an Ex-Prisoner?”
3rd Jessica Goodheart, Capital & Main, “Rent Law Offers Reprieve to Some of Los Angeles’ Most Vulnerable Families”
SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM, Broadcast
Anna Scott, KCRW, “How do you solve the toughest cases of homelessness?”
Judges’ comment: A nuanced examination of a modest yet effective program that is succeeding in helping people typically written off as “too difficult.” This in-depth report provides both a model for other communities to follow and a clear-eyed account of the obstacles and the political will required to stick with this kind of long-term approach.
2nd KCET, Tastemade and Roy Choi, KCET, “Broken Bread: Waste”
3rd Deepa Fernandes, KPCC, “Preschool Doesn’t Have to Be So Segregated: Here’s How”
Rachel Kraus, Mashable, “The troubling world of WiFi toxicity truthers on Instagram”
Judges’ comment: A new concern over Wi-Fi toxicity and the “profiteering of people’s fears and misunderstandings” are exposed in this excellent, informative report.
2nd Jillian Keenan, Reason, “Meet the Teens Who Want to Get Vaccinated Against Their Parents’ Wishes”
3rd Eric Pape, Capital & Main, “Scared to Death: Immigrants in Need of Health Care Face Perilous Choices”
Rosanna Xia, Carolyn Cole, Paul Duginski and Sean Greene, Los Angeles Times, “Can the long-lost abalone make a comeback in California?”
Judges’ comment: Comparing the rich history of the vanishing abalone with the plight of the American buffalo is an example of the kind of humanistic writing that brings to life science and environmental issues. Superb reporting by the Los Angeles Times writers.
2nd Judith Lewis Mernit, KCET, “Earth Focus: Thick and Viscous: California Oil Production Among the Dirtiest in the Country”
3rd Dan Ross, Capital & Main, “Topic of Cancer: How PFAS Threaten Our Water”
Ruksana Hussain, Econtent magazine, “Personalization and technology”
Judges’ comment: Hussain’s well-written article is thorough and detailed. A well-deserved award.
2nd Natalie Jarvey, The Hollywood Reporter, “Spotify the Storyteller”
3rd Peter Jones, Brian Tessier, Juan Devis, Michael Riley and Matthew Crotty, KCET, “Blue Sky Metropolis: Space Technology Innovation”
LOCAL POLITICAL/GOVERNMENT REPORTING
Judges’ comment: Rubin’s damning portrait of two public health agencies’ failure to protect the public, especially children, from the gun range’s lead contamination is a fine piece of public service writing.
2nd Justin Kloczko, Los Angeles Daily Journal, “Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Scandal”
3rd Karen Foshay, Vince Beiser and Andy Viner, KCET, “SoCal Connected: It’s Not Easy Being Green”
NATIONAL POLITICAL/GOVERNMENT REPORTING
John Fecile, Elizabeth Nakano, Jesse Dukes and Sonya Geis, KCRW, “Two Years: Diaries of a Divided Nation”
Judges’ comment: The KCRW reporters produced a thought-provoking, concise and politically neutral report about a national problem.
2nd Anna Scott, KCRW, “The Price of a Green Card”
3rd Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times, “Thanks to Nancy Pelosi, Californians Dominate the New House Like Never Before”
Theresa Marie Moreau, American Greatness, “Juilliard Goes to China”
Judges’ comment: Fantastic job exploring an unlikely relationship. Very thorough and likely answered a lot of questions readers had about this partnership.
2nd Larry Buhl, Capital & Main, “When Charter Schools Fail, Parents Are Left Scrambling”
3rd Andrew J. Campa, Glendale News-Press, “Glendale Community College to Return Fees for Student IDs It Likely Shouldn’t Have Collected”
ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING, Print/Online
Susanne Rust, Carolyn Cole, Ali Raj and Lorena Iñiguez Elebee, Los Angeles Times, “American Fallout: The Marshall Islands”
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Judges’ comment: The Los Angeles Times reporters produced a stunning, well-written and researched report, combining facts with heart-wrenching stories about the impact of nuclear bomb testing.
2nd Rosanna Xia, Swetha Kanna and Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, “California Against the Sea”
3rd Michele Stueven, LA Weekly, “Environmental Charter Schools”
ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING, Broadcast
Christina Pascucci, Armando Moncayo and Andre Cox, KTLA 5 News, “Journey to the End of the Earth”
Judges’ comment: The KTLA 5 News crew told a compelling, beautiful story about their sometimes challenging voyage to Antarctica.
2nd Jacob Soboroff, Aarne Heikkila, Mitchell Koss, Betsy Korona and Julia Ainsley, NBC News, “Climate in Crisis”
3rd Ben Bergman, Michael Bloecher and Tori Edgar, KCET, “SoCal Connected: Access Denied”
Andrea Roberson, Kyle Kim, Maloy Moore and Christie D’Zurilla, Los Angeles Times, “Hollywood primary”
Judges’ comment: Excellent way to showcase a lot of data in an interesting new way.
2nd Alexandrea Bell, Jose Castillo and Justino Mora, JOVRNALISM, “Trashed: The Tijuana River Valley Pollution Crisis”
3rd Randall Roberts and Priya Krishnakumar, Los Angeles Times, “50 Songs for a New L.A.”
Eater, Eater, “The Eater Guide to Taipei”
Judges’ comment: An ambitious, comprehensive travel story told from different viewpoints.
2nd Elizabeth Suman and Adam Skolnick, Playboy Magazine, “Wasteland Wonderland”
3rd Michele Stueven, LA Weekly, “Road Trip: It’s Harvest Time in Temecula”
COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS OF TV/FILM
Pete Keeley, The Hollywood Reporter, “Big Little Lions: Disney’s New ‘Lion King’ Dodges the ‘Kimba’ Similarity Issue”
Judges’ comment: A reveling look at a virulent type of artistic/cultural plagiarism– or is that appropriation– that sparks outrage at a media giant’s injustice and indifference when it comes to using their cadre of lawyers to protect massive profits.
2nd Daniel D’Addario, Variety, “Rip Torn’s ‘Larry Sanders’ Performance Was the Best of Old-School Hollywood”
3rd Tim Gray, Variety, “Oscar and Hollywood’s Nearly ‘Invisible’ People with Disabilities”
CRITICISM OF TV
Judges’ comment: Adlakha’s columns feel essential to understanding such a potent, relevant and complicated series. His clear writing, intriguing insight and application of relevant history help decipher this series and our current moment in history.
2nd Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, “Lorraine Ali, TV Criticism”
3rd Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, “Daniel Fienberg, TV Criticism”
CRITICISM OF FILM
Judges’ comment: A great combination of good writing and film knowledge, informative without being didactic.
2nd Lina Lecaro, LA Weekly, “Movie Reviews for LA Weekly”
3rd Luke Y. Thompson, Forbes, “Luke Y. Thompson Movie Reviews”
CRITICISM OF THEATER/PERFORMING ARTS
Judges’ comment: Hofler combines lively, conversational writing with a keen understanding of the theater.
2nd Thom Geier, TheWrap, “Theater Reviews”
3rd Cate Young, Ampersand, “Sell Buy Date Sells Sex Workers Down the River”
CRITICISM OF MUSIC
Judges’ comment: Willman’s criticism showcases thorough reporting and a nuanced understanding of pop history, buoyed by a flair for scene-setting and playful descriptions of artists such as Billie Eilish.
2nd Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, “Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani and when pop music works in Las Vegas”
3rd Andrew Barker, Variety, “Album Review: Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Is King’”
CRITICISM OF BOOKS/ART/ARCHITECTURE/DESIGN
Judge’s comment: Knight makes a bold, spirited critique of public art gone mismanaged, documenting logistical nightmares, conflicting strategies and, ultimately, the unraveling a museum.
2nd Shana Nys Dambrot, Art & Cake, “Andrea Chung at Klowden Mann Gallery”
3rd Christopher Knight,Los Angeles Times, “Review: Charles White Show at LACMA Pinpoints the Power of an Underappreciated Black Artist”
CRITICISM OF FOOD/CULTURE
Judges’ comments: Escárcega’s critiques shine brightest in telling the stories of people and the food culture, highlighted by the histories of Sonoratown tortillas and the Spago restaurant.
2nd Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register, “Restaurant Reviews: Knife Pleat, Louie’s by the Bay, Henry’s”
3rd Farley Elliott, LA Eater, “The Fast-Food Diner Is LA’s True Regional Specialty Restaurant, and It’s All Thanks to Pastrami”