62nd SoCal Journalism Awards Winners – Newspapers (Circulation Under 50,000)


George Johnston, Pacific Citizen, “Go for Gold: Delayed Recognition for a Vet’s Family’s Quest”

Judges’ comment: Johnston’s compelling well-researched feature has a lot of human insight.

2nd Gary Metzker, Grunion Gazette, “Club Ripples Closes Doors After Decades”

3rd Ariella Plachta and Elizabeth Chou, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG, “A Sepulveda Basin Encampment Fire Left Dozens of Homeless People Displaced, but Service Providers Have Little to Offer Them”


Lina Lecaro, LA Weekly, “L.A. (L)INKED: Cultural Expression and the Art of Tattoo in Los Angeles”

Judges’ comment: With the popularity of tattoos, Lecaro has tackled this topic well by observing its place in culture today.

2nd Gary Metzker, Grunion Gazette, “Christmas Store Spreads Holiday Cheer”

3rd Anthony Pignataro, OC Weekly, “Dice Are How You Flex”


Steve Appleford, The Argonaut, “Where Music Lives”

Judges’ comment: An involving tale with many significant characters, told in a way that made us feel like we were there.

2nd Brett Callwood, LA Weekly, “No Access: Why Rising Concert Prices Increasingly Put Big Shows Out of Our Reach”

3rd George Johnston, Pacific Citizen, “George Takei’s Life, Career Move at Warp Speed”


Kevin Modesti, Long Beach Press-Telegram, “Long Beach Mayor’s Rising Political Star Raises Questions and, for Some, Hope”

Judges’ comment: This lucidly written profile vividly captures the challenges faced by a young mayor, who is gay and an immigrant from Peru.

2nd Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, “Sing a Song in the Key of T: Tony Cappa Retires After 37 Years Leading the Oasis Senior Center Ukulele Club”

3rd Gabriel San Roman, OC Weekly, “Is Dwight Manley Brea’s Native Son Savior or Its Mad Monarch?”


Scott Schwebke, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG, “Prosecutors allege sexual harassment retribution at Los Angeles County DA’s Office”
https://bit.ly/3bc8LjT | https://bit.ly/2VpYTwi | https://bit.ly/2yjZwzq | https://bit.ly/2yZCf6l | https://bit.ly/34CT1ny

Judges’ comment: This compelling piece investigates one of the most important issues today and is especially poignant given that it shines a light on those public officials we expect to uphold the law.

2nd Jason Henry, Torrance Daily Breeze/SCNG, “Investigation into Inglewood’s Finances, Lavish Spending”

3rd Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG, “City of Industry Misused Subsidized Housing to Reward Allies, Force Out Dissenters”


Chris Lindahl, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG, “The groups against El Monte’s marijuana projects keep growing and suing; here’s the scorecard”

Judges’ comments: Lindahl’s excellent description of groups opposed to the marijuana projects, as well as to each other, provides an important understanding of the issue.

2nd Alena Maschke, Long Beach Business Journal, “Is a New Entertainment District Blossoming in Central Long Beach?”

3rd Andrew Asch, California Apparel News, “Trindad3 Plans to Serve Wounded Warriors with Fashion and Function”


Thomas Elias, California Focus, “Solid standards needed for pre-fire power cutoffs”

Judges’ comment: Elias provides excellent commentary, bringing important details to the readers.

2nd Chandra Bozelko and Ryan Lo, Long Beach Press Telegram, “California’s Private Prison Ban Isn’t a Ban at All”

3rd Christina Campodonico, The Argonaut, “Badass Chicks”


Jon Regardie, Los Angeles Downtown News, “Regardie Report Columns”
https://bit.ly/2W7vKX2 | https://bit.ly/35fXooZ | https://bit.ly/2zI7Fi5 | https://bit.ly/2VNySbF

Judges’ comment: Jon Regardie is the hard-boiled, seen-everything, knows-everybody straight-shooting observer of local money, power and politics that every city needs.

2nd Gabriel San Román, OC Weekly, “Alt-Disney”

3rd Patricia Bunin, California News Group, “Senior Moments”

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