59th SoCal Journalism Awards Winners Announced


A1. PRINT, over 50,000 circulation

Danielle Berrin, The Jewish Journal
http://bit.ly/2nUpDFE, http://bit.ly/2nTODwU, http://bit.ly/2mQF5DZ
Judges’ comment: Danielle Berrin’s range of incisive commentary and reporting, such as connecting her personal experience of a sexual assault with such crimes universally, portraying family squabbles surrounding the health decline of media mogul Sumner Redstone, or profiling an anti-poverty activist, earns her a well-deserved Journalist of the Year Award.

2nd Fred Dickey, San Diego Union-Tribune

3rd Hillel Aron, L.A. Weekly

A2. PRINT under 50,000 circulation

Daina Beth Solomon, Los Angeles Business Journal
http://bit.ly/2kHGNCj, http://bit.ly/2kQaBPQ, http://bit.ly/2kHCF5e, http://bit.ly/2kuKn1C
Judges’ comment: The range of subjects covered by Daina Beth Solomon is impressive as is the fact they are clear, well-written and interesting pieces.

2nd Brent Lang, Variety

3rd Brian Hews, Los Cerritos Community News


Mike Amor, 7 Network Australia
https://vimeo.com/172691962/68ceff4c1e, https://youtu.be/Sxs0rJ-9mBM, https://youtu.be/q184bnJy26Y
Judges’ comment: Compelling storytelling-very emotional! All stories were interesting to the viewer. Great natural sounds, writing, and editing! Two thumbs up on each story!

2nd Ernesto Torres, KNBC TV4

3rd Antonio Valverde, KMEX


Deepa Fernandes, KPCC
Link 1
Judges’ comment: This journalist seems to grow with her subjects, making it easier to listeners to follow a complicated story. Her storytelling is diverse, accessible and relevant. She is a remarkable talent in broadcasting.

2nd Madeleine Brand, KCRW


Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter
http://bit.ly/2dojmtD, http://bit.ly/2p2yToS, http://bit.ly/2bjX1x4, http://bit.ly/2nYNTEZ
Judges’ comment: Lesley Goldberg packs a great deal of information into a tight word count. Her writing is descriptive to the point that the reader feels he or she is in the room with the person being interviewed. She excels in delivering all pertinent information succinctly and creatively.

2nd Owen Gleiberman, Variety

3rd Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter


Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
http://lat.ms/28Tz9Si, http://lat.ms/2rahtvm, http://lat.ms/2rkB9tR
Judges’ comment: Randy Lewis’ reporting is insightful, detailed and lively.

2nd Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter

3rd Ramin Setoodeh, Variety


Derrin Horton, KTLA 5 News
https://youtu.be/6LsSlYtajtE, https://youtu.be/IIvK6wh6jhM
Judges’ comment: Derrin Horton puts the spotlight on some of today’s biggest names in sports (both behind the scenes and in the limelight) and shows us in an entertaining, easy-to-grasp way what makes them tick.


Ringo Chiu, Los Angeles Business Journal
Judges’ comment: The portfolio of Ringo Chiu of the Los Angeles Business Journal displays an impressive array of images and great diversity of the work.

2nd Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times


Print, Radio, TV or Online


Austin Bragg, Meredith Bragg, Andrew Heaton, Reason, “Star Trek: The Libertarian Edition”
Judges’ comment: Austin Bragg is absolutely hilarious, and his satiric self-deprecating look at Libertarianism though the lens of Star Trek has gone where no other humor entry has gone before. Hysterical in any star system. We watched it several times and saved it for future views.

2nd Sandro Monetti, Entity, “Brad Pitt’s New Girlfriend: Will It Be Swifflepitt or PitaBrad?”

3rd Gwynedd Stuart, L.A. Weekly, “No One Shows Up at Opening of L.A.’s Museum of Broken Plans”


Tom Teicholz, Forbes.com, “Zsa Zsa Gabor Dead – The Last Hungarian Actress of Her Generation”
Judges’ comment: The writer fuses styles seamlessly, using anecdotal, at times personal essay-style writing to serve a fully formed, thoroughly entertaining portrait of a life. It earns the highest praise a celebrity obituary can – you’d keep reading even if you were entirely unfamiliar with the subject.

2nd Jesse Walker, Reason, “Merle Haggard, RIP: A Great American Voice Has Died”

3rd Rubén Martínez, KCET, “How Juan Gabriel’s 1993 Rose Bowl Performance Was Groundbreaking in Conservative California”


Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, “Art World A-Listers Celebrate the Woman Who Brought Them Together — and Helped Put L.A. on the Art Map”
Judges’ comment: Deborah Vankin’s account of a private memorial reception for the late Elyse Grinstein – listening in on A-list art-world luminaries remembering soirées at the Grinsteins’ home, as they nibble “on petite roast beef and chicken salad sandwiches and sipping white wine” – is a textbook example of show, don’t tell. It’s a high – often unappreciated – skill to know when to stay out of the way and listen while the subjects tell the story. Well, here’s some appreciation for Deborah Vankin’s skill with this excellent piece. Her story is colorful, insightful, funny, sad – and respectful. Not the kind of words you’d necessarily expect to read about an entry in this category.

2nd Steve Wasserman, Truthdig, “Reflections on the Death of Fidel”

3rd Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, “Appreciation George Martin’s Indispensable Role With the Beatles”


Blake Pinto, The Edge, “The Beautifully Angry Poet”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This story was very well written and put a face to PTSD. It advocated in a subtle but very impactful way, leading the reader through the life struggles of just one of thousands of war veterans trying to reintegrate into society. Great job!

2nd Sonali Kolhatkar, Truthdig, “Racism Fueled Outrage Over Cincinnati Gorilla Killing”

3rd Bill Blum, Truthdig, “Talk of Impeaching Trump May Be Premature, but Its Time Will Come”


Laura Paisley, USC Dornsife, “USC Dornsife Faculty Help Former Prisoners Find Their Voice”
Link: 1, 2
Judges’ comment: Laura Paisley’s work grabs you immediately. Her tight and original articles cut to the heart of what it means when a community – in this case, the USC Dornsife Writing Program – steps forward to provide unique and impactful rehabilitation assistance for recently released prisoners.

2nd Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, “Actors: ‘It’s So Easy to Exploit Them’”

3rd C.J. Ciaramella, Reason, “Why Are Detroit Cops Killing So Many Dogs?”


Annie Gilbertson and Aaron Mendelson, KPCC, “Officer Involved: Shooting at Suspects in Cars is Dangerous”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The story was approached head on with thoughtful and intelligent explanations to those who have never heard of the story. The approach on getting all sides of the story was impressive and could be a real call to action regarding a highly sensitive subject.

2nd Jason Kandel, Lolita Lopez and Jorge Diaz, NBC4, “A Mess in Maywood”

3rd Saul Gonzalez, KCRW, “Evicted: How the 1985 Ellis Act Can be Used to Kick You Out of Your Rent Controlled Apartment”


Liz Ohanesian, L.A. Weekly, “From Hollywood to Silicon Beach, L.A. Creatives Are Plotting Virtual Reality’s Boom”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Liz Ohanesian’s “From Hollywood to Silicon Beach, L.A. Creatives Are Plotting Virtual Reality’s Boom” is an outstanding example of explanatory journalism. Her vivid writing brings virtual reality to life. And she is able to explain the technology in an engaging, yet easy-to-understand way. We enjoyed this piece from lede to kicker.

2nd Nic Cha Kim, Jon Kaplan, Amanda Garcia and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “A Great Use for UC Irvine’s Garbage”

3rd Jon Kaplan, Nic Cha Kim and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected — Hyperloop: Tube Travel at Near Supersonic Speed”


Anthony L. Fisher, Reason, “Why It’s So Hard to Stop Bad Cops From Getting New Police Jobs”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This was a remarkably diverse- and very interesting- field of contenders. But Anthony Fisher’s exploration of the political and governmental hurdles which can keep bad cops on the street rose to the top. It was meticulously researched and reported without being dry. The clarity of Fisher’s writing took what could have been a dense – or a sensational- topic and instead turned into a thoughtful analysis. It is a take on policing that has not received as much attention as pieces on police abuses- even though Fisher’s story certainly shed light on how an officer could escape consequences for such abuses: A clear public service to Fisher’s readers.

2nd Ted Johnson, Variety, “Presidential Race Takes Over Pop Culture as Hopefuls Embrace Celebrity Status”

3rd Val Zavala, Linda Burns, Henry Cram, Robert McDonnell and Sheri Candler, KCET, “Ballot Brief: ’Props-in-a-Minute’ Videos”


Mike Reicher, Brenda Gazzar and Dana Bartholomew, Los Angeles Daily News, “El Camino Real Charter School”
Link: 1, 2, 3, 4
Judges’ comment: Solid investigation by the LA Daily News on a charter school gone on wild. The principal spends $15,500 at a steakhouse during a “high school meeting” and takes home a salary of more than $200,000 which makes him among the highest paid school leaders in the state, plus his moonlighting as a NBA scout and charging those expenses to the school. The reporters did an excellent job using public records as well as getting outside sources. The series holds the school and the district accountable to the taxpayers. Their work appeared to prompt change – the principal resigned.

2nd Jim Epstein, Reason, “Brownstone Brooklyn’s Racial Divide: Why Are the Schools So Segregated?”

3rd Kyle Stokes and Aaron Mendelson, KPCC, “How Charter Schools Became Top Spenders in State Political Races”


Gabriela Teissier and Andres F. Pruna, KMEX, “Nuestro Planeta”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The information provided and the video effects used in this piece make it the winner. The cinematography is excellent.

2nd Cara Santa Maria, Adam Hyman and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected — A Tale of Two Mountain Lions”

3rd Alexander Reed Kelly, Truthdig, “Truthdigger of the Week: Sir Robert Watson, British Climate Expert”


Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, “Raised in the U.S. without Legal Status, He Attains the American Dream — in Mexico”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Carcamo’s reporting is so raw and honest, you feel like you’re standing right next to her sources. She finds the perfect balance between different voices and perspectives and lets her readers come to their own conclusions.

2nd Daniel Heimpel, The Chronicle of Social Change, “L.A.’s One-and-Only Native American Foster Mom”

3rd Shikha Dalmia, Reason, “Muslim in America: A Trip to Two of the Most Islamic Cities in The U.S.”


Clinton Cameron, Collegian Times, “Home Sweet Home”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The piece took a refreshing, humanizing look at several pressing issues for the LGBTQ community, and particularly trans women of color, who are disproportionately at risk on many fronts. It was both thoroughly researched and beautifully written to bring to light complex issues through the lens of one woman’s story.

2nd Katherine Vara, Andres Pruna and Mary Harris, KNBC, “Prosecutor Shares Transgender Journey”

3rd Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, “The Oprah of China Happens to Be Transgender”


Jennifer Laski, Peter Flax, Stephanie Fischette, Natalie Heltzel and Martin Schoeller, The Hollywood Reporter, “Creative Until You Die”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: ‘Creative Until You Die’ is a truly phenomenal multimedia package — visually beautiful and conversationally written, the package is well designed, includes fun images and anecdotal stories. Overall, this package offers an emotional connection to Hollywood’s greats. Well done!

2nd Karen Foshay, KCRW, “Troubled Waters”

3rd Victoria McKillop, Jennifer Laski, Scott Johnson, Ryan Heraly and Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, “Locked and Loaded (Hollywood’s Relationship with Guns)”


Alex Stapleton, Lata Pandya, Amanda Garcia, Val Zavala and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected — The Wrongly Convicted”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This piece is rewarded for its quality, and its emotional impact. The piece was artfully shot and edited, with remarkable theme music and a superb use of emotional sound bites.

2nd Ashley Powers, The California Sunday Magazine, “The Man in the Woods”

3rd Mike Amor, Luke Blair, Arron Hage, Emma Dallimore and Mark Llewellyn, 7 Network Australia, “In Cold Blood – The Chris Lane Story”


Susan Valot, KCRW, “For the Curious: A Visit to the Oldest Juniper Tree in America”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Aside from being a compelling read, a travel story must impart why the reader might want to visit a place – or not, as well as contain logistical information.
This textured report enhanced by photos and audio took us on the journey, including the literal ruts and the payoff of reaching a historic spot whose significance is explained. The first-person account is effectively focused on the reader rather than the reporter, and the writing is breezy.

2nd Gwynedd Stuart, L.A. Weekly, “How to Go to Disneyland as an Adult and Not Want to Die”

3rd Brad A. Johnson, Bradajohnson.net, “Trout Fishing and the Yearning for Peace in Kashmir”


Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter, “’Looking: The Movie’: Outfest Review”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Mr. Frosch does a great job describing a show this judge had never seen — but illuminates greatly and with evident passion — its root cause of failure. Author makes you understand a show – indeed, a viewpoint, that you might not have previously understood. A+ writing.

2nd Simi Horwitz, Film Journal International, “’Mother’s Day’ Confronts the New Normal in a Trio of Films”

3rd Owen Gleiberman, Variety, “Film Review: ‘La La Land’”

X15. CRITICISM on Theater/Performing Arts

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, “’Long Day’s Journey into Night’: Theater Review”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Stellar writing sets this entry apart from the others. This one puts the reader in the theater. Well done.

2nd Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, “Bob Dylan: ‘The Homer of Our Time’”

3rd Thom Geier, TheWrap, “Thom Geier Theater Reviews”

X16. CRITICISM on Books/Art/Architecture/Design

Glenn Garvin, Reason, “Was Patty Hearst Brainwashed?”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Garvin’s well-written and snarky criticism of Toobin’s book on Patty Hearst and questioning of conventional views as to whether Hearst became a real revolutionary or feigned being one results in his provocative observation that she may have been “brainwashed” like Korean War soldiers.

2nd Jonathan Kirsch, The Jewish Journal, “Shock Is Followed by Awe over Foer’s New Novel”

3rd Gabriel Thompson, Truthdig, “This Is An Uprising”

X17. CRITICISM on Food/Culture

Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register, “Review: The Ritz”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The winning critique blends a keen palate with laugh-out-loud humor in this spot-on reminder that a restaurant is much more than the food on the plate.

2nd Besha Rodell, L.A. Weekly, “Andy Ricker Brings Pok Pok to L.A., for Better or Worse”

3rd Rob Eshman, The Jewish Journal, “Jonathan Gold on Eating Your Entire City”



Gary Metzker and Kevin Flores, The Edge, “Pot in the Pan: Chef Nugs’ Recipe for Success”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: An interesting take on the popular topic of marijuana. Well researched and detailed, this entry explores an original use and purpose for “weed” today.

2nd Tatiana Siegel and Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, “Birth of a Nation Blowback: What Happens at Festivals Now”

3rd Eitan Arom, The Jewish Journal, “The Complex, Secret Path to Becoming an Orthodox Jew”


Glenn Rabinowitz, Pacific Coast Business Times, “Entrepreneurs High on Marijuana”
Judges’ comment: Clever headline that works on a number of levels.

2nd Christopher Palmeri and Rob Golum, Bloomberg News, “For Best Party Ever, Trump’s Calling on Billionaire Casino Pals”

3rd Tom Hicks, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Smoked Out”


David Nusbaum, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Team Tackles New Deals”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Nusbaum’s anatomy of the financial decisions needed for the L.A. Rams football team’s transition to a new stadium is top-notch sports and financial journalism.

2nd Loren Kopff, HMG-Community News, “Whitney High’s Iseri Goes on a Trip of a Lifetime, Learns a Lot About Fukushima”

3rd Loren Kopff, HMG-Community News, “Ex-Cerritos Stars Cameron, Iseri Close the Book on Their Freshmen Year of College”


Jonathan Diamond, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Guns, Responsibility and Liability”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Short and to-the-point, this editorial effectively makes its case through precise language. It makes an interesting case for gun control—require people to have insurance before they can receive gun licenses.

2nd Jon Regardie and Sue Laris, Los Angeles Downtown News, “Thankful for the Right to Protest”

3rd Hannah Deitch, Ampersand, “How Does This Story End?”


Any size circulation – including news bureaus and correspondents. Enter individually or as a team.




Kristin Skaggs-Kirby, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Immigrant Entrepreneurs”
Judges’ comment: Kristin Skaggs-Kirby tackled this spread on immigrant entrepreneurs with a clear vision in mind. The spread is easy to read and navigate. Photographs are thoughtfully placed and cropped, and the use of color and graphics enhances the content.

2nd Alexis Rawlins and Yumi Kanegawa, Los Angeles Downtown News, “40 for the Fall”

3rd Sally Jones, Kristin Skaggs-Kirby and Jennifer Rzepka, San Fernando Valley Business Journal, “Soundstage Scarcity”


Print – Newspaper/magazine/wire service/online


Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times, “Year of Deadly Violence”
Judges’ comment: Haunting image came together with great composition and opportunity (undoubtedly the result of dogged pursuit).

2nd Allen Schaben, Los Angeles Times, “Vigil Against Hatred and Violence”

3rd Ted Soqui, L.A. Weekly, “City of Smoke”


Gary Leonard, Los Angeles Downtown News, “The Wilshire Grand Topping-out Crew”
Judges’ comment: We have never seen a shot as daring as this one. The quality is outstanding. The colors helped pop the workers off the background.

2nd Francine Orr, Los Angeles Times, “Taken By Storm”

3rd Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, “’El Titan de Bronce (The Bronze Titan)’”


Shanti Marlar, Jennifer Laski, Carrie Smith and Kate Pappa, The Hollywood Reporter, “Rachel McAdams”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: In a very competitive category of very fine work, The Hollywood Reporter team put together all the elements for this eloquent image.

2nd Ada Guerin and Elisabeth Caren, TheWrap, “Iggy Pop Portrait”

3rd Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times, “The Rock”


Allen Schaben, Los Angeles Times, “Olympic Celebration”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Allen Schaben captured the emotion of the Olympians, which captured the attention of the judges. Schaben takes home the gold.

2nd Thomas R. Cordova, Daily Breeze, “Eye on The Ball”

3rd Chris Mihal, Bailey Franklin and Dylan Coulter, Variety, “Ready for Rio”


Ada Guerin and Emma McIntyre, TheWrap, “Travis Wall”
Judges’ comment: This shot of dance choreographer Travis Wall is the clear winner. Seeing the set added to the sense of the ‘show business’ he’s in with “So You Think You Can Dance”. Peak moment photography ‘without a net’ had the judges asking, “Did he land safely?”

2nd Shanti Marlar, Jennifer Laski, Carrie Smith, Michelle Stark and Miller Mobley, The Hollywood Reporter, “Comedy Actors Roundtable”

3rd Chris Mihal, Bailey Franklin and Guido Vitti, Variety, “Billions”

D6. PHOTO ESSAY (single topic)

Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times, “California Olympians”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Jay Clendenin’s problem-solving skills made these beautiful portraits even better. With the general public more used to a fast snap with their phones, Clendenin’s labor added a few extra layers to deliver a winning entry with a lot of tough competition. Edited tight left room for only top quality images. The great escape.

2nd Allen Schaben, Los Angeles Times, “40th Anniversary of Coastal Act: Preserving the Coast”

3rd Ted Soqui, Capital & Main, “California Affordable Housing Crisis”


Dwayne Booth a.k.a. Mr. Fish, Truthdig, “Nothing to See Here”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Dwayne Boot, a.k.a. Mr. Fish, didn’t have to swim upstream to produce this statement. Judges feel this cartoon will eventually be part 1 of a sequence.

2nd Lalo Alcaraz, Freelance Cartoonist, “Princess Death Star”

3rd Doug Davis, Los Angeles Downtown News, “Election Day”


Chris Mihal and Anita Kunz, Variety, “Media Monster”
Judges’ comment: Chris Mihal’s work for Variety is exceptional. Here he employs a classic style on this ‘huge’ modern day figure. This drawing will be a reference point illustration in the discussion of transitioning from showbiz to politics. Great work.

2nd Jason Keisling, Reason, “Should the U.S. Government Build a Death Star?”

3rd Chris Mihal and Rui Ricardo, Variety, “Michael Moore in TrumpLand”


Over 50,000 circulation – including news bureaus and correspondents. Enter individually or as a team.

Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, “Life Interrupted”

Judges’ comment: Mr. Curwen’s ability to transport the reader on the wings of a mosquito and into the bloodstream of a Los Feliz woman is miraculous. His command of the science, the medicine, the emotion, the pacing and the impact is evident and reads like best thriller or horror story. It should be noted that his other two entries were equally beautifully written. This is what the best narrative journalism should aspire to.

2nd Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, “Nearly 1 in 4 Students at this L.A. High School Migrated From Central America — Many Without Their Parents”

3rd Jennifer Swann, L.A. Weekly, “Why Is It So Hard to Catch Drink-Drugging Assholes?”

Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, “The Troubled Past and Questionable Benefits of Hollywood’s Oldest Awards Show for Kids”

Judges’ comment: A well-written, troubling look at Hollywood’s underbelly. Good, solid journalism.

2nd April Wolfe, L.A. Weekly, “How Bruce Lee’s Daughter Is Sharing His Philosophies With the Digital Generation”

3rd Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, “How Vasquez Rocks, L.A.’s Onetime Outlaw Hideout, Became ‘Star Trek’s’ Favorite Alien Landscape”

Anh Do, Los Angeles Times, “From Vietnam to LA: Photographer who Captured Iconic Image on One Road Sees End of Another”

Judges’ comment: Ahn Do’s outstanding profile of photographer Nick Ut is the clear winner in this category. The piece contains a riveting narrative, excellent story-telling skills, and an excellent transition from Vietnam to a career as an LA photographer. The connections between the ‘Napalm Girl’ photo, Vietnam, the photo’s impact on society, the actual interview with the now-grown girl and how the photo changed her life would be a feature story itself. However, in the true spirit of the award requirement, Ahn does a wonderful job of taking the photographer’s iconic photo (and how he even got the job after his brother was killed) and transfers it to Mr. Ut’s fascinating 50-year career as one of LA’s best-known photographers at major social and political events. Great use of interviews and quotes from many people involved with Mr. Ut’s career. Very entertaining, very interesting, and, best of all, very Southern California. Bravo!

2nd Michael Idato, The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald, “Jodie Foster: Mistress of Her Destiny”

3rd Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, “Garrison Keillor Reflects at the Hollywood Bowl, Rehearsing for Final Show: ‘I Just Want it to Be Good’”

Jason McGahan, L.A. Weekly, “L.A County Has Had More Than 1,300 Police Shootings Since 2000. Why Has No Officer Been Charged?”

Judges’ comment: This piece makes readers wonder exactly who the LA police forces are serving and protecting, and who they can trust. It seems there are many more systemic problems that are impacting the integrity of the police and nobody is being held accountable.

2nd Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, “Young Hollywood Inc.”

3rd Jeff Collins, Orange County Register, “Speed Bump or Pollution Fighter? Does California’s Environmental Protection Law Impede Development?

See E4

Henry Rollins, L.A. Weekly, “White America Couldn’t Handle What Black America Deals With Every Day”

Judges’ comment: The writer explores and explains our “different Americas.” He offers personal anecdotes that are simple, yet thought-provoking and eye-opening. And he leaves the reader with an optimistic call to action. It’s a beautiful, poignant piece.

2nd Thomas Elias, Los Angeles Daily News, “Bad Energy Commission Choices Haunt Hydrogen Highway”

3rd Amy Alkon, Syndicated Columnist, “Mothership Of Fools”

Marty Kaplan, The Jewish Journal, “Is Campaign News Necessary?”

Judges’ comment: No matter what side of the aisle you aligned with, 2016 was draining. The campaign coverage was nonstop and seeped into every part of our lives, and Marty Kaplan captured this in his piece. He made his readers think about how they spend their time keeping up with elections, and why we feel the need to take in every news cast, poll, debate and speech. Perhaps the next round we’ll lower our blood pressure and take his advice to not beat ourselves up over tuning out.

2nd Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, “1966 Could be Rock ‘N’ Roll’s Most Revolutionary Year, Thanks to the Beatles, Dylan and the Beach Boys”

3rd Danielle Berrin, The Jewish Journal, “Huma Abedin and the Real Housewives of Politics”


Under 50,000 circulation – including news bureaus and correspondents. Enter individually or as a team.

Henry Meier, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Competitors Raise Stink Over Garlic”

Judges’ comment: This is a perfect news feature—about an unusual topic that is so well-written that it holds the reader’s interest from start to finish. It is cleanly written with no wasted words. Who would think the state of the garlic industry would be so interesting to read about?

2nd Kristin Marguerite Doidge, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Right Hook”

3rd Kathy Perez and George Redfox, Downey Patriot, “Preservationists Hunt for Downey’s Cinderella Home”

Eddie Kim, Los Angeles Downtown News, “The L.A. Phil’s Rising Star”

Judges’ comment: Eddie Kim’s reporting sparkles not just with the story of conducting phenom Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, but with Kim’s artful narrative around his subject and her success. The profile was not just a resume or a biographical blurb, but an engaging piece of news accessible to those outside the world of classical music.

2nd Kristin Marguerite Doidge, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Studio Hopes to Ride Hero Capes”

3rd Mark Madler, San Fernando Valley Business Journal, “Keeping the Crowd Spell-Bound”

Daina Beth Solomon, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Peter Guber: Running Up Big Scores”

Judges’ comment: Well-sourced profile that is interesting and keeps to the subject.

2nd Tom Tugend
, The Jewish Journal, “Looking Back at War on Memorial Day”

3rd Helen Floersh, San Fernando Valley Business Journal, “The 24/7 Extrovert”

Daina Beth Solomon and Henry Meier, Los Angeles Business Journal, “Prized Possessions”

Judges’ comment: Clear, informative discussion of tax matters.

2nd Brian Hews, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper, “Questionable State Bid Process Leaves California HIV/AIDS Community In Jeopardy”

3rd Kevin Uhrich, Pasadena Weekly, “Family Fractures”

Erik Skinrud, OC Weekly, “How Quicksilver Lost Its Soul and Ended Up in Bankruptcy Court”

Judges’ comment: Best in a highly competitive category. The story if the rise and fall of Quicksilver surfer clothing is fascinating. The writer details the cast of characters involved in the business which us one reason it is such a great read. This should become a book or movie!

2nd Scott Soshnick, Christopher Palmeri, Anousha Sakoui, Bloomberg, “Disney Said to Buy Stake in MLB Web Unit Valued at $3.5 Billion”

3rd Champaign Williams, San Fernando Valley Business Journal, “In the Hole”

Gustavo Arellano, OC Weekly, “It’s Not Only OK for Activists to Wave the Mexican Flag at Protests—It’s Necessary”

Judges’ comment: In an angry but reasoned commentary, Arellano defends the waving of Mexican flags as a counter to the prejudices faced by immigrants, who nevertheless embrace the American way of life.

2nd Amy Alkon, Syndicated Columnist, “Unzipping Your Genes”

3rd Mario Guerra, Downey Patriot, “Que Viva Cuba Libre”

Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News, “Vin Scully’s Final Call”

Judges’ comment: This entry does a nice job of capturing and expressing the feelings many baseball fans had about the retirement of iconic Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully.

2nd Lisa Niver, The Jewish Journal, “A Journey to Freedom Over Three Passovers”

3rd Sharon Smith, Downey Patriot, “The Problem With Senior Housing”


Including magazines with L.A. bureaus


Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Magazine, “Profit at a SoCal Non-profit?”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: A thorough investigation undeterred by uncooperative subjects. If this doesn’t spur investigative activity by county, state, or federal officials responsible for oversight, then add another crime alongside those apparently being committed by Gupta and his cohorts.

2nd Gary Baum and Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, ”How Many Bottles of Champagne Does It Take to Save the Planet”

3rd Stephen Galloway and Scott Johnson, The Hollywood Reporter, “How David Milch Made $100 Million and Lost a Fortune”


Michael Wolff, The Hollywood Reporter, “Ringside With Steve Bannon at Trump Tower as the President-Elect’s Strategist Plots ‘An Entirely New Political Movement’”

Judges’ comment: Vivid and insightful (even prescient) behind-the-scenes reporting and analysis on the contentious 2016 election.

2nd Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, The Hollywood Reporter, “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Why Black People Are “Invisible” to Oscar Voters (Guest Column)”

3rd Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason, “Trump vs. Clinton vs. Everything Good”

Ronald Bailey, Reason, “Poverty Is Deadly: Why is the Death Rate for Young White Americans Rising?”

Judges’ comment: Mortality and life expectancy. By no means are they frequent topics for discussion — or even reflection. But Ron Bailey brings them to the forefront in his well-researched, thoughtful column on rising middle aged mortality rates –along with some intriguing conjecture about possible reasons for the trends. Our compliments to Ron for his fascinating column about a ‘literally’ deadly serious topic.

2nd Veronique de Rugy, Reason, “Marco Rubio’s Sweet Protectionism”

3rd Kristopher Tapley, Variety, “Ready or Not, the Academy Is Ripe for a Shake-up”

G4. FEATURE, over 1,000 words
Ashley Powers, The California Sunday Magazine, “The Man in the Woods”

Judges’ comment: Well-written and engaging. The article was a “page turner” – We found ourselves wishing it was a whole book.

2nd Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, “Little People, Big Woes”

3rd David S. Cohen, Variety, “Artisans So White/Bias Below the Line”

G5. FEATURE, under 1,000 words
Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, “’Like That, Salma Hayek Killed My Hard-On’”

Judges’ comment: The story vividly captures the characteristics and the raw emotion of an Oscar winner, who initially didn’t know much about the importance of the coveted award till the reality sets in.

2nd Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter, “‘I Was Dazed, Confused and Deafened by the Boos’”

3rd Jenelle Riley, Variety, “Tom Hiddleston Soars With a Busy Career, Smart Fan Base and Daring Choices”

Gary Baum and Scott Johnson, The Hollywood Reporter, “Bang Bang! Hollywood and Guns”

Judges’ comment: This is a great deep dive and new take on the gun debate.
Interesting, well researched and strong narrative. Infographics offer a great snapshot: “Who Has Held the Most Gun Models in Hollywood History?” and “Gun Use in Movies Is on the Rise.”

2nd Rebecca Sun and Ashley Lee, The Hollywood Reporter, “Tragedy Behind the ‘Killing Fields’ Star Who Won a Supporting Actor Oscar”

3rd James Rainey and Tim Gray, Variety, “Failure of Inclusion Plagues the Industry”

Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, “The Last Living Silent Star”

Judges’ comment: This magazine package has it all — a great story that draws the reader from the beginning to ideal photography. The writer did a perfect job of letting us know who Peggy was as a baby star and who she became as a young girl, robbed of her earning to the woman she became. Well done!

2nd Michael Goldstein, American Way, “Q & A: Voice Recognition (Tom Kenny)”

3rd Ramin Setoodeh, Variety, “Kristen Stewart Lets Down Her Guard: Inside Her Reinvention”

G7B. PERSONALITY PROFILE—Politics/Business/The Arts
Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, “Wang Jianlin: The Chairman Will See You Now”

Judges’ comment: Engaging business story and profile story packed with information.

2nd Ted Johnson, Variety, “Michelle Obama Interview: How FLOTUS Used Pop Culture Stardom to Make an Impact”

3rd James Rainey, Variety, “Bob Iger on Shanghai Disney, Parting With His Chosen Successor, and His Pursuit of Perfection”

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC Dornsife Magazine, “The Politics Issue (Fall 2016/Winter 2017)”

Judges’ comment: The stunning colorful graphics and photography greatly enhance the features, profiles and statistics in the USC Dornsife Magazine, giving the professional-looking publication this well-deserved honor.

2nd Los Angeles City College, Collegian Times, “Seek Refuge”

3rd San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Valley Lawyer, “April 2016 Edition”

Chris Mihal, Variety, “Cannes Film Festival / Kristen Stewart”

Judges’ comment: “Chris Mihal’s work is so clean, elegant, sophisticated and fun to look at. The decision-making process comes across as bold, with an expert understanding of spacial respect with a nod to honoring great photography. There is exquisite variety, pun intended, with regards to layout approach with a keen integrity to pure style.

2nd Karen Villalpando, Michael Villalpando, Gregory Cornfield, Edwin Folven, Andy Kitchen, Park Labrea News/Beverly Press, “’Our People, Our Places’ 70th Anniversary Special Issue”

3rd Richard Martinez, Collegian Times, “Collegian Times: Seek Refuge”

H. TELEVISION/FILM (Also see X. All Media Platforms)

Broadcast, including online and cable TV, produced in Southern California.




Micah Ohlman, Cher Calvin, Glen Walker, Marcus Smith, Mazen Hafez, Christine Miceli and Kristen Nunez, KTLA 5 News, “KTLA 5 News at 10 Election Night 2016”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: KTLA’s straight ahead anchoring coupled with field reports on what was one of the most consequential elections in modern times was an easy winner amidst the other entries.

2nd Marlise Boland and Elyse Ashton, The Anglophile Channel, “The Dish Shows with Marlise & Elyse”

3rd Sonali Kolhatkar, Free Speech TV, “Trump’s Victory Is a Vote For White Privilege”


Ernesto Torres, KNBC TV4, “A Real Gusher”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Capturing from many angles a 60-foot gusher of water from a fire hydrant knocked over by a car crash, Torres illustrates well the news story that includes the flooding of several businesses. Compelling footage.

2nd Arron Hage, 7 Network Australia, “Bravest Man in Mexico”

3rd Timothy Myers, BBC, “Angry America”


Kareen Wynter, KTLA 5 News, “Dangerous Flash Floods and Heavy Rain Forces Closures”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Dangerous flash flooding: Incredible live pictures of the floodwaters rushing by the reporter and her photographer. Reporter acknowledged that she was scolded by her photographer to not get too close. This saved the viewer worrying about her safety that close to the water. Live pictures showed you the power of mother nature. Great job!

2nd Ernesto Torres, KNBC TV 4, “I See Big Fire and Smoke”

3rd Steve Kuzj, KTLA 5 News, “Police Shooting Outcry”


Yoonj Kim, Playboy, “Dope City: Drugs in Los Angeles”
Link: 1, 2, 3, 4
Judges’ comment: Compelling series of life on the streets. Each angle was interesting in its own way. Great interviews.

2nd Phil Goyen, Nine Network Australia, “Life from Death”

3rd Jenna Susko, Amy Corral, Matt Goldberg and Matt Arias, NBC4 News, “Danger & Deceit: Exposing Hollywood Tours”


Phil Goyen, Nine Network Australia, “Divided States of America”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Everything about this story was excellent. The writing, producing, videography, graphics, and music were all outstanding.

2nd Nic Cha Kim, Robert McDonnell and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected – Safe Parking for the Homeless”

3rd Derrick Shore, Lata Pandya and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected — LA’s Public Housing Problem”


Derrick Shore and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected — Kids, Cancer and Cameras”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Everyone knows someone who has battled cancer. This story hits home to a lot of people. This story has a unique beginning that held our interest until the end. Great storytelling!

2nd Mike Amor, Luke Blair, Arron Hage and Jorge Lebrija, 7 Network Australia, “Bravest Man in Mexico”

3rd Justin Monticello, Alex Manning and Zach Weissmueller, Reason, “This L.A. Musician Built $1,200 Tiny Houses for the Homeless. Then the City Seized Them.”


Kacey Montoya and Kimberly Cornell, KTLA 5 NEWS, “Beauty Bias”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Interesting feature of how people treat others in today’s society. We were hooked from the beginning until the reveal on the second day. Good job! Great camera shots and editing.

2nd Cara Santa Maria, Lata Pandya and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected — Bringing Conversations About Death to Life”

3rd Antonio Valverde, KMEK Univision, “Mexicanos y Musulmanes”


Nic Cha Kim, Robert McDonnell and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected – ‘Feathers of Fire’: Spectacular Shadow Play”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: In a category filled with beautiful actors, popular singers and amazing computer graphics it was this story of a classic tale told in an ancient style that really caught our interest. Well done!

2nd George Pennacchio and Cheryl Diano, KABC-TV, “Saying Goodbye to “America’s Mom’”

3rd Zach Weissmueller, Alex Manning and Justin Monticello, Reason, “Axanar: The $1 Million Star Trek Fan Film CBS Wants to Stop”


Natalie Heltzel, Victor Klaus and Stephanie Fischette, The Hollywood Reporter, “Frank Miller”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Masterfully done with a strong choice of theme music, excellent use of interview sound and superior use of lower-third “explainer” notes “on-time” and relevant to the conversation. The maker of Sin City – Frank Miller – helped a lot with his compelling explanations, his willingness to discuss loving comic books from the age of 7 and discussion of things he’s “never been able to solve- cars and girls.” The work was seamless, fascinating and perfectly edited with complementary frills.

2nd Nic Cha Kim, Val Zavala and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected — A Tiny House Is a Work of Art”

3rd Christina Pascucci and Kimberly Cornell, KTLA 5 News, “Journey With The Dalai Lama”


Derrin Horton, Phil Ige and Eddy Montiel, KTLA 5 NEWS, “LA Sports Leaders: ‘The Real Players’”
Link: 1, 2, 3
Judges’ comment: The KTLA team provides inspiring profiles of Magic Johnson, Jeanie Buss, and Casey Wasserman, demonstrating how L.A. has risen to become an important sports scene.

2nd Andres Pruna, KMEX, “Ser del Mar”

3rd KVEA News Team, KVEA News, “Yarda 50”


Enfoque Los Angeles Team, Enfoque Los Angeles, “Special Edition November 24, 2016”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: It quickly becomes evident that the team at Enfoque Los Angeles took a comprehensive look at the issues undocumented immigrants face in Los Angeles and nationwide. They spoke to the right people and really highlighted the plight of a particularly vulnerable set of the population, all the while featuring compelling b-roll and reporter packages.

2nd Drew Sugars, Peter Musurlian, Colleen Duffy Felix and Walter A. Lutz, Jr., The Burbank Channel, “Burbank On Demand – Summer 2016”

3rd Sonali Kolhatkar, Free Speech TV, “North Dakota Charges Pipeline Protesters With Felonies”

H13. FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, over 25 minutes

Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, innerLens Productions, “Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage”
Judges’comment: In a searing exploration of the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women worldwide, journalist Chelo Alvarez-Stehle also documents her own relatives’ sexual abuse, as well as herself, as they work through their efforts at coping and healing. A moving, poignant documentary of women learning to deal with the physiological and psychological stresses of abuse.

2nd Mike Amor, Luke Blair, Arron Hage, Emma Dallimore and Mark Llewellyn, 7 Network Australia, “In Cold Blood – The Chris Lane Story”

3rd Timothy Myers, Matthew Hill, Regan Morris and Hilary Andersson, BBC, “Angry America”

H14. SHORT DOCUMENTARY, under 25 minutes

Justin Monticello, Alex Manning and Zach Weissmueller, Reason, “This L.A. Musician Built $1,200 Tiny Houses for the Homeless. Then the City Seized Them.”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Excellent storytelling. Presented both the city’s effort and this citizen’s effort. We enjoyed learning about this big hearted, conversation-starting, empathetic problem-solver.

2nd Joris Debeij, David Weiner, Marieke Oudejans, Nate Hurtsellers and Michael Smith, New York Times Op-Docs, “Perfectly Normal”

3rd Derrick Shore, Jon Kaplan, Amanda Garcia and Michael Bloecher, KCET, “SoCal Connected — Porter Ranch Gas Leak Aftermath”


Broadcast, podcast or stream produced in Southern California.


Steve Chiotakis, KCRW, “All Things Considered”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Steve Chiotakis demonstrates adaptability in a thorough and articulate manner.

2nd Debra Birnbaum, Variety, “Remote Controlled”

3rd Chris Sedens and Charles Feldman, KNX AM, “In Depth”


Saul Gonzalez and Jonathan Bastian, KCRW, “Will $15 an Hour Wages Help or Hurt California?”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This piece featured excellent writing, narration and use of natural sound. The use of contrasting communities and experiences – in particular the woman sharing the small apartment with two roommates – gave the story balance and a fresh perspective. Very nice work.

2nd Deepa Fernandes, KPCC, “When Deportation Fears Trickle Down To Preschool”

3rd Ben Bergman, KPCC, “Why Vin Scully Is Unique Among Sports Announcers”


See I2


Jennifer Rice, KCRW, “Growing up Zorthian”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Interesting use of archival tape and writing that gives a detail view of the ranch and all that went on there for decades until the present time. It really painted a vivid picture for the listener regarding the family business over the decades and what the owners are doing now.

2nd Anna Scott, KCRW, “Day in the Life: Homeless on Skidrow”

3rd Paola Mardo, Ampersand, “Why Tiki? A Deep Dive into America’s Fascination with Tiki Bars, Tropical Drinks and the South Pacific”


Michael Radcliffe, USC Annenberg Media, “Portrait of an Artist on Skid Row”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This story was well crafted; Michael Radcliffe really made us care about Juanita Pina, describing her art and her homeless situation. The story really flowed well. We appreciated the attention to detail, hearing Juanita’s laugh from time to time and even her dismay about her circumstances. The reporter included the recording of the follow-up call where Juanita Pina, contacted Radcliffe about her status. This story gives the listener a chance to learn from a talented homeless woman what life is really like for her living on the streets. Even how Radcliffe ended the piece with the lack of knowing where Juanita Pina is living now was interesting and a good place to wrap up the story. This piece makes the listener care about Pina’s life and the fate of homeless people on Skid Row.

2nd Kristopher Tapley, Variety, “Viola Davis on ‘Fences,’ ‘Suicide Squad’ and Feminine ‘Badassery’”

3rd David Weinberg, KCRW, “Meet Mr. Fries Man”


Karen Foshay, KCRW, “Burned: Abuse in LA’s Restaurant Industry”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This series of reports may be the most thorough examination ever of the restaurant industry behind-the-scenes. The real-life stories are compelling. The data is smartly presented. Overall, this investigative series is revealing and well done.

2nd Deepa Fernandes and Aaron Mendelson, KPCC, “Polluted Preschools”

3rd Meghan McCarty, KPCC, “LA’s Missing Bus Shelters”


Susan Valot, KCRW, “Finding Friendship and Art at the Annual Pageant of the Masters”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This entry provided a look behind of the scenes of an established event. The balance of interview, narration and excellent natural sound brought the topic to life. Nice balance of these three elements.

2nd Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, “Patt Morrison Asks Rebecca Traister”

3rd Mark McNeill, Ampersand, “Resonant Residents: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson & Topanga Canyon”


See I2


Susan Valot, KCRW, “When Science Sounds Like Band Practice”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The voices, guitar and natural sounds make this solid reporting on a relevant subject, STEM, that is often lost in the midst of more exciting news. The sound makes this story make sense and it makes the listener want to hear more.

2nd Eric Drachman, KCRW, “SoundsLA”

3rd Priska Neely, KPCC, “The Art of Transformation at a Watts Elementary School”


Chris Sedens, Charles Feldman, Laraine Herman and Ken Charles, KNX AM, “KNX Indepth: Opioids–Overused and Overdosed”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Outstanding in-depth look into an important community concern.

2nd Larry Mantle, Lauren Osen, Fiona Ng, Matt Dangelantonio and Jasmin Tuffaha, KPCC, “Across the Divide: Clinton and Trump Supporters #AirTalkItOut After the Election”

3rd Madeleine Brand, KCRW Press Play, “Your Questions about How Trump Won, What it Means, What’s Next”


Deepa Fernandes, BBC World Service, “Candela: Cuban Women 20 Years Later”
Link: 1

Judges’ comment: Great storytelling and use of audio! Deepa Fernandes connects the past to the present and draws a strong portrait of the Cuban women she profiles for her piece.

2nd David Weinberg and Nick White, KCRW, “We Are Not Alone”

3rd R. H. Greene, KPCC, “ELEVATIONS: Frank Lloyd Wright Sr. and Jr. in California’s New Age”


Originally published on the Internet.


Jason McGahan, L.A. Weekly, “Video Shows Boyle Heights Teen Shot by Cops Was Dragged From Scene”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Jason McGahan’s story contained excellent reporting on this police shooting, while leaving a reader filled with empathy for the victim’s family as well as lingering questions over the actions of the police officers involved.

2nd Joe Rubin, Capital & Main, “A Neighborhood Gun Range’s Legacy: Lead Contamination”

3rd Robby Soave, Reason, “Romeo and Juliet and Sexting”


Amelia Pang, Truthdig, “Who’s in the Kitchen at Chinese Restaurants?: An Investigative Report”
Link: 1, 2
Judges’ comment: In a gripping two-part narrative, reporter Amelia Pang goes undercover to reveal the secret underground exploitation of smuggled immigrants recruited to work in Chinese restaurants across the nation and live in appalling conditions.

2nd Celeste Fremon, WitnessLA, “Beating Children”

3rd Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason, “The Truth About the Biggest U.S. Sex Trafficking Story of the Year”


Daniel Heimpel, The Chronicle of Social Change, “L.A.’s One-and-Only Native American Foster Mom”
Link: 1

Judges’ comment: The systematic break-up of Native American families by the federal government is highlighted by Heimpel’s compelling, hard-hitting article that nevertheless casts hope with the portrayal of L.A. County’s one and only Native American foster mother.

2nd Hillel Aron, L.A. Weekly, “Boyle Heights Activists Demand That All Art Galleries Get the Hell Out of Their Neighborhood”

3rd Piper McDaniel, Capital & Main, “High Times: The Hidden Poverty in Marijuana’s Black Market”


Jessica Ogilvie, BuzzFeed, “The Revolutionary Routine of Life as a Female Trucker”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: With her many photos and sidebars, Jessica Ogilvie’s cross-country ride-along was a fascinating examination into the life of a female trucker.

2nd Thy Vo, Voice of OC, “Viet LGBT Struggle For Understanding”

3rd Jason Ruiz, Long Beach Post, “After Years of Static, Low-Power FM Radio Inching Its Way Back to Long Beach”


Amy DePaul, Narratively, “The Thrill-Seeking Bodysurfers of California’s Most Terrifying Wave”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Amy DePaul’s vivid descriptions and embedded videos enlightened us into “Wedge” worship by bodysurfers.

2nd Susan Bell, USC Dornsife, “From Free Love to Well-Set Table”

3rd John Koopman, Capital & Main, “Uber Angst: A Driver’s Nights Behind the Wheel”


Art Tavana, L.A. Weekly, “Where’s Izzy: Searching for the GNR Reunion’s Missing Person”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Art Tavana penetrates the enigma of the mystery of the puzzle that is Izzy Stradlin, the co-founder of Guns N’ Roses.

2nd Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, “John Candy Remembered: His Children Share New Stories About Their Late Father On the Eve of His Birthday”

3rd Chrissy Iley, UK Daily Mail, “Billy Joel Talks About His Three Divorces and the Woman Who Saved Him”


Sonali Kolhatkar, Truthdig, “We Need to Understand What Happened on Election Night, and Fast”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Kolhatkar’s sobering analysis of Trump’s election win framed by an explanation of it to her young child is an excellent piece of political commentary.

2nd Andrew Wallenstein, Variety, “Social Media Only Makes My Trump Angst Worse”

3rd Itay Hod, TheWrap, “Are Hitler-Trump Comparisons Fair? A Holocaust Survivor Tells His Son”


Eric Preven and Joshua Preven, CitywatchLA.com, “It’s Time to End LA’s Secret Meetings: What Do City Council Members and LA’s County Supervisors Have to Hide?”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: It’s a question journalists across the country ask; why do public officials frequently enter into closed door meetings? Eric and Joshua are not afraid to call out these public officials in an attempt to hold them accountable. Well done.

2nd Tom Teicholz, The Jewish Journal, “Jews are not White People, or Why Jews Support the Left (a Response to Dennis Prager)”

3rd Natasha Hakimi Zapata, Truthdig, “‘Free to Be a Fool’: Behind the Scenes at the British Parliament’s Debate on Banning Trump”


Alissa Quart, Capital & Main, “Is the Middle Class Being ‘Disrupted’ Into Extinction?”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Backed with pertinent facts, Alissa Quart’s dystopian opinon suggests an uneasy future for the “Middle Precariat.”

2nd Sahra Sulaiman, Streetsblog LA, “Equity 101: Bikes v. Bodies on Bikes”

3rd Andrew Wallenstein, Variety, “Take Offense to Roger Ailes’ Defenders”


Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, “Mike Francesa, King of New York Sports Radio for 30 Years, Prepares to Abdicate His Throne”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Controversial yet deemed the “sports pope,” Mike Francesca receives a fascinating profile in Feinberg’s feature on the outspoken commentator who survived a grueling childhood to become New York’s most well-known sports radio voice.

2nd Eric Boehm, Reason, “The New Vikings Stadium Is a Broken Window Metaphor Come to Life”

3rd Aitana Vargas, Agencia EFE, “La Natación Estadounidense, una Élite Mundial Escasamente Diversa”

See J9


Ramin Setoodeh, Variety, “Nate Parker’s Rape Accuser Committed Suicide in 2012: Her Brother Speaks Out (EXCLUSIVE)”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The tragic decline and suicide of the woman and the subsequent controversy about the filmmaker acquitted of the rape charge is a poignant story for our times told with compassion by Sefoodeh.

2nd Matt Donnelly and Sharon Waxman, TheWrap, “Sony Entertainment ‘Leadership Vacuum,’ Poor Studio Results Create Tension”

3rd Kasia Anderson, Truthdig, “Friends of Abe, Hollywood Conservatives’ Secret Society, Is Calling It Quits (Exclusive)”


See J11


Matt Wake, L.A. Weekly, “Inside the Strange, Hidden World of Offstage Touring Musicians”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Matt Wake eloquently blended industry-type news relevant for a knowledgeable Southern California audience that knows about music and musicians with an entertainment feature. He made sure to use lots of names and their affiliations to help the reader follow along as the guys networked into different gigs.

2nd Brian Steinberg, Variety, “Before Wrestling Donald Trump, Seth Meyers Fought for His Late Night Voice”

3rd Kristopher Tapley, Variety, “From Shoestring Budgets to Studio Sci-Fi, Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon Keep an Even Keel”


Owen Gleiberman, Variety, “Jason Bourne: More Than a Rerun, Because He’s Never Been More Relevant”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This winning critique dives head-first into the complicated politics of a blockbuster movie and expertly navigates both sides without trying to pigeon-hole the movie into one side of the debate. Nearly a year after it was originally written, the critique feels more relevant today than ever.

2nd Carrie Rickey, Truthdig, “To Make the Oscars More Diverse, Let’s Adopt Football’s Rooney Rule”

3rd Christopher Palmeri, Bloomberg News, “Steve Jobs Was in Trouble. His Hero? Chief Financial Officer Man!”


Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, “The Race”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Scott Feinberg does something rarely seen in entertainment reporting. His interviews of award nominees – from the Oscars to the Tonys – go beyond the press junket, and his theater analyses paint a clear picture of the industry and the craft.

2nd Brian Addison, LongBeachize.com

3rd Donna Balancia, CaliforniaRocker.com


Eriq Gardner and Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, “THR, Esq.”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: “THR, Esq.” digs into the not-so-glamourous, behind-the-scenes side of show business and makes the legal aspects of entertainment comprehensible for all readers.

2nd Lesley Goldberg, Kate Stanhope, Michael O’Connell and Bryn Elise Sandberg, The Hollywood Reporter, “Live Feed”

3rd Nick Gillespie, Reason, “Hit & Run”


Norberto Santana, Voice of OC, VoiceofOC.org
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Clean yet newsy front page. Plentiful pictures but not so many or so large they distract from the articles. The author profile pages were useful; they contained not just the author’s various stories but multiple ways to contact and follow reporters.

2nd Capital & Main Staff, Capital & Main

3rd Daniel Heimpel, Christie Renick, John Kelly, Jeremy Loudenback and Holden Slattery, The Chronicle of Social Change


Variety Staff, Variety, Variety.com
Judges’ comment: Like being in a candy shop, exploring Variety’s comprehensive, well-organized Web site is a delight in which you can be lost for hours!

2nd Janice Min, Matthew Belloni and Tom Seeley, The Hollywood Reporter, THR.com

3rd Nick Gillespie, Reason, Reason.com


Judged on content, creativity and engagement.


Gigi Graciette, KTTV – FOX 11 NEWS, “Erskine Fire 2016 – Personalizing TV News Thru Social Media”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Gigi Graciette went above and beyond while covering the Erskine fire by using social media to communicate directly with locals locked out of their neighborhoods eager for information. Her efforts show how social media can be used to report on breaking news fast.

2nd Rachael Dyer, Channel 9 Australia, “Behind the Scenes at the 88th Academy Awards”

3rd Donna Balancia, CaliforniaRocker.com, “Leapin’ Lizards: Smashmouth Packs The Canyon Club”


Heather Navarro, Mike Bebernes and Megan Moureaux, NBC4, “Election Night on Social Media”
Link: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Judges’ comment: The NBC4 social media team did an excellent job of capturing the people behind the presidential candidates as the election drew to a close. The content drew viewers and compelled them to engage – sometimes argumentatively – with the subjects and each other.

2nd Jennifer Liles and Christina Schoellkopf, The Hollywood Reporter, “Creative Until You Die”

3rd Melody Soto, Zoe Montano, Marq Massengale, KCET Artbound, “Championing Arts Education: Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers”

L. INTERNATIONAL (Also see X. All Media Platforms)

Print, radio, TV or online. An English translation must be submitted along with the original work. All entries must be produced in Southern California.


Mike Amor and Arron Hage, 7 Network Australia, “Zika”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Mike’s heart tugging tale of how babies have been deformed by the Zika virus and the impact on their mothers and neighbors took a global health crisis and made it easy for the viewer to grasp.

2nd Tom Walters and Liam Hyland, CTV – Canadian Television, “Cloudburst in the Drought Land”

3rd Janet R. Nepales, Manila Bulletin, “A Proud Pinoy Moment”


Rachael Dyer, Darren Curtis, and Timothy Myers, Channel 9 Australia, “Ghost Cats of Los Angeles”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Channel 9 Australia’s feature about how a citizen scientist captures stunning photos with motion-sensor cameras of mountains lions and other wild animals in the mountains around Los Angeles is a terrific story that reminds us of the importance of maintaining wilderness areas.

2nd Mary O’Hara, The Guardian and Mosaic Science, “A Revolution in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis”

3rd Tom Walters, John Mees and Will Dugan, CTV – Canadian Television, “Sour Note”


Mike Amor, Arron Hage, Jorge Lebrija and Luke Blair, 7 Network Australia, “Bravest Man in Mexico”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: In this riveting profile of former police chief and Tijuana mayoral candidate Juliân Leyzaola, who survived eight assassination attempts and is now confined to a wheelchair, the Australian news team shows the difficulties faced by a reformer fighting the drug cartels and police corruption.

2nd Chrissy Iley, UK Sunday Times Magazine, “The Resurrection of Mel Gibson: Drink, Anger, Madness and The Mother of All Comebacks”

3rd Adam Tanswell, Radio Times, “David Duchovny: “We Both Went A Little Nuts”


Tom Walters, CTV-Canadian Television, “Zsa Zsa Gabor Obit”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Walters’ tribute to the passing of the actress best known for basically playing herself is an excellent, concise piece of news covering Gabor’s career, marriages, and highlights.

2nd Adam Tanswell, SciFiNow, “The X-Files Reborn”

3rd Tom Walters, CTV-Canadian Television, “Sour Note”


Mary O’Hara, The Guardian, “The Hidden Victims of Police Brutality”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: In this short, eye-opening piece, Mary O’Hara not only reiterates the effects on African American youth population, but also pinpoints another feature of police brutality: violence towards disabled people. The reader goes away with an awareness from the strong underlying message to expose the system’s failures, identify if there is a pattern, and push for necessary reforms.

2nd Tom Walters, CTV – Canadian Television, “Politics of Identity”

3rd Ruben V. Nepales, Philippine Daily Inquirer, “Mel Gibson Talks about Turning his Life Around”


Student media includes groups with students in charge, including school newspapers and/or online publishing. Student media: high school, local college, university undergraduate or graduate publications or news websites.


Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Collegian
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The Collegian combines relevant news stories, editorial cartoons, graphics, and photo essays into an easy-to-read format, giving the newspaper a clear edge in this competition.

2nd California State University Fullerton, The Daily Titan

3rd California State University Long Beach, The 49er


The Accolade, Sunny Hills High School Fullerton, “Elections Issue”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The Accolade’s inventive graphics along with its range of articles in an appealing layout gives this high school a standout publication.

2nd The Pearl Post, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, “November 8, 2016 Issue”


Dailybruin.com, University of California Los Angeles
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: This absorbing Web site enhances the reading of news and features with outstanding photography and graphics. A top-notch college Web site.

2nd Thepearlpost.com, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School

3rd Sundial.csun.edu, California State University Northridge


Kelly Ma, Daily Bruin, “Vigils help UCLA Community Commemorate Lives Lost to Gun Violence”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The photo capturing the candlelight reflecting on the saddened faces of students at a vigil for a murdered professor shows one of those heart-stopping moments that give meaning to readers numbed by senseless gun violence.

2nd Curtis Sabir, Los Angeles Collegian, “Trump Election Ignites Trauma”

3rd Blaise Scemama, The Sundial, “Man with Sledgehammer Threatens Students and Damages Property near Matador Walk”


Aubrey Yeo, Daily Bruin, “Alex Roelse Returns From Rio, Brings Olympic Experience to Westwood”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The intensity in the look of the water polo player dripping wet enhances this compelling photo that easily draws you into the story of the Olympian.

2nd Shannon Godly, Los Angeles Collegian, “Photo Focus: Washington, D.C.”

3rd Katie Albertson, Daily Titan, “Hispanic Heritage Celebrated”


Ariana Sawyer, Kevin Flores and Greg Diaz, Daily 49er, “The Immigration Wall”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The agonizing deportation to Mexico experienced by José Alvarez illustrates the impact of contradictory U.S. laws about immigration in this excellent piece of reporting.

2nd James Tyner, Annenberg Media, “Forced to Leave: When Financial Aid Falls Short”

3rd Micah Augimeri-Lee and Breanna Vasquez, Daily Titan, “Body Found in Newport ID’d as Missing CSUF Student”


Shreya Aiyar, Miriam Bribiesca, Daniel Alcazar, Daily Bruin, “Caring for the Caregivers”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: The multi-part article about the physical and psychological pressures faced by medical students, with some committing suicide, at different California universities is an eye-opening report. Coupled with excellent photos that illustrate the work and life of medical students, the three writers deserve this Best Feature award.

2nd Ande Richards, Collegian Times, “An Oasis in San Dimas”

3rd Clinton Cameron and Lynn James, Los Angeles Collegian, “Alperts Give Millions for Music”


Sarah Collins, Annenberg Media, “From South Philly to USC: Lypheng Kim overcame Poverty and Violence to Attend College”
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: In this moving profile of a Cambodian immigrant, a child of genocide-surviving parents, Sarah Collins shows how student Lypheng Kim triumphed over violence and poverty he experienced growing up in South Philadelphia before attending USC. This profile is one of many admirable diversity portraits in a series about USC students.

2nd Matthew Joye, Daily Bruin, “Paralympian Blake Leeper Forges Path to Rio on Drake Stadium Track”

3rd Intisar Seraaj, Annenberg Media, “White is not Always Right in the Dental Industry”


Cole Sullivan, Annenberg Media, “‘I Never Thought it Would Happen:’ USC Students Share Stories of Sexual Assault
Link: 1
Judges’ comment: Fantastic piece! Cole Sullivan managed to have students speak on-camera about their sexual assault experiences.

2nd Collegian Wired Staff, Collegian Wired, “Artists Trump Fear”

3rd Nikki Harris, Joseph Palomo, Amanda Rubalcava and Marisa Piceno, Daily Bruin, “Under The Gun”

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10 Thoughts to “59th SoCal Journalism Awards Winners Announced”

  1. […] night, the Greater Los Angeles Press Club held its 59th annual Southern California Journalism Awards, honoring works prepared in 2016 by journalists and organizations working between San Diego and […]

  2. […] the Los Angeles Press Club’s awards announcement, the judges commented: “The systematic break-up of Native American families by the federal […]

  3. […] Truthdig is committed to covering current news, reporting on issues that are undercovered by mainstream media, and providing provocative commentary. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Press Club honored Truthdig’s work at the 59th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards. […]

  4. […] night, the Greater Los Angeles Press Club held its 59th annual Southern California Journalism Awards, honoring works prepared in 2016 by journalists and organizations working between San Diego and […]

  5. […] the Los Angeles Press Club event at the Biltmore: See all the winners and all the finalists for the 59th annual Southern California Journalism […]

  6. […] CaliforniaRocker.com won two first-place awards and a third-place award for photography categories in the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards.  The accolades were followed by two third place awards in social media and best website categories at the Southern California Journalism Awards this month. […]

  7. […] spent the past few years looking into virtual reality and, somehow, managed to win an award from L.A. Press Club last year for doing that. I’ve also written about sexual harassment and the importance of […]

  8. […] the Los Angeles Press Club event at the Biltmore: See all the winners and all the finalists for the 59th annual Southern California Journalism […]

  9. […] to all the finalists and award recipients! It’s an honor to be in such great […]

  10. […] WINNERS F7. COLUMN Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News, “Vin Scully’s Final Call” […]

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