2018 California Journalism Awards - Digital Division

Feature Story ( Monthly Unique Visitors: 200,001 & over)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: San Francisco Chronicle
    Entry Title: 150 Minutes of Hell
    Entry Credit: Lizzie Johnson, Guy Wathen, Lucio Villa, Evan Wagstaff, John Blanchard
    Judge Comment: Amazing use of maps, graphics, photos and audio recordings to tell a very complicated and heart-wrenching story. I particularly appreciated the graphic explaining how the fire tornado started and the maps tracking its course along with the paths of the subjects featured in the story. The "time tracker" at the top of the page allowed me to know exactly where I was in this 150 minutes of Hell, which at times I was grateful for, given the anxiety I felt for the subjects. The excellent reporting and writing in this story would have stood out on its own even without all of the digital components, but all together the final product is quite literally, stunning.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: The Mercury News/East Bay Times
    Entry Title: Where do the 'Three Californias' converge? A clothing-optional hot springs, of course
    Entry Credit: Julia Prodis Sulek, LiPo Ching
    Judge Comment: Even as a native Californian, the logistics of splitting the state into three was difficult to understand when I first heard about the proposal. This story did a great job of not only explaining how the split would work, but also how the political and physical split really didn't make a lot of sense to many residents of the middle ground area where the three states would meet. Great use of characters and scenery (in descriptions and photos) to really place the reader in the Fresno/San Benito/Merced County junction.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Palo Alto Weekly
    Entry Title: Sharing the kids: How Harley Farms became California's most popular goat farm
    Entry Credit: Kali Shiloh
    Judge Comment: Fascinating story about a topic I knew nothing about but found myself wanting to learn even more about after reading this piece. The wonderful photos and use of sensory details in the writing immediately made me want to visit this farm, but I stepped back after reading about the owner's struggles to balance public accessibility and the ability to function as a working business. Even though the article was aimed at readers in the 650 area code, as a total outsider, it was easy to come to care about Dee Harley and her goats.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: The Sacramento Bee
    Entry Title: The ‘Lady Birds’ who flew home
    Entry Credit: Tony Bizjak, Ryan Lillis, Nathaniel Levine
    Judge Comment: Great way to use the movie as a segue to tell the stories of real Sacramento "Lady Birds" who are working to better their city. The reporters did a great job of shining a light on the subjects' passion for the city and why they felt compelled to return. I love the graphic at the top of the page and the videos accompanying the story allow readers to almost feel as though we're meeting these men and women.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: Ventura County Star
    Entry Title: Woman gives bone marrow, asks 3-year-old Ventura recipient to be flower girl
    Entry Credit: Tom Kisken
    Judge Comment: This story at it's face was taylor-made for a feature article, but the reporter's beautiful writing and use of photos and video made it something of a masterpiece. Kisken's words took readers into the minds and hearts of this little girl's parents and the stranger from Alabama who believes her own life was saved by making this life-saving gesture.