2015 Better Newspapers Contest Winners — Weeklies

CategoryDivisionPlacePublicationCreditEntry TitleJudge’s Comments
Agricultural ReportingDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSanta Barbara IndependentMatt KettmannFlexing Muscles Over Mussels
Agricultural ReportingDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndNew TimesCamillia LanhamVines by nature
Agricultural ReportingDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stBrentwood PressCorey HuntContinued demise of Delta smelt could be an indicator of troubleComplex problem; expert information; new information for readers
Agricultural ReportingDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndDispatch, GilroyRoseann Hernandez CattaniDespite the drought, the county's only olive oil producer had a great yearInteresting local effort; distinct, niche effort; good tie in with rest of CA, an world production; authoritative info; photo so-so; unclear sentence in 3rd paragraph; otherwise good writing.
Agricultural ReportingDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under1stSanta Ynez Valley NewsHarold Pierce, Ryah Cooley, Daniel DreifussThe Last of the CowboysGreat story with a lot of background, history and creative writing.
Agricultural ReportingDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under2ndThe Windsor TimesStuart TiffenWise Acre FarmGreat local story.
Artistic PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over1stThe Camarillo AcornStaffStorm leaves a splash of color
Artistic PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndPalo Alto WeeklyVeronica WeberSunset at the Baylands
Artistic PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stLamorinda WeeklyOhlen AlexanderA Great Way to Celebrate Earth DayWings and shoulders above the rest. Captures the bird at the exact moment needed to illustrate majestic quality. Even though subject's head is turned, you easily picture how they must have felt at that moment. That's what great photos do - get viewers to imagine themselves as the subjects in the frame. This does that.
Artistic PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndMountain View VoiceStaffThe puppet-masters of Mountain ViewPlayful, eye-catching look at both the people and puppets behind this project. Image shows thoughtful construction of the scene in terms of placing humans in right locations to effectively balance out the image.
Artistic PhotoDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stRegister-PajaronianTarmo Hannula
Artistic PhotoDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndPetaluma Argus-CourierScott Manchester
Artistic PhotoDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe Intermountain NewsCraig HarringtonLow clouds over Fall River Valley
Artistic PhotoDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndIdyllwild Town CrierHalie WilsonIn a rare weather event …
Arts & Entertainment CoverageDivision A: 25,001 & over1stLos Angeles Downtown NewsStaffSept. 28 & Oct. 5, 2015Very comprehensive arts and entertainment section. The calendar, which features events by time of the day, was very user friendly. Lots of graphics, cut outs and color. Crossword puzzle. Quality of writing is good but may be stronger in other publications in this category. Still, this publication is comprehensive and gets first place because it is very accessible for the reader.
Arts & Entertainment CoverageDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndSacramento News & ReviewStaffGreat graphics, color. Well written stories and VERY comprehensive content but it is not reader friendly to peruse. A better calendar with ALL the events mentioned in the pages would increase ease of use for readers. This publication seems to select top picks by category but there is no section by date and time to see everything if you're a reader looking for a night or day out.
Arts & Entertainment CoverageDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe ArkStaffArkBeat
Arts & Entertainment CoverageDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndIdyllwild Town CrierStaffOn the TownGreat local paper, with wide range of coverage. Please find different headline font. Also, on those items that seem to be generated from press releases and don't have a Staff byline, try to come up with something that essentially tells the reader "this is not reported by us."
Arts & Entertainment CoverageDivisions B & C: 4,301 - 25,0001stNorth Coast JournalStaffImpressive cover art and story, followed with clearly designed and helpful information throughout.
Arts & Entertainment CoverageDivisions B & C: 4,301 - 25,0002ndPleasanton WeeklyStaffTri-Valley Life Jan. 30 & Feb. 6, 2015
Best ColumnsDivision A: 25,001 & over1stThe Beach ReporterPaul SilvaBoth are poignant, well-written columns. The topics -- the ills and scars of racism in a community, and emotions surrounding aging and leaving behind a once-thrilling pursuit that no longer is feasible -- have wide reader appeal.
Best ColumnsDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndSanta Barbara IndependentNick WelshAngry Poodle columnsClearly written, with strong reader appeal. Effective and creative use of language.
Best ColumnsDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stLos Altos Town CrierBruce Barton, Frank HughesThe Villaj Idiut
Best ColumnsDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndFree LanceKollin KosmickiResponders felt pain of Joshua's passing/With inherent dangers, ban youth football
Best ColumnsDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stDel Norte TriplicateAaron WestGarage Sale ReviewThis is genius, concept to execution. I began reading excerpts aloud to my Staff — a first during judging — so they could all enjoy the greatness. I hope to find it this column online so I can continue to read it when it publishes.
Best ColumnsDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndThe Sonoma Index-TribuneJason WalshFalling through the cracks/No restroom for the wickedOne amusing, one quite serious, both wonderfully written with an extremely local focus that shows how the paper doesn't just observe the community but participates in the community.
Best ColumnsDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe CambrianKathe TannerKathe Tanner's "Slice of Life" columnthank you for your service long overdue and coyote and bobcat alert.
Best ColumnsDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndIdyllwild Town CrierConor O'FarrellOff the Leashvalentine's love and what would Jesus do?
Best Editorial CartoonAll Divisions1stLos Angeles Downtown NewsDoug DavisA Real-Life Death StarJuxtaposing two of the great events of December -- and making people laugh. Love Trump or hate him, this works.
Best Editorial CartoonAll Divisions2ndHalf Moon Bay ReviewMarc HershonSummers of loveBrings back memories of another time when people were just asking for some peace and understanding. Nice mingling of ideas.
Best Editorial CommentDivision A: 25,001 & over1stPalo Alto WeeklyBill JohnsonBeyond the anguish
Best Editorial CommentDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndGrunion GazetteHarry Saltzgaver, Simon Grieve, Ashleigh RuhlWater Conservation
Best Editorial CommentDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stPleasanton WeeklyGina Channell-AllenPolice department's unwarranted silence unacceptableHolding the police accountable. Strong opinion, well supported
Best Editorial CommentDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndMountain View VoiceRenee BattiVoice editorial: A superintendent's resignation. Honestly?addresses and calls into question a regular occurrence that should be questioned more often
Best Editorial CommentDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stSacramento Business JournalJack RobinsonAmazon must evolve; Building empathyBig topics, clear writing. Impressive.
Best Editorial CommentDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndThe Sonoma Index-TribuneJason WalshYou do know JackEffective plea.
Best Editorial CommentDivision D: 4,300 & under1stCloverdale ReveilleRay HolleyHard questionsCompelling writing style. The editorial raised important issues and likely encouraged many residents to give careful thought to what kind of future they want for their community.
Best Editorial CommentDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndHalf Moon Bay ReviewClay LambertAn apology, much too lateEloquent editorial about difficult chapter in state and nation's history, touching on current events and history's habit of repeating itself. A note to the author: The apology may be decades late, but it's never "too late" to apologize for a past atrocity.
Best Front Page BroadsheetDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stBrentwood NewsDonna DiPaolo, Judith PrieveJan. 23, May 29 & June 12 front pages
Best Front Page BroadsheetDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndThe PiedmonterChris Wagnon
Best Front Page BroadsheetDivision D: 4,300 & under1stHealdsburg TribuneStaff
Best Front Page BroadsheetDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndCloverdale ReveilleStaff
Best Front Page BroadsheetDivisions A & B: 11,001 & over1stDispatch, GilroyStephanie Woehrmann, Roger Black, Dan Pulcrano
Best Front Page BroadsheetDivisions A & B: 11,001 & over2ndAlameda JournalChris Wagnon
Best Front Page TabloidDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSacramento News & ReviewHayley Doshay
Best Front Page TabloidDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndChico News & ReviewTina Flynn, Howard Hardee, John BlausteinStuck on the streets
Best Front Page TabloidDivisions B, C & D: 25,000 & under1stSan Francisco Business TimesStaffGreat used of typography (the slanted text in the Warriors cover), white space (also in the Warriors cover) and color (the rainbow image in the Rick Welt's cover is used well and doesn't overwhelm the cover and the green screen and the complementary colored text in the tech city cover really draws your attention to an otherwise dull photo of a guy.) I love the clean look of the covers. It's not busy and soothing to look at.
Best Front Page TabloidDivisions B, C & D: 25,000 & under2ndBlack Voice NewsChris AllenI think this is a creative cover for a topic that is sort of hard to depict. I like the gender signs and the image of money inside the signs. The play on the word "gender," using end in the word. It's a powerful cover.
Best Investigative ReportingDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSacramento News & ReviewJoe RubinFlushing Money: Is Sacramento’s costly water-meter install wasting millions?Very good investigative piece using documentation/evidence to show how a government project needed greater oversight and how taxpayers' money was being misspent.
Best Investigative ReportingDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndVentura County ReporterKit (Christopher) StolzThe Hazardous TruthExcellent example of using court records and other documentation to explain what happened in a catastrophic environment event.
Best Investigative ReportingDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stNorth Coast JournalLinda StansberryThe Shut OutBravo. Well done. Well written, comprehensive and interesting. It's a compelling piece of journalism. The feature slant draws in the reader with a relatable human element. I love the graphics and data-driven journalism. Great initiative and effort. This is how it's done.
Best Investigative ReportingDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndNorth Coast JournalGrant Scott-GoforthFree and AfraidGreat piece of investigative journalism. It kept my interest, very compelling, well sourced, explainer, relevant, great initiative. It was a tough call. Nearly my No. 1 pick. So close.
Best Investigative ReportingDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stSacramento Business JournalBen van der Meer, Mark AndersonThe mess Abe Alizadeh left behindCompelling and well-told story. I especially love the timeline and locator map. Both complement the journalism. I hope they used digital tools to execute both elements online.
Best Investigative ReportingDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndThe Sonoma Index-TribuneChristian KallenBroadway Widow Running Out of Options/Irma Castillo Gets her Christmas WishThis writer is a master storyteller. Kept my interest. Great piece of journalism. This entry really stood out beyond the pack.
Best Investigative ReportingDivision D: 4,300 & under1stSanger HeraldJeanine FiserStill wondering why shots were fired
Best Investigative ReportingDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndHalf Moon Bay ReviewMarie C. BacaDocuments reveal 73-year-old injustice
Best Sports Game StoryDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stPetaluma Argus-CourierJohn JacksonTrojan miracle whistled away
Best Sports Game StoryDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndPalisadian-PostSteve Galluzzo, BJ SamuelsSaving Her Best for Last
Best Sports Game StoryDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe Trinity JournalSally Morris, Amy Gittelsohn, Phil NelsonEnglish captures championshipFantastic story. I love that you featured so many different characters.
Best Sports Game StoryDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndThe ArkHannah Beausang"Night Train Swimmers team ..."Such a cool story, and very inspiring.
Best Sports Game StoryDivisions A & B: 11,001 & over1stPalo Alto WeeklyRick EymerStanford wins it all again
Best Sports Game StoryDivisions A & B: 11,001 & over2ndLos Altos Town CrierPete Borello, Ellie Van HoutteEagles fall to Mitty in NorCal final
Best Sports Page or SectionDivisions A & B: 11,001 & over1stFree LanceEmanuel Lee
Best Sports Page or SectionDivisions A & B: 11,001 & over2ndRoseville Press TribuneSteven Wilson
Best Sports Page or SectionDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under1stRegister-PajaronianTony Nunez
Best Sports Page or SectionDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under2ndSierra StarBrian Wilkinson, Alan Wileman, Gregg Dodderidge
Best WritingDivision A: 25,001 & over1stPalo Alto WeeklyElizabeth SchwyzerThe Story of Cuba
Best WritingDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndLos Angeles Downtown NewsJon RegardieRememnering Rick Orlov
Best WritingDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stNorth Bay BohemianCharlie SwansonMusic on the MarginsI thought this was a well-written piece that was both creative and compelling. The author did a nice job with the tone, organization and quotes included in this piece. An enjoyable read that was well-crafted.
Best WritingDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndThe AlmanacRenee BattiOne small seedI enjoyed the organization of this story, and I thought it was successfully crafted to tell a good story. There were good quotes with some nice transitions and descriptions of the program. I know there was care taken to put together this story, which I appreciate.
Best WritingDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stThe Sonoma Index-TribuneJason WalshThe conqueror wormEloquent, succinct writing that portrays the tragic circumstances.
Best WritingDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndHi-Desert StarStacy MooreChristmas comes early for 3-year-old with cancer
Best WritingDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe ArkDeirdre McCrohan, Kevin Hessel"As measles hits Marin ..."A perfect story. Great use of quotes, clean and tight writing and a deep look at a national issue.
Best WritingDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndSanta Ynez Valley NewsHarold PierceCasting a light on domestic violenceCrisp, tight writing, good use of quotes and no hint of overdramatization of a subject that has enough drama. Layout and photography also well done.
Breaking NewsDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSanta Barbara IndependentStaffOil Spill
Breaking NewsDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndThe Salinas CalifornianJeff MitchellSalinas Councilman Jose Castaneda arrested
Breaking NewsDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stThe Downey PatriotAlex DominguezMan killed after taking hostages at Chris & Pitts restaurant
Breaking NewsDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndMorgan Hill TimesMichael Moore, Jack FoleyLying MH veteran apologizes
Breaking NewsDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stTurlock JournalSabra StaffordNine arrested in Korey Kauffman caseImpressive prep for a breaking news story; demonstrates the value of a well connected reported. Congratulations, Sabra Stafford. Story is well presented but marred a bit by poor editing.
Breaking NewsDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndDel Norte TriplicateDavid GriederCosts saved, fugitive lostGreat story unearthing a hole in the system. Well reported and presented
Breaking NewsDivision D: 4,300 & under1stSanta Ynez Valley NewsHarold PierceLos Olivos Murder-SuicideGood reporting on a tragedy in a small community. Sidebars well done with lots of information readers always want.
Breaking NewsDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndFeather River BulletinSusan JacobsonPortola FireA big fire in a small town affects just about everyone. The reporter got lots of important information and the human element.
Coverage of Business NewsDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSanta Barbara IndependentTyler HaydenGame of DronesReally good story and photos. Top notch.
Coverage of Business NewsDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndPalo Alto WeeklyGennady SheynerEmbarking on a new commuteVery strong contender. Good, in-depth story with sidebars, graphics and good photos.
Coverage of Business NewsDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stSan Francisco Business TimesPatrick Hoge, Matt PettyHelp wanted — at almost any price
Coverage of Business NewsDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndNorth Bay BohemianTom GogolaShort Term Solution
Coverage of Business NewsDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stSacramento Business JournalKathy RobertsonDespite reform, ADA lawsuits still squeeze small businessesSuch an important topic, and the ADA requirements vs. small business viability is a tug of war. Really well done.
Coverage of Business NewsDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndThe Business JournalGeorge LurieRealtors learning how to protect themselves on the jobFascinating topic, and not a well-known one to the larger, non-business audience. Well written, thorough, timely and thought provoking.
Coverage of Business NewsDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe ArkHannah Beausang"125 years in the making"Good research, voices and structure. Well written and easy to read, tells a good story.
Coverage of Business NewsDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndThe RecorderScott Graham, Lisa ShuchmanPatent Pit BullsWell written and researched with good voices throughout. Good graphics as well.
Coverage of EducationDivision A: 25,001 & over1stMonterey County WeeklyDavid SchmalzThe Class of 2028Ambitious project, well-executed. Could have relied heavily on classroom anecdotes but instead does a nice job of providing information from multiple viewpoints. Classroom scenes are intriguing and poignant.
Coverage of EducationDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndPalo Alto WeeklyElena KadvanyToo much homework?Thoroughly reported, with multiple viewpoints -- administrators, teachers, students, parents, outside experts, research. As a result, in-depth look at a hot-button issue.
Coverage of EducationDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stThe Capistrano DispatchAllison JarrellEquality in the Classroom
Coverage of EducationDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndMountain View VoiceKevin Forestieri, Andrea GemmetTrouble with special education facilities series
Coverage of EducationDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stBlack Voice NewsS.E. WilliamsYou Don't Have to Start With Power, Only PassionWell-written success story about the students and their mentors, with good supporting evidence.
Coverage of EducationDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndThe Sonoma Index-TribuneLorna SheridanWhere the boys are/Carlos: one boys life at HannaThis was an interesting look at a day in an alternative school, eschewing some of the assumptions people may have about students or curriculum in a reform school. Engaging, well-written
Coverage of EducationDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe ArkDeirdre McCrohan, Kevin Hessel, Elliot Karlan"As measles hits Marin ..."This was a great tie-in to a local family and a national controversy
Coverage of EducationDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndThe ArkHannah Beausang"'Code' explores source …"This offered a fresh, local look at the "women in code" issue that has been presented on a national level.
Coverage of Local GovernmentDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSacramento News & ReviewAlastair BlandNew Wild Westthorough, well-reported, engaging
Coverage of Local GovernmentDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndPalo Alto WeeklyGennady SheynerClosure of Buena Vista Mobile Home ParkAvoid run-on sentences. Very, very good job covering a very complex issue. I really like the use of the bubble quotes. A real pleasure to read.
Coverage of Local GovernmentDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stMountain View VoiceMark Noack, Michelle Le, Andrea GemmetHousing crisis seriesGreat series. A thorough look at an important issue, told from all sides. Well-written.
Coverage of Local GovernmentDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndThe AlmanacBarbara WoodAtherton councilman Bill WidmerGreat story about some of the questionable things elected officials try to get away with. May be an unfair criticism since I read all three in quick succession, but there's a lot of rehashing going on (especially in the second story). Maybe link to the older stories instead of cramming all the background context into the newest story. Great job.
Coverage of Local GovernmentDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stSacramento Business JournalKathy RobertsonState Bar often fails to hold bad lawyers accountableClearly in another league
Coverage of Local GovernmentDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndPatterson IrrigatorNathan DuckworthPatterson City Councilwoman center of controversyGood, straight reporting in the face of a sordid mess
Coverage of Local GovernmentDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe CambrianKathe TannerLocal GovernmentThis was easily the most extensive and thorough set of entries, covering a municipal issue through an entire year. The subject matter is an exhaustive one and the reporters made obvious efforts to give space to various subtopics and voice to the different involved parties. Ledes were for the most part clear and well organized, essential for this complicated topic.
Coverage of Local GovernmentDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndThe Trinity JournalSally Morris, Amy GittelsohnCounty workers say pay increases long overdueThe main story has a strong personal lede followed up by factual information and a perspective from the opposing side to produce a fair and informative article that also humanizes the issue. The secondary story clearly lays out the dispute and contributes to a fuller understanding. Together, they make a strong entry.
Enterprise News Story or SeriesDivision A: 25,001 & over1stLos Angeles Downtown NewsStaffSkid Row: A History of Failure, A Call for Real leadership and ActionGreat job on this series. Walking us through Skid Row got us right in there from the get-go with compelling writing, with real life people. Good pieces followed with solid reporting, backed-up by strong editorial opinions. Very well done. Be proud of this work, which was one of many high-caliber entries in an impressive division of enterprise journalism.
Enterprise News Story or SeriesDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndPalo Alto WeeklyElena KadvanyBeyond the 5150Great coverage of an increasing important issue. The reporting was compelling, the packaging was comprehensive, the layout attention-grabbing. Be proud of this work, which was one of many high-caliber entries in an impressive division of enterprise journalism.
Enterprise News Story or SeriesDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stMountain View VoiceKevin Forestieri, Michelle Le, Andrea GemmetHomeless in Mountain View seriesGreat job of shining a light on homelessness from two angles and intermixing statistics and information from county officials.
Enterprise News Story or SeriesDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndLos Altos Town CrierBruce BartonAirbnb house party invites ire from Rosita residentsGood job of taking a local crime story and shining a light on an emerging issue regarding short-term rentals.
Enterprise News Story or SeriesDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stPalisadian-PostJacqueline Primo, Frances Sharpe, BJ SamuelsStill Searching: Rachel Ziselman Missing From Palisades Since 1977Well-written showing creativity and the ability to provide numerous sources of research and follow-up reporting.
Enterprise News Story or SeriesDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndDel Norte TriplicateEmily Jo CuretonHealth care shortage in Del NorteVery informative and interesting.
Enterprise News Story or SeriesDivision D: 4,300 & under1stFeather River BulletinDan McDonaldGrowing CrisisStrong use of statistics to depict the problem. Nice work tracing back the issue with rodenticide, with the discovery of the fisher kills. Also interesting was the take on the increase of these grows due to the lack of snowpack. The political perspective might have been a bit of posturing, but the reality is the lack of action with enforcement -- due to large areas being patrolled by small Staffs -- and the apparent environmental impacts. Very well done.
Enterprise News Story or SeriesDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndThe RecorderRoss ToddPrivacy Suits Fizzle OutComprehensive report on what sounds like some are considering the end of era for lawyers. Graphic does a great job depicting that over past few years. Great research into the number of cases, such as the info on the video rental privacy act dating back to Bork.
Environmental ReportingDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSimi Valley AcornMelissa SimonToxic Dilemma: three-part series on the Santa Susana Field LabWell-researched and thorough, good timeline and background, hard-hitting local impact in third part of series
Environmental ReportingDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndGood TimesMaria Grusauskas, Henry Houskeeper"Foggy Notion," "Tracing the Elements"Combination of writing and reporting make this stand out
Environmental ReportingDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stSanta Maria SunCamillia LanhamNitrogen and Water
Environmental ReportingDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndNorth Bay BohemianThomas GogolaLawson's Land
Environmental ReportingDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stDel Norte TriplicateEmily Jo Cureton, Adam SpencerMoving mountains
Environmental ReportingDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndDana Point TimesAndrea SwayneIs El Niño Rolling Out a Red Carpet?
Environmental ReportingDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndLa Canada Flintridge OutlookMirjam SwansonResident Sets Example
Environmental ReportingDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndPetaluma Argus-CourierEric GneckowEasing the housing crunch
Environmental ReportingDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe ArkGretchen Lang"A comeback story ..."
Environmental ReportingDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndSierra StarBrian WilkinsonOpposition to proposed rock quarry
Feature PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over1stThe Camarillo AcornMicheal CoonsRodeo isn't for the sheepishUnique shot, great angle
Feature PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndThe AcornJohn Loesing, Louise RishoffNature in focusRare shot, lighting well done
Feature PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stMountain View VoiceMichelle LeAn uncertain road aheadThis photo captures the mood and tells the story of the journey of an immigrant, which is relevant in today's climate.
Feature PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndSan Francisco Business TimesTodd JohnsonThree BabesGreat composition on the portrait.
Feature PhotoDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under1stHalf Moon Bay ReviewCat CutilloWhales of 2015Wonderful moment captured with skill
Feature PhotoDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under2ndSierra StarSteve Montalto“Fiddler” PlaysPerfect use of fore and background with a shot that tells a story
General ExcellenceDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSacramento News & ReviewStaffBright, eye-catching, fun to read, great graphics. A really good read, with a good mix of arts and edgy news.
General ExcellenceDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndPalo Alto WeeklyStaffOct. 30 & Nov. 6, 2015Good mix of coverage, some ambitious work (special package on transgender issues was obviously a lot of effort). Eye catching layout in features sections, but the news section lacked the same visual snap, which is puzzling since it is the first section.
General ExcellenceDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stMountain View VoiceStaffOct. 16 & 23, 2015
General ExcellenceDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndSan Francisco Business TimesStaff
General ExcellenceDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stPetaluma Argus-CourierStaffFantastic, well-rounded, top-notch publication! Love the "Cinema Toast," and the Nov. 26 editorial on community newspapers knocked it out of the park! Two thumbs way up! I love this newspaper! I want to subscribe and I don't even live there!
General ExcellenceDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndRegister-PajaronianStaffWhat a gorgeous and thoroughly enjoyable newspaper! Full of color and local content, and a variety of news! Well done!
General ExcellenceDivision D: 4,300 & under1stHalf Moon Bay ReviewStaffHalf Moon Bay: I like the look of this publication. Nice design, nicely packaged into sections. Good balance of news and interesting features.
General ExcellenceDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndClaremont CourierCourier StaffClaremont Courier: Very interesting read. Good news reporting and some nice photography.
IllustrationAll Daily Divisions1stLos Angeles TimesMichael GlenwoodSpring Arts PreviewThe spring arts preview is a beautiful piece of art itself. The cover perfectly and literally illustrated the content.
IllustrationAll Daily Divisions2ndThe Fresno BeeSW ParraWeighing the cost for what ails youIllustration fits the tone and challenges of the front-page centerpiece.
IllustrationAll Divisions1stSan Francisco Business TimesMitch GreenWhere will the Raiders end up?
IllustrationAll Divisions2ndSan Francisco Business TimesMatt PettyData Explosion
Informational GraphicAll Divisions1stSan Francisco Business TimesMitch Green, Julia CooperConstruction GameReally an imaginative way to convey important information to readers. Really well done!
Informational GraphicAll Divisions2ndSan Francisco Business TimesMatt PettyOakland vs. ClevelandReally nicely done and very attractive with good information that folks reading this publication would be interested in.
Inside Page Layout & Design BroadsheetAll Divisions1stDel Norte TriplicateBryant AndersonNorthcoast LifeClean lines, nice use of large imagery
Inside Page Layout & Design BroadsheetAll Divisions2ndPalisadian-PostBJ SamuelsPali Life
Inside Page Layout & Design TabloidAll Divisions1stMountain View VoiceStaffAmerican Dream and Boba
Inside Page Layout & Design TabloidAll Divisions2ndChico News & ReviewTina Flynn, Sandy PetersAin't you gotta write?
Lifestyle CoverageAll Divisions1stSanta Ynez Valley NewsMary Ann NorbomReally clean and bright design. Inviting
Lifestyle CoverageAll Divisions2ndNorth Coast JournalStaffSomewhat abrasive topic selection. Great design, layout, writing.
News PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over1stVIDA EN EL VALLEDaniel CasarezTapia funeral Family, friends say goodbye
News PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndSimi Valley AcornMichael CoonsFire in the hills
News PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stMountain View VoiceMichelle LeNo relief in sight
News PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndSan Francisco Business TimesTodd JohnsonCurry celebrates
News PhotoDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stHi-Desert StarJosh AllenFuel sends flames into air
News PhotoDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndRegister-PajaronianTarmo Hannula
News PhotoDivision D: 4,300 & under1stLos Banos EnterpriseGene Lieb32 dogs killed in house fireA very unusual and heartbreaking photo that doesn't even need a cutline.
News PhotoDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndFeather River BulletinDebra MooreInmates escapeGreat job being on the scene at the right moment. This is what good reporters do, get going, get there, get the shot, get the story.
Non-Profile Feature StoryDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSanta Barbara IndependentKeith HammSharks AliveStory is well-written and compelling, and end strong. Reporter includes lots of supplemental and relevant information that is woven into the story.
Non-Profile Feature StoryDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndPalo Alto WeeklyElena KadvanyLiving authenticallyReporter includes a myriad of voices from students, school staff & experts in the field. Cultural acceptance as well as school agency adjustments to an ongoing issue are well-documented.
Non-Profile Feature StoryDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stNorth Coast JournalThadeus GreensonSystem FailureA compelling and tragic story ... very well written ... i couldn't stop reading ... a step above everything else in the category ...
Non-Profile Feature StoryDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndNorth Coast JournalGrant Scott-GoforthPutting Heads TogetherGood, well written story ... concussions are a major topic and it's interesting to see there are people studying and following up on concussions ...
Non-Profile Feature StoryDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stDel Mar TimesJoe TashParents of Colorado shooter focus on prayer as they await his trialExemplifies "adding the human element behind a news event" by giving perspective of shooter's parents. High-quality, clear writing that holds the reader's attention throughout. Well done.
Non-Profile Feature StoryDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndDel Norte TriplicateJessica CejnarWhale of a lessonStrong entry. Well-written, visually interesting, high news value and relevance to community.
Non-Profile Feature StoryDivision D: 4,300 & under1stFeather River BulletinDan McDonaldGrim Reality
Non-Profile Feature StoryDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndThe Weekly CalistoganAnne Ward Ernst‘Marilou’ makes a home at Bothe State Park
Online General ExcellenceDivision A: 25,001 & over1stPalo Alto WeeklyStaffpaloaltoonline.comExtremely well organized site. The home page is very inviting with its modest, straightforward presentation.
Online General ExcellenceDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndGrunion GazetteStaffgazettes.comThe home page features a nice index of the latest news down the right side. Nice photo display.
Online General ExcellenceDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stSan Francisco Business TimesStaffbizjournals.com/sanfranciscoThis site means business, no doubt about it. One clear top story of the day, compared to shuffling through several top choices. "Most popular" rating helps readers see what others like best. Easy to spot differentiation between paid and free content. Solid writing and headlines throughout.
Online General ExcellenceDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndMountain View VoiceStaffmv-voice.comExcellent reporting and writing set this site ahead of others using the same format. When you have only 25 words to craft the part of the lede that readers will see, it's got to be spot on. Photo gallery, Twitter feed, local blogs and easy-to-spot community calendar are good additions.
Online General ExcellenceDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under1stClaremont CourierPeter Weinbergerclaremont-courier.com
Online General ExcellenceDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under2ndThe Business JournalStaffthebusinessjournal.com
Online Photo Story/EssayAll Divisions1stMountain View VoiceMichelle LeAn American dream deferred
Online Photo Story/EssayAll Divisions2ndSacramento Business JournalDennis McCoyHistoric Eastern Star building going to online auction
Photo IllustrationAll Divisions1stSanta Barbara IndependentPaul WellmanWestmont Ashton Eaton Multi ShotThis is wonderful use of a multi shot photo. Great composition and such captivating movement demonstrated in this image.
Photo IllustrationAll Divisions2ndNorth Coast JournalHolly HarveyWhat a great cover layout, and a wonderful choice of imagery with this photo. Immediately grabs my attention.
Photo Story/EssayDivision A: 25,001 & over1stLos Angeles Downtown NewsGary LeonardSpecial Olympics World Games Arrive
Photo Story/EssayDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndChino-Chino Hills ChampionMarianne NapolesDiwali drips with color
Photo Story/EssayDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stThe Downey PatriotEric PierceVeterans Day 2015
Photo Story/EssayDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndMountain View VoiceMichelle LeHousing crisis in Mountain View
Photo Story/EssayDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stInyo RegisterMike ChacanacaFaces and PlacesLove the concept and thought that the photos were terrific.
Photo Story/EssayDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndDel Norte TriplicateBryant AndersonBurning blightGreat photography in difficult lighting situation. Good story idea also.
Photo Story/EssayDivision D: 4,300 & under1stLos Banos EnterpriseGene LiebFriday Night LightsGreat perspectives on the game.
Photo Story/EssayDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndSierra StarBrian WilkinsonFear caused by week-long Willow Fire
Profile Feature StoryDivision A: 25,001 & over1stLos Angeles Downtown NewsEddie KimRaiding the AirwavesGreat topic, well executed.
Profile Feature StoryDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndThe Salinas CalifornianRoberto RobledoSalinas High crowns its first transgender prom queenThe reporter did a good job getting comments from the family. Interspersing Q and A with narrative worked well.
Profile Feature StoryDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stSanta Maria SunShelly Cone, David MinskyLife on AlertWriter did an excellent job weaving many voices into this story and showing how immigrants' lives are affected by this issue. Story is told from perspective of both immigrants and ICE officials. Story gets points for new value, clarity of writing and organization.
Profile Feature StoryDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndMountain View VoiceMark Noack, Michelle Le, Andrea GemmetA friend in deedVery good job telling the story of this woman who had been giving and helping for 30 years and now needs help of others to overcome her challenges. Well written and organized. Photos illustrate story very well.
Profile Feature StoryDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stSan Marino OutlookCharlie PetersStilley's Masterpiece
Profile Feature StoryDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndLa Canada Flintridge OutlookMirjam SwansonDupre's Fascinating Story
Profile Feature StoryDivision D: 4,300 & under1stAmerican Canyon EagleNoel BrinkerhoffFamily portrait helps airman get through the holidays1 or 1*. Beautifully written! Clear organization (no moment where the reader has to reread something to understand it). Definitely fits the category of a "group of interest" personality sketch. Great photo! (something that is part of the judging criteria and actually is the subject of the story as well). Quality of writing is clear in variation of short, meaningful sentences added between long sentences to catch and keep the reader's attention.
Profile Feature StoryDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndSierra StarMorgan VoorhisHope Reborn*1 Well written. Nice organization. Truly a personality sketch. Local relevance/ news value is apparent. Capitalization error (Mom vs. mom). Nice single photo. Would have been nice to have more photos.
Special SectionDivision A: 25,001 & over1stGrunion GazetteStaffEducating Long BeachLots of information. Engaging, easy to read.
Special SectionDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndChico News & ReviewStaffBeer IssueI didn't think I was going to like this, and yes I do like beer. The cooking with beer story with a photo of a cupcake was attention getting.
Special SectionDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stPasadena OutlookKelly SpiottoBack to SchoolHands down the most effective use of visuals, with color and B&W photos that pulled readers into the section by showcasing faces of community residents, teachers, administrators and students. Stories were informative and could easily envision them as standalone stories.
Special SectionDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndTracy PressWill Fleet, Michael Ellis Langley, StaffCelebrate Tracy 2015Visually appealing, consistent in tone & execution between Editorial and Advertising content pages. Stories do a good job of explaining role/purpose of featured entity in the community and appropriate "consumer" information.
Special SectionDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stThe Business JournalStaffHealth Care 2015Great original pieces that were timely, local and interesting to readership.
Special SectionDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndSacramento Business JournalBeth Davis, Lisa Williams, Dennis McCoy40 Under 40 awards for 2014Very interesting features with clean layout, great photos and an interesting concept.
Special SectionDivision D: 4,300 & under1stHealdsburg TribuneStaffSesquicentennial edition
Special SectionDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndThe Intermountain NewsStaffThe Intermountain News Visitors Guide 2015
Special Sports SectionAll Divisions1stTurlock JournalFrankie Tovar, Eddie Ruiz, Harold GeorgeUncanny Captains: 2015 Prep Football PreviewCover is awesome, the best in this category. The artwork inside is great too, just puts it over the top.
Special Sports SectionAll Divisions2ndThousand Oaks AcornStaffAcorn Pigskin PreviewVery nice. Good cover, great photos throughout, really excellent team pages, and a good cover story.
Sports Action PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over1stThe Camarillo AcornMichael CoonsWinner takes allWonderful zero-gravity shot that offers a glimpse of an athlete in motion.
Sports Action PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndThousand Oaks AcornRichard GillardULTIMATE RUSHPart of the appeal here is seeing a traditionals sports action shot in a nontraditional sport. It's got all the ingredients.
Sports Action PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stTracy PressGlenn MooreDancy into the end zone
Sports Action PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndFree LanceNick LovejoyShot on goal
Sports Action PhotoDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stThe Sonoma Index-TribuneRobbi PengellyA double header!This is action: As pros, we want what people in the stands can see, but cannot capture on their own cameras. Nice work! Way to go.
Sports Action PhotoDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndPalisadian-PostRich SchmittCatching Baseball FeverThat's the intensity of kid's sports, actually all sports. Great timing and watching for the play. That's the way to anticipate. Nice!
Sports Action PhotoDivision D: 4,300 & under1stLos Banos EnterpriseGene LiebDiving for yardageThe placement of all of the subjects is really spectacular
Sports Action PhotoDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndSt. Helena StarDave MosherSaints handle adversityNice motion and composition
Sports Feature PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over1stSimi Valley AcornMichael CoonsComing in for the hugPhoto tells the story without even having to read the cutline. Great emotion.
Sports Feature PhotoDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndPalo Alto WeeklyKeith PetersSHP makes big splash with titlesI suppose after eight previous trips into the pool this could be expected. Nice of the photog to anticipate, but nothing here to set this celebration apart.
Sports Feature PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stMoorpark AcornMichael CoonsPull!By far the best sports photo of the group. Jumps out and literally scrams at you. The emotions on the faces, crisp, clean exposure. It's cropped tight. The loss of the foot of the puller in the foreground doesn't seem to matter because of the emotions on all the faces. Good job!
Sports Feature PhotoDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndFree LanceNick LovejoyOn the blockSo nice of shot in many ways...
Tack sharp! Background is perfect. Not too much in focus. Little things make this stand out. The white lines on the shirt moving the readers eyes right up and into the runner's eye's. Photographer probably didn't even see it, but it works. Good job!
Sports Feature PhotoDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under1stBig Bear GrizzlyKathy PortieBears say goodbyeNice capture of emotion.
Sports Feature PhotoDivisions C & D: 11,000 & under2ndHalf Moon Bay ReviewDean CoppolaThe ride's endThis is a nice, atypical way to cover the story. Good job!
Sports Feature StoryDivision A: 25,001 & over1stMonterey County WeeklyMark C. AndersonGirl Fight
Sports Feature StoryDivision A: 25,001 & over2ndSanta Barbara IndependentJohn ZantShooting Star
Sports Feature StoryDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0001stMoorpark AcornCaitlin TrudeJogger blazes a unique path
Sports Feature StoryDivision B: 11,001 - 25,0002ndPleasanton WeeklyJeremy WalshPleasanton woman headed to bocce world championships
Sports Feature StoryDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0001stDana Point TimesSteve BreazealeSpeeding Down the PathThe lede really grabs the reader from the get-go—great use of detail to give a look into Luke Williams' strategies and the way he commands the game. I also enjoyed the clear and concise writing throughout the rest of the piece. Overall really strong profile—nice job tying the ending into the intro.
Sports Feature StoryDivision C: 4,301 - 11,0002ndSan Marino OutlookNick OstillerJared HughesCompelling lede and insightful quotes and details really make this a great profile. Enjoyed the comments from Bob Drew and the pre-game interview with Hughes. A few instances of wordiness (some long quotes that could be cut) and lack of tense agreement, i.e. paragraph four. Overall a well-written attention-grabbing piece. Congratulations!
Sports Feature StoryDivision D: 4,300 & under1stThe Trinity JournalJeff CaldwellHarper 'hungry like the wolf'
Sports Feature StoryDivision D: 4,300 & under2ndSt. Helena StarYousef BaigThe best to ever do it
Video JournalismAll Divisions1stPalo Alto WeeklyVeronica WeberInvisible IllnessExcellent and thorough coverage. Great interviews, giving a very personal stance on the subject matter. Editing and soundtrack done very well.
Video JournalismAll Divisions2ndSan Francisco Business TimesTodd Johnson, Krystal Peak, Roland LiChinatownReal solid video, lots of information and great interviews. Video editing done very well. Ongoing soundtrack works very well throughout.