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2020 California Journalism Awards Digital Feature Story Contest Winners – Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,001-400,000

2020 California Journalism Awards
Digital Feature Story Contest Winners

Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,001-400,000


First-place and second-place plaques will be shipped directly to the winning publications in the coming weeks.

Personalized certificates will also be mailed to winners in each category.

A complete list of all California Journalism Award winners will be provided on May 18th.


Circ Group(s)Category NameAwardOrganizationCityEntry TitleCommentsCredits
Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,001-400,000Feature StoryFirst PlaceCalMattersSacramentoThe pandemic's great divide: Twelve hours in an L.A. restaurantNigel Duara?s piece offers a window into an L.A. vegan restaurant that few readers have ever visited, but it feels as if Duara could be peering behind the counter at any of our favorite local joints. We've all watched as the lights went out in some of our favorite local eateries, wondering which would be next, hoping that our favorite server is earning enough to live. Duara captures the uncertainty from inside, nailing the voices of the frustrated owners frantically looking for answers, the servers struggling to make the rent and feed their own families, the bored bartenders and brewers standing in front of empty barstools. The headline says 12 hours inside, but it feels as if he has spent months bumping up against these people in a tight kitchen and is telling the readers their backstory over a beer after a long shift.Nigel Duara
Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,001-400,000Feature StorySecond PlacePalo Alto WeeklyPalo AltoInside The Queen's Gambit: Exploring the unknown Bay Area origins of the Netflix hitCharles Russo's compelling story of a hometown boy who found success, though never real fame, is made all the more enjoyable by its underlying search for answers about how Walter Tevis's name and literature remain divorced from the stories he's told us, even in his hometown of San Francisco. With witty wordplay worthy of Beth Harmon, Russo guides us through a brief history of Tevis's life, explaining the foundations of his semi-autobiographical protagonist. A fascinating and fun read that will hopefully help introduce Tevis's name--and perhaps even his work--to a new generation.Charles Russo
Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,001-400,000Feature StoryThird PlaceCalMattersSacramentoFor some California teens, school closures led to work in the fieldsElizabeth Aguilera offers an important and under-told story about the pandemic's stunting effect on migrant students' education. Aguilar's story offers readers a view of this vulnerable population, whose only vehicle to a better life is education, and serves as a stark reminder of the startling inequities in American education.Elizabeth Aguilera
Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,001-400,000Feature StoryFourth PlaceLong Beach PostLong BeachWhen COVID-19 stranded them in the U.S., a killing tore this family apartValerie Osier, Stephanie Rivera
Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,001-400,000Feature StoryFifth PlacePalo Alto WeeklyPalo AltoHow San Jose became America's Vietnamese food meccaElena Kadvany