2018 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Public Service Journalism ( Dailies: 50,001 & over,Dailies: 15,001 - 50,000)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Los Angeles Times
    Entry Title: A Scandal at USC
    Entry Credit: Los Angeles Times Staff
    Judge Comment: Dogged reporting, clear writing and profound results are the hallmarks of this investigation by the Los Angeles Times. It began with an anonymous tip about a USC doctor. It led to revelation of the doctor’s sexual widespread misconduct – and subsequent coverup by the university – and to the ouster of a president, hundreds of lawsuits and multiple government investigations, including the convening of a grand jury.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: San Francisco Chronicle
    Entry Title: Dangerous Ground
    Entry Credit: Jason Fagone, Cynthia Dizikes
    Judge Comment: A community should expect better information about and protection from dangerous contamination than the Bay Area has received from multiple government agencies in the handling of the Hunter’s Point Shipyard Superfund site. But the community is fortunate to have a news organization willing to dig into a complex, drawn-out cleanup and redevelopment project with the single aim of figuring out how bad the contamination is and who was and continues to be at risk. What the Chronicle found were multiple agencies unwilling to advocate on behalf of citizens and ignored or misled them on the facts.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: The Desert Sun
    Entry Title: Prosecution Fees
    Entry Credit: Brett Kelman, Evan Wyloge, Sam Metz, Jay Calderon
    Judge Comment: The Sun exposed three cities’ practice of using a private law firm to extract thousands of dollars in fines from citizens for relatively minor or unwitting code violations – practices that would bring in significant sums for the private attorneys while leaving citizens at risk of losing their homes, and more. As a result, the state banned the practice, a class-action suit was filed, and one of the cities agreed to repay its citizens.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: The Press Democrat
    Entry Title: Reporting on Rohnert Park Public Safety Department
    Entry Credit: Julie Johnson
    Judge Comment: What can happen when one reporter exposes a police department, and mostly one sergeant, for seizing -- or shaking down – millions of dollars from people transporting pot far outside the city limits? In Rohnert Park, it meant a shakeup in the police department, a new chief, new federally mandated training and greater oversight of police behavior.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: The San Diego Union-Tribune
    Entry Title: San Onofre settlement deal
    Entry Credit: Jeff McDonald
    Judge Comment: Ratepayers in Southern California last year began to receive a $775 million break on their utility bills, in part because of years of reporting on behind-the-scenes deal-making involving the costs of a failed nuclear plant. This coverage is a good reminder that reporting out a story can take years, and the impact isn’t always immediate.