2020 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Enterprise News Story or Series ( Dailies: 15,001 - 50,000)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: The Modesto Bee
    Entry Title: A tragic end to a tragic life: Sex trafficking victim dies after defendant sentenced
    Entry Credit: Erin Tracy
    Judge Comment: Gut wrenchingly excellent. This story chronicles a young Native American's sexual and physical abuse, trafficking and her tragic death by overdose. The writing was descriptive: She and her brothers were beaten; they had matches thrown at them for sport; Ayasha’s leg was cut with a broken beer bottle when she tried to stop one of her brothers from being beaten; they watched their mother knock one boyfriend unconscious with a stereo to the head. “It got to the point where I locked the kids, as well as myself, in my room and I pushed my dresser in front of it, so no one could get in to hurt us,” she wrote.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: The Press Democrat
    Entry Title: Press Democrat coverage of rebuilding from wildfires (Jan. 26, June 28, Sept. 27 and Dec. 27, 2020)
    Entry Credit: Press Democrat staff
    Judge Comment: This entry easily could have won first place. It was an exhaustive examination of several families surviving and rebuilding from devastating wildfires. The newspaper should be commended for devoting this kind of resources to this project.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: The Fresno Bee
    Entry Title: ‘Roach highway,’ says one tenant. Is this Central Valley’s worst apartment complex?
    Entry Credit: Dayana Jiselle
    Judge Comment: It's one thing to document an apartment complex with no hot water, leaks and roaches, but to get a former property manager on the record about why she quit is gumshoe reporting at its best: “I couldn’t do it anymore,” Mead said. “I didn’t have answers for the tenants when they asked me why they were living like that.” Mead said she was ordered by the owner to participate in activities that made her uncomfortable, including serving eviction notices for no valid reason; building profit by minimizing spending on property maintenance, and listening to unending complaints from residents about their living conditions and rent raises, for which she had no solution.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: The Desert Sun
    Entry Title: Desert Sun: Analysis of Project Roomkey
    Entry Credit: Nicole Hayden
    Judge Comment: This entry could have scored higher if Part 2 were not based on a spot news event -- the governor's announcement of extending this housing program. On the other hand, Part 1 was so poignant that it most likely forced the governor's hand.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: The Modesto Bee
    Entry Title: How food insecurity is impacting Stanislaus County, and what agencies are doing to help fix it
    Entry Credit: ChrisAnna Mink
    Judge Comment: This hunger project was richly reported and well crafted: "On a recent day, two pre-schoolers waited for the truck on the stoop of their apartment in a one-story complex near the truck’s parking spot. As soon as they saw the truck, they went bounding to it, with the same visible excitement as a child going for frozen treats. This time it was for a lunch of pasta salad with chicken and a cookie."