2020 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Feature Story ( Dailies: 15,001 - 50,000,Dailies: 15,000 & under)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: The Desert Sun
    Entry Title: Desert Sun: Siblings reunite after 74 years
    Entry Credit: Maria Sestito
    Judge Comment: In a category of many strong entries, this story had me captivated from the very first sentence. You occasionally see stories about family members reconnecting after a long time, but this was told in a masterful way that really showed the humanity of these two siblings. And there is the coronavirus twist thrown in -- perhaps there is a follow up for when they can actually meet again in person? Job well done.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Marin Independent Journal
    Entry Title: Deadly fire in Sleepy Hollow raises cell coverage concerns
    Entry Credit: Matthew Pera
    Judge Comment: The author did a wonderful job showcasing a broader problem -- how poor cellphone connection impacts a community's fire response -- through the lens of one tragic incident. The reporter clearly lays out the problem and the proposed solutions. This is the type of work that can really make a difference in readers' lives, potentially a lifesaving difference.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Daily Pilot
    Entry Title: Goat herd helps clear up a hillside headache at OC fairgrounds amphitheater
    Entry Credit: Sara Cardine
    Judge Comment: This was such a fun read about a very unusual situation. I especially enjoyed the little turns of phrases the writer used, like ?stubborn surfaces? and ?presenting a predicament.? The photos helped this entry stand out. Nicely done.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: The Desert Sun
    Entry Title: Desert Sun: Mining the river
    Entry Credit: Mark Olalde
    Judge Comment: This is a good example of a reporter taking a complex problem and presenting it in an understandable way. Strong, clear writing and the additional elements of a video and photo gallery really boosted this entry.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: Napa Valley Register
    Entry Title: While sheltering in place, a Napa family builds Matterhorn-inspired roller coaster
    Entry Credit: Jennifer Huffman
    Judge Comment: Of all the stories detailing the unique ways that people passed the time during the pandemic, this is surely one of the most memorable. A great story about a very cool project, and I especially loved that the accompanying photos and video give an inside look at the roller coaster.