2020 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

In-Depth Reporting ( Weeklies: 11,001 - 25,000,Weeklies: 4,301 - 11,000,Weeklies: 4,300 & under)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Santa Clara Weekly
    Entry Title: City Salaries Series
    Judge Comment: Oh, Bell's city council comes to mind on this one. You remember the extravagant salaries those council members paid themselves, and the eventual arrest? I'm not suggesting these officials are criminals. It's pieces like this one on Santa Clara that people really need to read. A city manager, an inflated salary, a needed second look at hiring practices. Amazing the "extra" money sent to her retirement, the housing stipend, and staunch support from the mayor and some councill members. I do wonder, however, what community programs might be suffering? Don't expect any holiday cheer this season from Santana. But, one second: We don't write to please, not always, as journalists, we inform the public, get the truth and engage the sources. This is a nice piece of work! Congratulations!
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: The Sonoma Index-Tribune
    Entry Title: "Spotlight on Housing"
    Entry Credit: Christian Kallen, Kate Williams, Anne Ward Ernst, Lorna Sheridan
    Judge Comment: Great report here. Great obtaining the inside story on Heather Christensen, you put a face to the hardship, especially on the scam that took her last bit of money. I completely understand this great report is not all on homelessness. Great detail and sourcing out experts talking about the high cost of property. However I imagine images and a story of a rent-burdened family with children would have added greatly to the edition that featured Christensen. Can you imagine capturing the faces of these young children living in cramped quarters? Farm workers, single moms, single dads, perhaps, but it shows the lack of affordable housing. The home is the safe place for children, but when that place is threatened, and parents pay the rent before buying food, this makes for an extremely volatile situation. CBOs can always help, just know they will likely set you up with people they want you to talk to. Nothing beats hitting the streets for stories. Nice work here! Well done!
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Comstock's Magazine
    Entry Title: Laying the Groundwork: A widespread effort to achieve environmental justice in Sacramento is gaining momentum
    Entry Credit: Sena Christian
    Judge Comment: Shame that too many people are unaware that redlining contributed to thousands of vulnerable neighborhoods. The 'Laying the Groundwork' can empower people in vulnerable neighborhoods to speak up, demand change. I enjoyed reading this piece. Too often, our readers need a refresher course in the inequalities of our nation, it doesn't mean we hate our nation. Most U.S. cities have a history of redlining, which played a part in creating vulnerable neighborhoods. You've done some very nice work here.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: The Business Journal
    Entry Title: PPP reporting
    Entry Credit: Frank Lopez, Gabriel Dillard
    Judge Comment: Finally! PPPs explained. I can think of three biz leaders who should have read this piece before applying for a PPP. The individual charts showing how much each city/county has applied is fantastic; and shows how many jobs retained. Good work here!
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: Glendale News-Press
    Entry Title: Artsakh War Reopens Old Wounds
    Entry Credit: Mark Geers, Zane Hill
    Judge Comment: A great story of support that brings discussion, and so much more. Armenian Americans have plenty to say, plenty to teach so many of us. It's stories like these that help us learn. Great piece here.