2020 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Wildfire Feature Coverage ( Weeklies: 25,001 & over,Weeklies: 11,001 - 25,000,Weeklies: 4,301 - 11,000,Weeklies: 4,300 & under)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Metro Silicon Valley
    Entry Title: California Gets Devastating Welcome to Era of Megafies
    Entry Credit: Jennifer Wadsworth
    Judge Comment: Evocative writing with crackling verbs that transport readers to the wildfires. Focusing on a wildfire victim/resident sucks readers into the story, which also delivers vital facts from officials.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: The Weekly Calistogan
    Entry Title: Glass Fire claims Calistoga's Fairwinds Estate Winery
    Entry Credit: Cynthia Sweeney
    Judge Comment: Telling the story of the fires through one winery, this story shows the impact on owners, employees and firefighters. The writer skillfully deploys telling details, vivid scenes and unique quotes.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: The Almanac
    Entry Title: 'It's eerie': Behind the lines of the CZU August Lightning fires
    Entry Credit: Kate Bradshaw, Magali Gauthier
    Judge Comment: Covering wildfires, access is key. Many residents rely on local papers to find out how their area is faring, and this story delivers, showing and telling readers what it's like behind the fire lines.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: Tracy Press
    Entry Title: Rancher scrambles to protect livestock, support fire crews
    Entry Credit: Bob Brownne
    Judge Comment: By focusing on a rancher's effort to battle the fire, this story delivers a narrative that puts them on the ranch and in his shoes, while also reporting vital information from fire officials.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: Good Times
    Entry Title: "Heroes or Hindrance?"
    Entry Credit: Jacob Pierce
    Judge Comment: This story did a masterful job of taking readers to their neighborhoods during the fire to show what neighbors were doing to fight back - and what fire officials thought of their efforts. It raised important questions and gave those with different perspectives equal space to weigh in.