2021 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Agricultural Reporting ( Weeklies: 4,301 - 11,000,Weeklies: 4,300 & under) Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Petaluma Argus-Courier
    Entry Title: Cannabis fight heats up in Petaluma's rural outskirts
    Entry Credit: Tyler Silvy, Crissy Pascual
    Judge Comment: This is what I'm looking for: A difficult topic featuring regular folks, good info and data, and a story any reader can dig into. You can hear the opponents' frustration in their slogan: No Pot on Pepper. But there's frustration on other sides, as well, and they're presented well in this piece. Nice job.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Siskiyou Daily News
    Entry Title: Historic drought: With no water, Klamath farmers face uncertain futures
    Entry Credit: Barry Kaye
    Judge Comment: Nice lede into the story. Water issues can be tough to write about, and, to me, the lede is key to getting into a tough topic. "The eerie silence of the fields" -- nice line. Show, don't tell, and this story does it well.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Calexico Chronicle
    Entry Title: Hemp Promises Unfulfilled
    Entry Credit: Antoine Abou-Diwan
    Judge Comment: A huge topic to tackle, and done really well. “It was a decision like a 12-year-old would make." -- great line. I might have made the lede this guy, more anecdotal, but the lede here works and draws the reader in. It's tough to encapsulate decades of history into a few grafs at a story's top, but this does it pretty well. Good job.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: The Sun-Gazette
    Entry Title: Advocates want pesticide warning system now
    Entry Credit: Reggie Ellis
    Judge Comment: Really great lede. Won't tell me the info I want? I'll show up at your house! This story is full of great info, but I worry its length would put off some readers. Could it have been broken up into a series of stories, each one having a different focus of the issue? A strong story that required lots of leg work. Nice job.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: North Bay Business Journal
    Entry Title: Drought calls for desperate measures from Northern California farmers
    Entry Credit: Cheryl Sarfaty
    Judge Comment: The lede really grabs you -- a guy getting out of the business over water concerns. There's a lot packed into this story. I wonder if it could have been broken into more than one? Ranchers, wine makers, etc. Nice read.