2021 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

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

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Record Searchlight
    Entry Title: Here’s what it’s like to be a musical ‘genius’ living on the streets of Redding
    Entry Credit: Damon Arthur
    Judge Comment: Excellent, unusual portrait of a musician who's homeless (and austistic) and how she fits into both worlds. Good detail and well chosen quotes paint a good portrait. A good stereotype-breaker.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Napa Valley Register
    Entry Title: Pancha's, Yountville's last remaining dive bar and oldest business, isn't going anywhere
    Entry Credit: Sarah Klearman
    Judge Comment: The contrast with upscale parts of Yountville was enjoyable, and the newer element of a dive bar surviving the pandemic gives the piece some currency as well as history. Great short portrait of the owner (his original business strategy included, "it would be harder to get rid of ithim," says a lot), and lots of nice detail (still-operative $3 beers). Not to mention the tales of people who've been thrown out. Excellent, entertaining feature.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: The Tribune
    Entry Title: Life on the San Andreas: Tiny Parkfield is unshaken as ‘Earthquake Capital of the World’
    Entry Credit: Jennifer Schmidt
    Judge Comment: Great fun, thoroughly enjoyable read about the Earthquake Capital of the World ("“If you feel a shake or a quake, get under the table and eat your steak.”). Good detail about a tiny town.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: Pasadena Star-News
    Entry Title: Family of slain Arcadia senior stunned that suspect could avoid life sentence
    Entry Credit: Ruby Gonzales
    Judge Comment: Impressive detail here. The writer backs into the story, starting with the victim's background, if you stick with it the approach works well. It becomes a moving story, worth its length.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: Marin Independent Journal
    Entry Title: Marin drought brings echoes of 1976-77 water crisis
    Entry Credit: Will Houston
    Judge Comment: Very good and thoughtful perspective piece - not so much a "feature" in the usual sense but more of an analysis - which also does have feature elements, describing specifically what conditions were like in the mid-70s and noting the similarities now. Very helpful pice for understanding the impacts of prospective water shortage in the area.