2021 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

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

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Claremont Courier
    Entry Title: Gaming the System
    Entry Credit: Mick Rhodes
    Judge Comment: Fake reviews. Customers being forced to leave positive reviews before their plumber will leave. Outrageous bills. The fact that Rooter Hero paid nearly $209K to the state and ripped off customers validates the effectiveness of Claremont Courier's reporting. Great watchdog reporting by Mick Rhodes!
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Auburn Journal
    Entry Title: A wall of blame: City of Auburn, property owner at odds over repairs following landslide
    Entry Credit: Traci Newell
    Judge Comment: Love the doggedness in the reporting here. Good use of social media to triangulate what lead to discovering a police report that revealed why the wall collapsed and who owned the vehicle towing a trailer that struck the rock wall. I can only imagine how annoying this closure is to your readers. I am certain they are grateful to Traci for her reporting getting to the bottom of this.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Black Voice News
    Entry Title: Domestic Violence
    Entry Credit: Gail Fry, Stephanie Williams, Breanna Reeves
    Judge Comment: Nice piece of service journalism by Fry, Williams and Reeves. The writers captured the vastness of the issues facing domestic violence survivors who become homeless as well as those who become victims of domestic/partner abuse after becoming homeless. Even more importantly, the journalists shone a bright spotlight on organizations that can provide help. The Black News Voice also deserves credit for putting time and resources in covering this "pandemic within the pandemic" at a moment when many news organizations have given short shrift to this critical issue amid the gamut of complications caused by the pandemic.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: Santa Clara Weekly
    Entry Title: Questions Swirl About New Position and One Employee's $35,000 Raise
    Entry Credit: Carolyn Schuk
    Judge Comment: Good watchdogging for Santa Clara residents!
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: La Nueva Voz
    Entry Title: Alleged improprieties and abuses at Pomona's 'COVID Hotel'
    Entry Credit: Jeff Schenkel, Renee Barbee
    Judge Comment: Some interesting elements to the Covid hotel series and serious allegations. The series, however, at moments was difficult to track. While it's understandable that sources who provided sensitive information could only speak on the condition of anonymity, the stories failed to detail why those sources were being granted anonymity.