2021 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Writing ( Weeklies: 4,301 - 11,000) Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Del Mar Times
    Entry Title: Rare disease patient hoping for answers
    Entry Credit: Michael J. Williams
    Judge Comment: A well-written piece brings about emotion. This piece on Ashley Walker does this. I was heart-broken to think of Ashley losing her two babies, Alexander and Jayden, the misdiagnosis, and the on-going challenges. Great clarity and organization in this writing successfully delivers the emotional impact of this piece to readers. When a person shares their story, as Ashley has, it’s up to us, as journalists, to listen and respectfully deliver the words to our readers without glorifying ourselves. You’ve done this. This should have been a centerpiece story. I see another person in the photo, is this a new life for Ashley? Current photos of Ashley would have been great. Congratulations and thank you, Michael, for sharing Ashley’s story.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Black Voice News
    Entry Title: Black and Missing in America: Shining a Light
    Entry Credit: Breanna Reeves, Phyllis Kimber-Wilcox
    Judge Comment: This is a great piece. Well done on a topic that is too often under-reported. You wrote about elements the general public would not notice, for example, details behind missing person investigations. About 24,000 Black men and boys went missing in California in 2020; 92,000 nationwide. People of color account for the 40 percent of missing people. I think of what could have happened to Jelani Day, Daniel Robinson, and Nicholas Edwin Barb, and what their families must be going through. When your source, the sociologist Rafik Mohamed says “society has assigned values to different groups of people,” I’m angered. Is this what we’ve become? Just who are the producers that make the call for front-page, headline news? Remember the service to our readers is to keep them informed. The goodness for Natalie and Derrica Wilson for launching the Black and Missing Foundation, and for Erika Marie Rivers, who launched Our Black Girls website. This is a great piece here. Inequities and disparities are too common everywhere, but this impacts so many lives. I do hope HBO didn’t point the cameras at their own journalists, but keeping to the importance of the story and people behind it. Thank you so much Breanna for keeping it together.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Santa Paula Times
    Entry Title: Community newspaper: Tragic 1960s murder.
    Entry Credit: Peggy Kelly
    Judge Comment: A life tragically cut short. I can only imagine the thoughts of Joyce's siblings and other relatives still impacted by this crime. Great piece here, the writing exhibits detail on the family's struggle. I can only imagine how this pain may be renewed each June 29. I can go on and on. Great layout of the photos to remind your readers of Joyce. Great piece here.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: Alianza Metropolitan News
    Entry Title: Sobreviviente Elvira Herrera de Li?deres Campesinas: “Me vendi?a para pagar sus deudas”
    Entry Credit: Rossana Drumond
    Judge Comment: Un tema muy difícil de escribir. Cuando pienso en la violencia doméstica que Elvira ha sufrido hasta el punto de perder a su bebé, me pongo muy emotivo. Estoy enojado con los servicios sociales por no tener suficiente alcance comunitario para los inmigrantes, que se ven obligados a quedarse sin hogar. Gracias por su trabajo con Líderes Campesinas. Esta es una gran nota. This is a great story here. I think about Elvira and all the domestic violence, the prostitution, and the loss of her child. I'm angered about the lack of available outreach and protection from social services for immigrants. It’s community-based organizations, such as Líderes Campesinas, who can help. It’s great that Elvira is now a part of Líderes Campesinas, an organization that helps advocate for protection and rights for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, farm workers, and community outreach. Great story.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: North Bay Business Journal
    Entry Title: 9/11 20 years later: A time of reflection, loss, unified front for North Bay financiers, affected loved ones
    Entry Credit: Susan Wood
    Judge Comment: The quote that says Paul Sloan’s mother saying her son will always be 26 years old is extremely touching. This alone took me back. This puts a face to the loss, it puts a mother’s words on the loss, on all the losses. I won't forget that very tragic day. This is a unique perspective on financiers and 9/11. You managed an honorable and fitting tribute Paul, to everyone that was impacted and, continues to be impacted, from the attacks. I also love Hennessy's story. What a great read here.