2022 California Journalism Awards - Digital Division

Investigative Reporting ( Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,001-400,000) Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Palo Alto Weekly
    Entry Title: Fatal errors
    Entry Credit: Gennady Sheyner
    Judge Comment: An inquiry into the accidental death of an electrical worker, finding significant culpability on the part of Palo Alto. The level of well-documented detail was exceptional, especilly given the lack of cooperation from a range of rejected sources. Meticulous work.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: San Jose Spotlight
    Entry Title: The fall of Gary Kremen, the founder of Match.com
    Entry Credit: Eli Wolfe, Brian Howey
    Judge Comment: Fine profile of a litigious former tech eecutive and local politician then running for office (and endorsed by Democratic Activists for Women Now); the story had immediate political impact, including suspension of the campaign, and led to more revelations later.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Long Beach Post
    Entry Title: To save Community Hospital, Long Beach leaders took a risky gamble—and lost
    Entry Credit: Kelly Puente, Brandon Richardson
    Judge Comment: The obstacle to reporting it at all ("This was a difficult story to report, not only because the subject matter is complicated, but because the operator at the center of this story, John Molina, is also the principal owner of the Post and Business Journal.") was compelling. Beyond that it's a good story with ample background that might have been even more (maybe a little more material on the community impacts of the hospital's ups and downs might have been useful),
  • Competition Comment: This was an extraordinarily difficult competition to judge - all of these entries were sound and solid (a number of them covered similar types of stories). Four or five were close prospects for first place; I settled the difference mainly on the basis of broad significance and impact. But all here deserve some praise: Local investigative reporting is alive and well.