2022 California Journalism Awards - Digital Division

Public Service Journalism ( Monthly Unique Visitors: 400,001 & over) Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: San Francisco Chronicle
    Entry Title: Broken Homes
    Entry Credit: Joaquin Palomino, Trisha Thadani
    Judge Comment: A three-part series that is dense with information but made readable and compelling with a combination of text, graphics, still images and video. At the foundation is on-the-ground reporting supported by data gathering and analysis. These qualities support the findings that, despite tens of millions of dollars, the problems of adequate housing, evictions and drug deaths persist. The human toll is undeniable (effectively illustrated in profiles) while the flailing of some public officials regarding solutions is perplexing. The series led to some significant action by officials, mainly more funding, though whether it’s a case of throwing more money at a problem to satisfy critics remains to be seen.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: The Press Democrat
    Entry Title: Sonoma State University sexual harassment and retaliation scandal
    Entry Credit: Kaylee Tornay, Martin Espinoza, Marisa Endicott, Andrew Graham, Austin Murphy
    Judge Comment: Excellent example of dogged reporting that combines material from public records requests, interviews, public statements and other information sources. Key was not letting up on finding out what was going on with the settlement, the accusations of harassment, the university response and other matters. Surely the impact of the reporting on the community, and the pressure on officials and others, led to the ouster of the university president and more questions about how the university responded to the complaints to begin with. Such coverage is exhausting, yet the hits just kept coming from the Press Democrat staff.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Los Angeles Times
    Entry Title: Mental Health Initiative
    Entry Credit: Los Angeles Times Staff
    Judge Comment: The 16-part entry shows a concerted, sustained effort to report on mental health issues over the course of the year. Commendable is the variety of topics, including profiles and personal reports that show the human side of the issue and reports dealing with taxes, governance and other systemic issues. Carrying the series is uniformly fine reporting and opinion writing with strong support from images and graphics.
  • Competition Comment: The high quality of the reporting, writing and presentation makes this a difficult category to judge. All entries show how fortunate their readers are to have a newspaper that devotes time and other resources to matters of intense public interest. And how fortunate the newspapers are to have staff that can deliver such high-quality journalism. As is the nature of top journalism, these stories tell readers what they don't know or can't easily discern elsewhere. And why they should care.