2022 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Writing ( Dailies: 15,000 & under) Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Santa Maria Times
    Entry Title: Diamonds and Gold: The road to Everest Base Camp
    Entry Credit: Marga K. Cooley
    Judge Comment: One might try to argue Marga had an unfair advantage topical advantage. But a compelling topic doesn't have to birth a compelling story. This was the most literary entrant of the field and stood out not only for its length, but for its impressive nearly complete lack of reliance on quotes. Marga writes to all the senses, deftly bringing readers along for a lifetime adventure. In the order the entrants were read, this was the first story to separate itself from the pack. It never relinquished its top spot. A truly pleasurable read. And congratulations, Marga, on fulfilling a dream.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Monterey Herald
    Entry Title: Concours d'Lemons dawns the distressed
    Entry Credit: Tess Kenny
    Judge Comment: More is not always better! This tight, bright news fearure is testament to that. Tess wrapped her/their arms around an offbeat event and brought it to life for The Herald's audience, often leaning on clever but subtle alliteration. "The irresistibly uncouth display attracted hundreds, from unassuming pedestrians pausing to figure out what was going on to longtime visitors like Simons getting their much-anticipated lemon fix" is probably the favorite sentence we read among all entries. She/they also did well to contrast the event against those more typically seen in the region, which gave it needed context. We'll even forgive the misreporting of the horse's head being on the hood of the vehicle. It's on the roof. Call it another exhibit of why those copy editors news organizations' corporate "leadership" deems so expendable are in fact anything but.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: The Tribune
    Entry Title: Gas tops $9 at this Highway 1 station near Big Sur — and all drivers can do is laugh
    Entry Credit: Kaytlyn Leslie
    Judge Comment: A vibrant news feature on a topic that affects nearly everyone. Kaytlyn propels the story forward with inviting, smooth-flowing prose; secondary to the competition, she exhibits admirable hustle, using at least eight sources and reporting the very practical reasons for what on the surface appears to be Gorda's price-gouging gas prices. Were she applying for a job, we in position to hire and she/they could show us three more clips of similar quality, we'd hire her/them on the spot.
  • Competition Comment: The honorees clearly distinguished themselves in a mostly pedestrian field.