The Palo Alto Weekly and PaloAltoOnline.com garnered 10 first- and second-place awards Saturday (April 16) in an annual statewide journalism competition, including for best website, investigative reporting, business story and photo essay.
The Better Newspapers Contest, sponsored by the California Newspaper Publishers Association, covers reporting from November 2009 to October 2010. The awards were announced in Los Angeles.
The first-place honors were given for:
• The Weekly's two-part investigative series on the ethics and practices of high school coaching, "Out of bounds?" by writer Terri Lobdell and editors Jocelyn Dong and Jay Thorwaldson
• A business story about Palo Alto's burgeoning clean-tech sector, "The Green Revolution," by Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner
• A photo essay about new medical treatments and therapies for animals, "Veterinary Innovations," by Staff Photographer Veronica Weber
• The Weekly's news and community website, PaloAltoOnline.com
The categories for which the Weekly received second-place recognition were:
• General excellence for the Weekly's editions in March 2010
• Public service for its series on mental health among youth, "What teens need," (a Sept. 3 essay by an anonymous Palo Alto teacher, a Sept. 10 roundtable of local educators and mental health experts, and a Sept. 10 editorial)
• General news photo from the Gunn High School 2010 graduation by Photographer Kimihiro Hoshino
• Online coverage of the Stanford Hospitals and Clinics proposed redevelopment, "Seeking the cure," by Gennady Sheyner
• Editorial comment for a column about high school coaching, "Reforming Palo Alto's high school sports" by Jay Thorwaldson
In addition to the first- and second-place honors, the Weekly also placed as a finalist in the categories of local breaking news, online breaking news, environmental reporting, business story, photo essay and sports photo.
The competition was judged by journalists outside of the state. The contest grouped newspapers by size of circulation and frequency of publication.
The Weekly's sister papers on the Peninsula, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac, also took home honors, as did its two other sister papers -- the Pacific Sun, which received three first-place awards, and the Pleasanton Weekly, which was recognized with a second-place honor for public service.
The Almanac, which covers Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside, received first place in the following categories:
• Public service for "Pondering the effects of Prop 13"
• Editorial comment for "Managing the Atherton News"
• General news photo for Dalai Lama: 'Pay attention to your heart'
It received second-place in the categories of:
• General news photo for 'Vigil for Lisa Xavier'
• Photo essay for 'Showtime: Jeffrey Adair returns to the stage'
• Environmental or agricultural resource reporting for "Gardening (to eat) at school."
The Voice received a first-place award for its photo essay, "Foothill students join march on Sacramento."
Founded in 1979 by Publisher Bill Johnson, the Palo Alto Weekly produces a Friday print edition; a daily e-edition, Express; and the news and community website PaloAltoOnline.com, which hosts Town Square, the online discussion forum, among other features. PaloAltoOnline.com news and sports can also be accessed through the iPhone app, "Palo Alto."
The California Newspaper Publishers Association is an 841-member nonprofit trade association. Founded in 1888, it represents daily and weekly newspapers and news websites throughout California.