The Palo Alto Weekly's staff took home the top prizes in breaking news, education, business news, editorial comment and design at the 2017 California Journalism Awards on Saturday, April 14, in Sonoma.
The community newspaper also received five second-place awards in arts and entertainment, coverage of local government, editorial comment, in-depth reporting and investigative reporting. They were among a total of 15 awards and 10 finalist entries for the Weekly in the statewide contest hosted by the California News Publishers Association.
Journalists from states outside of California selected the winners of the annual competition from among daily, weekly and school newspapers out of thousands of entries.
The Weekly, which employs a newsroom staff of 11 journalists under Editor-in-Chief Jocelyn Dong, competed against other weekly newspapers with circulations of more than 25,000.
About Eric He and Dong's first-place story about the future of the car industry in Silicon Valley, judges commented: "Excellent graphics, cover! Loaded with info, some technical, competition for jobs, hot new topic, good writing, varied information."
About the newspaper's first-place front-page layouts and design, judges said there was an "excellent use of words that not only tell the story, but work well with the very creative & well-executed graphics."
About Veronica Weber and Dong's second-place story on homelessness in Palo Alto, judges said the article "contrasted the challenges that a relatively affluent community faces in dealing with these, humanizing the concerns surrounding the issue by really showing the personal impacts."
About Elena Kadvany's second-place investigative reporting story on the school district's failure to reopen union negotiations the judges wrote: "It just shows that print journalism can still have an impact in local communities striving to keep government agencies honest and accountable to the people they serve -- or potentially have them suffer the consequences if they don't."
The work reviewed was published in 2017.
The award-winning articles and columns were:
• Coverage of Business News, first place: Detroit dethroned? by Eric He and Jocelyn Dong
• Online Breaking News Coverage, first place: San Francisquito Creek nears flood levels by staff
• Coverage of Youth and Education, first place: Sexual misconduct in Palo Alto schools by Elena Kadvany
• Editorial comment, first place: Time for McGee to go by Bill Johnson
• Editorial Comment, second place: Deja vu for school district by Bill Johnson
• In-Depth Reporting, second place: Housing for the homeless by Jocelyn Dong and Veronica Weber
• Investigative Reporting, second place: The $6 million blunder by Elena Kadvany
• Coverage of Local Government, second place: Coming into focus by Gennady Sheyner
• Editorial Comment, third place: A council adrift by Bill Johnson
• Video Journalism, third place: A new study to treat depression by Veronica Weber
• Inside Page Layout & Design, third place: Diane Haas and Doug Young
• Online General Excellence, third place
• Land-Use Reporting, third place: Stanford's big plans by Gennady Sheyner
• General Excellence
• Breaking News: $40M deal saves Buena Vista mobile homes by Sue Dremann
• Special Section: Delish by Elena Kadvany, staff
• Enterprise News Story or Series: Guardians of the Code by Gennady Sheyner
• Special Section Cover: Home + Garden Design by Elizabeth Lorenz, staff
• In-Depth Reporting: Sexual misconduct in Palo Alto schools by Elena Kadvany
• Coverage of Business News: Short on staff by Elena Kadvany
• Online Breaking News: Superintendent Max McGee resigns by Elena Kadvany
• Public Service Journalism: The $6 million blunder by Elena Kadvany and Bill Johnson
• Feature Story: The wave that changed the world by Linda Taaffe
Founded in 1979 by Publisher and CEO Bill Johnson, the Palo Alto Weekly produces a Friday print edition; a daily e-edition, Express; a weekly A&E e-edition, Weekend Express; and the news and community website PaloAltoOnline.com, which hosts Town Square, the online discussion forum, among other features. PaloAltoOnline.com can also be accessed through the iPhone and Android apps, "Palo Alto." The Weekly's social-media sites include Twitter.com/paloaltoweekly and Facebook.com/paloaltoonline.
The California News Publishers Association is a nonprofit trade association for more than 800 publications. Founded in 1888, it represents daily and weekly newspapers and news websites throughout California.