The Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online walked away with 16 awards in the California Journalism Awards for coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, local government and youth and education, among other categories.
The Weekly, which has a newsroom of eight journalists led by Editor-In-Chief Jocelyn Dong, was judged for work published in 2021 against submissions by other news organizations with a print circulation of 25,000 and more. The annual statewide competition is organized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association, which announced the winners last month.
Reporter Sue Dremann and Associate Editor Linda Taaffe were recognized with first place in investigative reporting. Their winning story, “Searching for their father’s killer,” looked at the unsolved 1972 murder of Andy Kinyon, which has left his family continuing to search for answers nearly 50 years later.
Reporter Zoe Morgan topped coverage of youth and education with a first-place story about Youth Connect, a peer-led mental health program. One judge praised Morgan’s writing, noting that the story was easy to understand and used quotes well.
Dremann and reporter Gennady Shyener won second place for in-depth reporting. They wrote a series of stories about the fallout Pets In Need faced after the deaths of seven puppies in their care. Three employees of the nonprofit, which manages the city’s animal shelter, were each hit with a charge of animal cruelty and neglect, and the executive director stepped down.
There were 2,800 entries in this year’s contest across the print, digital and campus publications divisions.
This year’s additional awards in the print and digital divisions were for:
• Informational Graphic (first place): “Life at 144,000+ cases,” Associate Editor Linda Taaffe and Designer Kevin Legnon
• Coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic (second place): “Educational exodus,” Former Reporter Elena Kadvany
• Feature Photo (second place): “Together at last,” Chief Visual Journalist Magali Gauthier
• Video journalism – news (second place): “Locals call out anti-Asian hate at rally,” Chief Visual Journalist Magali Gauthier
• Coverage of Local Government (third place): “City grapples with police reform,” Reporter Gennady Sheyner
• Coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic (third place): “Coverage of the vaccine rollout in Santa Clara County,” Palo Alto Weekly staff
• Feature photo (third place): “Junior Museum and Zoo reopens,” Chief Visual Journalist Magali Gauthier
• Coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic (fourth place): “One Year In,” Palo Alto Weekly Editor Jocelyn Dong and staff
• Coverage of Youth and Education (fourth place): “Public school enrollment plunges for second year in a row,” Reporters Zoe Morgan and Angela Swartz
• Enterprise News Story or Series (fifth place): “Palo Alto’s solar struggles” Reporter Gennady Sheyner
• Breaking News (fifth place): “Swift verdict in John Getreu trial,” Reporter Sue Dremann
• In-depth reporting (fifth place): “A death at the Opportunity Center,” Reporter Sue Dremann