(Award winning journalism doesn’t come free – consider making a donation to Streetsblog Los Angeles today, or contact Damien Newton at firstname.lastname@example.org for other ways you can support Streetsblog).
Last night, the Los Angeles Press Club held the 61st Annual Southern California Journalism Awards, and Streetsblog Los Angeles and LongBeachize were finalists for nine awards across seven different categories. It was a good night, as Streetsblog won three three awards, and LongBeachize won another.
The Press Club has had “Best Blog” categories for seven years, and for the fourth time Streetsblog Los Angeles was named Best Group Blog. The judges wrote of Streetsblog, “This blog is a great community resource. The team does a great job not only with the writing about the details and concerns related to projects, but also with the compilation of facts and figures, in a way that’s reader and viewer-friendly.”
The award pertains to overall coverage, but in order for ease of reviewing, it highlights a specific date – in this case November 28, 2018 – which featured the full breadth of the Streetsblog Los Angeles team. The day started off with the usual Today’s Headlines roundup by Joe Linton, who also covered improvements to the North Hollywood Metro Station later in the day. Sahra Sulaiman previewed a Los Angeles City Council hearing on the Street Vending Ordinance. Damien Newton and Kris Fortin produced an SGV Connect podcast that wrapped up the 2018 election locally and announced new bike lanes in Arcadia. SBLA syndicated Melanie Curry’s Streetsblog California piece on a report that showed California cannot meet its Greenhouse Gas goals without reducing vehicle miles traveled.
Nearly every year, SBLA has the honor of announcing another Press Club award for Sahra Sulaiman. This year is no different, as Sulaiman was honored for Best Online Local Political Commentary for “Burn the Witch!’: Public Enthusiasm for Dragging Rude Youth from Trains Highlights Gap in Metro’s Equity Platform.”
The judges wrote, “The writer posed legitimate questions and offered a thought-provoking review of an incident that gained wide-spread media attention. Her writing was crisp, and her commentary was sharp.”
Sulaiman also finished third in the Best Online Government/Politics News category for “Rallygoers Demanding Justice for Hit-and-Run Victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier Crash Community Meeting on Safe Streets.”
Damien Newton brought home his first individual honor since 2011 for a series on Safe Parking in the newly-created Solutions Journalism category. In the three-part-series, Newton covered the basics of how the Safe Parking program works, visited one of the lots, and spoke with a family that experienced homelessness through no fault of their own and found their way back to permanent housing through the Safe Park program.
The judges wrote, “This three-part series on safe parking lots for people living in their cars is exemplary solutions journalism. Safe Park is an emergency stopgap, and the reporter is clear with readers about that point and does not overclaim, writing about both what is and is not working. The author’s writing style is engaging, building trust and interest by acting as the reader’s surrogate in investigating Safe Park, and in highlighting the humanity of the program’s participants. The reporting explores in depth what many readers might assume is the big challenge for Safe Park lots: how to convince neighbors to say yes.”
For the second time, Brian Addison, of SBLA sister site LongBeachize took home the honor for Best Individual Blog highlighting his story, “The 710 project isn’t just about expanding a freeway—it is about decreasing livability in marginalized communities.”
The judges wrote, “Addison’s hard work shows on this blog. He apparently read those thousands of pages of reports so we don’t have to. Better still, he explained them in a way those affected could grasp. The many links and references to background, including the visuals, provide a fine supplement to Addison’s main piece.”
Addison also finished third in Non-Political Commentary for “How immigrant food taught me to stop coddling this American palate” in the Long Beach Post‘s “Hi-Lo” section.