The Long Beach Post family walked away with three first-place Southern California Journalism awards on Sunday night, part of their overall 17 finalist recognitions. The awards are presented annually by the Los Angeles Press Club.
The Post’s Visuals Editor Thomas Cordova was honored with the Best News Photo across all platforms for his emblematic photo of two firefighters embracing after Capt. David Rosa was murdered while on scene; he ousted competition from the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, and Orange County Register. The judges said that his photo presented “real health implications” with a subject that “goes well beyond L.A.”
Cordova also received Third Place in the Photojournalist of the Year category, while being a finalist for Best Photo Essay for his work on a family and community mourning the loss of a young football player.
Reporter Stephanie Rivera was given the award for Best Online Gender/LGBTQ Reporting for her work on a Ugandan refugee escaping persecution for her sexuality in her home country; the piece also scored a Second Place nod in the Best Online News category. Additionally, she was a finalist in the Best Education Reporting category across all platforms for her continued work on the digital divide in Long Beach.
The judges’ comments for Rivera’s winning piece stated, “The winner offered the best combination of storytelling, sourcing and historical context. The story offered an important recounting of Uganda’s horrific history with gay rights, found a face to showcase that impact and, ultimately, showed what a community was doing to help refugees find a home in the United States.”
Columnist and editor Brian Addison’s section, Longbeachize, was recognized as the Best Individual Blog of the Year; it was the first year he scored top honors in this category after placing second last year and being finalist the year before that. He also won Third Place in the Best Online Non-Political Commentary category for his personal piece on the power of immigrant food while also being a finalist for Columnist of the Year, Food/Culture Reviewer of the Year, and Best Obituary/In-Appreciation across all platforms for his piece on the death of DJ Efechto.
In their comments on Addison’s work for Longbeachize, judges said, “Addison’s hard work shows on this blog. He read 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 [overall work].”
Managing Editor Melissa Evans placed third in the Best Online Hard News category for her work on a North Long Beach community whose homes were sinking into the earth.
Breaking News Editor Jeremiah Dobruck placed third in the Best Online Crime Reporting category for his extended look into the death of a grandfather during a drive-by shooting; he faced competition from NBC LA, NBC News, and The Daily Mail. In addition, he was finalist for the Best Online Hard News category for his examination of a man who killed a woman holding a toddler after a political debate went awry.
Arts and culture writer Asia Morris scored Third Place for the Best Online Entertainment category, highlighting her work on Oaxaca-born artist Narsiso Martinez.
Lastly and not least, reporter Valerie Osier was a finalist for the Best Online Government/Politics News category for her look into a grandfather shot nine times with no witnesses to help seek justice.
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