Long Beach Post wins 30 statewide journalism awards, including staff-wide recognition for breaking news coverage

The Long Beach Post received over two dozen statewide honors this week in the 2020 California Journalism Awards digital contest—including multiple top honors for breaking news and pandemic reporting.

Included in the awards was recognition by the California News Publishers Association for the Post’s coverage of COVID-19 impacts and the May 31 George Floyd protest and aftermath in Long Beach.

The 30 awards for the Long Beach Post are on-par with the largest newsrooms in California in the digital contest, including 31 awards for Los Angeles Times, 23 awards for the Sacramento Bee and 15 awards for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Post newsroom earned a total of eight first-place awards and one open-division award for best digital news photo of any publication in California for Visuals Editor Thomas Cordova.

For the first time ever, the Post also placed in the general excellence category, with judges noting the Post’s “tough-minded accountability reporting” with “informed commentary.”

  • Journalists Kelly Puente, Sebastian Echeverry, Valerie Osier and Alena Mashke placed first in health reporting on the pandemic for their coverage of the socioeconomic disparities of COVID-19. “The Long Beach Post provides an important public service, going behind the daily COVID-19 case counts to help readers understand the ‘why’ behind the demographic trends. An outstanding example of why local news matters,” judges said.
  • Community Engagement Editor Stephanie Rivera earned first place in racial justice and protest coverage for her story behind the story of a viral photo from the May 31 George Floyd protest. Judges said “this is an excellent story that does what journalism is supposed to do: tell the whole story from every angle.”
  • Arts & culture reporter Cheantay Jensen won first place in the non-news video journalism category for her video on local philanthropists known for serving coffee to the homeless and dressing in costume to visit children in hospitals. Judges said the video was a unique and exemplary documentary. “An unexpected and heartfelt story about locals providing joy and relief to community members, despite their own hardships. Beautifully shot and composed.”

Other top honors, including multiple awards in the same category, also went to the Post newsroom for story presentation, layout and design; youth and education reporting; news video journalism; news photos; feature photos; entertainment/culture writing; writing; wildfire news coverage; homepage design; in-depth reporting; local government reporting; and public service journalism.

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