The Pleasanton Weekly took home nine awards among all California weekly newspapers in its circulation category in the California News Publishers Association's (CNPA) 2019 California Journalism Awards, with results announced this week.
In its competition, the CNPA separates daily and weekly newspapers. It also pits dailies and weeklies against each other in several circulation categories ranging from those with circulation from 4,300 and under to 200,000 and above. The Pleasanton Weekly competed in the 11,001 to 25,000 circulation category.
The Pleasanton Weekly received a first-place award in the Editorial Comment category (Print Division) for the Aug. 23, 2019, editorial by publisher Gina Channell, “Livermore downtown referendum raises serious questions.” The judges commented, “This entry explains to readers what is happening on a key local issue and, importantly, outlines action steps for readers.”
Editor Jeremy Walsh and reporter Julia Baum earned a second-place award in the Coverage of Youth and Education category (Print Division) for a series of stories on the Amador Valley High School transcript probe and fallout.
The entire Pleasanton Weekly editorial staff also received a third-place award for Online General Excellence (Digital Division) for coverage and presentation on PleasantonWeekly.com.
Channell earned a third-place award in Editorial Comment (Print Division) for the Dec. 6, 2019, editorial, “Did a bunny book really lead to superintendent’s ouster?” Judges noted it was “a good use of public records laws to inform readers.”
Other awards were earned in:
* Breaking News (fourth-place Print Division and fifth-place Digital Division) for a Feb. 15, 2019, story by Jeremy Walsh, PUSD transcripts: Investigator finds two improper alterations, no systemic problem.”
Judges in the Print Division commended Walsh for giving a “good explanation of a difficult topic. Great writing, great package.” Digital contest judges added, "I can see why this would be a big topic in your community — an audit of school transcripts."
* Editorial Comment (Print, fourth-place) for a May 24, 2019, editorial by Gina Channell, “District-based elections do not make sense here.”
* Profile Story (Print, fifth-place) for the March 15, 2019, story “Amazing Voyage” about Pleasanton’s much-celebrated musician Don Lewis. The judges said of Bing’s story, “Great profile that weaves together details of the musician's particular music style with the larger message he sends in his work.”
* Feature Story (Print, fifth-place) for the Oct. 11, 2019, “The gentle giants of Mount Diablo,” by staff reporter Ryan J. Degan. The migration of tarantulas -- what an interesting topic. The reporter took a routing event and turned it into a good story,” the judges noted.
"Our staff works hard to provide local news coverage for our readers," said Channell, publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly and president of Embarcadero Media Group's East Bay division. “It's a tribute to the Weekly's editorial staff that judges from across the state and a panel of newspaper experts named us among the best in these key categories."
Other Embarcadero Media newspapers also won CNPA awards.
The Palo Alto Weekly won first-place awards in Editorial Comment and Land-Use Reporting. The newspaper, which competes with other weekly newspapers in the 25,000 and above circulation category, also received second-place awards in the categories of Investigative Reporting and Breaking News.
Two other Embarcadero Media newspapers on the Peninsula, the Almanac in south San Mateo County and the Mountain View Voice, which competed in the 11,001 to 25,000 circulation category, also won top awards.
The Almanac received second-place awards in Public Service Journalism, Enterprise News Story or Series and Editorial Comment.
The Mountain View Voice earned first place in Enterprise News Story or Series and second place in Land-Use Reporting.
CNPA 500-member nonprofit trade association. Founded in 1888, it represents daily, weekly, monthly and campus newspapers and news websites throughout California.