Our entire editorial team is beaming with pride after being acknowledged by our peers with 10 awards in the California News Publishers Association's 2021 California Journalism Awards program.
Our recognitions, between first and fifth places in print and digital categories in our circulation divisions, came for single stories or series that truly represented the range of great local coverage we strive to focus on.
These awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our journalists to doggedly report -- with accuracy, context and perspective -- local news from across the Tri-Valley among our Pleasanton Weekly, LivermoreVine.com and DanvilleSanRamon.com publications.
Topping our list, the Weekly took home two first-place awards from the CNPA: Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Arts & Entertainment Coverage (both in the Digital Division).
Publisher Gina Channell Wilcox won for her story "Weekend on Main: Boon for restaurants and residents, bane for some retailers," which examined the impact of downtown Pleasanton's Weekend on Main street closures on the community in 2021.
As one CNPA judge wrote after awarding Wilcox first place: "Good pro and con on arguments for helping restaurants during COVID-19 by reducing parking and the impacts on other businesses of so doing."
Dolores Fox Ciardelli, our former Tri-Valley Life editor who retired in February, was honored with the top prize in A&E for her feature story "Becoming Bob Ross," which highlighted Pleasanton native and actor Bryan Mazzarello's experience transforming into late artist Bob Ross for a national commercial campaign for Mountain Dew.
We were thrilled to see Ciardelli recognized so well in her final CNPA contest on our staff. She also earned third place in Feature Story (Print) for her cover story "California rugged" on the Diablo Range and fifth place in Columns (Digital) for her Valley Views columns, specifically "One year later" from March 2021 and "Moi? In a fight?" from that November.
"Dolores is authentic and hits on what people are thinking," a CNPA judge commented about her columns. Really, that can be said of everything Ciardelli wrote for us over the years.
Our commitment to timely reporting online resulted in two awards for Breaking News (Digital) -- second place for editor Jeremy Walsh's article on March 24, 2021, "Dublin USD Trustee Catherine Kuo killed in car crash on campus," and third place for former reporter Julia Baum's story on July 29, 2021, "Pleasanton community steps up to support missing runner's family," following an exclusive interview with Philip Kreycik's family.
Our high-quality reporting of the Livermore community in 2021 led to three awards for our Livermore Vine editor Cierra Bailey: third place in both Coverage of Local Government (Digital) and Land-Use Reporting (Digital) for her series on the Eden Housing saga in downtown Livermore (lead story) and fourth place Coverage of Business News (Print) for her profile on Wingen Bakery.
And to round out our honors, Walsh earned a fourth-place award for Columns (Digital) for his What a Week columns, which launched just last year. Specifically, the nomination entry featured two personal pieces, "Anniversary debut for editor's new column" in January 2021 and "Becoming a dad" in December.
In the CNPA contest, we competed in the Weeklies 11,000-25,000 circulation category for the Print Division and Monthly unique visitors 100,000 and under category for the Digital Division.
These awards underscore the fact that 2021 was another standout year for us in the Embarcadero Media East Bay Division -- and we too must give shoutouts to our design, advertising and administrative colleagues, as well as our readers and supporters, without whom we could not produce our local journalism.
We look forward to continuing that record of strong coverage throughout 2022 and beyond.