'Journalism matters more than ever'
Stars laud journalists — many of them from Pasadena — at LA Press Club gala
By Joe Piasecki 07/01/2010
Appearances by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor Sean Penn and CNN’s Anderson Cooper brought celebrity flair to the Los Angeles Press Club’s 52nd annual Southern California Journalism Awards Sunday night at downtown LA’s historic Biltmore Hotel, but the real stars of the evening were local journalists.
“Journalism matters more than ever,” said Cooper, who before returning to report from the Gulf Coast oil spill was presented with the club’s President’s Award by Penn, himself direct from relief efforts in Haiti.
“In this day and age,” Cooper told the Weekly, “it’s crucially important that we keep telling stories — going out there, seeing things for ourselves and telling others about it.”
Local news outlets enjoyed much time in the spotlight, with the Pasadena Weekly taking home three first-place, two runner-up and one honorable mention awards. KPCC 89.3-FM nearly cleaned house in the radio category, taking home six first-place awards, including Anchor of the Year, won by Alex Cohen, and Radio Journalist of the Year, won by Molly Peterson.
For the Weekly, Chip Jacobs’ in-depth profile of convicted smog-credit swindler Ann Sholtz was named best Personality Profile, and Editor Kevin Uhrich’s defense of the endangered art of editorial cartooning came out on top in Entertainment/Arts Criticism, both among papers with circulations up to 50,000.
A story by Contributing Editor Joe Piasecki about local seniors becoming victims of predatory mortgage lending took first place for Consumer Journalism. More importantly, it also helped save an Altadena woman’s home by attracting the attention of Congressman Adam Schiff and others to her plight.
André Coleman’s reporting on the fatal officer-involved shooting in Pasadena of Leroy Barnes received second place in the hard news category, led by former Pasadena Star-News reporter Alfred Lee.
In the Investigative Reporting category, Tina Dupuy’s story about a women’s health clinic run by a Christian group that counseled women against having abortions took second place, and Deputy Editor Jake Armstrong’s story about African Americans being three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana-related offenses than whites won an honorable mention.
For more on the evening’s honors, visit lapressclub.org.