Metro Silicon Valley Receives 10 Journalism Awards from CNPA

Brace yourself. We’re about to do a little navel gazing.

On Saturday, the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) honored the work of Metro Silicon Valley, San Jose Inside’s parent company, with 10 journalism awards—including three first-place awards for Investigative Reporting, Arts & Entertainment Coverage and Front Page Design.

Staff writer Jennifer Wadsworth’s story on the Santa Clara County bail industry, which broke the news that bail bond companies had sidestepped millions in unpaid fees, took the prize for Investigative Reporting.

Judges called the piece a “powerful indictment of a corrupt and dysfunctional bail bonds system. Deep, careful reporting and clear writing make this one of the top entries in a hyper-competitive category.”

Wadsworth also received second place in the categories of Best Writing and Enterprise Reporting, as well as an honorable mention award for her Environmental Reporting.

Nick Veronin, who oversees Metro’s arts and entertainment coverage, led staff to the top prize with a variety of A&E stories, including a piece on the Radius Clause, a little-known contractual detail that prevents many of the best musicians and performers from coming to the South Bay.

Kara Brown, Metro’s art director, oversaw front-page designs that received three awards. Freelance photographer Greg Ramar also received an honorable mention for his work covering the violent Donald Trump rally in San Jose.

“I’m very pleased to see our journalists’ work recognized as some of the best in the state—particularly in some key categories—and the efforts of our talented visual journalists noted as well,” Metro executive editor Dan Pulcrano said.

Metro’s sister publications—Good Times, North Bay Bohemian and Pacific Sun—also received awards for their writing and reporting, including coverage of Napa’s wine industry and the Loma Fire. The Hollister Free Lance, a community weekly owned by Metro’s publications, also received recognition.

Below is a list of the winners, with hyperlinks to the pieces. Quoted comments are from CNPA judges. 

First Place, Investigative Reporting

Skipping Out on Bail by Jennifer Wadsworth | Metro Silicon Valley

“Powerful indictment of a corrupt and dysfunctional bail bonds system. Deep, careful reporting and clear writing make this one of the top entries in a hyper-competitive category.”

First Place, Arts & Entertainment Coverage

Metro Silicon Valley | Nick Veronin, Arts Editor

May 4 and May 11, 2016

The May 4 issue featured a story on concert promoters’ radius clauses, and May 11 had features by Richard von Busack, Tad Malone and John Flynn.

“These issues impressed me with their design, energy and variety of stories. The 60-mile rule was a good investment of time and effort as it likely answered questions that have been on many readers’ minds. I also like the look and feel of the weekly calendar. The publication is still hip and appeals to all ages. It’s like reading a national magazine with events that are in your backyard. No. 1, it’s a fun read.”

First Place, Front Page Tabloid

Metro Silicon Valley | Kara Brown, Design Director

July 6, Sept. 6 and Nov. 9, 2016

“Very clean, informative and eye-catching designs. And the inclusion of teasers gives readers a good variety of news coverage.”

First Place, Environmental Reporting

Of Water and Wine by Stett Holbrook | North Bay Bohemian

“Superb reporting and discussion. Nice bringing in people and history, conflicts of ag and business and environment. Complex, hugely timely, and applicable to much of CA. Thank you.”

First Place, Writing

Condemned Men Talking by Tom Gogola | North Bay Bohemian

“Well written with such descriptive words one can hear and see the prison doors opening and slamming shut.”

First Place, Sports Feature Story

Life Renewed for Hughes-Fudge by Emanuel Lee | Hollister Free Lance

Second Place, Enterprise News Story or Series

So You Think You Can Help by Jennifer Wadsworth | Metro Silicon Valley

“Lots of information from multiple sources with different views about how to solve the problem of homelessness. Deep interviews. Interviews with homeless people in addition to activists. The lede anecdote was a great example of tension between competing views. A wonderfully balanced look at what can happen when a community tries to help, causing another set of problems.“

Second Place, Writing

Stuck Lovers by Jennifer Wadsworth | Metro Silicon Valley

”Interesting issue told well through the experiences of those who have struggled.”

Second Place, Illustration

We Will Survive by Fred Harper | Metro Silicon Valley

Second Place, Photo Illustration

Car and Driverless | Metro Silicon Valley | Kara Brown

“This illustration perfectly captures what the story purports (based on the headline) to address. The man and woman seem to be having fun while drinking their libations of choice, which might actually be a possibility with an autonomous vehicle. I like that the car is fancy — it gives the reader these cars are expensive, which they definitely will be until they become mainstream.”

Second Place, Profile Feature Story

Notes From the End of the World by Steve Palopoli | Good Times

When Bonny Doon’s Henry Kaiser isn’t diving in subzero temperatures in Antarctica, he’s playing on the edge as one of music’s most acclaimed experimental guitarists

Second Place, Coverage of Local Government

Crude Awakening” by Will Parrish | North Bay Bohemian

A look at the effect of tar sands refining on Bay Area air quality. “The longest single article in this category, the most informative, and the best writing,” judges wrote.

Honorable Mention, Arts & Entertainment Coverage

Under the Prairie Sun by Charlie Swanson | North Bay Bohemian

“I was fascinated with the history about the chicken ranch turning into a recording studio.”

Honorable Mention, Environmental Reporting

Glocal Warming | Jennifer Wadsworth | Metro Silicon Valley

Honorable Mention, Non-Profile Feature Story

BYOB: Build Your Own Baby | Nick Veronin | Metro Silicon Valley

Honorable Mention, News Photo

Coming Out | Greg Ramar | Metro Silicon Valley

“A great capture of the Trump supporter’s defiant face that contrasts with her hecklers. The photo definitely captures the tension of that protest.”

Honorable Mention, Environmental Reporting: Drought/Fire

What The Blaze Is by Kara Guzman | Good Times

“Good Times Santa Cruz takes California’s wildfire-prone landscape and narrows in locally. A good breadth of information, from historical context, including how the landscape was once managed vs now, how fire patterns have changed with the introduction of invasive species, and good use of creative language make it a read.”

Honorable Mention, Environmental Reporting

Beef of burden by Tom Gogola | Pacific Sun

“Really nice story that is able to keep the ambiguity in the different positions in perspective without taking sides. Difficult job to do when lawsuits are involved.”

Honorable Mention, Arts & Entertainment Coverage

Out of darkness by David Templeton | Pacific Sun

“An engaging story about an ex-inmate who got his chance on stage.”

Honorable Mention, Sports Feature Photo

Women’s U.S. Open by Nick Lovejoy | Hollister Free Lance

6 Comments

    • ‘Fraid not. With that innate talent for tirelessly projecting statist propaganda I’m sure TASS will snap her up.

  1. > Honorable Mention, Environmental Reporting

    > Glocal Warming | Jennifer Wadsworth | Metro Silicon Valley

    Jennifer:

    I thought my blog postings critiquing your article on Glocal Warming were brilliant.

    Did I get an award from the CNPA?

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