San Jose Inside/Metro Silicon Valley won two awards in the regional Excellence in Journalism contest, including one in the category of “Best Scoop” in which this publication was judged against all participating Northern California media outlets.
In that category, the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named Metro News Editor Jennifer Wadsworth was recognized for shedding light on years of sexual harassment claims against then-Santa Clara councilman and Santa Clara County supervisor candidate Dominic Caserta.
Our submissions included the initial column Metro ran about Caserta, a 20-year high school teacher, walking around in a just bath towel in front of young campaign volunteers and former students; a follow-up about his longstanding pattern of misconduct; and others detailing his lost endorsements, a police investigation and his resignation.
Wadsworth also won the “Investigative Reporting” category for small print and online publications for our coverage of a hate speech texting scandal involving the head of the Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, Don Morrissey.
Entries we submitted to that category included an initial deep-dive into newly unearthed text messages and revelations about the extent of Morrissey’s participation in the vile text threads; articles about his ouster from the state’s largest law enforcement association; the fallout and lost endorsements for Morrissey’s political ally; and, finally, his resignation.
This marks the second time this year Metro’s work has been honored by the SPJ NorCal Chapter, which in April awarded Wadsworth a James Madison Freedom of Information Award for using public records to expose wrongdoing by a Milpitas city manager, who was also forced to resign.