Metro Newspapers Win 20 Statewide CNPA Awards

For the third consecutive year, San Jose Inside’s parent publication Metro Silicon Valley won top honors for investigative reporting and arts and entertainment coverage in the Better Newspapers Contest of the California News Publishers Association.

Metro also won first-place for a publication its size in the categories of Public Service Journalism and In-Depth Reporting. Awards were announced Saturday at the CNPA’s annual gala held this year in Long Beach.

All told, Metro’s family of newspapers came away with 20 awards, including first place in General Excellence for the Gilroy Dispatch and third for the Santa Cruz Good Times.

“It takes a lot of teamwork to pull off great journalism,” Metro Executive Editor Dan Pulcrano said. “Everyone at the company contributes to the success. At a time when journalism is under attack, economically and politically, I’m very proud that our team is being recognized for producing some of the best journalism in the state.”

Links to winning submissions along with awards and judges’ comments in some of the categories are listed below.

Public Service Journalism — 1st Place
Metro Silicon Valley    
Dominic Caserta Sexual Harassment Exposed 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Judge’s Comments: A great example of a newspaper not waiting around for government types to get rid bad actors. Bad news teacher meant big news for this winner.

In-Depth Reporting — 1st Place
Metro Silicon Valley    
CEQA Racket Extracts 11th Hour Payoffs Amidst Housing Crisis 
Jennifer Wadsworth, Dan Pulcrano, Tom Gogola
Judge’s Comments: CEQA is a dry, complex topic that most reporters want nothing to with. Through its digging, extensive reporting and clear but passionate writing, Metro Silicon Valley produced first-rate work.

Investigative Reporting — 1st Place
Metro Silicon Valley    
Racist, Sexist, Homophobic Texts Between Sheriff's Deputies Force Resignation of Deputy Sheriffs’ Association President 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Judge’s Comments: News Editor Jennifer Wadsworth's coverage of the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department stands apart with its deep reporting, thoroughness and effective use of the text messages at the heart of this scandal.

Arts & Entertainment Coverage — 1st Place
Metro Silicon Valley   
Nick Veronin
Judge’s Comments: The Metro tab is vibrant. It has a solid foundation. The typography is bold. The use of color is restrained, but pops. The calendar spread is inviting.

Investigative Reporting — 3rd Place
Metro Silicon Valley    
Public Agencies’ Secret Sexual Harassment Settlements Cost South Bay Taxpayers Millions” 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Judge’s Comments: Jennifer Wadsworth can write and she can dig, dig, dig.

Coverage of Business News — 5th Place
Metro Silicon Valley    
“CEQA Racket Extracts 11th Hour Payoffs Amidst Housing Crisis” 
Jennifer Wadsworth, Dan Pulcrano, Tom Gogola
General Excellence — 1st Place
Gilroy Dispatch 
9/7/2018 & 9/14/2018
Dan Pulcrano, Barry Holtzclaw
Judge’s Comments: Solid writing and very newsy stories. I like the way they approach some governmental coverage with real people and not a recitation of events. There is nice ad support. The sports stories and photos were engaging and a real bright spot. Very nice work on the 150th anniversary section! South Valley section is beautifully designed, shot and features are written well.

Editor’s Note: Although only two team members were recognized, it’s clear from the judges’ comments and submissions that the contributions of former magazine editor Debra Eskinazi, sports editor Emanuel Lee and designer Kathy Manlapaz factored in the win. Scott Forstner, Michael Moore and Jacqueline McCool also had bylines in the submitted issues.
Profile Story — 2nd Place
Pacific Sun    
One Foot on ther Gas — Sammy Hagar
Dan Pulcrano

In-Depth Reporting — 2nd Place
Gilroy Dispatch    
Man dies in struggle with Gilroy police” 
Michael Moore
Judge’s Comments: Dispatch does a good job of staying on top of a story critical to its community.

Sports Feature Story — 2nd Place
Good Times
“There’s A Kick To It”
Lauren Hepler
Judge’s Comments: This story is as much about the launching of a semipro soccer team as it is about the man behind it. The writer presents a well-rounded portrait of Roberto Casteneda and how his personal experience shaped his motivations for wanting to help others. It also brings awareness to the challenges of Latino youth in the area. The occasional flare of creative writing is a nice touch —“navigating a Jenga tower of tenuous relationships” ... “the constellation of under-the-radar clubs”
General Excellence — 3rd Place
Good Times 
9/5/2018 9/12/2018 
Times Staff

Feature Story — 3rd Place
Good Times    
“A Tangled Future”
Lauren Hepler
Judge’s Comments: This was an issues story done right: a lengthy dive (no pun intended) on the issue of whale entrapment rescuing on the Monterey Bay. The reporter does a good job anticipating what the reader is thinking; multiple times a certain passage would lead me to mentally pose a question, then I’d find the next passage would promptly detail and answer it. There are many, many factors at play in this story: climate change, human/whale interaction, shrinking federal conservation funding; Lauren Hepler does an admirable job weaving the topics together for an informative read.

Front Page Layout & Design — 3rd Place
Good Times
Tabi Zarrinnaal
Judge’s Comments: Great photography and illustrations with fun, tone-matched typography that isn’t over the top. Very attractive work.
Writing — 4th Place
Good Times    
“Santa Cruz Goes Dark”
Steve Palopoli
Judge’s Comments: Delicious intro, one of the most colorful in this category, that was well-suited for the subject of the story before shifting to a more traditional tone.

Agricultural Reporting — 4th Place
Good Times    
“In Harm’s Spray”
Georgia Johnson
Judge’s Comments: Good writing, strong local appeal

Coverage of Business News — 4th Place
North Bay Bohemian    
“The Fate of Chanate”
Peter Byrne
Judge’s Comments: Great balance of news, backstory and personalized, gripping details.

Arts & Entertainment Coverage — 4th Place
Good Times    
Steve Palopoli, Georgia Johnson, Tabi Zarrinnaal
Judge’s Comments: The calendar listings are easy to navigate, but the use of color on the cover packages is over the top.

Sports Feature Story — 4th Place
Hollister Free Lance
“AKA, The House of Champions” 
Emanuel Lee
Profile Story — 5th Place
Good Times    
“Now You Are Free”
Steve Palopoli


  1. Congratulations, Metro Silicon Valley! And a special congrats to you, Jenn, keep on dig, dig digging!

  2. CONGRATS TO ALL. I was banned from San Jose Mercury Newx for expressing my Feminist and Christian views and for equally reporting Dems and Reps corrupted officials. SJI has clearly a greater understanding than facebook, tweeter…, of what freedom of speech means and respecting the constitution. I am pro allowing all the insine to share their views but with a warning such us: Trump (extremist racist and sexies), Omar (extremist anti-Semite) Louis Farrakhan (extremist religious and anti-Semite)…white supremacist…LICCARDO (incompetent mayor and Google’s puppet), and last but not least JEFF ROSEN (corrupted SANTA CLARA COUNTY DA).

    • > I was banned from San Jose Mercury Newx for expressing my Feminist and Christian views . . . .

      I don’t get it. How can a “Feminist” also be a “Christian”?

      Christianity was originated by a person of notorious toxic masculinity, who surrounded himself notoriously with a claque of toxic male “Apostles”.

      What has Christianity ever done for Feminists? And vice versa,

      • Bubble, that is the ignorant view of those with the false impression of Feminists. Being a feminist is believing and working to ensure women have the same opprtunities for advancement that men have, having awareness of the historical opression women have endured by the mere fact of being born with a vigina not a penis. Jesus was the first and most influential person to empower women by making both men and women accountable to live by the same standards. For example before Jesus men could have all the wives they wanted and only women were stone to death when engageging in adultery. Jesus made it clear that the law applies equally to men and women to every creature of the earth. The first feminist of the American continent was a highly religious woman, Sor Juana Inez De la Cruz. We also love pink and in my case are attracted to handsome males. Thus the belief the all feminists are lesbians is also a fallacy. We come in all shapes, forms, and social conditions. Every woman must be free to choose the life that makes that woman happy not have the life societies dictate for them.

        • > Bubble, that is the ignorant view of those with the false impression of Feminists.

          I suspect that your view of Feminists is “ignorant” and “false”.

          The first “Feminists” were nihilistic atheists and/or non-Christians. “Feminism” is just a specific category of “collectivism”, dreamed up by collectivists.

          Christianity is founded on the idea of “free will”. “Sin” is the faulty exercise of “free will”, and INDIVIDUALS — not collectives — are responsible for the exercise of their free will.

          Are you expecting to achieve your eternal salvation by belonging to the “correct” collective, or do you think you will have to exhibit some personal, individual virtue?

          Christians who think of themselves as “Feminists” simply don’t understand what they are being asked to believe AND not believe.

          Anyone who begins a conversation by saying, in effect, “let’s talk about MY gender”, is likely not a practitioner of the “Golden Rule”.

          We need to talk about YOUR gender because it is better than other genders. Correct?

          Should we call this “gender supremacism”?

          • No gender is better than other; that is the main point. It is the patriarchy systemic doctrine the continues to teach people that males have higher level of intelligence and abilities by the simple “virture” of being born with a penis not a vagina. This thinking has deprived women of equal opportunity and advancement.

          • In Christianity, free will means God did not make us robots that he can just simply program to be and do as he wanted to. He could do that, but he did not want too. Instead, he made us morally and emotionally fragile individuals. Thus, he made us free to choose the path we want to walk in this life. Only one path goes to his; there is no greater intelligence than his. God made his son Jesus a human with the same fragilities and needs of any mortal. He did this to show us we can too live up to his standards and laws. Fake Christians engaged in judging others more than teaching his word. I chose to teach instead of judging. I am myself a sinner. If I engage in judging others instead of teaching his word, I may fall in my own trap. For the lord may forgive those I judge, but not me. For this, I will focus on my own salvation and let others to do the same. I teach others the path to him and salvation; I cannot force others to do as I do. That is free will; the right to choose to be a Jesus’ follower or not. I am and will be until the end.

        • > No gender is better than other; that is the main point. It is the patriarchy systemic doctrine the continues to teach people that males have higher level of intelligence and abilities by the simple “virture” of being born with a penis not a vagina. This thinking has deprived women of equal opportunity and advancement.

          Total contradiction.

          Black is white.

          Square is round.

          “No gender is better”, but “feminists” are good and “patriarchs” are bad.

          Are there any female patriarchs?

          Are there any patriarchal feminists?

          What are you talking about anyway? Are you listening?

          • I have a very effective approach to identify extremist right and left thinking. The extreme right of the political spectrum has a hard time understanding how someone can be Christian and a feminist? The extreme left has a hard time understanding how a feminist can be a Christian. There are also even some feminists who have a hard time understanding a feminist can be pro-life. I am not going to attemp to teach them what it is beyond their ability to learn! What they expect from others is what they are unable to reciprocate. The oppressed can simultaneously be the oppressors! I am a Christian, a Feminist, pro-life, do not smoke, not drink, have never used any substances, a single sexual partner in a life-time, enjoy sex, and believe in sexual education and equality. SO WHAT?

        • >Feminist . . .

          > “No gender is better than other; . . . ”

          “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

          — Lewis Carroll

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *