The California News Publishers Association (CNPA) honored the work of Metro Silicon Valley, San Jose Inside’s parent company, with six journalism awards in its circulation category—including two first-place wins for Investigative Reporting and Arts & Entertainment Coverage.
Managing Editor Nick Veronin led staff to the top prize with a variety of A&E stories for the second straight year.
News Editor Jennifer Wadsworth’s reporting on mismanagement at the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County (known as 4Cs) took the top prize for Investigative Reporting. She was also named finalist in the same category for her piece about how the owners of a drug rehab accused of slave labor managed to open a new facility despite the allegations.
Wadsworth also received second place in Business News and shared a third place prize for Public Service Journalism with Metro’s former Managing Editor Josh Koehn and Metro Executive Editor Dan Pulcrano for a series of stories on how South Bay agencies failed to prepare for and failed to adequately respond to the 2017 flood, which displaced thousands of households.
Freelance reporter Tori Truscheit received a second place award in Writing for her story on how Silicon Valley’s tech elite plan to outlive the rest of us.
Metro’s sister papers—Santa Cruz Good Times, North Bay Bohemian, Morgan Hill Times and Hollister Free Lance—also received awards for their writing and reporting.
Below is a list of the winners, with hyperlinks to the pieces. Quoted comments are from CNPA Better Newspaper Contest judges.
First Place, Investigative Reporting
Series of stories on dysfunction at 4Cs by Jennifer Wadsworth | Metro Silicon Valley
“Nice series of stories exposing the wrongdoing by a taxpayer funded non-profit. Great quotes & use of public records (and one not so public record that unexpectedly became public). The story may even have helped retired employees receive their pensions that appear to have been wrongly withheld…something that may not have happened or come to light for some time without this writer’s & news organization’s persistence. Great job.”
First Place, Arts & Entertainment Coverage
Metro Silicon Valley | Nick Veronin, Arts Editor
First Place, Editorial Comment
San Benito County Leaders Silent on Dabo by Barry Holtzclaw | Hollister Free Lance
First Place, Enterprise News Story or Series
Funds Missing from Charitable Trust by Barry Holtzclaw | Hollister Free Lance
“Well done. Reporting & writing are top-notch. Way to stay with this story.“
Second Place, Writing
Brotopia: How Silicon Valley’s Tech Elite Plan to Outlive the Rest of Us by Tori Truscheit | Metro Silicon Valley
“A fascinating look at another side of the tech elite. Great detail & depth in its storytelling.”
Second Place, Business News
South Bay Pizzeria Slices Up Ownership by Jennifer Wadsworth | Metro Silicon Valley
“Thorough exposition of co-ops; beginning and end of story tied to human interest story; interesting, good writing; good photos.”
Second Place, Enterprise News Story or Series
Santa Cruz’s Restaurant Crisis by Lily Stoicheff | Santa Cruz Good Times
“A well-written, well-researched & well-sourced enterprise story on an issue many California communities are facing. Very informative.“
Second Place, Profile Story
Maestro on a Mission by Steve Palopoli | Santa Cruz Good Times
Third Place, Public Service Journalism Series
Floodgate: How the Water District and City’s Comedy of Errors Became a Local Tragedy
Emergency Warnings Failed to Reach Many Recipients
Water District Limited Release of info Four Days Before San Jose Flood
San Jose flood victims plead for help; city admits many mistakes
Low-Tech Pumps Might Have Prevented San Jose Flood
By Jennifer Wadsworth, Dan Pulcrano and Josh Koehn | Metro Silicon Valley
Third Place, Coverage of Local Government
Can SC Build its Way Out of a Housing Crisis? by Jacob Pierce| Santa Cruz Good Times
Third Place, Coverage of Local Government
SC Cuts Women’s Self-Defense Classes by Georgia Johnson| Santa Cruz Good Times
Finalist, Investigative Reporting
Rehab Owners Who Lost License Amid Shocking Allegations Deny Charges, Get Back to Business by Jennifer Wadsworth | Metro Silicon Valley
“Lots of great quotes, easy to follow, good use of public records to dig out the story. I would have liked to have seen some follow-up contact with those people & organizations who had praised the subject of the story (Franko) in written letters, such as the Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. But this is an example of a very good writer and/or editor who knows how to organize & tell a story.”
Finalist, Editorial Comment
Dabo Departure is Long Overdue by Barry Holtzclaw | Hollister Free Lance
Finalist, Coverage of Youth and Education
Students Giddy Over Goats by Scott Forstner | Morgan Hill Times
Were there any awards for best political and social commentary by an anonymous blogger?