Friday, February 17, 2006

SPJ NorCal to present 14 awards

The Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California chapter will present 14 awards this year including a career achievement award to the small-town publisher who took on the Synanon cult in the 1970s. Winners will be honored at a March 16 banquet in San Francisco emceed by KPIX-TV anchor Ken Bastida and Michael Krasny, host of KQED’s “Forum." Go to the SPJ NorCal site for details. Honorees include:
  • David Mitchell of the Point Reyes Light, whose battle with the Synanon cult resulted in the common law protections reporters enjoy to protect sources;

  • Paul Grabowicz, who directs the New Media Program at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism;

  • the Center for Investigative Reporting;

  • cartoonist Mark Fiore;

  • Chronicle reporter Vanessa Hua, whose reporting about the misuse of state election funds led to the resignation of California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley’s doorstep;

  • the Chronicle's Tanya Schevitz and Todd Wallack, whose reporting uncovered irregularities in the UC system's hiring and compensation practices;

  • Barry Witt of the Mercury News, who uncovered a secret deal involving San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, City Manager Del Bergsdorf and a local garbage hauler;

  • Dion Nissenbaum of the Mercury News, who discovered that the California National Guard was tracking protesters at an anti-war rally;

  • Peter Scheer, the executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition, who aggressively developed strategies to define and expand the scope of Proposition 59, California's landmark open-government initiative, which Scheer helped bring before the voters.

  • Marin Independent Journal, for a powerful series by reporter Keri Brenner explaining how Marin County's generous retirement system works.

  • KGO-TV, whose Dan Noyes, Beth Rimbey, Ken Miguel and the station's investigative unit uncovered serious problems with San Francisco’s emergency disaster plan and revealed that Oakland school officials traveled to a retreat at an exclusive resort while the district was in a financial crisis.

  • CNET, which helped make the question of whether bloggers should be viewed as journalists a national political issue.

  • Benicia council member Elizabeth Patterson and Dr. Tom Campbell, a former councilmember, who helped create a Sunshine Committee that has grown into a movement for open government.

  • Alameda Newspaper Group, The Argus, reporter Barry Shatzman, attorney Duffy Carolan, for setting an example of how the media should act in the face of government secrecy.

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