The Almanac honored in California journalism competition | May 28, 2021 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - May 28, 2021

The Almanac honored in California journalism competition

by Almanac staff

The Almanac was honored with nine awards for its newspaper and website, including fifth place for general excellence among weekly newspapers, in the annual California Journalism Awards competition.

Reporter Kate Bradshaw won first place for local coverage of election 2020 for her reporting on the candidates in the state Senate race and their positions on key issues. "Conversational and easy to read. I feel like I know a lot about each candidate after reading it," wrote one of the judges.

Chief Visual Journalist Magali Gauthier won first place in the feature photo competition with an artfully framed shot from the story "Marco makes his mark," about a 4-year-old Tibetan spaniel from Menlo Park that hit the big time with a showing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. "Nice composition and framing with the door. Interesting subject matter with great moment of interaction," commented a judge.

The story "Delivering a fond farewell: Portola Valley residents celebrate 'beloved' UPS driver on his last day," by Assistant Editor Julia Brown took second place for feature stories. "Can't recall seeing another story recently about a UPS delivery guy who seems to have endeared himself to his community after making deliveries in the area ever since 1984. Gets an extra point for finding the unusual and special in what would seem to be the ordinary," a judge wrote.

Gauthier's photography took third place for a "subtle yet telling moment of the isolation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic" for one of her images accompanying the story "Mixed feelings as students return to campus," which chronicled Oak Knoll Elementary's first day back in school amid unfamiliar protocols to prevent COVID-19's spread.

She also took third place among all weekly newspapers ("stiff competition," noted a judge) in the protests and racial justice category for a photo that ran with the story "Black Lives Matter rally targets Amazon, Facebook in calls for racial justice" and fourth place in the digital division category for photo coverage of protests.

Gauthier and Bradshaw shared credit for their story "Behind the lines of the CZU August Lightning fires," riding along with a local restauranteur to deliver meals to firefighters and holdout residents. They were awarded third place in a category open to all weekly publications in the state, regardless of size. "Covering wildfires, access is key. Many residents rely on local papers to find out how their area is faring, and this story delivers, showing and telling readers what it's like behind the fire lines," a judge wrote.

Former Almanac Editor Renee Batti was awarded fifth place for editorial writing with her take on the Atherton City Council's complaints that the town wasn't getting its money's worth from the local fire protection district. "The notion that Atherton taxpayers, who own some of the highest-valued property in the entire country, are somehow being abused by having to bear a higher proportion of the cost for emergency services in the wider community is absurd," she wrote.

The Almanac's sister publications also earned significant recognition, including second place in general excellence for the Palo Alto Weekly, third place general excellence for the Mountain View Voice and fourth place general excellence for the Pleasanton Weekly, among numerous other categories. The Six Fifty, a lifestyle website geared for millennial readers, garnered three awards.

Overall, this year's journalism contest, put on by the California Newspaper Publishers Association, received more than 3,000 entries from print, digital and campus publications, an increase over the prior year's total.

The Almanac competed with other weekly newspapers in the 11,001-25,000 circulation category and in the digital division among news websites drawing between 100,001-400,000 monthly unique visitors.

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