inewsource earns top honors from San Diego Press Club
inewsource reporters Brandon Quester (left) and Brad Racino. (Megan Wood/inewsource)

inewsource earns top honors from San Diego Press Club

inewsource’s investigation into Gompers Preparatory Academy and whether it is fulfilling its mission to prepare all of its students for college earned a Best of Show award this week from the San Diego Press Club.

The award for the Best Online/Daily Newspapers Entry went to reporters Brad Racino and Brandon Quester for “Data, teachers’ allegations undermine Gompers’ college-ready promise.” The story, published in May, also earned the reporters a first-place investigative reporting award for online and daily newspapers.

The inewsource investigation found through data, documents and interviews that test scores for the popular charter school in southeastern San Diego are among the lowest in San Diego County and California. The story sparked outrage, pushback and discussion among the school’s teachers, administrators, students and parents, as well as its financial supporters and affiliated academics. inewsource has continued to cover the debate, including this week’s rollout of six additional stories and a feature-length podcast.

The San Diego Press Club also honored inewsource reporter Leonardo Castañeda with two first-place awards for his coverage of how the national opioid crisis is affecting San Diego. The story, “How opioid devastation caught San Diego County communities unaware,” used data and interviews to show who is dying and how opioid addiction has changed in recent years.

Castañeda’s wins were in the health and medicine category for online and daily newspapers, and for a series on radio.

He produced the story while participating in the California Health Journalism Fellowship, a program of the Center for Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Castañeda also received a first-place real estate award for online and daily newspapers for his coverage of Mello-Roos property taxes. His story, “Special property tax lacks robust oversight, accountability,” included a searchable map that allows property owners to see how much they pay in Mello-Roos taxes and how that compares with their neighbors’ tax bills.

Racino also received a third-place award for online and daily newspapers for his feature story, “In the Shadow of Seaport.”

For a list of all of the award winners, click here.

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