inewsource journalists were honored with 19 awards Tuesday night from the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, including for the America’s Wall project and a series on a long-ignored government transparency law.
The Distinguished Coverage Award, one of the top honors of the evening, went to the staffs of inewsource and KPBS for their collaboration on “America’s Wall: Decades-long struggle to secure U.S.-Mexico border.”
The project examined the existing barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border and included an interactive map created by inewsource using previously undisclosed data from the federal government. The map shows every mile of the current wall and how its construction affected immigration patterns and law enforcement staffing along the border from California to Texas.
Judges said about the in-depth reporting project: “This is why we do journalism. Beyond world-class.”
The inewsource and KPBS staffs also received the daily enterprise/investigative story award for America’s Wall. Other inewsource honors for the project:
- First place, digital data/visualization — Brandon Quester, Leonardo Castañeda and Jim Tinsky.
- First place, photo essay, Brandon Quester.
- Second place, digital multimedia presentation, Brandon Quester, Leonardo Castañeda and Jim Tinsky.
One of the contest’s other top honors, the First Amendment Award, went to inewsource’s Brad Racino for his investigative series about a long-ignored local transparency law known as Section 225, which requires contractors doing business with the city of San Diego to disclose their identities.
The judges called Racino’s stories “impressive work.”
“Not only is the reporting exceptional, but the writing is done in such a way that it was an interesting read,” the judges said.
The Section 225 investigation also earned Racino first place in daily political/government reporting for “Fix to San Diego’s long-ignored transparency law to go on November 2018 ballot.”
inewsource reporters also earned each of the top three places for daily education reporting and daily investigative/enterprise reporting.
Here’s a list of inewsource’s other awards:
- Second place, daily education reporting, “Christian college can’t explain $20 million in expenses; agency cites very sketchy budget”
- Second place, daily investigative/enterprise reporting, “Christian college can’t explain $20 million in expenses; agency cites very sketchy budget”
Megan Wood and Mandy McLaren of Investigative Reporting Workshop
- First place, daily education reporting, “Trauma and transitions: How San Diego schools grapple with educating refugees”
- First place, daily news feature, “Trauma and transitions: How San Diego schools grapple with educating refugees”
Megan Wood and freelance reporter Joanne Faryon
- First place, video feature, “Research uses music to reach people with traumatic brain injuries”
Brad Racino and Brandon Quester
- First place, daily environment reporting, “Methane found at multimillion-dollar Escaya housing project in Otay Ranch”
- Third place, daily investigative/enterprise reporting — single subject, “Data, teachers allegations undermine Gompers college-ready promise”
Leonardo Castañeda, Brandon Quester and former inewsource reporter Joe Yerardi
- Third place, daily housing/development reporting, “Special property tax lacks robust oversight, accountability”
Leonardo Castañeda, Brandon Quester, Jim Tinsky and former inewsource reporter Joe Yerardi
- Second place, digital data/visualization, “Mello-Roos: The Tax You Choose”
- Second place, audio investigative/enterprise — single story, “Special property tax lacks robust oversight, accountability”
- Third place, daily education reporting, “Ex-San Ysidro school superintendent’s compensation makes him highest paid in county, second highest in state”
- Third place, daily reporting series, “San Ysidro School District”
The contest’s judges were members of the Society of Professional Journalists in Colorado. For a complete list of the SPJ contest winners, click here.
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