(Megan Wood/inewsource)
A collection of inewsource awards from the 2018 SPJ journalism contest. (Megan Wood/inewsource)

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.

The 2018 Distinguished Coverage Award, shared by inewsource and KPBS for their collaboration on the America’s Wall project. (Megan Wood/inewsource)

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:

Megan Wood

Megan Wood and Mandy McLaren of Investigative Reporting Workshop

Megan Wood and freelance reporter Joanne Faryon

Brad Racino and Brandon Quester

Leonardo Castañeda, Brandon Quester and former inewsource reporter Joe Yerardi

Leonardo Castañeda, Brandon Quester, Jim Tinsky and former inewsource reporter Joe Yerardi

Leonardo Castañeda

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.

  • We’ll do the work. You just read it.
    Sign up for our newsletter.


We’ll let you know when big things happen.

Shyla Nott was the digital content manager at inewsource. While at her role, she ran the website, social media accounts, and curated The Weekender newsletter. She came to inewsource by way of the Midwest where she was the producer for All Sides with Ann Fisher, a daily live public-affairs talk show at...