As the senior newsroom manager at inewsource, I often emphasize to our editorial staff that the most significant recognition of our investigative reporting is whenever there is positive, concrete change in the community as a direct result of our work.
And although we’re still keenly focused on community impact, we do feel a great deal of pride in having our journalism recognized by industry peers.
In late July, inewsource was presented with 21 awards for impactful journalism from the San Diego Society for Professional Journalists. The awards included nine first place honors, the Diversity Prize and a special community impact award.
Investigative reporter Jennifer Bowman won the Diversity Prize for “accountability reporting in communities of color.” The award recognized Bowman’s work on stories that examined COVID-19 infection and vaccination rates in underserved communities in San Diego and Imperial counties, the inadequacy of the San Ysidro Transit Center and the disproportionate rates at which school districts refer minority students and kids with special needs to police.
Investigative and data reporter Jill Castellano won the Neil Morgan Community Impact Award for her “Mission Act” reporting project that revealed systematic problems nationwide with how the Veterans Administration overruled medical care decisions concerning veteran healthcare. Judges said: “Stellar work that is thoroughly reported, sensitive and skillfully written. inewsource exemplifies investigative journalism at its highest level.”
Mission Act won other awards as well, with the judges saying the story “exemplifies why investigative, watchdog journalism matters.”
Our 1st Place awards also included coverage of racial covenants in property records, rising heat-related deaths in an Imperial County community and the impact of fires on access to homeowners insurance for San Diegans.
Our strong showing in the journalism competition reminds us of the huge appetite there is in our community for unbiased, fact-based accountability reporting that exposes problems and improves quality of life for San Diego area residents and beyond.
– Mark J. Rochester
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Blog: Updates from the newsroom on philanthropy, awards, staff and more.