Last night, the LA Press Club held their annual awards gala, and although no one from this infernal rag was able to make it (Mox is still in the salt mines, Nick was finishing up a cover, and I had just finished a five-day taco bender--go to Instagram and find the hashtag #epictacocrawl if you don't believe me), we still did mighty fine, hauling in seven awards, including three first-place finishes.
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- Mox won three awards: a third-place finish in the Crime Reporting category, for his chilling tale of a love murder at sea, and two second-placers for his story on Newport Beach police corruption , and Journalist of the Year for blasting away at OC law enforcement's snitch scandal. It should be noted that in the latter category, Mox finished behind the Torrance Daily Breeze team that won the Pulitzer.
- Joel Beers won second place in environmental reporting for his beautiful rumination on the Santa Ana River.
- H.G. Reza won first place in the News Feature Over 1,000 Words category for his chilling account of how SanTana residents fought off the crazy-ass Templarios cartel in Michoacán. The judge's commentary: "A chilling but uplifting saga of villagers attempting to combat drug cartels in their hometown. The opening scene juxtaposes a description of a bucolic town and its welcoming arch with the startling realization that four dead bodies including that of a pregnant woman are hanging from that arch. Graphic detail but tastefully done. Good quotes. The expats, now living in Southern California, have won the battle but one wonders about the war. Hope there is a folo sometime in the future. The writer has enticed us into wanting to know the final outcome."
- Yours truly tied for first-place in business reporting for my "Wrecking Ball" feature on the Orange County Register-Aaron Kushner fiasco. Judge's commentary: "OC Weekly's cover of the OC Register's financial crisis was timely and comprehensive." It's the second time Aaron's tomfoolery has won me a first-place prize for the LA Press Club's business category, first being in 2013--I owe you a drink at the Island Hotel, Aaron!
- And Charles Lam won first place in Entertainment News or Feature for his profile on the un-gangs of Disneyland. Judge's notes: "Fascinating story about the many pleasant, surprising acts of kindness at Disneyland from a community group you would not suspect.
Congrats to us all! Now, back to the salt mines...