CONTACT: Laura Hautala (510) 529-1977 or Lila LaHood (415) 846-5346
Updated with additional information on Oct. 24, 2017)

SAN FRANCISCO — The Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, honors Emilie Raguso of Berkeleyside as Journalist of the Year for the 32nd Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards.

The chapter honors Raguso for her exemplary work covering Berkeley. A reporter with deep knowledge of the community, Raguso is dedicated to exploring the longterm implications of local events. Her work also explores the local impact of state and national level decisions. As a senior​ ​reporter, she covers several beats including crime, land use and local government, and doggedly tracks down the information her readers need. Raguso is there for the breaking news and for the follow up stories. The board commends Raguso, whose work provides the kind of nuance, context and depth that are increasingly rare in community journalism.

The SPJ NorCal board honors Robert J. Rosenthal with the Career Achievement Award. Rosenthal recently retired from his position as executive director of The Center for Investigative Reporting, where he led a remarkable expansion and transformation of the nation’s oldest nonprofit investigative journalism organization. Now with more than 70 people on staff, the center showcases its multimedia investigations through the Reveal website, public radio program, podcast and social media platforms.

Rosenthal began his career at The New York Times and the Boston Globe before joining the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he became executive editor in 1998. He was hired on as managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in 2002 and joined CIR in 2008. While at CIR, Rosenthal also served as executive editor of the Chauncey Bailey Investigative Reporting Project, for which he managed reporters from more than 30 news outlets to investigate Bailey’s murder.

As a reporter, Rosenthal won many awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award for magazine writing, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence, and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for Third World Reporting. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting.

The Public Service Award goes to the staff of the East Bay Times for their exhaustive coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland in December, first as a breaking news story and ongoing as they investigated the causes, aftermath and responsibility for this tragic event in which 36 people died. The team earned a Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for their commendable work.

Sue Morrow, assistant multimedia editor at The Sacramento Bee, receives the Unsung Hero Award. She has been involved behind the scenes as an editor and designer for many of the Bee’s award-winning projects, including the Pulitzer Prize feature photography winning entry “A Mother’s Journey,” which documented the challenges of a single mom, her dying young son and the difficulties of health care; and the paper’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature photography “A Grandfather’s Sorrow and Love,” about a man’s efforts to raise his three young grandchildren after his daughter’s murder. Morrow is on the advisory board of The Kalish, a visual storytelling workshop.

Robert Calo receives the SPJ NorCal Board of Directors’ Distinguished Service to Journalism Award for his many years of mentoring broadcast journalists. Calo retired this spring from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he had taught since 2001. Calo began his career as a television producer at KQED. He also worked for ABC News’s “Primetime Live” and NBC News. Calo has worked on assignments throughout the U.S. and in Pakistan, Chile, Croatia, Kenya and Somalia. He is senior producer of the PBS series “Sound Tracks.”

The Silver Heart Award goes to Juan Haines. As a reporter and managing editor of the San Quentin News, Haines has encouraged first time journalists to use their time in prison to report on the courts, the prisons and the conditions of incarceration. With Haines’ encouragement and mentorship, their work has contributed to deeper understanding of the prison system by those both inside and outside the prison walls. Haines’s writing has also appeared in the Hastings Poverty and Law Journal and Above the Law.

Nancy Mullane is honored with the board’s John Gothberg/Meritorious Service to SPJ Award. Mullane was instrumental in coordinating print and broadcast journalists inside San Quentin to join SPJ and start a professional chapter at San Quentin that is affiliated with the Northern California chapter. Mullane provides additional professional development for journalists at San Quentin as a cofounder of the Four Corners project, which brings professional journalists from various disciplines into San Quentin to discuss their work. Mullane is executive director of Life of the Law, a radio show and podcast. She joined the SPJ NorCal chapter board in 2016.

The 2017 winners will be honored at SPJ NorCal’s 32nd Excellence in Journalism Awards Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the City Club in San Francisco. For details and to purchase tickets, please see https://spjnorcal2017eijawards.eventbrite.com

2017 Award Winners

Board Awards

JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR: Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Robert Rosenthal, The Center for Investigative Reporting

UNSUNG HERO: Sue Morrow, The Sacramento Bee

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO JOURNALISM: Bob Calo, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

SILVER HEART: Juan Haines, San Quentin News


Contest Awards

ARTS & CULTURE (print/online large division): Emma Silvers of KQED for “A New Guest at Your House Show: The Middleman

ARTS & CULTURE (print/online small division): Jon Steinberg and Rebecca Flint Marx of San Francisco magazine for “The Trouble With the Michaels

ARTS & CULTURE (radio/audio): Olivia Allen-Price and the Bay Curious team of KQED for the Bay Curious podcast and web series

ARTS & CULTURE (TV/video): Beatriz Ferrari and Eduardo Mancera of KDTV Univision 14 for “El Pintor de las Patronas

BEST SCOOP (all media): Kate Conger and Dell Cameron of Gizmodo for “GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voters

BREAKING NEWS (print/online): The staff of the East Bay Times for their coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland

BREAKING NEWS (radio/audio): The KCBS News Team of KCBS Radio for their coverage of the San Jose flood

BREAKING NEWS (TV/video): The breaking news staff of KDTV Univision 14 for their coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland

COMMENTARY ANALYSIS (print/online): Gabe Meline of KQED for “It Could Have Been Any One of Us

COMMENTARY ANALYSIS (TV/video): Kaylee Fagan, Ian Sumner, Garrick Wong and Michelle Nunez of the Golden Gate Xpress for “The Fake News Watch” (Episodes 5, 6 and 10)

COMMUNITY JOURNALISM (print/online): The staff of the San Francisco Public Press for “Which Way Home? Navigating Homelessness

COMMUNITY JOURNALISM (radio/audio): Tommy Shakur Ross, Greg Eskridge and Louis A. Scott for San Quentin Radio and KALW News (Episodes on volunteers, forgiveness, preparing for parole, and innocent man)

COMMUNITY JOURNALISM (TV/video): The staff of KDTV Univision 14 for “Tu Gente Tu Voz

DATA VISUALIZATION (all media): Phillip Reese of The Sacramento Bee (Visualizations showing how Sacramento neighborhoods voted; where parking tickets are issued; and that California is employing fewer police officers.)

EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM (print/online large division): Ryan Lillis, Cynthia Hubert and Phillip Reese of The Sacramento Bee for “In the killing zone: Why Sacramento has so many teen murders

EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM (print/online small division): The staff of the San Francisco Public Press for “The Rising Cost of Winning Votes

EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM (radio/audio national): The staff of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting for “Up against the wall

EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM (radio/audio regional): Carrie Feibel, Sasha Khokha, Victoria Mauleon and Suzie Racho of KQED for “Three Refugees, Three Journeys to California

EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM (TV/video local): The staff of KDTV Univision 14 for their coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland

EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM (TV/video national): The staff of AJ+ Docs for the “Guns in America” series (Parts 1, 2, 4 and 5)

FEATURES AND LONGFORM STORYTELLING (print/online large division): Chris Colin of Wired magazine for “The Battle for the Soul of San Francisco

FEATURES AND LONGFORM STORYTELLING (print/online small division): Jon Steinberg and Scott Lucas of San Francisco magazine for “Battle of the Bastards

FEATURES AND LONGFORM STORYTELLING (radio/audio): Lisa Morehouse of the California Foodways series on KQED for “75 Years Later, Japanese Americans Recall Incarceration, Forced Farm Labor

FEATURES AND LONGFORM STORYTELLING (TV/video): Maggie Beidelman, Omar Duwaji, Michael Nguyen, Debbie Schedivy and Shreen Khan of AJ+ for “Syrians in America

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (print/online large division): Shane Bauer and Dave Gilson of Mother Jones for “Undercover With a Border Militia

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (print/online small division): Laurie Udesky for G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism and 100Reporters for “Custody in Crisis: How Family Courts Nationwide Put Children in Danger

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (radio/audio): Lisa Pickoff-White, Julie Small, Ingrid Becker and Dan Brekke of KQED for “When Jail Becomes a Death Sentence

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (TV/video): Joe Perry, Leon Felipe Gonzalez and Luis Felipe Godinez of KDTV Univision 14 for “Encadenado por una fianza

OUTSTANDING EMERGING JOURNALIST (all media): Sukey Lewis of KQED (Stories on predatory bail in Santa Clara County; Proposition 64 in Mendocino County and a year after the Valley Fire in Lake County.)

PHOTOJOURNALISM (breaking news): The staff of the East Bay Times for their coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland

PHOTOJOURNALISM (photo essay): Jon Steinberg, Jason Madara and George McCalman of San Francisco magazine for “We Will Not Compromise

PHOTOJOURNALISM (single image): Jane Tyska of the East Bay Times for her image of Golden State Warriors fans celebrating with Steph Curry

PUBLIC SERVICE (all media): The staff of the East Bay Times for their coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland

SCIENCE, ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH REPORTING (print/online): Freelancer Zach St. George for “Flammable Compared to What?” published in Bay Nature magazine

SCIENCE, ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH REPORTING (radio/audio): Sarah Craig, Ben Trefny and Ted Muldoon of KALW for “Will the water come to Okieville, California?

STUDENT SPECIAL PROJECT (all media): Reis Thebault of Richmond Confidential and the UC Berkeley J-School for “The ‘green rush’ sweeps through Richmond, leaving behind fraud, corruption and legal woes” (Articles on pay-to-play scheme, suggestive messages and hidden sales.)

TECHNOLOGY REPORTING (print/online): Cyrus Farivar and Joe Mullin of Ars Technica for “Stealing bitcoins with badges: How Silk Road’s dirty cops got caught

TECHNOLOGY REPORTING (radio/audio): Aki Ito, Brad Stone and the staff of Bloomberg News for “Decrypted Podcast” (Episodes on a Silicon Valley whistleblower, Snapchat’s clash with neighbors, fake news and gadgets replacing personal trainers.)

VIDEO JOURNALISM (feature): Adam Grossberg, Alex Emslie and David Weir of KQED for “The Trials of Marvin Mutch

VIDEO JOURNALISM (porfolio): Kelly Whalen of KQED (Segments on border wall, cartooning the resistance, Fantastic Negrito, video artist and Bollywood-style blues.)