EdSource won 14 awards in the 2022 California Journalism Awards including two that won statewide honors: an investigation into poor working conditions for adjuncts teaching in California Community Colleges and a series on efforts to turn a Central Valley library into a police station and the inequities of library services statewide.
The community college investigation, “Gig by Gig at California Community Colleges,” won first place in In-Depth Reporting in EdSource’s division and among all entrants statewide for In-Depth Reporting. The series by Thomas Peele, EdSource investigative reporter, was praised by the judges for drawing “its authority from meticulous original research and data analysis as well as from its wealth of human stories.” Praising the detailed and original reporting, the judges described the series as an “Excellent well-rounded project featuring fine reporting; excellent overall presentation; effective use of data; smart use of photos, graphics and multimedia journalism; and superb use of notes to explain how EdSource did its reporting and conducted its data collection. Well done!” Joining in the project are: Daniel J. Willis, data journalist; Andrew Reed, videographer; Zaidee Stavely, podcast host; and Rose Ciotta, investigations and projects editor.
The library Enterprise entry, “Library or police, a small town’s struggle,” by Emma Gallegos, EdSource equity reporter, placed first in EdSource’s division and third place among all Enterprise entrants. The judges wrote: “This series expertly uses one town’s fight over a library to highlight broader inequities. Well Done!” Contributing to the project are Stavely and Coby McDonald who produced podcasts on the series that also placed first in the Podcasts category.
The contest, sponsored by the California News Publishers Association, drew 3,123 entries in the Print, Digital and Campus categories. EdSource competed among digital news sites in the 100,000 to 400,000 monthly unique visitors category. The Digital Contest received 727 entries, up 137 over last year.
EdSource’s series, “California’s Reading Dilemma,” on the crisis in early literacy in California, won second place in Public Service Journalism. The project by EdSource staff was described by the judges as “Tremendously important reporting that describes not just a problem in early education but also the decisions California school districts are making and the people who are accountable for those choices.” The series was also featured in podcasts that placed second in the Podcasts category with kudos to reporters Carolyn Jones, John Fensterwald, Karen D’Souza, and podcast host Stavely and producer McDonald.
EdSource reporters Diana Lambert, who covers issues related to teachers and teaching, and Fensterwald, who covers state policy, won second place in the Enterprise category for a three-part series on teacher credentialing. Also contributing were Willis, data journalist, who compiled a look-up of teacher credentialing by school; Yuxuan Xie, data visualization specialist and Stavely, podcast host.
In the coverage of 2022 elections, Lambert won second place for stories on the politics of school board elections in 2022: “Conservatives are waging a war for control over California school boards” and “California school board races don’t see red wave.”
In the Coverage of Youth and Education category, Lambert also won first place for the entry titled, “Covid challenges, bad student behavior push teachers to the limit, out the door.” Judges praised the story as a “well researched, cleanly written investigative series that served the community, especially those whose education was most affected by the pandemic.”
In the same category, EdSource reporter, Jones won a second place award for her story on fentanyl: “Education on fentanyl, other drugs often optional in California schools, if offered at all.”
Jones also won third place in the Feature Story category for “L.A. Unified’s bilingual program for deaf students hailed as a model for California schools.” Judges wrote: “This was a thoroughly reported story that spotlighted an issue most of us do not know about.”
EdSource was also honored for its informational graphics by Xie, data visualization specialist, and Willis, data journalist. “Dual Enrollment: Who’s In and Who’s Out” placed first with the judge’s praise for “great use of the interactive map. Great color use and very informative.”
Xie and Willis placed third in the same category for a graphic package titled “California’s Enrollment Rollercoaster.”
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