Petaluma Argus-Courier Wins Top Honor Again at California Journalism Awards


With a small but powerful staff, the Argus-Courier tackles the issues Petaluma faces, from big to small. This week, the newspaper’s commitment to quality journalism was recognized with top honors at the 2020 California Journalism Awards, taking first place for Overall Excellence.

“It’s like winning the best picture at the Oscars, it’s not worth more than this award,” publisher Emily Charrier said. “This is also the 12th time in 15 years that this extraordinary newsroom has received this honor. Petaluma can truly say that she has the best local newspaper in the whole state. “

Noting the award, the judges wrote, “I can imagine myself with a hot cup of coffee, relaxing and reading this. Good editing and design. You take him out of the park.

The journal’s website, petaluma360.com, also received second place for overall online excellence. As more readers search for their news online, this price is an important indicator of a newspaper’s ability to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

The Argus was among the top five finishers for 11 other awards, including first place for artistic photography. Hosted annually by the California News Publishers Association, the California Journalism Awards feature thousands of entries from across the state. Newspapers are divided by circulation size and entries are judged by a panel of outstanding journalists and photojournalists.

Learn more about the award-winning content below.

First place, Artistic photo: Crissy Pascual “Pollination”. When capturing the team at work at Sonoma Hills Farm, Argus-Courier photographer Pascual found herself in the right place at the right time when a bee lined up with the farm worker. “I love that this composition illustrates the idea that bees and humans have to work together to grow crops,” said the judge.

Second place, Layout of the first page: PAC staff and Frank Marqua, March 19, May 7 and September 3 editions. From the start of the refuge in place to the opening of the parks, the first pages of the PAC shared the stories of the year. “Very strong design and photography there. Beautiful papers that stand out, ”said the judge.

Second place, Artistic photo: Crissy Pascual “Black Lives Matter ‘S.” The judges “loved the detail of the shot” Pascual got while filming the Black Lives Matter mural in front of the Petaluma Library last August.

Second place, COVID-19 Coverage – Fallout: Kathryn Palmer, “Petaluma’s businesses are struggling to close their doors before Christmas.” Palmer paints a beautiful human portrait with this commercial blanket, focusing on a bartender who cannot buy gifts for his son.

Second place, Featured Photo: Crissy Pascual “Chicken Hug”. By covering the re-emergence of backyard chickens during the pandemic, Pascual captured the sweetness between a child and a pet.

Third place, Profile story: Kathryn Palmer, “Fire Technology for the 21st Century.” Focused on a young woman’s dream of improving fire safety, the judge said: “What might have been a standard business story is heightened by the looming threat of a wildfire, Bailey’s personal story woven through business and submitted photos of exceptional quality. ”

Third place, Sports report: JJ Jackson, “Skating for the Olympics.” Minna Stess ‘meteoric rise in the skateboarding world has been expertly documented by Jackson, Argus’ longtime sports editor.

Third place, Columns: Oliver Graves, “Oliver’s World”. A bit new to Argus, Graves comes from the world of stand-up comedy where he made a name for himself on “America’s Got Talent”. But the judges love his fanciful take on filibuster, writing “His unique perspective is refreshing.”

Third place, Editorial drawing: Pete McDonnell, “Historical Debate”. Artist Petaluma McDonnell works with the newspaper’s editor to create the weekly cartoons, and her creativity is key to keeping Petalumans smiling.

Fourth place, Land use reports: Kathryn Palmer, “Corona Road Station”. With ownership swaps and a myriad of last-minute changes, the saga of Petaluma’s second SMART station has garnered abundant coverage in 2020. Among the more than a dozen stories Palmer has written on the subject , it was his solid coverage of the intricacies involved that earned him the award. .

Fifth place, Agricultural reports: Kathryn Palmer, “Windrush Farm”. A trip to this Chileno Valley Road farm is like stepping back in time. Palmer captured this modern take on farming beautifully, accompanied by stunning photos by Crissy Pascual.


About Julius Southworth

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