Times Community News September award winners

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"Inferno" by Roger Wilson

"Inferno" by Roger Wilson

I want to announce the winners of this month’s internal writing and photography contest. The contest drew from the staff writers and photographers from the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, and La Cañada Valley Sun. The three papers make up the members of Times Community News, North.

(The other members of our little chain are the Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot, and Huntington Beach Independent. They make up the members of Times Community News, South.)

The contest features categories: news or feature, sports, photo, and online. And, to make things as fair as possible, I’ve asked my colleagues in Orange County to judge the entries.

The online category has two awardees, both based on the number of pageviews. The story of any type (news, feature, or sports) on any of the three papers’ websites that gets the most hits, or pageviews, wins the website award. In turn, the most popular blog post – also judged by pageviews – receives the blog award.

Congratulations to the September winners!

Most popular online story: Veronica Rocha, “Michael Jackson: Pop icon laid to rest” (Glendale News-Press, Sept. 4) 9,360 pageviews

Most popular blog post: Christopher Cadelago, “Woman jumps to her death at Burbank Holiday Inn” (Following the Leader, Sept. 13) 527 pageviews

Best news story: Melanie Hicken, “Minimizing utility risks” (Glendale News-Press, Sept. 26)

Judges’ comments: It’s pretty difficult to make water pipes interesting, but with sold reportage and crisp writing, Melanie seems to have done it. The hook of the story – that Glendale’s pipes are in better shape than L.A.’s – shows an awareness of current events and a skill for localizing a broad or regional story. The lead puts you right in the office of the engineer for Glendale Water & Power, so the story starts strong and ends stronger (“It’s like painting the Golden Gate Bridge”), which is a telltale sign of good writing.

Best sport story: Gabriel Rizk, “The rise of an Olympian” (Glendale News-Press, Sept. 28)

Judges’ comments: The series is compelling and well written. As you read the stories, it becomes increasingly clear that a lot of reporting went into the project. Gabriel tells this story as an insider, which lends it authority. The details give the reader that “inside” feeling, as if you know Vanes Martirosyan and his family.  The quotes – and there are multiple points of view – provide lively color and move the story along.  For a long piece, it’s well structured and doesn’t lose its way.

Best Photo: Roger Wilson, “Inferno” (Glendale News-Press, Sept. 1)

Judges’ comments: This photo, showing the massive fire looming at the edges of city lights, is informative and impactful. It’s worth, as the cliché goes, a thousand words because of its perspective and framing. The reader gets a feel for the scope and magnitude of the fire, which seems to be poised to rush over the Verdugo Mountains into nearby neighborhoods.

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Written by Dan Evans

October 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm

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