L.A. Times Wins 36 Awards in L.A. Press Club’s National Arts and Entertainment Contest

Elle Lorraine, star of “Bad Hair,” with long braids fanned out, at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 24, 2020.
This portrait of Actress Elle Lorraine at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2020 was part of Clendenin’s winning portfolio.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Among the honorees was Photographer Jay L. Clendenin, who was named Photojournalist of the Year


The Los Angeles Times has earned 36 honors in the Los Angeles Press Club’s 13th National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards competition. The awards, which were presented in a virtual ceremony last Friday, recognize the finest work from U.S.-based entertainment reporters and editors, and theater, film and television critics across all media.

Among the honorees were Photographer Jay L. Clendenin and Staff Writer Makeda Easter, who each earned multiple accolades. Clendenin was named Photojournalist of the Year and received three additional photography awards.

“Clendenin’s outstanding ability to capture playful portraits, serendipitous human moments, or a series of movie marquees during the pandemic earns him kudos as the top photojournalist,” noted the competition’s judges in an announcement.


Easter received a third place nod in the Journalist of the Year category and was also part of the team that took first place in the Multimedia Package category for Rise of the Dancefluencer, a project that looked at how influencers and social media have changed the dance industry.

“This team maximizes the digital platform to get the most out of this story,” noted the judges. “The ‘behind the story’ video is worth every minute.”

Easter also earned a first place award in the Visual Arts/Architecture Feature category for her article, Slavery documents from Southern saltmakers bring light to dark history.

Below is a list of The Times’ honorees by category.

Journalist of the Year — Print
Third place: Makeda Easter

Photojournalist of the Year
First place: Jay L. Clendenin

Critic – Any media platform (print, broadcast or online)

First place: Justin Chang
JokerǀMarriage StoryǀCatsǀHamilton

First place: Christopher Knight
Mind of the Master ǀ Bubonic plague in Europe changed art history. Why coronavirus could do the same ǀ U.S. should build a memorial ‘plague column’ for COVID-19, but where? ǀ Confederate monuments institutionalize racism


Second place: Carolina A. Miranda
Project to honor artist Felix Gonzalez- Torres devolved into an Instagram stunt ǀ Two artists present their visions of the border at MASS MoCA ǀ What would the real ‘Brady Bunch’ house architect make of HGTV’s ‘Very Brady Renovation? ǀ Targeted in El Paso, vilified by Trump

First place: Lucas Kwan Peterson
Review: The Chateau Marmont ǀ Review: The Cheesecake Factory ǀ Review: Antico ǀ Review: Rosa Porto

Any Media Platform (print, broadcast or online)

Celebrity Investigative
First place: Amy Kaufman
After Twitter outcry, five women detail Chris D’Elia’s alleged sexual improprieties

Multimedia Package
First place: Makeda Easter, Claire Hannah Collins, J.R. Lizarraga and Vanessa Martínez
Rise of the Dancefluencer

Diversity in the Entertainment Industry, Print/Online
Second place: Daniel Hernandez
‘American Dirt’ was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong?

Obituary/In appreciation, Film and TV Personalities
Third place: Nardine Saad
Diahann Carroll, groundbreaking star of TV’s ‘Julia’ and ‘Dynasty,’ dies at 84

Photography/Art - online or print

Portrait Photo
Second place: Jay L. Clendenin
Bombshell, Charlize Theron

Feature Photo
First place: Jay L. Clendenin
Flo and Scar Jo Look MARVELous

Photo Essay
Third place: Jay L. Clendenin
Messages of Hope

Third place: Swetha Kannan, Andrea Roberson, Sean Greene and Tracy Brown
There are more women than ever in ‘Star Wars.’ Men still do most of the talking

Print - newspapers or magazines

General News
Second place: Wendy Lee
An L.A. management firm says it believes in Black Lives Matter. Former employees say otherwise

Personality Profile, Film/TV Industry, Over 2,500 Words
First place: Amy Kaufman
How befriending Mister Rogers’ widow allowed me to learn the true meaning of his legacy

Movie Industry Feature Over 1,000 Words
Second place: John Penner
Milos Forman, Ivan Passer and their 73-Year Friendship

TV Industry Feature Over 1,000 Words
First place: Meg James
Troubles at CBS Ran Deep

Visual Arts/Architecture Feature Over 1,000 Words First place: Makeda Easter Slavery documents from Southern salt makers bring light to dark history

Third place: Deborah Vankin
Holocaust survivor portraits at USC museum call on ‘profound’ beauty to fight hate

Theater Arts Feature Over 1,000 Words
First place: Lisa Fung
‘The Wrong Man’ musical’s epic journey to the stage, with help from Team ‘Hamilton’

Second place: Jessica Gelt
The spreadsheet that shook the theater world: Marie Cisco’s ‘Not Speaking Out’ list

First place: Charles McNulty
What to do during your coronavirus home quarantine? How about: Nothing ǀ President Trump vs. Oedipus Rex ǀ Waiting for Sauvignon Blanc

Second place: Mary McNamara
What’s wrong with the New York Times? ǀ Trump is as craven as the mayor in ‘Jaws’ ǀ The coronavirus has already flattened one thing — the line between work and family

Commentary Analysis/Trend — Film
First place: Justin Chang
‘Parasite’ was one of the best-acted movies of 2019. Why didn’t the Oscars recognize that?

Commentary Analysis/Trend — TV
Second place: Jen Yamato
For Japanese Americans, ‘The Terror’ is personal

Commentary Analysis/Trend — Other Arts
First place: Charles McNulty
As Center Theater Group sputters, L.A. struggles to realize its artistic potential

Third place: Heather John Fogarty
United We Read


Second place: Jenn Harris
“The Bucket List”

Documentary or Special Program, Short
Second place: Nani Sahra Walker and Claire Hannah Collins
Game changers: Women in sports


Best Arts or Entertainment Podcast
Second place: Jen Yamato, Frank Shyong, Rina Palta, Abbie Fentress Swanson and Mike Heflin
“Asian Enough”


Soft News, Music/Other Arts
Second place: Josh Rottenberg
As celebs shelter at home, paparazzi hustle to find new angles

Personality Profile, TV/Film Personalities
First place: John Penner
Milos Forman, Ivan Passer and their 73-Year Friendship

Commentary Analysis/Trend — TV
Second place: Matt Brennan
Michael Jordan docuseries ‘The Last Dance’ is more than a TV show. It’s a cultural event

Commentary Diversity/Gender
Third place: Swetha Kannan, Andrea Roberson, Sean Greene and Tracy Brown
There are more women than ever in ‘Star Wars.’ Men still do most of the talking

Social Media

Best Journalistic use of Social Media to Tell or Enhance a Story, by an Individual or Group Tied to an Organization
Second place: Mary Kate Metivier, Justin Ray and Christina Schoellkopf
Harvey Weinstein’s conviction and what it means for the #MeToo movement

The awards ceremony and full list of winners can be found at