L.A. Times, Times Community News and ‘L.A. Times Today’ Shine in Los Angeles Press Club Competition

Photographer Irfan Khan won first place in the news photo category for this image of a spooked horse.
Photographer Irfan Khan won first place in the news photo category for this image of a spooked horse. The judges noted, “The power of this image operates on several levels, all of which should frighten and arouse us to action.”
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Times, Times Community News and “L.A. Times Today” were honored by the Los Angeles Press Club for a wide range of work in the 63rd annual Southern California Journalism Awards, which were announced during a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 16. In all, the publications and news magazine show received 60 awards across dozens of categories.

In addition to winning numerous individual awards, three Times staffers earned journalist of the year honors.

Times Reporter Benjamin Oreskes was named print journalist of the year for his on-the-ground reporting of homelessness issues during the coronavirus pandemic. The competition’s judges lauded Oreskes for his “keen eyes for detail, excellent research and writing, and an empathy for the homeless and those who help, including firefighters, EMTs and a judge.”


Times Sports Writer David Wharton earned the title of sports journalist of the year. “David Wharton provides fascinating portraits of sports figures, whether known or unknown, and sports history, such as the fascinating reporting about the Native American origin of the game of lacrosse, demonstrating how in-depth sports coverage makes excellent journalism,” the judges wrote.

In addition, Times Photographer and Foreign Correspondent Marcus Yam earned third place in the photojournalist/videographer of the year category, and Spectrum News 1 Anchor Lisa McRee, host of “L.A. Times Today,” was named television journalist of the year.

Below is a list of honorees by category.

Journalists of the Year

Print (over 50,000 circulation Reporter, Columnist or Editor)
First place: Benjamin Oreskes

Television Journalist
First place: Lisa McRee, Spectrum News 1/”L.A. Times Today”

Sports Journalist (any platform)
First place: David Wharton

Third place: Marcus Yam

All Media Platforms (Print, Radio, TV or Online)

Consumer News or Feature
Second place: Kiera Feldman, “Fumed Out”
Third place: Geoffrey Mohan, “You See the Warnings Everywhere. But Does Prop. 65 Really Protect You?”

Medical/Health Reporting
First place: Maria L. La Ganga, “A Family Wonders If They Should Hope a Loved One with COVID-19 Lives or Help Him Die”

Science Reporting
First place: Thomas Curwen, “Comet Tails and a Trojan Horse: One Laboratory’s Hunt for a COVID-19 Vaccine”


Local Political/Government Reporting (Print/Online)
First place: Melody Gutierrez, “Million-dollar Views, Cheap Rent and Allegations of Favoritism at California State Parks”

Educational Reporting
Second place: Andrew J. Campa, “Less Stress, Better Grades: With Schools Closed, Some Kids Thrived”

Environmental Reporting (Print/Online)
Third place: Rosanna Xia, “A Toxic Secret Lurks in Deep Sea”

Multimedia Package
First place: Los Angeles Times Staff, “The Chicano Moratorium 50 Years Later”

Criticism of Music
First place: Mark Swed, “Frank Gehry Unveils Designs For Two L.A. Concert Halls. But Will They Get Built?”

Book Criticsm
First place: Erik Himmelsbach-Weinstein, “How L.A.’s ’60s Movements Fought for Justice — and Sometimes Even Achieved It”

Criticism of Food/Culture
First place: Lucas Kwan Peterson


First place: Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, “An Examination of the Times’ Failures on Race, Our Apology and a Path Forward”
Second place: Robert Greene, “What We Now See, with 2020 Vision”
Third place: Karin Klein, “How Coronavirus Is Revealing the Problems with ‘Fast Science’”

First place: Wendy Fawthrop, “5, 6, 7, 8 and pivot”
Second place: Dave Bowman, “Graze Anatomy, Herd Mentality”
Third place: Carolyn Horwitz, “Pencils Down. The AP Exam Is Going Virtual”

Obituary/In Appreciation
First place: Anh Do, “As Coronavirus Rages, a Vietnamese Diva Falls Silent. But Her Legend Lives On.”
Second place: Steve Appleford, “Eddie Van Halen, Grinning Guitar God for a Rock Generation, Dies at 65”

Solutions Journalism
First place: Agnes Constante, TimesOC, “Improving Healthcare Access for Cambodians and Vietnamese”

Race and Society (Print)
First place: Jaweed Kaleem, “A white mom marched alone to say ‘Black lives matter.’ Her Black son urged her to do more”

Race and Society (Online)
First place: James Queally and Ben Poston, “For years, California Police Agencies Have Rejected Almost Every Racial Profiling Complaint They Received”
Third place: Andrew J. Campa, “Some Asian American and Immigrants Wore Masks Readily. In a Brutal Election Year, It Made Them Heroes, Targets, Prophets”

Gender and Society
First place: Tomás Mier, “Death of an Indigenous Essential Worker Sparks Debate Over Gender Identity”

Pandemic Reporting (Print)
Third place: Jaweed Kaleem, “‘Is Pork Essential?’ In a Smithfield Town, a Coronavirus-stricken Meat Factory Comes Back to Life”

Crime Reporting
Second place: James Queally, “Women Break Silence, Tell Stories of Rape, Groping by Ron Jeremy Over Two Decades”

Sports (Any News or Feature on sports)
First place: Nathan Fenno and David Wharton, “UCLA Football Remains Success-starved, But No Program Is Eating Richer”
Second place: David Wharton, “At Age 60 and Paralyzed, She Tried to Row Across the Pacific”

Art/Photography (All Platforms)

News Photo (A single image relating to a breaking story)
First place: Irfan Khan, “Spooked Horse”

Photo Essay (Single topic; News/News Feature)
First place: Marcus Yam and Alan Hagman, “Venezuelan Exodus”
Second place: Marcus Yam, “War in Nagorno-Karabakh”

Newspapers (Over 50,000 circulation)

News Feature (General News/Hard News)
First place: Thomas Curwen, “‘This Monster of Fire’ Burns a Devastating Path Through One Family’s Sierra Empire”
Second place: Marisa Gerber, “They Survived a School Shooting. Then Coronavirus Stole Saugus High’s Senior Year”
Third place: Benjamin Oreskes, “Horror, Fatigue and Constant Calls: 24 Hours with Skid Row’s Firefighters”

News Feature (Society/Culture/History)
First place: Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton, “The True Story of the Heartthrob Prince of Qatar and His Time at USC”
Second place: Kurtis Lee, “This Newspaper Has Never Forgotten the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre — and Its Fight Continues”
Third place: Makeda Easter, “How Out-of-work Strippers Made Their Show Virtual and Are ‘Taking the Power Back’”

Lifestyle Feature
First place: Stacey Leasca, “Coronavirus Stole the Sweet Magic of Kissing. Will We Ever Get It Back?”
Second place: Tomás Mier, “How Latino dads are using TikTok to connect with their children”

Entertainment News or Feature
First place: Stacy Perman, “The Mystery of a Stolen Rare Cello Has a Surprise Ending”
Second place: Jessica Gelt, “Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade Face Racism and the ‘Comedy Problem’”
Third place: Lily Moayeri, “Tech is Music to Their Ears”

Personality Profile
First place: Deborah Vankin, “This 81-year-old Was LA’s Most Devoted Museum-goer Until COVID-19 Shuttered Cultural Institutions”
Third place: Benjamin Oreskes, “This Federal Judge Is Risking His Life to Save Homeless People From the Coronavirus”

First place: Kim Christensen and Ben Poston, “Dying for Dollars”
Second place: Liam Dillon, Ben Poston and Julia Barajas, “Black and Latino renters face eviction, exclusion amid police crackdowns in California”
Third place: Jack Dolan and Brittny Mejia, “Deadly Delays”

First place: Daniel Miller and Amy Kaufman, “L.A.’s Storied Magic Castle Shaken by Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Racism”
Second place: Margot Roosevelt, “Can Prop. 16 boost California’s Latino-, Black-, Asian- and women-owned companies?”

First place: Christopher Knight, “After Giving $130 Million in Art to LACMA, the Ahmanson Foundation Says: No More”
Second place: Carolina A. Miranda, “U.S. Individualism Isn’t Rugged, It’s Toxic — and It’s Killing Us”

First place: LZ Granderson
Second place: Steve Lopez
Third place: Gustavo Arellano


Obituary/In Appreciation
Third place: Cami Buckman, Lisa McRee, Mark Grizzle, Diana Jimenez and Bill Cipolla, “L.A. Times Today”/Spectrum News 1, “This Day in History: Dr. Seuss Dies”


Second place: Lisa McRee, Roger Martínez, Kiera Feldman, Jack Leonard and Adam VanDeKerchove, “L.A. Times Today”/Spectrum News 1, “Toxic Fumes on Planes”

News Feature (over 5 minutes)
Second place: Erik Himmelsbach-Weinstein and Mark E. Potts, “Are Orange County Voters Still Feeling Blue in the 2020 Election?”

Lifestyle Feature
First place: Claire Hannah Collins, Makeda Easter and Erik Himmelsbach-Weinstein, “How Black Culture Made Roller Skating Popular”
Third place: Jennie O’Hagan, Greg Payton, Amy Kaufman and Lisa McRee, “L.A. Times Today”/Spectrum News 1, “Mrs. Rogers”

Non-Entertainment Personality Profile/Interview Second place: Lisa McRee, Jennifer Winston, Greg Payton, Lisa Wilson and Bill Cipolla, “L.A. Times Today”/Spectrum News 1, “Hollywood Harassment/Anita Hill”


Entertainment News (Music/Performing Arts)
First place: Steve Appleford, “Who created Nirvana’s famed smiley-face logo? A legal battle gets a new claimant”

Social Media

Best use of social media to enhance and/or cover a story
First place: Christina Schoellkopf, Jessica Roy, Fidel Martinez and Adriana Lacy, “Reporting the Loss of Kobe Bryant”

For the complete list of award recipients, visit