L.A. Now

Los Angeles Press Club honors Times reporters for Bell coverage

Los Angeles Times reporters Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb picked up yet another honor Sunday for leading coverage of widespread corruption in the city of Bell, earning the first public service award from the Los Angeles Press Club.

They were among a host of Times staffers collecting awards in the over-50,000-circulation print and other categories.

Vives, Gottlieb and the staff of The Times already earned a Pulitzer Prize and a slew of other awards for investigations into municipal corruption in Bell. Overall coverage, which included some two dozen reporters and editors, exposed, among other things, unusually high pay and benefits for some public officials in the working-class suburb of 36,000 that led to legislative action and criminal charges against city officials.

Times photographer Barbara Davidson, who also won a Pulitzer Prize this year, took home first place in the feature photo category for "Victims of Gang Violence."

Another Times photographer, Rick Loomis, won photo journalist of the year, second place in feature photos, best news photo and honorable mention for best news photo.

Numerous other honors included veteran writer Thomas Curwen winning second place in the news feature category for his story "Walking Away From Grief," which portrayed a Montana nature writer's 100-mile, 11-day trek to fulfill his late wife's wishes.

Alana Semuels won first place in the business category for the piece "California unfriendly to business? Figures say no" and James Rainey, who writes the On The Media column, took home top honors for best newspaper columnist.

Sports writer Lance Pugmire tied for first place in the sports category with Gendy Alimurung of LA Weekly.

Photographer Carolyn Cole took home second place honors in the news photo category for her piece "Altercation," and her colleague Liz Baylen garnered all three honors for entertainment photos in her division.

Davidson, Genaro Molina, and Cole also placed first, second and honorable mention, respectively, in the photo essay category. Copy editor Steve Hensch won best headline with "336 Voters Opened Bell's Wallet," and videographer Sachi Cunningham won second place in the online news/investigative category for her piece "They've struck oil, but they're not rich."

Molina, Albert Lee, Bryan Chan and Marc Martin won best multimedia package for "Project 50."

Outside The Times, Patrick Range McDonald of L.A. Weekly won journalist of the year in the print over-50,000-circulation category. Ana Garcia and Fred Mamoun of KNBC-TV Channel 4 won for television, and Susan Valot of KPCC-FM (89.3) won for radio. Daniel Heimpel of won for online journalist of the year, and Kim Masters of KCRW-FM (89.9) won best entertainment journalist.

John Schwada of KTTV Channel 11 was given the Joseph M. Quinn Award for journalistic excellence and distinction.

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