On July 11, the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists held its annual journalism awards banquet at Bali Hai on Shelter Island. Loren Nancarrow, Fox 5 anchor and environmentalist, received the Journalist of the Year award. Awards were then presented by Carol LeBeau, retired 10News anchor and Marty Levin, retired KNSD/Channel 39 anchor. The full spectrum of the media- newspaper, magazines, online, radio and television– was reflected in the awards.
Prolific SDFP writer and editorial board member Doug Porter received first place in the Daily Reporting and Writing category for his coverage of Prop Z. Freepers Annie Lane, Rich Kacmar, Anna Daniels, Andy Cohen, Doug Porter and his daughter, Haley, waited expectantly to find out whether he had garnered a 1st, 2nd place or honorable mention. Doug was surprised at the 1st place award; the rest of us weren’t surprised at all.
Doug has written 329 articles for SDFP since June 2012. He is best known for his Monday through Friday column The Starting Line. He reads the “daily fishwrap” so we don’t have to, which is enough to garner our undying respect. He provides consistent, keen analysis of the political zeitgeist–five days a week–accompanied by some of the funniest, most trenchant images imaginable. When he throws in a music video, it is triple happiness.
In addition to The Starting Line, Doug took the lead on the SDFP Voter Guide 2012. This series was an ambitious undertaking, occurring a mere five months after the SDFP site had launched. The visits to the SDFP site suddenly and gratifyingly spiked upward. This series put us on the map. Doug’s post Debunking Proposition Z, San Diego School’s Opportunity to Keep Moving into the 21st Century was described by the SPJ jury panel as “… a marvelous piece that tackles a complex issue, explains it in clear language and skewers the opposing arguments with facts. A classic piece of good advocacy journalism.”
We are proud of Doug. He has taught many of us what it means to have a voice and how precious and powerful that ability is. We are proud of the quality of writing that the San Diego Free Press has provided in our first year. We are committed to providing excellent advocacy journalism in the years ahead. SDFP cannot do that without the dedication of its editorial board and contributors. Thank you all.