Writers Doug Porter, John Lawrence, Anna Daniels and Frank Gormlie Recognized
On July 10 the the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held its annual journalism awards banquet at Bali Hai on Shelter Island. The names of all of the winners of the competition had been released in June. The list included San Diego Free Press editors Doug Porter, Anna Daniels and weekly contributor John Lawrence and Frank Gormlie, editor of our sister publication the OB Rag. First, second and third place winners would be announced at the banquet as well as the Journalist of the Year award.
Eight of us, representing the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag, enjoyed a dinner on the bay against the backdrop of the city skyline and a rising, almost full moon. Matt Hall, incoming president of the local chapter of SPJ, stopped by to talk about upcoming programs they will be sponsoring.
The program included a recognition of the familiar voices that were lost this past year with the deaths of Neil Morgan, Jerry Coleman and last year’s Journalist of the Year winner Loren Nancarrow. Afterward, Carol LeBeau, retired 10News anchor, announced the winners for broadcast, print and online journalism.
This year SDFP editor and columnist Doug Porter won his second journalism award. His Starting Line article Death by Street Planning on El Cajon Boulevard received second place for Daily Reporting and Writing, Opinion/Editorial. Last year Doug received first place for his coverage of Prop Z.
Doug has written over 600 articles since SDFP launched two years ago. He provides distinctive, informed analysis five days a week in his Starting Line column. Doug has also provided exceptional election coverage in SDFP voter guides.
SDFP contributor John Lawrence has provided weekly in-depth coverage on a variety of topics including climate change, public banking and finances, health and social trends. He emphasizes the impact of policy–for better or for worse– upon citizens and consumers.
John won second place in the Environmental Story category for An Analysis of the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan. It is a timely subject and we will no doubt be hearing more from John on the topic.
SDFP editor and columnist Anna Daniels received an Honorable Mention for her column City Heights: Up Close & Personal. Last year, as part of SDFP’s focus on neighborhoods, she introduced readers to the place she has called home for over twenty five years.
To understand City Heights, it must be rolled across the tongue and savored in the local markets and restaurants. It must be heard in the cacophony of buses, street vendors, garbage trucks, music from quinceañeras and children’s voices. It must be felt on an early morning canyon walk.
Frank Gormlie is editor of the OB Rag and a member of the SDFP editorial board. Frank Gormlie has a unique historical overview of San Diego politics that extends back to the 1960’s. He was an editor of the original OB Rag, when it was in a print format and has been a long time Ocean Beach activist.
Frank received Honorable Mention in the News or Feature series for his OB Rag two part series Digging Tunnels Under the 3o Foot Height Limit. Both of these articles generated significant online discussion. Frank’s extensive coverage of the OB community plan is also timely. His article A History of Community Planning in Ocean Beach is a must read on the topic.
The SPJ program continued with the announcement of the Journalist of the Year award winner, KPBS Senior Editor Mark Sauer, who provided the keynote address.
Awards were also given to journalists in College Media. The Southwestern College Sun received an astounding number of awards. Joaquin Junco, whom we know as Junco Canché at SDFP, received an award for his political cartoons at the Sun. We are keeping our eyes on this upcoming generation of journalists.
The San Diego Free Press was a unique presence at the award banquet. We are a non-commercial site under the direction of an all-volunteer editorial board. The growing list of SDFP contributors write without any financial compensation. The editorial board and contributors hold joint meetings to socialize, talk politics and poetry and possibilities.
It is clear to those of us who won awards that they were made possible by the ongoing commitment of editors Annie Lane, Brent Beltrán, Rich Kacmar, Patty Jones, Anna Daniels, Frank Gormlie and Doug Porter; two years worth of grassroots news and progressive views provided by SDFP contributors; and an ever increasing readership which gives us the reason to continue.
Thank you all.