Society of Professional Journalists Bestows 17 First-Place Awards on U-T San Diego Journalists

Awards Showcase High Quality of Journalism from U-T San Diego  

– July 2014 U-T San Diego won 17 first-place awards in the Society of Professional Journalists San Diego chapter’s annual contest. The awards were presented July 10, 2014 at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island.

The awards covered the journalistic spectrum, from breaking news to columns and criticism; from arts and entertainment to science and technology. “I could not be more proud of our talented team of journalists,” said Papa Doug Manchester, the U-T’s Chairman and Publisher. “Our strength has always been in quality journalism and reporting the news with honesty and integrity.”

U-T San Diego’s website was honored as best news site and best entertainment site; which proved to be an especially gratifying award for U-T staff, Manchester said.“U-T Journalists have been trained to write for all platforms, all devices, and all mediums, including social media,” Manchester stated. “They are true multimedia journalists.”

This multimedia strategy greatly expands the U-T’s reach. Its goal is to distribute content locally, nationally and internationally, depending on the content and subject matter. In fact, half of all digital viewers are not from the San Diego region.

U-T columnist Fred Dickey received the Diversity Prize for his column “Hopefulness lives among the homeless.” He also won first-place awards for environmental story, sports story, feature story and column. “These awards demonstrate the enduring value of a printed newspaper,” Manchester said. “Our journalists have the capabilities and access to report in-depth stories and provide breaking news and behind-the-scene glimpses that really put the reader inside the story.”

“U-T San Diego is the leading news source in San Diego,” said Jeff Light, U-T Editor and Vice President of Content. “We pride ourselves on delivering unbiased news and information that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Other U-T first-place awards were:

  • Arts/entertainment story: George Varga, “Sinead O’Connor talks music and controversy.”

  • Breaking news story: Kristina Davis and Debbi Baker, “Biotech exec accused in La Jolla shootings.”

  • Education story: Gary Robbins, “Chemistry professor at University of California San Diego starts 50th year.”

  • Health story: Beth Wood, “Scientists make their case for clinical research using human subjects.”

  • Legal story:Greg Moran and Kristina Davis, “Fall from grace for former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor.

  • Multicultural story: George Varga, “Women in mariachi shatter stereotypes.”

  • News or feature series (any subject): Roxana Popescu, “One street, three views on guns.”

  • Political/government story: Roxana Popescu, “Filner’s corner: Who’s left?”

  • Review/Criticism: George Varga, “Rolling Stones’ tour-opener ignites.”

  • Science/technology story: Gary Robbins, “The virus hunter: Erica Ollmann Saphire takes on deadly threats.”

  • News headline: John Keller, “Yoga suit has many bent out of shape.”

  • Photo Essay: David Maung, “Canal of homelessness.”

  • Blog: Matthew T. Hall, “Your vote for coolest Aztec ever (and your souvenir bracket!);” “Worst and best dates ever? Check, and check please!;” “New York loses ‘pizza war,’ gives Bronx cheer to San Diego.”

SPJ is the latest industry organization to recognize the quality work done by U-T San Diego journalists. In March, the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) organization ranked the U-T San Diego Sports Department among the best in the U.S. And last month, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Pacific Southwest chapter bestowed five regional Emmy awards on U-T TV.