Times of San Diego Takes 23 Press Club Awards, Repeats as Top News Site

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Times of San Diego award winners at San Diego Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Awards include (from left) MarketInk columnist Rick Griffin, contributing editor Ken Stone, contributing photographer Chris Stone, contributor Mimi Pollack and website editor and publisher Chris Jennewein. Photo by Albert Fulcher

Times of San Diego took home 23 awards Tuesday night, and won Best News Site for the second straight year, at the San Diego Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Awards.

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Times contributing editor Ken Stone, with 14 awards overall including six first-place plaques, combined with wife and contributing photographer Chris Stone (six awards) as the most-honored couple at the 44th annual awards at the Jo & Vi Jacobs Center at Market Creek.

Rick Griffin thanks the San Diego Press Club for Andy Mace Award for Career Achievement in Public Relations. Photo by Ken Stone

Writers, editors and photographers for TimesOfSanDiego.com, launched in March 2014, claimed nine first-place awards, eight second-place awards and six third-place awards.

Chris Jennewein of Del Mar, founding editor and publisher of Times of San Diego, said: “These awards are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of Ken, Chris and the entire team of contributing editors and writers. Times of San Diego now reaches 200,000 readers a month thanks to compelling journalism like the articles and photographs recognized by tonight’s awards.”

Hundreds of people attended the 44th annual awards dinner, emceed by retired broadcast veteran Hal Clement, sampling fare from dozens of local restaurants, wineries and breweries.

Press Club executive director Terry Williams said members submitted nearly 1,200 entries in daily, nondaily, magazine, radio, TV and college media categories.

Judges included reporters and editors who are members of press clubs in other major U.S. cities, including New Orleans, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Tulsa, San Francisco and Denver, as well as statewide press clubs in Alaska and Florida.

San Diego newspaper veteran Andrew Kleske, The San Diego Union-Tribune’s reader outreach editor, received the Harold Keen Award for outstanding contribution to journalism. Times columnist [“MarketInk] Rick Griffin won the Andy Mace Award for outstanding contributions to public relations.

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And fishmonger Tommy Gomes, brand ambassador of Catalina Offshore Products, won the Press Club Directors Award.

Union-Tribune courts and public-safety reporter Pauline Repard, declaring the event a “fake-news free zone,” handed the president’s gavel to Kristen Castillo.

“The San Diego Press Club annual journalism contest proves that fine writing, fearless investigative reporting, thoughtful commentary and engaging photography not only still exist in San Diego County, but can be found abundantly,” Repard said.

New San Diego Press Club President Kristen Castillo (left) presents gavel to Pauline Repard, the outgoing president. Photo by Chris Stone

“The club’s members are committed to ethical principles of honesty and fairness. I encourage journalists to hold their ground in the face of opposition. Keep doing the good work that entertains, and enlightens and exposes.”

Castillo is the 42nd club leader since its founding in 1973 — and the seventh straight female president.

Also at the event, two Point Loma Nazarene University students were each presented $2,000 scholarships from the San Diego Press Club Foundation. They were Ombretta Di Dio (Joe Lipper Scholarship) and Natalie Rocha.

Best of show winners for 2017 were:

    • Best Television/Online Video Entry: Luis Cruz, Howard Lipin, Peter Rowe, Lauren Flynn, John Wilkens for “75 years later, keeping Pearl Harbor memories alive” (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
    • Best Non-Daily Newspapers Entry: Brad Graves, Lou Hirsh and John Cox for “Special Report: Downtown” (San Diego Business Journal)
    • Best Magazines Entry: Carl Nettleton for “What the U.S. Presidential Candidates Are Missing in the Immigration Debate” (Fortune Magazine)

Best Websites Entry: Caron Golden for To Market, To Market with San Diego Foodstuff

  • Best Radio/Podcast Entry: Ashly McGlone for “The Untold Story Behind the Sweetwater Schools Scandal” (voiceofsandiego.org)
  • Best Online/Daily Newspapers Entry: Brandon Quester and Brad Racino for “Data, teachers’ allegations undermine Gompers’ college-ready promise” (inewsource.org)
  • Wildcard Category: Jamie Reno for “How Agent Orange Is Still Devastating San Diegans: San Diego vets are still suffering from the toxic herbicide and struggling to get benefits from the VA” (San Diego Magazine)
  • Rising Star: Tom Jones of NBC7 San Diego consumer/investigative producer

Times of San Diego won these awards:

First-place awards

Second-place awards

Third-place awards

(Ken Stone also won first place for headlines — a portfolio for sister website MyNewsLA.com — and third place for Topic-Based Websites or Blogs for masterstrack.com.)

Complete results of San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. (PDF)

Other media outlets boasting multiple award winners were The San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 awards, Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College school newspaper (30); Ranch and Coast Magazine (25), San Diego LGBT Weekly (22), San Diego Business Journal (22), Ramona Home Journal (15), La Jolla Light (12), NBC 7/39 (11, the most among TV stations in San Diego), News Radio 600 KOGO-AM (8, the most among radio stations in San Diego) and San Diego Zoo Global and ZOONOOZ Magazine (8, including four first-place awards in various categories).

The San Diego Press Club’s journalism awards is among the largest regional competitions in the country. More than 538 awards were presented in 188 categories.

Press Club officials said the number of entries has risen 30 percent in the past two years with the addition of new categories, such as “travel, domestic” and “travel, international,” rather than one travel category.

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