USC Annenberg lauded across Los Angeles

USC Annenberg faculty, students and alumni need to start building some shelves for the numerous accolades they earned this week. At the Los Angeles Press Club honors held on June 29 at the Los Angeles Biltmore.

The awards recognize “high-caliber journalism” and “call attention to the Los Angeles area’s fine journalists while promoting excellence in new and emerging media.”

Truthdig, a political news website founded by USC Annenberg professor Robert Scheer and alumna Zuade Kaufman took first place for “Website News Organization Exclusive to the Internet.” In honoring Truthdig, the judges commented: “Insightful, timely writing, without pulling any punches. Very good, no-nonsense design, and an impressive line-up of contributors.”

Marty Kaplan, who holds the Norman Lear Chair in Entertainment, Media and Society and is director of the Norman Lear Center, tied for first place for “Best Entertainment Criticism” for his Jewish Journal essays: “The Future of Technology; Fear of Fun” and “CBS vs. Time Warner Cable vs. You.”

Student-run Neon Tommy competed against professional news organizations such as the Los Angeles Times, CNN, and The Hollywood Reporter. The web publication took home two top prizes. In the Online category, for “News,” the Neon Tommy team behind “USC Students Decry Racial Profiling by Authorities” took first place, with the judges noting: “This detailed and thorough reporting addresses the frustration and injustice of racial profiling and long-standing problems for both minorities and the LAPD.” Neon Tommy reporters also earned first place in the “Investigative” category for “Special Report: Investigation Into Sexual Assault at USC,” with judges highlighting the “Well researched, in-depth analysis of campus sex culture.” Neon Tommy photographer Charlie Magovern took second prize in the “Sports Photo” category, with “USC v. West Alabama,” while Cortney Rae Riles, took third in the “Entertainment Feature” category for “The Real 'Scandal' - That Isn't Discussed.”

Competing against fellow youth media also proved successful for Annenberg students, as Joy Wang of USC’s Annenberg TV News” landed the top prize in the “Best Reporting – Broadcast, Podcast or Stream” category for “Protestors Demand Higher Wages for Fast Food Workers,” while ATVN’s Raishad Hardnett took third for “Digital Era Hits Drive-in Theaters.”

ATVN also scored second place for best news website. Other notable mentions include: Annenberg Ph.D. candidate George Villanueva sharing second place for best multimedia package; alumnus Gary Baum, taking first and second places in the magazine “news investigative” category; alumnus Drew Tewksbury sharing second place in the social media category for KCET’s “Artbound”; and adjunct professor Vince Gonzales sharing first place in the “Documentary” category for “LA Experiment.” Gonzales’ work on “LA Experiment” was also noted by the Los Angeles area Emmys, which nominated Gonzales in the Information Segment category and then again for the Information/Public Affairs series category, with colleagues and fellow Annenberg faculty Rebecca Haggerty and Judy Muller for KCET series “SoCal Connected.” Annenberg faculty member Alan Abrahamson was recently bestowed the 2014 Track & Field Writers of America Adam Jacobs Award for excellence in online journalism. Professor Abrahamson said: “For me, this is a very special award.

For one, it was voted on by my peers….To win in the emerging field of online journalism, and about the sport that I have been so very passionate about for so many years is, as I say, a special moment. “

And last, but not least, the Los Angeles Times honored Annenberg alumnus John Adams with an innovation award for rebuilding their website “from the ground up, working tirelessly in 2013 to create the infrastructure that has made our new site a success. He has been on the front lines in the newsroom, coaching everyone on best digital practices. And he will continue to play a major role in making both creative and efficient. His belief in the quality and mission of this news organization is reflected in the long hours he has dedicated, by choice, to make sure the site is excellent.”

Fight on!

Calling all USC Annenberg faculty, staff, students and alumni: If you’ve recently been honored for your work, we’d love to know about it. Tweet it out and make sure to include @uscannenberg.