The Express won eleven awards, including five first-place awards, in the East Bay Press Club’s 2009 Excellence in Print Journalism Contest. The awards were announced Friday night June 25 at the club’s annual banquet in Oakland’s Chinatown District. Express Managing Editor Kathleen Wentz took home first place in the in-depth/investigative reporting category for “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0” and “Yelp Extortion Allegations Stack Up.” The judges remarked: “Ms. Wentz’s investigation into Yelp and exposing the ugly side of their business practices is classic investigative journalism.”
Associate Editor Robert Gammon won two first place awards — best columnist for his column Full Disclosure and best analysis for his story, “You’re Not an Environmentalist If You’re Also a NIMBY.” Gammon also grabbed three second-place awards — business feature, “Who’s Killing the Plug-In Hybrid;” general news story, “Sierra Water Grab;” and in-depth/investigative reporting, “Monica’s Victims.”
Music editor Rachel Swan won first place in the best profile category for “The Lost Runner.” She also garnered a third-place award in the cultural affairs reporting category for her column Culture Spy. Arts editor Nate Seltenrich earned a second-place award in the lifestyle feature category for “I Was Cougar Bait.” He also took home third place in the criticism or reviewing category. Finally, Express editor Stephen Buel won first place in the page design category for “Subcultures — Best of the East Bay.”
The San Francisco Chronicle won the most awards for any single publication, taking home 23 awards. It also won the most first-place honors with ten. The Contra Costa Times won 19 awards, including six first places. The San Francisco Business Times won eight awards, and the Oakland Tribune garnered six, four of which were first places. In all, BANG-East Bay earned 27 awards.
The annual East Bay Press Club awards are somewhat unique in that all print and online media organizations are judged against each other — there are no separate categories for circulation or for magazines. The only rule was that each entry must have appeared in a Bay Area newspaper, magazine, or online in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, or Solano counties during 2009. The judges for this year’s contest were the Cleveland Press Club, the Los Angeles Press Club, and the Milwaukee Press Club.