The Express won three honors recently: The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association recognized publisher Jody Colley for her work with small, local businesses in the East Bay; contributors Ali Winston and Joaquin Palomino and co-editor Robert Gammon are to be honored by PUEBLO, Oakland's police watchdog group, for the Express' ongoing coverage of OPD; and contributor Rachel Swan, the paper's former music editor, won an excellence in journalism award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California.
Colley won the annual "Friend of Independent Booksellers Award" from the Northern California Independent Booksellers "for her unswerving commitment to the cause; for her participation in a thousand civic meetings; for her generosity of spirit and her wicked sense of humor," said Amy Thomas, owner of Pegasus bookstores in Berkeley and Oakland. Colley was honored last Thursday at a ceremony at the South San Francisco Conference Center.
"From almost the first moment she arrived in the Bay Area, Jody has put her time, energy, and the considerable resources of the East Bay Express, to aid, advocate, support, and celebrate our local businesses and entrepreneurs," Thomas continued. "She and her staff have been particularly supportive of booksellers, and have devised a number of marketing promotions and campaigns designed to keep our customers shopping local. She has been active in helping to create Buy Local Berkeley, Oakland Grown, Think Indie, Plaid Friday, and The Read Indie campaign, among others, and has been instrumental in bringing the local economy message to her nationwide network of alternative weekly newspapers. We have truly found a champion and we are very grateful."
The Express, Winston, Palomino, and Gammon won PUEBLO's annual "community leader" award, and will be honored at an event sponsored by the organization on November 10 for their "excellent, continual investigative reporting on the Oakland Police Department and issues related to the Negotiated Settlement Agreement," said Rashida Grinage of PUEBLO.
Finally, Swan won a first-place award from SPJ Northern California for three in-depth reports she wrote on the East Bay's arts and culture scene. The judges said Swan's stories "demonstrate an exceptional alertness to cultural nuances, gender roles, and social and cultural power dynamics."
Swan won for her stories "Sex By Numbers," "The Shrinking Stage," and "Boys in a Book Club." The Express was the only alternative weekly in Northern California to win an award this year.