The Express won eight awards, including seven first-place honors, in the annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards contest, the results of which were announced last weekend. We also won the most first-place awards and the most overall by any alternative newsweekly in the region. All of the Express' awards were in the non-daily newspaper category for 2012.
Express staff writer Ellen Cushing won two first places. She won for best business/technology story for her report "The Digital Sweatshop" (8/1), which shed light on the world of microtasking, a largely unregulated industry in which workers are paid pennies to do menial tasks online.
Cushing also shared a first-place award with contributor Rachel Swan in the entertainment category for their cover story "Traveling Bands Do Not Cross" (1/18). Their piece focused on restrictive booking contracts that prohibit some musicians from playing in Oakland if they've also booked a show in San Francisco.
Co-editor Robert Gammon also won two first-place awards. He won in the continuing coverage category for his reports on US Senator Dianne Feinstein and her attempts to block the creation of the first marine wilderness on the West Coast so that a controversial oyster farm could remain open.
Gammon also shared a first-place award with contributors Ali Winston, Darwin BondGraham, and Joaquin Palomino in the best series category for the newspaper's ongoing coverage of the Oakland Police Department and its repeated failures to enact court-mandated reforms. Winston wrote most of the stories in the series.
BondGraham also won first place in the best analysis category for his cover story "From Brown to Green" (1/25), which showed how environmental regulations actually help the economy and are not "job killers" as many Republicans and moderate Democrats contend.
Contributor Ashley Bates won first place in the news story category for her report "Radioactive Isle" (9/5), which highlighted the toxic dangers on Treasure Island and the impacts of pollution on residents' health.
Contributor Kibby Kleiman won first place for best sports story for "Moneyball 2.0: The Pitching Whisperer" (9/12), an in-depth look at the Oakland A's surprising 2012 campaign that focused on soft-spoken pitching coach Curt Young and his ability to coax playoff-caliber performances from his young staff.
And finally, Swan also won a second-place award in the specialty story category for "The Shrinking Stage" (4/4), which focused on how the recession forced local theater companies to book smaller productions to save money.
The Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards is sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club.