A team of L.A. Times headline writers won the top prize for 2003 from The American Copy Editors Society. The judges had this to say about the LAT entries:
These headlines go beyond clever or creative: they're smart. It's obvious that these copy editors expect their readers to be smart, too. I liked that. Also, I liked that the portfolio contained news, features and sports stories. It shows that a standard of excellence is part of the entire newsroom culture.
The wordplay was fresh, informative, and funny when called for. None of the puns were a stretch; to the bottom of my pile of entries, I consigned a huge number of strained, unclear, unfunny plays.
The deck heads, in that deeply generous L.A. Times design style, were more down-to-earth; I liked the precision of language and usage in them. The creativity carried through to the jump heads, which was rarely the case in other entries. They also wisely did not stray far from the front-page heads; among these entries, I saw many in which the jump head sounded as if it was written for another story, which confuses readers.