The quote is how Tijuana journalist Jesus Blancornelas began his remarks last night at the 47th annual Southern California Journalism Awards. He accepted the L.A. Press Club's Daniel Pearl award from the murdered Wall Street Journal reporter's parents, Ruth and Judea Pearl, and received two standing ovations. Blancornelas came in under tight security but mingled freely during cocktails, conversing with Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa, among others. AP trial reporter Linda Deutsch, New Yorker writer Seymour Hersh (via videotape) and the late Larry McCormick of KTLA were honored as well. Journalist of the Year awards went to Ronald Brownstein, Tim Brown (sports) and Rick Loomis (photographer) of the Times, Susan McRae of the Daily Journal, Ana Garcia of NBC4 and Michael Linder of KNX.
The Times dominated the newspaper categories with twelve winners, while the Long Beach Press-Telegram, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Jewish Journal each won three. (Included were the Times' Pulitzer-winning series on King-Drew, that Press-Telegram story by Wendy Thomas Russell about the partying federal jury, and Luis Sinco's photo of Marlboro Man in Iraq.) In the television categories, CBS2 and KCAL-9 won for best news programs, KTLA for breaking news coverage of the Mexican consulate standoff near MacArthur Park, Joel Connable of KCAL for best feature (on the stonecutter who carved Ronald Reagan's headstone) and Ana Garcia, Fred Mamoun and Ty Kim of NBC4 for their investigation of parking scams at LAX. In radio, KNX won best newscast, feature, series and sports report, KCLU won for breaking news coverage (of the Reagan funeral) and documentary, KCRW won for "To the Point" and "The Business," and Frank Stoltze of KPCC won for best use of sound. In the magazine categories, David Evans of Bloomberg News won the investigative award, Fred Dickey the features award for a piece in the L.A. Times Magazine, TV Week for best columns and Richard Rushfield the best feature award for a piece in VLife.
Others of note: Tim Cavanaugh of Reason won for online commentary, Matt Welch and Tim Blair won in the new weblog category for their effort on Reason's Democratic National Convention blog, Amy Alkon won in best signed newspaper commentary over 100,000 for her "Ask the Advice Goddess" columns, and the BBC bureau in Los Angeles won for a story about Craigslist.
Notes on a cocktail napkin: Erin Park, the City News Service reporter in City Hall, is moving to the Los Angeles Daily Journal and a beat outside the hall...Kimberly Edds of the Washington Post bureau here (and formerly of the Metropolitan News-Enterprise), is headed to the Register to cover Anaheim...VLife, Variety's bimonthly glossy, is going monthly in September. VLife Weekend is also starting up...The Daily News is close to launching a blog featuring Rick Orlov and other staffers...The LA Weekly is gearing up to increase its blog output.