Jesus Blancornelas

The 47th annual Southern California Journalism Awards have come on as a sponsor of L.A. Observed. That wouldn't necessarily merit an item on the blog, but there's a story percolating behind the scenes of this Saturday's awards dinner. The L.A. Press Club, which gives the awards, is bestowing the 2005 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism on Mexican investigative journalist Jesus Blancornelas, owner of the courageous Baja California weekly Zeta. Due to attempts on his life, Blancornelas will travel from Tijuana under high security (without his usual bodyguards, who aren't being allowed in the country.) His editor, Francisco Ortiz Franco, was gunned down last year, reportedly by the Arellano Flix drug cartel. Blancornelas survived his wounds in a 1997 attack that killed his driver. Entry to the Renaissance Hollywood hotel is going to be tightly controlled, and newly hired staff are getting background checks. It's all costing the Press Club quite a bit to pull off, so they're hoping for a big turnout to recoup expenses. As I've mentioned before, Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa will give the opening remarks and awards will be given to Seymour Hersh, AP's Linda Deutsch and the late Larry McCormick of KTLA. The club also gives a ton of excellence awards to local journos, including a new catgeory for weblogs (disclosure: I didn't enter in any category.) Here are all the finalists.


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Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12
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