The Los Angeles Times editorial awards are a good window into which stories and efforts the editors liked last year. The awards can also reflect which journalists might be ascendant within the newsroom pecking order, and through the years have also been used to throw a few kudos to someone who is under-appreciated or nearing the end of a long career. They can also shed light on in-house trends; in recent years "innovation" has been rewarded along with journalism achievements. In posting about this year's awards, handed out Thursday, the paper's designated reader's representative, Deirdre Edgar, disclosed the creation of a new Editor's Award for Persistence, which she wrote that editor Davan Maharaj calls the Golden Cockroach Award.
"The cockroach can't be exterminated and can't be stopped," he said. "You can stomp on them, take their food away, and deny their document requests -- but they're still there at the end of the day. Sounds a lot like many journalists over the last 10 years. And like many people in this room. Faced with obstacles, we overcome. Beaten down, we rise again."
Yeah, there is some anxiety in the Times newsroom these days as they await a potential sale and to find which of their current top bosses would remain should Rupert Murdoch or the Eli Broad-Austin Beutner group (or someone else) acquire the paper. The winner of the first cockroach award is the team that covered the 2012 elections. Also notable among the winners: Michael Hiltzik, the business columnist who has come back to be a major strength (again) of the Times' down-scaled Business section.
The whole list, via my in-box. Edgar has more detail in her blog post.
Opinion journalism: Hiltzik and Mary McNamara, for TV
Explanatory journalism: Calendar staff for reporting on the makeup of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Investigations: Kim Christensen, Jason Felch, Maloy Moore and Ken Schwencke, for "Shame of the Boy Scouts," "which revealed the contents of thousands of files documenting sexual abuse in one of the nation’s most revered youth organizations."
Feature writing: Molly Hennessy-Fiske, for "Standing Up: Davien's Story."
Sports reporting: Kevin Baxter.
Beat reporting: Richard Marosi and Don Bartletti, "who illuminated another side of illegal immigration in their series 'Without a Country.'"
Blog: L.A. Now.
Blogging by an individual: Tiffany Hsu, for Money & Co. "Hsu was one of The Times' most-read writers of the year."
Social media: Mike Bresnahan, the Lakers reporter. "He doubled his followers after focusing on Twitter late in the year."
Graphics: Armand Emamdjomeh, Thomas Suh Lauder, Anthony Pesce, Ken Schwencke and Ben Welsh, for Election 2012.
Video: Rick Loomis, Albert Lee, Liz O. Baylen and Kenneth Weiss, for "Beyond 7 Billion." "In six short films that explore population growth around the world, this group set a new standard for our most ambitious and informative work."
Digital presentation: Myung J. Chun, Lorena Iñiguez Elebee, Christopher Hawthorne, Lily Mihalik, Anthony Pesce and Luis Sinco, for "Boulevards." "Hawthorne discovered a new city – a Los Angeles in which your car matters less by the day."