Voice wins 'General Excellence' at California Journalism Awards

Voice reporters take first place for public service, profile, education and business reporting

The Mountain View Voice won the top award for print journalism at this year's California Journalism Awards, held in Sonoma on Saturday, April 14.

In their comments that accompanied the award announcement, contest judges praised the Voice's clean design, good mix of local news and entertainment coverage, and stories that "make you care about the topic."

Besides receiving the "General Excellence" award for weekly newspapers in its circulation category, Voice reporters took first place for their coverage of education and business news, best profile story and for public service reporting. In total, the Voice was honored with nine first- and second-place awards, and took third place in the land-use reporting and photo essay categories.

Reporter Kevin Forestieri's investigative series of stories about the Mountain View Whisman School District's problematic handling of Teach to One, "Digital math program’s flaws hidden from school board, community," accompanied by editorials by then-Associate Editor Renee Batti, won both the public service award and took first place for education coverage. Judges' comments praised Forestieri's tenacity, with one saying that his clear, engaging presentation of the facts "had me looking forward to each subsequent story. That's a tough feat to accomplish when writing about school district finances."

Forestieri also took second place for education coverage with his story on the school district's struggles to retain special education staff.

Reporter Mark Noack won first prize for his profile story "The philanthropist pauper" about a withdrawn homeless veteran who used an end-of-life windfall to endow a scholarship. Judges called it "well-written and hard not to love." Noack was awarded another first prize for his coverage of business news in the story "Brouhaha continues over city’s business licenses."

Noack took second place honors for the sports feature story Rugby H2O: unusual underwater contact sport finds a home in Mountain View’s city pools, which also won second place in the artistic photo category for Voice photographer Michelle Le. Noack was a finalist for his in-depth reporting story "Animal clinic facing new complaints."

Le, along with her photo intern Ana Sofia Amieva-Wang, secured second place for the Voice in the new photojournalism category. Le took third place for her photo essay that accompanied Noack's story on RVs being towed from Crisanto Avenue, which was a finalist in the breaking news category. Le was also a finalist in the feature photo category.

The Voice's website,, was a finalist in the online general excellence category. The Voice won first place for online general excellence last year and first place for general excellence in 2016.

"I'm lucky to have such a hard-working and dedicated team of journalists covering Mountain View," said Voice Editor Andrea Gemmet. "We truly appreciate this recognition for our efforts to cover our community."

The California Journalism Awards, formerly known as the Better Newspapers Contest, is sponsored by the California Newspaper Publishers Association and covers work published during 2017. Winners are selected by an expert panel of out-of-state journalists.

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17 people like this
Posted by no news to me
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2018 at 4:34 am

Around Town it is no news that The Voice covers our community well. Those most in the know - sometimes even get a new reasoned perspective to consider. Which is very helpful considering the complexity of issues around here. The two main reporters do an amazing job of covering 'their usual beats' and I also find the reporting is almost as good when they have to cover another aspect of this community.

I'm so glad the long term photographer is finding that she can make-a-living with The Voice as, I assume, part of her professional employment gig. Staying local, and print based is very hard for any journalist these days.

And lastly, congratulations to THE EDITOR, who pulls the publication together, and provides the best kind of news organization - tenacious and true.

multi-decade resident

7 people like this
Posted by Caitlin
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 16, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Hooray for our spunky hometown paper. Just hooray.

9 people like this
Posted by ME
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 17, 2018 at 7:20 am

Congratulations to all! These are well deserved awards for all you hard work and a job well done.

5 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 17, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Congratulations, Voice!

3 people like this
Posted by ThreeFeet
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm

The MV Voice has earned all the awards it has received; hope there are many more to come.

I actually support the Voice with a small monthly payment - totally worth it. We have a great local paper that is not owned by one of the big outfits which chew up and damage the quality and value of area reporting.

Hope others will consider supporting the Voice. Ads are great, but appreciative readers who really value the reporting are even greater!

4 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 19, 2018 at 11:57 am

Mark Noack doesn't deserve it. We asked Mark so many times help to highlight our issue. He is only interested in topics pleasing City (or) City council. Totally unfair journalism

3 people like this
Posted by Joseph
a resident of Castro City
on May 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm

I totally agree unfair journalism from Mark. I am not sure we should consider this MV-Voice as official news letter. He wasted our time meeting with him and explaining our issue. Never work with Mark its total useless

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