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Reporter Mark Noack won first prize for his profile story "The philanthropist pauper" about a withdrawn homeless veteran who used an end-of-life windfall to endow a scholarship.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, MV-Voice.com, 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.