New Times took home five awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2015 Better Newspapers Contest. The awards were announced during a press summit in San Francisco April 30.
Editor Camillia Lanham’s story outlining different styles of dry-farming used by vineyards on the Central Coast, “Vines by nature” (May 21, 2015), received a second place award for Agricultural Reporting. A story she wrote while she was still managing editor at the Sun, New Times’ sister paper to the south, took a first place for Environmental Reporting. “Nitrogen and water” (Jan. 1, 2015) looked at how the agricultural industry was dealing with high nitrate concentrations in drinking water wells and the new regulations governing them.
New Times staff writers were Blue Ribbon Finalists in the following categories: Environmental Reporting for Jono Kinkade’s “Cutting down catastrophe” (Aug. 20, 2015); Education Coverage for Chris McGuinness’ piece “Pushing transition” (Oct. 15, 2015); Enterprise News Story or Series for Colin Rigley’s “href="http://www.newtimesslo.com/cover/11937/the-born-identity-why-its-so-important-for-transgender-people-to-change-their-documents-and-how-its-now-easier-to-do-so/">Hello my name is …” (Jan. 22, 2015) ; and Investigative Reporting for “Airing out concerns” by Rigley (Feb. 12, 2015).
Sun Editor Shelly Cone’s piece “Life on alert” (Oct. 15, 2015) also won a first place for New Times’ sister paper for Best Profile Feature. The story was a look at the day-to-day lives of undocumented immigrants who say they live in constant fear of deportation tearing their families apart. Sun Staff Writer David Minsky contributed to that report.
The Sun also earned a Blue Ribbon Finalist placement for Local Government Coverage for Staff Writer David Minsky’s story “Code conundrum” (Aug. 6, 2015). That piece took a look at a homeowner’s fight to keep his home after the city of Lompoc found him in violation of city codes.