By Mike Myslinski
John North of KCLU Radio receives the John Swett Award
Media stories ranging from a look at one 10-year-old homeless boy’s struggle to fit in at his school to construction project woes sparked by layoffs in Los Angeles Unified School District are among the works honored by CTA’s education journalism contest.
The winners of CTA’s 53rd annual John Swett Awards for Media Excellence were recognized for outstanding achievements in reporting and interpreting public education issues during 2011. Fifteen winners, selected from 90 entries by an independent panel of media professionals, were honored at a State Council reception June 8 in Los Angeles.
“These winners are using their skills to tell the story of public education in so many compelling ways,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “These journalists capture the challenges and triumphs that teachers and students experience across the state. Their insights shape public opinion and deserve special recognition.”
Following are this year’s John Swett Award winners.
Newspapers: Matthew Wilson, Cupertino Courier, won two awards for a feature story about technology inspiring students to learn, and a news article about high school senior Angela Zhang winning a $100,000 Siemens scholarship for research on using nanotechnology to fight cancer; Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, for a feature story about homeless students in San Francisco Unified School District; Sandy Banks, Los Angeles Times, for a feature column in which LAUSD cafeteria workers explain how their health benefits are mending families; Connie Llanos, Los Angeles Daily News, for a series of investigative stories about layoffs in LAUSD leaving district construction sites without inspectors to ensure compliance with building safety codes; Diana Lambert, Sacramento Bee, for a news story about financially strapped Sacramento City Unified School District hiring an executive chef for district headquarters; Amy Crawford, San Francisco Examiner, for a news story about funding for arts programs in SFUSD; Katy Murphy, Oakland Tribune, for a story and video on her education blog about inner-city kids discovering the importance of learning during summer break; Shannon Barry, Milpitas Post, for continuous coverage of education news in Milpitas and Fremont school districts; Cosmo Garvin, Sacramento News and Review, for an investigative news story questioning the results and high costs of a school reform program in Sacramento.
Journals, Magazines, Websites: Louis Freedberg and Stephen Doig, California Watch, won for an online story about inequalities in per-student spending; Anthony Cody, Education Week, for blog entries about unfair attacks on teacher seniority rights, the “Save Our Schools” national rally in Washington, D.C., and other education issues; Susan Luzzaro, San Diego Reader, for a series of online stories on mismanagement of school construction projects involved with Sweetwater Union High School District and Southwestern College; Mayra Flores de Marcotte, Campbell Patch, for a series of online profiles of high school graduates in Campbell Union High School District.
Radio: John North, KCLU Radio, Thousand Oaks, won for a program on bullying.