FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BURLINGAME – Media stories ranging from school desegregation to Bay Area television programs on school funding inequities to a look at the charter school movement are among the works honored by the California Teachers Association's 46th annual John Swett Awards for Media Excellence.
Thirteen entries in the prestigious CTA awards contest were recently chosen by an independent panel of media professionals. The awards honor individuals, publications and television and radio stations for their outstanding achievements in reporting and interpreting public education issues during 2004.
"Public education issues deserve media coverage, and these journalists and editors deserve recognition for their outstanding coverage of our public schools," said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 335,000-member CTA. "The John Swett Award is our top award for media professionals. This year's winners showed skill and compassion in their fine work."
There were nearly 50 entries this year. The winners will receive their awards during a luncheon in their honor at the CTA State Council of Education meeting in Los Angeles on June 11. CTA also will take out a full-page advertisement in the July/August issue of Columbia Journalism Review magazine to list the winners and give them national recognition.
The award is named in honor of the founder of CTA, who was California's fourth superintendent of public instruction. This year's 13 John Swett Award winning entries:
Maria Luisa Arredondo, La Opinion, Los Angeles, for a revealing series on school segregation and the historic 1946 court case of Mendez vs. Westminster, which outlawed the practice of Orange County schools segregating Latino children and was decided seven years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.
Jill Tucker, the Oakland Tribune, for a feature story about a group of Bay Area students with outstanding spelling skills preparing for a national Scrabble championship.
Grace Rauh, the Fremont Argus, for a series on the subject of high school hazing.
Anne Gelhaus, the weekly Almaden Resident, San Jose, for continuous coverage of education issues.
Amy Wicks, the weekly Willow Glen Resident, for a feature story headlined "Vibe Zone" about students learning the joys of jazz from Willow Glen High School music instructor Andrew Eisenmann in San Jose.
Cupertino Courier, a Santa Clara County weekly paper, won in the publication category for continuous coverage of education issues.
Kathryn Baron, KQED-FM, San Francisco, won two awards, for continuous coverage, and for a feature story on the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.
Jeffrey Callison and Benjamin Jonas-Keeling, Capital Public Radio, KXJZ-FM in Sacramento, for a segment of the "Insight" talk show program on charter schools that took an in-depth look at the history of the laws governing charters and the controversies within the movement supporting these schools.
KPFA-FM, Berkeley, for a segment of its "Morning Show" program that looked at the flawed federal No Child Left Behind Act and the problem of high-stakes testing.
Noel Cisneros, reporter, KRON-TV San Francisco, for a profile titled "Separate and Unequal" that looked at sharply different conditions at Bay Area schools in Richmond and Pleasanton to expose the consequences of California's public school funding inequities.
KMEX-TV, Univision Channel 34, Los Angeles, for the station's public service program titled, "34 A Su Lado," or 34 By Your Side. Using community experts to answer questions from viewers, this program offers useful advice on issues including education, child care, immigration and health care.
KPIX-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco, for a team contribution by a station, "Schools In Crisis." Five reporters worked on the 30-minute program, which used drastic cuts faced by certain Bay Area school districts in 2004 to explore school funding inequities, and included holding a town hall meeting with students.