Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2006
BURLINGAME – Media stories ranging from coverage of the governor’s failed Proposition 74 attack on teachers in the November special election to student “cyberbullying” to how Los Angeles schools served relocated students hit by Hurricane Katrina are among the works honored by the California Teachers Association’s 47th annual John Swett Awards for Media Excellence.
Nine 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 2005.
“The story of public education deserves fair and accurate media coverage, and these journalists and editors provided both with their outstanding coverage of our schools and students,” said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 335,000-member CTA. “The John Swett Award is our top award for media professionals and outlets. All of this year’s winners showed the kind of talent and skill that deserves to be singled out.”
There were 60 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 3. 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 nine John Swett Award winning entries:
• Louis Freedberg , the San Francisco Chronicle, for a series of thought-provoking columns on the pitfalls of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s education agenda last year and his failed Proposition 74 that attacked teachers’ due process rights, blamed educators for school woes, and threatened to make the teacher shortage even worse.
• Heather Knight , the San Francisco Chronicle, for an inspiring, year-long series about how teachers, parents and administrators helped create an enthusiasm for education among students at inner-city Malcolm X Academy in the San Francisco Unified School District. After being nearly shut down due to students’ academic performance, the school was given a second chance and Knight’s stories showed the challenges that students overcame to rediscover the joys of learning.
• Naush Boghossian , the Los Angeles Daily News, for continuous coverage of education issues. Winning stories included coverage of students coping with local school life after being evacuated from Hurricane Katrina; dropout rates in Los Angeles Unified School District, and the impacts of student “cyberbullying” on the Internet.
• Grace Rauh , the Fremont Argus, for a series of stories on teachers in a Bay Area school district, New Haven Unified in Union City, fighting for a labor contract over several months and reaching an 11th-hour settlement that averted a strike.
• Michelle Hatfield , the Santa Maria Times, Santa Barbara County, for a feature story headlined “The Power of Being There” about the lasting value of parental involvement in a child’s education, both at home and at school, regardless of the child’s age.
• Lisa Toth Sibley , the Saratoga News, a weekly in Santa Clara County, for a feature story about special education students finding good summer jobs through the innovative “WorkAbility” program offered by the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District.
• KQED-FM , public radio, San Francisco, won for continuous coverage of education issues. These outstanding news segments by KQED reporters Kathryn Baron and Cyrus Musiker in San Francisco, Sasha Khoka in Fresno and John Myers in Sacramento covered a variety of education topics – examining, among other issues, how Proposition 98 works, challenges at a school for new Hmong immigrants in the Central Valley, and how language differences pose challenges for students and teachers in California.
• News10 KXTV , Sacramento, an ABC affiliate, for its well-crafted “teacher of the month” portraits of local educators making a huge difference in the lives of students in the region.
• David Okarski , KCET-TV, public television, Los Angeles, for a stimulating news talk show about the governor’s failed Proposition 74, rejected by voters in the November special election.
The California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 2.8 million-member National Education Association