By Mike Myslinski
Winners Tiffany Carney and Mayra Flores De Marcotte.
Stories ranging from a profile of a college-bound high school student fighting cancer who ended up in a speech by President Obama in Virginia about perseverance, to television coverage of CTA’s “Pink Friday” protests last year, are among the 16 winners honored this year in CTA’s education journalism contest.
The winners of the 51st annual CTA John Swett Awards for Media Excellence were honored at a State Council reception June 11 in Los Angeles, where CTA President David A. Sanchez praised their work.
“We know the news business is changing in many ways, but good education reporting will always matter to our students, communities, lawmakers and our society,” said Sanchez in his speech at the awards ceremony. “Our John Swett honor is our equivalent of a Pulitzer, which is why we named the award after the founder of CTA.”
The ceremony is a reminder for CTA members to be on the lookout for more outstanding examples of California education reporting during 2010. Swett Award entries must be nominated by CTA chapter presidents or service center council chairs. Winners are selected every year by a panel of working journalists and editors. This year there were more than 60 entries.
The Swett winners honored for work appearing during 2009 are:
Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, won two Swett Awards for a story on foundation-funded Los Angeles Unified consultants, and continuous coverage of LAUSD; Nanette Asimov and Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, for a package of inspirational stories about what happened to a San Francisco kindergarten class of 1995; and Carol Veravanich, a teacher who writes a column about school issues for the Orange County Register.
Neil Gonzales, San Mateo County Times, for an overcrowding story; Kamala Kelkar, San Francisco Examiner, looked at snafu regarding the federal subsidized meal program; Roger Phillips, Stockton Record, for continuous coverage; Katy Murphy, Oakland Tribune, for continuous coverage; Melissa Pamer, Torrance Daily Breeze, for a news story about an embattled principal; and Dennis Wyatt, Manteca Bulletin, for a column criticizing the local district about teacher layoffs.
Tiffany Carney, Sunnyvale Sun, won two Swett Awards for stories that included a local profile of a student battling cancer that caught the eye of an Obama speechwriter; Mayra Flores De Marcotte, Willow Glen Resident in San Jose, for a news story about closing achievement gaps; Dawn Henley, Oakdale Leader, for continuous coverage; and Los Gatos Weekly-Times, as a publication, for continuous coverage.
Lyanne Melendez, the education reporter for the ABC affiliate in San Francisco, KGO-TV, won for her comprehensive report on Bay Area teacher protests in March 2009 that were part of CTA’s statewide “Pink Friday” event. The statewide demonstrations were against the thousands of pink slips issued to teachers across California.