Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine to Give Keynote Address at SPJ/LA Banquet

Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine will give the keynote address at the March 20, 2019 Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet sponsored by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The event, which will take place at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, honors journalists in print, broadcast and digital media.

Before joining The Times in 2018, Pearlstine served as Chief Content Officer and then Vice Chairman of Time Inc. Prior to that, he was Chief Content Officer at Bloomberg L.P.

For nearly five decades, Pearlstine has worked as a reporter and editor. He was editor-in-chief of Time Inc. from 1995 to 2005 before becoming a senior advisor to Time Warner. At Time Inc. Pearlstine oversaw the editorial content of Time Inc.’s 154 magazines, including Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, In Style, Money, People, Real Simple, Sports Illustrated and Time.

Previously, Pearlstine worked for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, the Asian Wall Street Journal and the Wall Street Journal/Europe. He also launched Smart Money magazine for Dow Jones & Co. and Hearst Corp. Pearlstine is the author of “Off the Record: The Press, the Government, and the War over Anonymous Sources,” published in 2007, and is the recipient of numerous honors, including the National Press Foundation’s Editor of the Year Award.

The Distinguished Journalist honorees are longtime regional journalists practicing in print, radio, television and digital media. They are:
Rich Archbold, public editor of the Long Beach Press-Telegram; Steve Padilla, Column One editor and Metpro director of the Los Angeles Times; KFI-AM news editor Nicole M. Campbell; KMEX-TV Univision 34 news anchor, reporter and host Gabriela Teissier; and David Dayen, freelance journalist and author.

The Freedom of Information award will go to Scott Sanders, an attorney with the Orange County Public Defender’s Office.

The Distinguished Journalists Awards banquet will be held on Wednesday, March 20 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the event are:

  • $100 for SPJ/LA members
  • $140 for non-members
  • $80 for students
  • Tables of 10 are available for $1,000

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. The three levels of sponsorship are:

  • Platinum ($5,000): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, event signage, logo included on banquet website and in emails, one complimentary table at the event.
  • Gold ($2,500): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, five complimentary tickets to the event.
  • Silver ($1,500): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, two complimentary tickets to the event.

You can also support SPJ/LA by purchasing an ad in the banquet program:

  • Full page ad inside program: $350
  • Half-page ad inside program: $250
  • Quarter-page ad inside program: $150

For details on sponsorship or to make a reservation, please contact Alice Walton at AliceMWalton@gmail.com or (310) 595-5612.

SPJ/LA Names Distinguished Journalist Honorees for 2018

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will honor five local journalists and a First Amendment activist at its 43rd annual Distinguished Journalists banquet in the spring.

The Distinguished Journalist honorees are longtime regional journalists practicing in print, radio, television and digital media. They are: Rich Archbold, public editor of the Long Beach Press-Telegram; Steve Padilla, Column One editor and Metpro director of the Los Angeles Times; KFI-AM news editor Nicole M. Campbell; KMEX-TV Univision 34 news anchor, reporter and host Gabriela Teissier; and David Dayen, freelance journalist and author.

The Freedom of Information award will go to Scott Sanders, an attorney with the Orange County Public Defender’s Office.

SPJ/LA presents the Distinguished Journalist awards to members of the profession who demonstrate good news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and a passion for getting the story right. Honorees have achieved a record of career accomplishments. For nearly four decades, the chapter has recognized reporters, editors and photographers in print and broadcast journalism. Since 1997, the chapter has honored journalists in four categories: television, radio, newspapers with a circulation of less than 90,000 and newspapers with a circulation of 90,000 or more.

The Distinguished Work in New Media award, now simply the Distinguished Journalist award in the digital category, was created in 2008 and is given to a journalist who uses digital media’s unique characteristics and capabilities while striving to uphold traditional journalism’s highest standards of honesty, accuracy, responsibility and accountability.

The Freedom of Information award honors a non-journalist who has helped promote First Amendment issues. Previous winners have worked in the legal profession, academia, government and nonprofit organizations.

The awards banquet will be held March 20, 2019, at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets for the event are:
$100 for SPJ/LA member
$140 for non-members
$80 for students
Tables of 10 are available for $1,000

A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. To make a reservation, contact Alice Walton at AliceMWalton@gmail.com or (310) 595-5612.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available, as are program ads to congratulate this year’s honorees.

Distinguished Journalist Award Winners

Print (circulation under 90,000)
For four decades, the most enduring constant at the 121-year-old Long Beach Press-Telegram has been Rich Archbold, a tireless guy with an incandescent smile, a Cubs cap and a box of Krispy Kreme donuts.

Archbold became managing editor of the PT in 1978 after 13 years at The Miami Herald as a public affairs reporter, city editor and managing editor of the paper’s Broward County bureau.

Archbold was at the helm while the PT was at its biggest and most vibrant, when the city boomed and downtown blossomed, when the Queen Mary was wooed to the harbor. He also held the wheel during the worst of times — when the region’s mammoth Naval base closed, when scores of jobs disappeared and when downtown fell into disrepair and was beset by quick fixes. The whole time, Archbold helmed award-winning journalism, made the tough calls and taught scores of young journalists how to get it done.

After deciding to take it easier, sort of, he became the PT’s public editor in 2013, leading the local Opinion pages, crafting editorials and writing a column a week — usually more.

Archbold stepped away from his Opinion duties earlier this year. He still writes at least a column a week — usually more — and shows up to represent the PT at nearly every banquet and public meeting in town.

Print (circulation more than 90,000)
Steve Padilla is Column One editor and Metpro director of the Los Angeles Times. Column One is the newspaper’s showcase front-page feature and Metpro is a two-year fellowship aimed at promoting diversity in the newsroom.

Padilla joined the Times in 1987 as a police reporter but soon moved on to editing. Most recently, he was enterprise editor on the foreign-national desk. He serves as a writing coach and devotes his Twitter feed (@StevePadilla2) to writing technique.

Before the Times, he was a reporter with the San Diego Union and editor of Hispanic Link Weekly Report, a national newsletter on Latino affairs.

He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he earned his B.A. in history and print journalism.

Radio
Nicole M. Campbell started her journalism career on twin tracks in the Los Angeles area, working at KNX-AM and the Signal newspaper in Santa Clarita. She also worked at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune before living out a dream to work as a waitress at a diner in the Midwest. When she was finally done telling customers to kiss her grits, she moved back to L.A. and got a job at KFI-AM, where she writes the words other people say.

Campbell is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and a proud native of the Great-1-8 (she’s old enough to remember when the Valley was 213.) Her special skill sets include knowing the location of every Wendy’s within a 25-mile radius of her house and being able to rap the first verse of Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise.”

Television
Gabriela Teissier serves as host of Univision Los Angeles’ morning show, “A Primera Hora (At First Hour)” that airs weekdays from 5 to 7 a.m. Univision Los Angeles’s KMEX-TV is the nation’s No.1 Spanish-language station.

She is a six-time Emmy awardee and received “Best News Anchor” recognition from the LA Press Club. She is also a Telly Award recipient. Teissier was recognized with the Othli Award, the highest honor that the Mexican government gives outside Mexico’s territory to individuals who have aided, empowered or positively affected the lives of Mexican nationals in other countries. The National Hispanic Media Coalition honored her with its Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Impact Award.

She is passionate about environmental, social and education topics.

Teissier has served on the board of the American Heart Association as well as the board of directors of ACT Today, a not-for-profit organization that provides therapy and services for families with people with autism.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Gabriela grew up speaking Spanish, German and English, becoming fully trilingual before she moved to the United States. She lives in California with her two sons and her husband.

Digital
David Dayen was working as a television editor in 2002 when he discovered the world of political blogs. It didn’t take long for him to get hooked and start his own.

After the 2012 elections, Dayen stepped away from blogging and became a freelance journalist. Today, he is the Leonard Goodman Investigative Fellow at In These Times magazine. He also regularly contributes to The Intercept, The New Republic, The American Prospect and the Los Angeles Times. He writes on a broad range of topics, primarily public corruption, white-collar crime, economics and finance.

Over his career, Dayen has written for Salon, Pacific Standard, The Washington Monthly, Vice, The Huffington Post, Democracy Journal, The Fiscal Times, The Nation, The Guardian, Politico Magazine, Capital and Main and many more. He has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, CNBC, NPR and Pacifica Radio.

In 2016, Dayen wrote “Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud,” about the people who uncovered the routine use of fraudulent documents in foreclosure cases. Chain of Title won the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize for a debut work of non-fiction that serves the public interest. His second book will focus on the effect of corporate monopolies in modern American life. Dayen has also contributed to two anthology books: “We Are Wisconsin,” about the labor uprising in Wisconsin in 2011, and “Hacking Politics,” about the fight against an Internet censorship bill. He recently edited and co-authored a short e-book called “Fat Cat: The Steve Mnuchin Story,” about the life and times of Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary.

Dayen lives in Los Angeles with his wife Mary and fox terrier mix Sophie.

Freedom of Information
Scott Sanders has been an attorney with the Orange County Public Defender’s Office for 26 years. Sanders was co-counsel in People v. Scott Dekraai, a case brought against the worst mass killer in the county’s history. Dekraai ultimately pleaded guilty to killing eight people at a Seal Beach beauty salon in 2011.

In January 2014, the defense filed a 505-page motion detailing the systemically improper use of jailhouse informants. Judge Thomas Goethals allowed the defense to call more than four dozen prosecutors and members of law enforcement during hearings held in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

In 2015, Judge Goethals recused the entire Orange County District Attorney’s Office from the Dekraai prosecution, and in 2017 he prohibited the prosecution from seeking the death penalty as a “remedial sanction necessitated by ongoing prosecutorial misconduct related to discovery proceedings.”

In a second death penalty case, Sanders filed a 754-page motion detailing a more than 30-year history in Orange County of jailhouse informant-related misconduct. The resulting scandal has thus far resulted in new trials, dismissed charges, reduced sentences for 18 defendants and a regime change at the top of the D.A.’s office.

Freedom of the press comes in many forms. Sanders became an unexpected folk hero to many in the media as he unraveled the tangled history of the county’s illegal and systemic use of jailhouse informants to tilt the scales of justice. While the OC Sheriff’s Department and OCDA’s office did everything in their power to block the release of crucial documents that shed light on the malfeasance, Sanders worked tirelessly for years – both in court and behind the scenes — to ensure the truth came to light. Sanders understood that a free and well-informed press is an essential conduit to the public. His invaluable contributions allowed the public to monitor, scrutinize and ultimately hold public officials accountable.

SPJ/LA Seeks Nominations for 2018 Distinguished Journalists Awards

Did you read, see, listen to or click on a great news story this week? Maybe it’s time to recognize that reporter, broadcast anchor or editor for a career’s worth of great stories.

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is seeking nominations for the chapter’s 2018 Distinguished Journalists Awards and 2018 Freedom of Information Award.

The five journalism categories include print: 90,000+ circulation; print: less than 90,000 circulation; television broadcast; radio broadcast; and digital media. Nominees may include reporters, news anchors, behind-the-scenes writers, editors or producers. Awards recognize a body of work rather than an individual story.

The FOI award honors a non-journalist who has helped promote First Amendment issues. Previous winners have worked in the legal profession, academia, government and nonprofit organizations.

Nomination forms or emails with the relevant information must be submitted to Lori Streifler at lori@socalnews.com no later than October 22, 2018.

Please provide the nominee’s name, contact information, title, company and a summary of the nominee’s work, work history and achievements to describe why the nominee should be honored. Submission of links to the nominee’s work is recommended, but remember that the nomination is for a body of work, not an individual story. All submissions must be in English or include English translations. Please do not nominate past honorees.

A list of prior winners can be found here.

Awards will be presented at the SPJ/LA annual awards banquet on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

Contact:
Lori Streifler, SPJ/LA
lori@socalnews.com
spjlosangeles@gmail.com

SPJ/LA Announces MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff as Speaker for the Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet

LOS ANGELES – MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff will be the speaker at the 42nd annual Distinguished Journalists Awards dinner hosted by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on March 1, 2018.

Soboroff is a Los Angeles-based MSNBC correspondent and anchor who reports across NBC News and MSNBC.

Most recently he was a part of NBC and MSNBC special coverage of major news events, including the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the opioid crisis, the solar eclipse, the Charlottesville attack, Hurricane Irma, the Global Citizen Festival and the Las Vegas mass shooting.

In addition, Jacob hosted two hour-long MSNBC original documentaries in 2017, The Trump Equation, about the factors that led to President Trump’s victory, and One Nation Over Dosed, about fentanyl, the drug fueling America’s record-breaking overdose death rate.

In 2016, Jacob was part of the network’s group of “Road Warriors,” traveling across the nation to cover the 2016 election and the 2016 Republican and Democratic conventions.

During the campaign, Variety said Jacob’s “dispatches from around America have the vibe of a hipper, latter-day Charles Kuralt — commiserating with a hover boat driver in the Everglades and an ice fisherman atop a lake in New Hampshire, or riding a bike with an immigrant ‘dreamer’ to get her to confide how it feels to meet other immigrant children on the campaign trail.”

Before joining MSNBC in 2015, he hosted a variety of projects for platforms including Vanity Fair, YouTube, Participant Media, The Huffington Post, MTV, AMC, NBC, CNN, PBS and NPR.

This year’s Distinguished Journalist honorees are: Kim Masters, editor-at-large of The Hollywood Reporter; Robin Abcarian, columnist at the Los Angeles Times; 89.3 KPCC reporter Sharon McNary; ABC7 Eyewitness News reporter Miriam Hernandez; and Norberto Santana, founder and publisher of the Voice of OC.

The Freedom of Information award will go to Kelly Aviles of Californians Aware, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open government, free speech and protected reporting.

The chapter will also recognize Rob Eshman, former editor-in-chief and publisher of the Jewish Journal.

SPJ/LA presents the Distinguished Journalist awards to members of the profession who demonstrate good news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and a passion for getting the story right. Honorees have achieved a record of career accomplishments.

The awards banquet will be held March 1, 2018at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets for the event are:

  • $100 for SPJ/LA members
  • $140 for non-members
  • $80 for students
  • Tables of 10 are available for $1,000

A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

To make a reservation, contact Alice Walton at AliceMWalton@gmail.com or (310) 595-5612.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available, as are program ads to congratulate this year’s honorees.

SPJ/LA Names Distinguished Journalist Honorees for 2017

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will honor six local journalists and a First Amendment activist at its 42nd annual Distinguished Journalists banquet next spring.

The Distinguished Journalist honorees are longtime regional journalists practicing in print, radio, television and digital media. They are: Kim Masters, editor-at-large of The Hollywood Reporter; Robin Abcarian, columnist at the Los Angeles Times; 89.3 KPCC reporter Sharon McNary; ABC7 Eyewitness News reporter Miriam Hernandez; and Norberto Santana, founder and publisher of the Voice of OC.

The Freedom of Information award will go to Kelly Aviles of Californians Aware, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open government, free speech and protected reporting.

The chapter will also recognize Rob Eshman, former editor-in-chief and publisher of the Jewish Journal.

SPJ/LA presents the Distinguished Journalist awards to members of the profession who demonstrate good news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and a passion for getting the story right. Honorees have achieved a record of career accomplishments. For nearly four decades, the chapter has recognized reporters, editors and photographers in print and broadcast journalism. Since 1997, the chapter has honored journalists in four categories: television, radio, newspapers with a circulation of less than 90,000 and newspapers with a circulation of 90,000 or more.

The Distinguished Work in New Media award, now simply the Distinguished Journalist award in the digital category, was created in 2008 and is given to a journalist who uses digital media’s unique characteristics and capabilities while striving to uphold traditional journalism’s highest standards of honesty, accuracy, responsibility and accountability.

The Freedom of Information award honors a non-journalist who has helped promote First Amendment issues. Previous winners have worked in the legal profession, academia, government and nonprofit organizations.

The awards banquet will be held March 1, 2018at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets for the event are:

  • $100 for SPJ/LA member
  • $140 for non-members
  • $80 for students
  • Tables of 10 are available for $1,000

A no-host cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. To make a reservation, contact Alice Walton at AliceMWalton@gmail.com or (310) 595-5612.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available, as are program ads to congratulate this year’s honorees.

Distinguished Journalist Award Winners

Print (circulation over 90,000)
Robin Abcarian is a columnist at the Los Angeles Times, focusing primarily on California culture, news and politics. Abcarian has devoted many columns to the complex issues surrounding the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use — visiting farmers in Mendocino, edible cannabis confectioners in Oakland and writing about the social justice aspects of legalization.

Abcarian has also written about the state’s persistent drought and water wars, surf culture, the legacy of the Black Panthers, San Francisco’s homeless crisis and how to take an Uber across the Mexican border. Recently, she has been working what she likes to call the “men behaving badly” beat.

Abcarian has held many positions at the Times, including full-time coverage of three presidential campaigns and national reporting on mass shootings and devastating tornadoes. As a culture writer for the paper’s Calendar section, she covered the Oscars, Emmys and Sundance Film Festival. For most of the 1990s, she was a columnist for the Times’ feature section before becoming its editor in 2003. Abcarian has also worked at the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Daily News, now-defunct Santa Monica Outlook and the Ventura Star.

Print (circulation under 90,000)        
Kim Masters is editor-at-large of The Hollywood Reporter and host of KCRW’s The Business. A former correspondent for NPR, she has also served as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, TIME and Esquire, and was a staff reporter for The Washington Post. Masters is the author of “The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everybody Else,” and co-author (with Nancy Griffin) of “Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood.”

Recent highlights in Masters’ long career covering Hollywood and the business of entertainment include breaking news of sexual harassment allegations against former Amazon Studios head Roy Price and detailing alleged misconduct by Pixar/Disney creative head John Lasseter that spurred his leave of absence.

Radio
Sharon McNary is a reporter at 89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio covering infrastructure. That’s a long word for the things we build together to make life better — like bridges and the power grid. She also covers important things that break, like the big water main at UCLA and that stinky gas well near Porter Ranch.

McNary has worked in TV news and on documentaries, for a wire service and newspapers in Southern California. She moved to public radio 10 years ago and has covered just about every beat a newsroom has to offer. Her reporting work is informed by the jobs she worked to support herself when journalism wasn’t paying the bills: washing dishes, working for a private detective and training herself to be a computer programmer. She also did time as a clown in a roller rink. McNary served in both the military and the Peace Corps, and may be the only reporter in L.A. who’s actually built a water system.

Television
Miriam Hernandez is a general assignment reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News. At age 12, she got her first paying job writing a weekly youth column for the Santa Paula Daily Chronicle. Her television career was launched at the NBC affiliate in San Diego. She has worked in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York, reporting for CNN, USA TODAY ON TV, WUSA and Good Morning America. She joined ABC7 in 1998.

Hernandez has covered the Mexico City earthquake, political turmoil in Central America and the Oklahoma City bombing. She was the first reporter allowed by the U.S. Marshals Service to take a TV camera behind the doors of the federal Witness Protection Program.

Hernandez was named by Hispanic Magazine as one of the top 100 women in communications. She’s won several Valley Press awards and Emmy nominations.

Digital
Norberto Santana Jr. is an award-winning investigative reporter with nearly two decades of reporting experience, most recently engaging Orange County government institutions and decision-makers as the founding publisher of the nonprofit digital newsroom Voice of OC.

Before founding Voice of OC in 2009, Santana spent five years as a lead investigative reporter for the Orange County Register. He’s focused his reporting on local governments across Southern California, previously as a staff writer with outlets such as the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Bernardino Sun. He began his journalistic career in the early 1990s as an apprentice reporter with Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C.

This Southern California native has a master’s in Latin American Studies, worked as an elections analyst on National Endowment for Democracy programs across Latin America and was one of the founders of CubaNet.org, a website featuring the work of dissident journalists inside Cuba.

Freedom of Information Award Honoree
Kelly Aviles has served as the Vice President for Open Government Compliance at Californians Aware since 2011, and has focused almost exclusively on legal issues related to media and government transparency since graduating from law school more than a decade ago. She provides legal guidance and litigation services to clients throughout the state, concentrating on access to courts, meetings and records.

Aviles has special expertise in the requirements of the California Public Records Act, the Ralph M. Brown Act and the Bagley-Keene Act and has successfully represented numerous private citizens, press organizations, government agencies and nonprofit groups in obtaining legal orders to make our government entities more accountable and accessible. Her father, Rich McKee, is a long-time advocate for open government, who often sued in pro per for violations of the Brown Act and Public Records Act.

Special Recognition 
Rob Eshman was editor-in-chief and publisher of the Jewish Journal before stepping down in September after 23 years at the Los Angeles paper. Eshman arrived at the Journal in 1994 as a reporter, after working as a freelance journalist in San Francisco and Jerusalem. He became managing editor in 1997 and three years later was named editor-in-chief. When the paper fell into dire financial straits in 2009, Eshman helped find new investors and a year later took on the role of publisher of the Journal, which combines news of the 600,000-person Los Angeles-area Jewish community, the third largest in the world, with commentary, features and national and international news.

Eshman is credited with greatly expanding the reach of its website, introducing a greater mix of political and religious voices, and overhauling the print circulation model by making the Journal a free weekly distributed citywide. He’s now focusing on writing full time and teaching at the USC Annenberg School of Communication.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to promoting high standards of ethical behavior and encouraging the free practice of journalism. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The Greater Los Angeles professional chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009.