The Mountain View Voice was honored with eight awards in the print and digital categories, including third place for general excellence, in the annual California Journalism Awards competition. The results of the statewide contest were announced Wednesday, and included wins for the Voice's coverage of racial justice protests, education, local elections and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although it ceased print publication on March 20, 2020 and became an online-only local news outlet, the Voice was able to fulfill the entry requirements for two consecutive issues in February, relying on the strength of the Feb. 7 and Feb. 14 editions.
Reporter Kevin Forestieri took second place in the digital division's protests and racial justice category for the stories In the wake of protests, Mountain View residents demand police reform and Despite police reform protests, Mountain View City Council backs 'toothless' advisory board. "Mountain View Voice is a valuable publication doing the important work of covering the impact on global events on small communities," a CNPA judge commented.
Forestieri was also honored for his coverage of the 2020 election, taking second place in the print division for displaying "good instincts and reporting" in his coverage of Measure D, the Mountain View City Council's controversial plan to rewrite rent control rules, and fourth place in the digital division for covering the referendum on the City Council-backed RV ban, Measure C: An inflection point in Mountain View's approach to homelessness.
Judges praised Forestieri's third-place story for health and pandemic reporting in the digital division, Months into the pandemic, Santa Clara County's hospitals are still falling short on COVID-19 testing. "Applause for this bold example of local accountability journalism. With solid, even-handed reporting, the Mountain View Voice brings to light troubling allegations that health care giants Kaiser Permanente and Sutter are not shouldering their share of the pandemic testing burden," they wrote.
A feature story by Forestieri, Ames wind tunnels put NASA's new moonshot to the test took fourth place, with a judge calling it an "efficient piece of localized science writing, making a complex subject comprehensible."
Magali Gauthier, the Voice's chief visual journalist, took fifth in the news photo division for her haunting photo of store shelves stripped bare by anxious shoppers in the Mountain View Target store at the beginning of the pandemic.
Forestieri's story Mountain View High loses three students to deportation took fifth in youth and education coverage.
Forestieri was also part of a reporting team that won second place for a series of reports on the push to test for COVID-19 in the "COVID-19 Pandemic-Health Reporting" category for the Voice's sister publication, the Palo Alto Weekly, which competes in the larger, 25,001-plus circulation category.
The Voice competed with other weekly newspapers in the 11,001-25,000 circulation category and in the digital division among news websites drawing between 100,001-400,000 monthly unique visitors.
The Voice's sister publications also earned significant recognition, including second-place general excellence for the Palo Alto Weekly, fifth place in the same category for The Almanac, and fourth place general excellence for PleasantonWeekly.com, among numerous other categories. The Six Fifty, a lifestyle website geared for millennial readers, garnered three awards.
Overall, this year's journalism contest received more than 3,000 entries from print, digital and campus publications, an increase over the prior year's total.