The In-Depth Reporting award was given to reporter Kevin Forestieri's two-part series on the difficulty in finding youth mental health services amid growing demand, with the stories "Nowhere to turn for kids in crisis" and "Struggling to meet 'overwhelming' need." "Important story, well reported and written. Easily some of the best writing in this category," contest judges said in their comments.
Noack took third place in the same category for his two-part series "Young, homeless and sick" about the health impacts of homelessness on children and youth.
In the Digital Feature Photo category, Magali Gauthier's "Providing a creative outlet in a high-tech world" about CSMA's art lessons in local classrooms won first place, and her artfully framed photo with the story "Hell's bells! Neighborhood outcry over church's mishap" took fourth place.
Natalia Nazarova's striking image of a protest organizer overcome with emotion during the Google Walkout protest was named the best news photo, and her online photo essay of the Google Walkout event took second place in the contest's new digital division.
The Voice staff took second place for the contest's top honor, General Excellence. Judges praised the variety of stories and quality of the writing, saying it was "well done, all the way around." Judges also praised the newspaper's design, calling it "exceptionally clean and done well."
"Positive reinforcement can be hard to come by in this line of work, so getting this recognition from journalists we admire means a lot to me and my staff," said Editor Andrea Gemmet. "We're proud of the work we do covering the Mountain View community, but we are always looking for ways to improve."
In recent years, the Voice won General Excellence in 2016 and 2018, and its website MV-Voice.com won Online General Excellence in 2017.
The California Journalism Awards, formerly known as the Better Newspapers Contest, is sponsored by the California News Publishers Association and covers work published during 2018. Winners are chosen by an expert panel of out-of-state journalists, in divisions based on print publications' distribution numbers and online outlets' unique visitors.
An additional 15 stories and photos by Voice staff were finalists in the categories of Business News, Inside Page Layout and Design, Photojournalism, Editorial Comment, Feature Photo (print), Local Government Coverage, Feature Story, Best Writing, Enterprise News, Photo Essay and General Excellence (digital).
CNPA's website hosts a full list of this year's winners at cnpa.com/cja/2018print/ and cnpa.com/cja/2018digital/.
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