Palo Alto Online wins best website in state

Weekly wins record total of 11 awards

The Palo Alto Weekly took home a record 11 first- and second-place awards, including best website, in the annual statewide California Newspaper Publishers Association competition in San Jose Saturday, May 5.

The Weekly's news staff garnered seven first-place awards, including for coverage of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, competing against other large non-daily papers in California.

The Weekly's website, placed first for the third year in a row, having won in 2009 and 2010 as well.

It was also the first time a Palo Alto Online video has won the statewide award.

The Weekly's sister papers -- the Almanac in south San Mateo County and the Mountain View Voice -- picked up another three awards between them.

The first-place honors were given for:

• The Weekly's team coverage of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs last October.

• Coverage of youth and education issues by Staff Writer Chris Kenrick, specifically her cover story, "Nurturing happier, healthier youth"

• The Weekly's news and community website, Palo Alto Online

• Staff Photographer Veronica Weber's video on the final days of the Palo Alto Bowl

• Weber's feature photo of new father Steve Martz and his premature son, Samuel

• Weber's photo essay of the Stanford Powwow

• Best house ad for its series of Shop Palo Alto advertisements

The categories for which the Weekly received second-place recognition were:

• Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner's coverage of local government, specifically the ongoing conflict between the City of Palo Alto and its labor unions

• Online breaking news coverage for photos and articles about Steve Jobs' death

• Sports Editor Keith Peter's shot of Menlo School water polo coach Jack Bowen being pushed into the pool after a championship win

• Weber's art/nature photo, "Honeybee gathers nectar"

In addition to the first- and second-place honors, the Weekly also placed as a finalist in the categories of local breaking news, writing, photo essay, video and advertising excellence.

The competition involved more than 3,000 entries and winners were selected by journalists outside of the state. The contest grouped newspapers by size of circulation and frequency of publication.

The Almanac, which covers Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside, received second place in the youth or education category for Staff Writer Sandy Brundage's "Finding Home -- Where a young girl found safety, family, hope."

The Voice snagged a first-place award for Michelle Le's photo essay, "Going ape for books," about the Castro School principal cavorting in a gorilla suit to reward students for their summer reading. Le also took home second place for her news photo of Amberlin Wu for the story "Sick and tired of chronic fatigue."

The Weekly's sister papers in Marin and the East Bay also took home honors. The Pacific Sun received two second-place awards, and the Pleasanton Weekly was recognized with two second-place honors.

Founded in 1979 by Publisher Bill Johnson, the Palo Alto Weekly produces a Friday print edition; a daily e-edition, Express; and the news and community website, which hosts Town Square, the online discussion forum, among other features. news and sports can also be accessed through the iPhone app, "Palo Alto."

The California Newspaper Publishers Association is a nonprofit trade association for more than 800 publications. Founded in 1888, it represents daily and weekly newspapers and news websites throughout California.

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Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Congratulations to the Weekly staff for this well-deserved recognition. We are lucky to have such a great paper (and website). Keep it up!

Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 7, 2012 at 5:31 am

Congrats Weekly staff! I, for one, greatly appreciate the chance to sound off locally. Thanks!

Like this comment
Posted by Michele Dauber
a resident of Barron Park
on May 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

Congratulations Bill and Weekly staff. Wonderful news, keep up the good work.

Like this comment
Posted by Yasmin
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

Congratulations, Weekly Staff! Thank you for all that you do, and please keep up the great work!

Like this comment
Posted by Ironic
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

I was just thinking last week how bad this website is. Says a lot about the state of news online in CA.

Like this comment
Posted by FrankF
a resident of Ventura
on May 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

FrankF is a registered user.

To Ironic: What do you think is bad about the site? I don't mean to say you are wrong (although I don't agree) but it's easy say and not likely to get anything changed if you just say "how bad this website is". If there are aspects of the site that don't work well for you lets hear about them - in a positive sprit. That is the only way things can change. Perhaps this comment area is not the best place but unless you tell the staff some very specific things they can evaluate and fix you will never get what you're looking for.

Personally - I love the local aspect of the site; I read it everyday. I like the ability to comment to my community although I dislike the snarky nature these comment sometimes take (I'm not sure there's much the Weekly can do about that). And the login thing is awkward - that is I read an article then read the comments and then want to comment so I have to scroll back to the top, click on login and go to the login page. Not a major complaint.

Congratulation to the Weekly, I think it's deserved.

Like this comment
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on May 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Gigantic congratulations to Palo Alto Online and staff. I know we have the best, but it's nice that others know it too. I'm always flabbergasted when I talk to Palo Alto residents who never follow any of the local news and happenings, and I always give them the website address for registering for the daily online news. Thank you very much PA Online !

Like this comment
Posted by Ken Dauber
a resident of Barron Park School
on May 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Congratulations Bill, Chris, and the Weekly staff. It's a tough job, particularly herding unruly cats on Palo Alto Online.

Like this comment
Posted by moi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 10:43 am


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Walter Hays School

on Jun 5, 2017 at 4:03 am

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