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Palo Alto Weekly repeats 'best in state' honors

Out-of-state panel of journalists gives Weekly top awards in California competition

For the second year in a row, the Palo Alto Weekly has been named the best large newsweekly in California in an annual journalism competition.

The prestigious "general excellence" award and eight other top honors were bestowed on the Weekly by the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) in San Jose on May 3.

A panel of journalists from states outside of California selected the winners from among journalists with daily, weekly and school newspapers. The work reviewed took place between Nov. 1, 2012, and Oct. 31, 2013.

"A strong local focus, smart reporting and an attractive, well-organized package, the Palo Alto Weekly delivers," wrote the judges who selected the Weekly for the general-excellence award. "A good community weekly reflects its community. A great one makes you want to live there. ... Well done."

The competition judges reviewed thousands of entries and chose nearly 500 award winners in the Better Newspapers Contest. The Palo Alto Weekly, which employs a newsroom staff of 11 journalists, competed against other weekly newspapers with circulations of more than 25,000.

Overall, the Weekly received six first-place and three second-place honors. It was also awarded eight "blue ribbon" honorable mentions.

The first-place awards were for

• Coverage of Local Government: What is Measure D Really About: Checking the facts by Gennady Sheyner

• Editorial Comment: The push for 27 University by Bill Johnson

• Enterprise Reporting:Downtown's growing pains by Gennady Sheyner

• Photo Essay: Girls of Wrestling by Veronica Weber

• Best Front Page (Tabloid) The debate over D by Shannon Corey

• General Excellence by Palo Alto Weekly staff

The Weekly's second-place awards were for:

• Best Website: Palo Alto Online by the Palo Alto Weekly staff

• Feature Story: Proud Remembrances by Sue Dremann

• Feature Photo: Chess by Veronica Weber

Weekly journalists Carol Blitzer, Chris Kenrick, Terri Lobdell, Gennady Sheyner and Veronica Weber and Creative Director Shannon Corey received "blue ribbon" honorable mentions for their work. Their awards were in the categories of special section, coverage of education, enterprise reporting, coverage of local government, feature story, artistic photo, photo essay and page layout and design.

The Weekly's sister papers on the Peninsula also picked up awards in their circulation categories. The Mountain View Voice in Mountain View received six awards, including first place for environmental reporting, coverage of education and graphic illustration and second place for general excellence, feature story and feature photo.

The Almanac in Menlo Park garnered first-place awards for investigative reporting and artistic photo and second-place honors for website and page layout.

Founded in 1979 by Publisher and CEO Bill Johnson, the Palo Alto Weekly produces a Friday print edition; a daily e-edition, Express; and the news and community website PaloAltoOnline.com, which hosts Town Square, the online discussion forum, among other features. PaloAltoOnline.com can also be accessed through the iPhone and Android apps, "Palo Alto." The Weekly's social-media sites include Twitter.com/paloaltoweekly and Facebook.com/paloaltoonline.

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.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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