Jewish Journal Wins Eight LA Press Club SoCal Journalism Awards from Thirteen Total Nominations

The Journal tops last year's awards count, when it won five awards out of eight nominations.
June 24, 2024

The Jewish Journal took home three top honors at the 66th annual Southern California Journalism Awards by the Los Angeles Press Club. It was held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Out of a total of thirteen nominations, the Journal also had four runners-up, and one third place award. The Journal fared better this year than at the 2023 SoCal Journalism Awards, where there were eight nominations, three runner-up awards and two winners.

Comedian Mark Schiff won first place for Humor/Satire Writing for “Here, You Take Her.

Judges said, “this is out-loud laughter with every line, adding a flair of what it’s like to care for someone else’s kids.”

Editor-at-Large Monica Osborne won first place for Commentary for “There Are Wolves in My House.

“Good job at explaining rising antisemitism not as a nameless, faceless trend, but in the form of people we know,” judges commented. As the judges’ comments were read, audible cheers of affirmation were heard throughout the Crystal Ballroom.

Food writer and “Tastebuds with Deb” host Debra Eckerling won first place for Audio Journalism (Podcast) Over 10 Minutes – Personality Profile/Interview, Non-Entertainment Personalities, for her episode, “Chef Susan Feniger and Liz Lachman.

“This conversation was an intimate peek into their personalities and lives,” the judges commented. “Bravo.”

Editor-in-Chief David Suissa’s “A Tiny Lesson from a Titanic Blunder” received second place honors for commentary. Columnist Judy Gruen also received second place honors for Criticism of Books. Design Director Jonathan Fong received third place for his cover artwork for the November 3, 2023 print issue, “Helping Israel.”

Jewish Journal travel writer Lisa Niver earned two second place honors for her work in independent publications: Audio Journalism-Podcast for her independent work on her podcast “Make Your Own Map” for her episode titled, “Heroes of the Holocaust: A Small Light.” Niver also earned second place honors for Personality Profile/Interview, Non-Entertainment Personalities (over 10 minutes) – audio journalism for her interview series “We Said Go Travel” episode titled, “Journey into the World of Wanderlust: Samantha Brown, Travel Goddess.” Niver was also a finalist for best Online Journalist, Independent.

Other finalists at the Jewish Journal include:

Community writer Ryan Torok for Public Service News or Feature for his cover story, “Helping Israel.”

Columnist Thane Rosenbaum for Commentary for “In Israel’s Time of Need, Jewish Hollywood Has Failed The Audition.”

Eckerling again, for Lifestyle Feature in print for “Our Big Kitchen LA: Meals, Love, Unity, Community.”

Columnist Tabby Refael for Humor/Satire Writing for If Only the Ancient Jews Knew About Jamie Foxx.

Dr. Judea Pearl, a frequent guest columnist for the Journal, presented the 22nd annual Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism at the ceremony. In 2002, Pearl’s son Daniel was working as a Wall Street Journalist when he was abducted by terrorists in Karachi, Pakistan and brutally murdered. This year’s recipient of the award named in Daniel’s honor is Evan Gershkovich — a 32-year-old Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter who has been in Russian custody since March 2023 for charges of espionage.

In his speech presenting the award, Pearl took a moment to address the lack of evenhandedness that the American media have used when covering the Israel-Hamas war.

“Daniel was kidnapped by a nameless jihadist gang, while Evan was detained by a government that claims legitimate membership in the international community,” Pearl said. “And there is also a reason why [Russian President] Vladimir Putin might think he can get away with holding a journalist hostage in the year 2024. It is the year when the West appears to have lost its will to fight back. Let’s be honest about it: If Putin were to observe some of American media outlets, how they have the joined Global War on the West, and the all-out assault on the life-clinging Israel, how they embrace and support college students shouting “Houthis, Houthis, turn another ship around,” “from the river to the sea” or “kill another Zionist today,” he would surely conclude that the West has lost its moral campus and its will to live.”

After an applause break, Pearl continued, “The award given today to Evan Gershkovich sends a clear message to the Putin government: ‘Be aware. Despite attempts to disrupt world order and to destroy American universities, the free world still holds the safety of journalists and their right to pursue truth as sanctuaries of civilized society.’”

Accepting the award on Gershkovich’s behalf was Wall Street Journal assistant editor, Paul Beckett.

“I look forward to meeting Evan and handing him this award personally when he is back home with his family, [parents] Ella, Mikhail, [sister] Danielle and [brother] Anthony, and back in our newsroom,” Beckett said in his speech.

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