A news photo from SMDP won a recent statewide award.

The Santa Monica Daily Press (SMDP) earned three awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) during the annual California Journalism Awards.

SMDP earned a first place award for a news photo of police officers preventing a suicide, a fourth place award for coverage of homelessness and a fifth place for coverage of a local business.

The photo was taken by SMDP Editor Matthew Hall and published in the paper of Nov. 23, 2019. The image shows a group of police officers pulling a man to safety after he threatened to jump onto the freeway from the 4th Street overpass.

“The emotion captured in this photo is well-done. It brings awareness to a grim subject,” said the judging panel. “The photographer caught a life-and-death situation that most readers fortunately won’t see.”

Reporter Madeleine Pauker earned praise for her story on the “Vanlord” who rented vans to homeless people in lieu of apartments.

“This story was a new twist on a familiar topic and did a good job of presenting the full picture in terms of the affect of this new spin on dealing with homelessness on the various affected parties,” said the judges. “The main source provided candid, revealing and relatable quotes that engaged me as a reader and a fellow human being. This was an extremely well-rounded and engaging piece.”

The final award was for a profile of O’Brien’s Irish pub written by former reporter Angel Carreras.

The CNPA contest divides entries into divisions based on publication frequency (weekly/daily) and circulation size. Six categories in this year’s contest compared winners from multiple divisions to award a “Best Of” designation. SMDP’s news photo won the Best Of award beating out entries from several large papers.

The contest received 2,911 entries across all categories this year.

SMDP has earned awards from the CNPA contest throughout its history covering multiple kinds of writing, photography and design work.

The California News Publishers Association has worked on behalf of newspapers throughout the state, from the smallest weekly to the largest metropolitan daily since 1888. CNPA operates from offices in the state’s capital, Sacramento, and is governed by a board of directors drawn from its more than 500 daily, weekly and campus newspaper members.


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