2014 Excellence in Journalism Awards

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


*Martin G. Reynolds of Digital First Media* receives the SPJ NorCal Board of
Directors’ Distinguished Service to Journalism Award. Reynolds is senior editor
for community engagement and training for Bay Area News Group and Digital First
Media, western region.

As former editor in chief of the Oakland Tribune, a lead editor of the Chauncey
Bailey Project and co-founder of a Bay Area News Group-sponsored citizen
journalism program called Oakland Voices, Reynolds has led Bay Area journalism
initiatives to help news outlets stay relevant and connected to diverse
communities. He has established himself as a leader by forging relationships
with philanthropic and academic institutions to support innovative journalism
and community engagement projects that bring light to under-reported stories.
His work has spread beyond Oakland, as Voices has been replicated in Jackson,
Miss., and most recently in Sacramento. Reynolds’ strategies around engagement
and pushing news organizations to serve as conveners and facilitators of change
have been hailed by his peers. Oakland Voices is now part of a national joint
pilot project between ASNE and Journalism That Matters that explores and
measures the impact of engagement on diverse communities.

The Public Service Award goes to *Aaron Glantz, Adithya Sambamurthy, Aaron
Williams and Agustin Armendariz of the Center for Investigative Reporting* for
“The VA’s Opiate Overload,” a textbook example of watchdog journalism that led
to congressional hearings and lower rates of opiate prescriptions to vulnerable
veterans. This story exposed a national problem with an impressive collection of
data highlighted by moving stories of individuals affected by VA policies.

The 2014 winners will be honored at SPJ NorCal’s 29th annual awards dinner on
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, at the City Club in San Francisco.

For details and to purchase tickets, please see


DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO JOURNALISM: *Martin G. Reynolds*, Digital First Media

INVESTIGATIVE (print/text small division): Rebecca Bowe and *Joe Fitzgerald
Rodriguez* of the San Francisco Bay Guardian for “Friends in the Shadows,” which
shows how developers, corporations and city contractors buy influence in City
Hall — a fascinating account of relationships between seemingly innocuous
organizations and political decision-makers.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Aaron Glantz, Adithya Sambamurthy, *Aaron Williams* and Agustin
Armendariz of the Center for Investigative Reporting for “The VA’s Opiate
Overload.” (Described above.)

VIDEO JOURNALISM (video journalism essay): *Trey Bundy*, Daffodil Altan, Anna
Vignet and Michael I. Schiller of the Center for Investigative Reporting for
“The Box,” a compelling take on an important issue that uses animation to tell
the story of a teen who spent time in solitary confinement in New York City's
Rikers Island jail.