The Express won thirteen awards, including ten first-place honors, in the 38th Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards contest. The Express won the most first-place awards of any non-daily newspaper in the annual contest for journalism excellence, sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club. The winners were announced on December 5, and the contest was for news reports published in 2014.
Senior staff writer Sam Levin won two first-place awards. He won in the serious feature category for his October 29, 2014 cover story, “When the Mind Splits,” which explored the impacts of dissociative identity disorder and the controversy surrounding the illness. Levin also won first place in the business/technology category for his January 8, 2014 cover story, “When Corporations Want Profits, They Don’t Ask for Permission,” which examined the recent trend of large retailing companies stealing the work of independent artists.
Food editor Luke Tsai won a first-place award in the feature columns category for his dining reviews, “Pop Rocks” (12/10/14), “The Other Noodle Soup” (7/30/14), and “What Numbs the Tongue Will Warm the Heart” (3/12/14).
Staff writer Darwin BondGraham won a first-place award in the best news story category for his May 28, 2014 feature, “The Strike Force that Never Struck,” which revealed the failures of California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ mortgage fraud task force.
Art director Roxanne Pasibe and photo editor Bert Johnson shared a second-place award in the page design category for the October 29, 2014 cover of the Express, featuring the story, “When the Mind Splits.” Johnson took the award-winning photo and Pasibe did the illustration.
Arts and culture editor Sarah Burke won a third-place award in the specialty feature category for her October 15, 2014 cover story, “Moral Combat,” which explored the vicious harassment campaign leveled at women in the video gaming industry. This story also has won two other first-place awards in other journalism contests.
Editor Robert Gammon won a second-place award in the political news column category for his Seven Days columns, “When Police Kill” (12/10/14), “A Flawed Minimum Wage Measure” (7/16/14), and “Water Officials Made the Drought Worse” (2/5/14).
Former music editor Sam Lefebvre won first place in the entertainment category for his November 19, 2014 cover story, “The Tyranny of Free,” which examined Pandora’s business strategy of keeping royalty payments low to struggling musicians.
Former co-editor Kathleen Richards won first place in the light feature category for her June 25, 2014 cover story, “Hunting with a Rat,” which chronicled her outing of wild boar hunting with a motorcycle club leader.
Contributors Jake Nicol and Julian Mark shared a first-place award in the best series category for their two-part series on the healthcare giant Kaiser, called “Deadly Delays.” Nicol’s part-one story, “A Flawed Model for Care” (8/13/14), examined Kaiser’s repeated failures to provide adequate mental health care to patients. Mark’s part-two story, “Gambling with Children” (8/20/14), looked at Kaiser’s controversial decision to close pediatric care services to children in the East Bay.
Contributor David Bacon won a first-place award in the photo series category for his August 6, 2014 cover story, “Living on the Streets of Oakland,” a photo essay that examined the plight of homeless people in the Bay Area’s third largest city.
Former contributor Ali Winston won a first-place award in the analysis/investigative category for his September 17, 2014 cover story, “Why Oakland Can’t Fire Bad Cops,” which examined the biased and incompetent investigations into police misconduct in the city.
Former contributor Joaquin Palomino won a first-place award in the continuing coverage category for his groundbreaking reports on the California drought and water issues, “California’s Thirsty Almonds” (2/5/14) and “The Water Tunnel Boondoggle” (5/13/14).
In addition, Express calendar and web editor Erin Baldassari won a first-place award in the breaking news category for digital media for her coverage of Black Lives Matter protests in Berkeley and Oakland in December 2014 when she was working for Bay City News Service.