Three 2023 Journalism Awards for Local News Pasadena

Not bad for our first seven months.

2 mins read

Two correspondents for Local News Pasadena were honored with prestigious annual reporting awards presented by the Los Angeles Press Club on Sunday.

Correspondent Victoria Thomas received an award for her theater / arts feature regarding the production of “The Bluest Eye” by Pasadena’s A Noise Within. Associate Publisher Phil Hopkins was the recipient of two awards, for national political commentary and for editorial writing.

Remarkably, the news organization only began publishing online in May last year.

“We formed Pasadena Media Foundation to help save local news during the pandemic,” said the foundation’s president and founder Sheryl Turner. “But we’ve only been publishing Local News Pasadena since May 2023, and already we feel like the ‘little engine that could’ with five finalist entries, all in different news categories, for seven months of work.”

“It’s remarkable to be up against such talented journalistic colleagues who work for The Hollywood Reporter, LAist, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Billboard, Variety, the Los Angeles Times and many other media outlets,” said Turner. “And to win awards in three of five categories tonight is simply amazing. Thank you to all the category judges and the Los Angeles Press Club for this honor.”

Correspondent Victoria Thomas said, “Receiving kudos on my arts reporting from the Los Angeles Press Club was an honor, especially considering that LNP is so new.”

A group of people holding a sign posing for the camera
Local News Pasadena correspondents Victoria Thomas and Phil Hopkins at the Los Angeles Press Club Awards Gala. Photo: Sheryl Turner

“My career as a journalist began when I was 16 and somehow wrangled an interview with Keith Richards for our campus newspaper,” said Thomas. “Later, when my husband and I moved to Los Angeles, I did studio PR and wrote about movie people. There was always pressure to get the big story, or to make the story ‘seem’ big. Today I have a very different perspective. I’m much more interested in the backstage versus the front row. Because now I know that just as there are no truly ordinary days in this life, there are no truly small or insignificant stories.”

LNP’s Associate Publisher Phil Hopkins said, “I would like to thank the Pasadena Media Foundation and Sheryl Turner for pulling me out of retirement and back into journalism. There are many provocative stories to tell about the greater Pasadena area that go well beyond what is typically considered ‘local news.’ And being able to present those stories with this exceptional team of journalists is an enticing prospect.”

Here are the first, second and third place winners in each category where Local News Pasadena received an award:

    • 1st: Esther D. Kustanowitz, LAist, “Transparent Musical’: A Disco Ball Glitter Party Of Intersectional Self-Discovery As The Pfeffermans Take To The Stage”
    • 2nd: Victoria Thomas, Local News Pasadena, “Banned ‘Bluest Eye’ is Anything but Bland at A Noise Within
    • 3rd: Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, “‘Dark Disabled Stories’ Invites Audiences to an Experiment in Unapologetically Accessible Theater”
    • 1st: Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times, “Big Oil is exploiting California’s Latinos in its latest climate disinformation push”
    • 2nd: Phil Hopkins, Local News Pasadena, “The Double-Edged Sword of Transit to Trails
    • 3rd: Carla Hall, Los Angeles Times, “Are L.A. leaders trying to sabotage homeless housing in Venice?”

To avoid conflicts of interest, the Los Angeles Press Club does not judge its own awards competition. According to the organization, “Our awards are decided by volunteer journalists representing press organizations from across the country. In return, our press club judges other organizations’ competitions. The reciprocal judging process ensures fair and impartial judging.”

For the 2023 Southern California Journalism Awards, the contest was judged by journalists from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and Tennessee, along with journalists from Solutions Journalism Network.

The full list of award winners is available on the Los Angeles Press Club’s Web site.

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Phil Hopkins

Phil is the Associate Publisher of Local News Pasadena. He is a 35-year resident of the city and his favorite local delicacy is the Combo Grinder at Connal's.
Email: [email protected]

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