And the Winner Is...Us

L.A WEEKLY STAFF WRITER Steven Mikulan was honored last weekend as the Print Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club. Erin Aubry Kaplan came in second, giving the Weekly a sweep of the top spots in head-to-head competition with the L.A. Times, among other publications.

Over his long Weekly career, Mikulan has written for every section of the paper, while also serving a stint as theater editor. Last year, he created a War Diary column, a quixotic portrayal of off-center L.A. in troubled times. The effort led to his current Open City column. The judges wrote of Mikulan: "A strong, muscular writer, [he] writes with a unique voice and a gratifying range. In 'Hurry Sunrise' he shows us a side of L.A., which may be the most written-about city in American, we rarely see. The War Diary is stylist, readable and informative. This writer has a sophisticated view and strong sense of place, strong reporting -- a consummate journalist."

Contributor Celeste Fremon won first place for news feature with "Miracles and Pain," which the judges called "a thoughtful, penetrating and eloquent examination of the life, death and legacy of former gang member Roman Gonzalez."

Other honorees: Jennifer Price for "Paradise Reclaimed: A Field Guide to the L.A. River"; Greg Burk for "Marilyn: A Re-Examination"; Steven Leigh Morris for "Executive Action: Tim Robbins Takes Control at the Actors' Gang"; and Manohla Dargis for "She Shtups To Conquer." Miniprofiles of waiters in L.A. won a second place in lifestyle reporting for Michelle Huneven, Jonathan Gold, Louise Rafkin, Barney Saltzberg, Nancy Rommelmann and Gendy Alimurung, all of whom collaborated on "Hi, My Name Is . . ." Max S. Gerber was recognized for his photo essay "Broken Hearts Club."

Last month, the national Association of Alternative Newsweeklies gave out awards. Staff writer Sara Catania took first place in the health-care category for "Losing Dorothy," a profile of an AIDS victim; Celeste Fremon, first place, for "Miracles and Pain," in news features; Brian Stauffer, first place, for artwork in a special drug issue; Brendan Bernhard, second place, arts criticism; and Bill Smith and Anne Fishbein, second place, for editorial layout.

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