Update: Oops. The Weekly raked in so much loot anoche that we forgot to mention our win for best personality profile: “A Tragic Love Story.” (Congrats to freelancer Steve Friess on that one.) Also, this puts the Weekly one writing award above the Los Angeles Times. Not bad, eh?
In case you're wondering why the L.A. blogroll looks kind of groggy this morning: A couple hundred Los Angeles journalists took last night off, putting on their Sunday best for the Press Club Awards, a schmancy round of self-congratulations and free drinks. Highlights…
… of the five-hour auction/awards ceremony (yes, five hours; even the classiest Times flack could be spotted mid-slouch/yawn) included a journo-bashing routine by comedian Alonzo Bodden, an impossibly hard-crusted desert thingy and
six seven — count 'em, seven — first-place awards for LA Weekly. Safe to say we cleaned the Millenium Biltmore Hotel of shiny gold placards last night. And, though only half the room was around to witness it, the top honor in L.A. print journalism was saved for last:
Lovable Weekly reporter Patrick Range McDonald was named journalist of the year, based on recommendations from press clubs in 12 other major U.S. cities.
Read the three cover stories that catapulted McDonald to greatness in 2010: “California's Parent Trigger,” about a group of Compton parents trying to seize their kids' school from the floundering district, “Educating Maria,” on Skid Row methods of illegal-immigrant schooling, and “City of Airheads,” a story about underfunded L.A. libraries — one that likely contributed to voters' March 2011 decision to force city government to reinvest.
McDonald's “Parent Trigger” also took home the first award of the night: best news feature. (Yes, it's that excellent. About time you read it.)
Also on the winning team was the versatile (and super sexy) Gendy Alimurung: She nabbed best sports story for “Manny Pacquiao: The Fight of His Life.” Former music editor Gustavo Turner was next, taking away best entertainment column for a series of pieces that included “Roger Waters Paid Street Artists to Deface Elliot Smith Memorial Mural.” (Or, as pronounced by the presenter, Goose-tuh-vo Turner. Really.)
Turner broke the news in May 2010 after spotting a suspicious Pink Floyd tag atop some of Sunset's most beloved street art. “Yup,” he wrote. “Elliott Smith's moving memorial is now part of Waters' 'guerrilla' marketing campaign for expensive tickets to a nostalgia gig aimed at wealthy Boomers.” Brilliant. And the judges agreed.
L.A.'s fave alt weekly was showered in kudos for its smooth transition into the digital age, as well: The LA Weekly Facebook page won for, uh, best Facebook page, and food editor Amy Scattergood won best blog for Squid Ink.
Annoyingly, we will now have no choice but to use “award-winning journalist” in front of all these slackers' names when talking smack about them in the cafeteria. But damn, do they deserve it.