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Sacramento Bee journalists named SPJ NorCal Excellence in Journalism award winners

A dead teen, a killer on the loose, a mother’s grief

Isaiah Diaz was standing in front of his grandmother’s home in Sacramento’s Colonial Village neighborhood. Someone drove up and shot him.
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Isaiah Diaz was standing in front of his grandmother’s home in Sacramento’s Colonial Village neighborhood. Someone drove up and shot him.

Sacramento Bee photo editors and writers have been honored for their work in the Society of Professional Journalists NorCal’s 2017 Excellence in Journalism awards program.

Sue Morrow, assistant multimedia editor, received the Unsung Hero Award from the SPJ board, which noted that she has been involved behind the scenes as an editor and designer for many of the Bee’s award-winning projects. These include the 2007 Pulitzer Prize feature photography winning entry “A Mother’s Journey,” which documented the challenges of a single mother, her dying young son and the difficulties of health care. She also worked on the paper’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature photography, “A Grandfather’s Sorrow and Love,” about a man’s efforts to raise his three young grandchildren after his daughter’s murder.

Morrow serves on the advisory board of The Kalish, a visual storytelling workshop.

Among this year’s Excellence in Journalism contest winners, Phillip Reese received the award for data visualization for visualizations showing how Sacramento neighborhoods voted, where parking tickets are issued and that California is employing fewer police officers.

Reese, along with writers Ryan Lillis and Cynthia Hubert received the award for explanatory journalism for the story “In the killing zone: Why Sacramento has so many teen murders.”

The 2017 winners will be honored Thursday at SPJ NorCal’s 32nd Excellence in Journalism Awards Dinner in San Francisco.

The Society of Professional Journalists is a national organization, founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi. It is dedicated to educating current and future journalists through professional development and works to protect the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through advocacy efforts.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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