Two journalism organizations have awarded top honors to The Sacramento Bee and its staff for achievements in reporting, photography, data visualization and overall quality.
The Inland Press Association, a national nonprofit organization with more than 1,000 newspaper members, honored The Bee with three first-place awards and two second-place awards in its annual newspaper contest.
The Bee took first place in the front page category for a selection of newspaper covers, with the judges singling out the strength of the paper’s photography. Bee photographer José Luis Villegas was awarded first place in the sports photo category for “Safe at Home,” a picture of San Francisco Giants player Ángel Pagán scoring against the Los Angeles Dodgers. And former Bee reporter Charles Piller won first place in the individual profile category for his compelling narrative of the events leading to the death of Jerome Lackner, a former leader of the California Department of Health.
The Inland Press Association awarded second-place honors to The Bee’s editorial board for its editorials supporting childhood vaccination. Renée Byer’s photos of The Marshall Hotel, a longtime haven for the downtrodden that is being renovated for high-class clientele, won second-place honors in the picture story category.
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Separately, the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists awarded reporter Phillip Reese top honors for data visualization in its 2015 Excellence In Journalism Awards. Judges said Reese’s Data Tracker “offers a series of in-depth data visualizations and makes sophisticated use of some of the most powerful tools available to tell complex, local, community-oriented stories.”