Two people holding award certificates

Local News Pasadena correspondents Victoria Thomas and Phil Hopkins at the Los Angeles Press Club Awards Gala. Photo: Sheryl Turner

Three 2023 Southern California Journalism Awards for Local News Pasadena

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

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.”

“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:

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.

Pasadena Reporter Justin Chapman Wins Three LA Press Club Journalism Awards

Pasadena journalist Justin Chapman won the 1st place award in the Travel Reporting category at the 64th annual Los Angeles Press Club’s Southern California Journalism Awards on June 25th, 2022 for his story about Slab City in Culture Honey Magazine, a Pasadena-based digital publication. More than 2,000 entries were submitted this year.

“Great descriptive writing, and the character of Jinxy Bonesaw really brings this quirky arts community to life,” the judges wrote about Chapman’s winning article, “Off-Season in Slab City, USA.” “It allows for readers to become more invested in traveling to this place themselves, which accomplishes the intended goals of a travelogue.”

Slab City is known as the “last free place in America,” a “decidedly anti-capitalist, nomadic art community in the desert near the Salton Sea where fringe members of society live rent free in makeshift camps,” Chapman wrote.

Chapman also won two 3rd place awards in the TV/Public Affairs category for hosting the Pasadena news talk show “NewsRap Local with Justin Chapman” on Pasadena Media, and in the Entertainment Features category for his story about Paradise Springs in LAist, “The Hedonistic History Of Paradise Springs, Where Early Hollywood Went Wild.

“It was an honor to be recognized among so many excellent journalists who are doing the hard work to keep our communities informed,” Chapman said.

Story by Pasadena Reporter Receives Los Angeles Press Club Awards

Pasadena reporter and Pasadena Media Foundation grant recipient Justin Chapman received two awards from the Los Angeles Press Club in recognition for his Alta Journal article about the death of "Mad" Mike Hughes titled The Daredevil Who Reached for the Stars.

The prestigious annual Southern California Journalism Awards were announced October 16th, 2021.

Chapman's second place award was in the Hard News (one day's coverage of a hard news story) category and third place in the Obituary / In Appreciation (politics / business / arts personalities) category.

Pasadena Now Reporter Justin Chapman Wins Two LA Press Club Journalism Awards
Alta Journal Takes Home Five First-Place Honors, 18 Total at SoCal Journalism Awards

Pasadena Media Foundation Grant Awarded to Reporter Justin Chapman

The Pasadena Media Foundation has awarded a grant to reporter Justin Chapman to purchase transcription software used in the production of local news coverage. Chapman reports for a variety of media outlets including Pasadena Now, LAist, Well Read and NewsRap Local.

"It's such a time saver. I can't believe I did journalism for 17 years without it. Thanks so much," said Chapman.

Justin Chapman (left) interviews former Pasadena Mayor and current mayoral advisor Rick Cole on NewsRap Local
Justin Chapman (left) interviews former Pasadena Mayor and current mayoral advisor Rick Cole on NewsRap Local

From left to right: James Farr, Bryce McClain, Noah Griffen and Pasadena councilman Tyrone Hampton

John Muir Scholar Noah Griffen Awarded $7500 Scholarship from Filmmakers

June 7, 2021 - Last Thursday, in front of an intimate group of community members, John Muir graduate Noah Griffin accepted the $7500 inaugural Anthony McClain Social Justice Scholarship. Griffin will attend Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the Fall.

Funding for the scholarship came from the proceeds and donations from the documentary film “Thorns on the Rose: Black Abuse, Corruption & the Pasadena Police.”

Full article:

The Conversation Live and Pasadena Black Pages Awarded Pasadena Media Foundation Grants

James Farr's The Conversation Live topical news interview program (photo above) on The Arroyo Channel and the Pasadena Black Pages news service were recently awarded grants by the Pasadena Media Foundation to support continued distribution of high-quality local journalism.

Pasadena Now Named First Grant Recipient of New Media Foundation

The Pasadena Media Foundation’s mission is ‘to promote high-quality local journalism within the community.’