SDCNN wins 7 Excellence in Journalism Awards

Posted: November 25th, 2016 | Featured, Features | No Comments

By SDCNN Staff

San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN) won a total of seven awards at San Diego Press Club’s 43rd annual Excellence in Journalism Awards on Oct. 25 at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center at Market Creek.

Hundreds of journalists and their guests turned out for the event, enjoying gourmet tastings of local food, wine and craft beer at the reception before the ceremony. Mulligan Stew provided the music during the reception and Barbarella Fokos emceed during the presentation of special awards.

SDCNN publishes four monthlies, Mission Valley News, San Diego Downtown News, Mission Times Courier and La Mesa Courier and two biweeklies, San Diego Uptown News and Gay San Diego. The papers competed in the category of non-daily newspapers.


San Diego Community News Network editors (l to r) Ken Williams, Jeff Clemetson and Morgan Hurley (Photo by Todd Kammer)

“I am proud of our talented team who continually offer our readers quality news and information that cannot be found anywhere else,” said David Mannis, SDCNN publisher. “We strive to be the No. 1 resource for the communities we serve.”

Jeff Clemetson, editor of Mission Valley News, Mission Times Courier and La Mesa Courier, also won a first-place award:

  • Education — “Finance High: Junior Achievement teaches literacy at new park,” published in the October 2015 issue of Mission Times Courier. The article highlighted Mission Fed JA Finance Park, a high-tech financial literacy campus that takes students through a virtual simulator of various career paths and life circumstances to realistically prepare them for the kinds of budget challenges they will face in their college and post-college years. Read it at

San Diego Uptown News won two awards. Ken Williams, editor of Uptown News, and former art director Vince Meehan shared a first-place award:

  • Front page design — “Front page of Uptown News Feb. 12.” The dramatic front cover featured a large photograph of North Park resident Nick Norris modeling his Predator Warpaint designed for our troops and hunters, featuring a “war type” headline that read: “War on skin cancer. Former SEAL creates line of camouflage face paint laden with sunscreen.” The secondary photo was intense, featuring rows of empty shoes symbolizing the 54 lives that were lost in traffic accidents in 2015 in San Diego. See the digital edition at

Williams also won a second-place award:

  • General News — “Looking up: North Park’s future coming into sharp focus,” published Jan. 29 in Uptown News. The article provided an in-depth exploration of the first public glimpse at the final draft of the North Park Community Plan Update and explained what that vision would look like for local residents. Read it at

SDCNN Managing Editor Morgan M. Hurley, who is editor of both San Diego Downtown News and Gay San Diego, won two first-place awards:

  • General News — “Hacking into the new,” published in the March issue of Downtown News. The article took at look at a meetup group that did a “live hack” on the city of San Diego’s newly redesigned website to provide important feedback on how well the site was working. Read it at
  • Series — “Stepping Stone series,” published in Gay San Diego on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5. “A friend of the Stone” featured Cheryl Houk and her return to lead the region’s only LGBT-centric drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Read it at The second and final part of the series, “They keep coming back,” explained how graduates of the program return to the center to give back. Read it at 

Hurley won a second-place award, too:

  • Feature — “A city in flux,” published April 15 in Gay San Diego. The feature was on Cori Schumacher, a three-time world champion longboard surfer and lesbian activist, who has settled down in conservative Carlsbad and decided to run for City Council to bring about change. Read it at

Also, SDCNN contributor Kai Oliver-Kurtin won a second-place award:

  • Food — “Gaslamp restaurants stand the test of time,” published in the February issue of Downtown News. The article asked restaurateurs at long-standing eateries about their recipe for success. Read it at

The San Diego Press Club, which was established in 1973, is one of the largest clubs in the U.S. for media professionals.

—To find links of the San Diego Community News Network newspapers, visit

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