Journal Named a Finalist for two National Awards


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The accolades keep coming. We were proud to report last month that the Journal took home a dozen awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual statewide contest, and we’re prouder today to announce that we’ve been named a finalist in two categories in the esteemed national Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s annual throwdown.

The association, which counts dozens of alternative weeklies, including the Journal, as its members, with a combined print and online circulation of more than 38 million, hosts the annual contest, which sees papers from throughout the country compete in an array of categories. And while most newspaper contests break their entries into circulation categories — meaning papers compete against others roughly their size, AAN’s contest has no such distinctions, which leaves the plucky Journal to compete against behemoths like the Chicago Reader, Philadelphia Weekly and Baltimore City Paper. This makes the awards all the more coveted and all the more elusive.

So it’s with great pride that we report that the Journal was chosen as a finalist from dozens of entries in the categories of Best Column and Best Special Section.

In the Best Column category, our own arts and features editor Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is a finalist for her periodic “Seriously?” satire column. Here’s a brief excerpt from each of the three pieces that made up the entry:

The Cat Would Like to Open a Dialogue” (May 31, 2018):

I’m hearing that you’re feeling “attacked” when your bare ankle has been slashed from under the bed and, well, I’m a little taken aback. It’s never happened to me and I walk by there all the time. The parakeet hasn’t mentioned anything like that and we spend a lot of time just staring at one another. I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but there’s got to be more to the story. Again, not that I’m saying you’re making it up but did anyone else see it? Might it have been your perception? Could you have scraped against the ab machine I’ve never seen you take out from under the bed?

Facebook Update” (June 7, 2018):

You asked for better gif options and we heard you. Now you can spice up your online banter with a limitless cache of personalized gifs drawn from our surveillance video of you going about your day. That face you’re making right now, for example — classic.

Is your lagging engagement hurting your reach? Our upgraded autocorrect feature takes a bland post or comment and amps up its divisiveness — possibly making it a little racist — to spark conversation. This service also extends to media outlets that have struggled to compete with sensationalist click bait. Nobody’s scrolling by that policy explainer now that it’s got a racial slur in the headline. You’re welcome! 

Mindful Bitchface” (Oct. 18, 2018):

Did my childhood RBF save me from sharing a seat on the bus through elementary and middle school? Sure. But the perks have been few. I’ve tried to manage my RBF and soften my features when ordering food or taking notes in meetings. Apparently I’ve been unsuccessful, though I’m told I look fine smiling in photos so long as I don’t bare my teeth. If not laughing or eating, say, a very good piece of cheesecake, I look like I’m planning your death, where to bury you and how much salt I’ll need to make sure nothing ever grows there again.

When people recoil, I’ve always responded with, “This is just my face.” But lately, if you ask me about my RBF, even if I happen to be reclining by a pool, drinking from a pineapple, I might overcome the reflex to dismiss my expression and reply, “I’m filled with a molten rage that could turn this whole place and everyone in it to silvery heaps of ash. Thanks for asking.”

Because holy hell. 

If you haven’t read the pieces in their entirety, we urge you to take this chance to rectify that error. If you have, they probably warrant a re-read. (Check out the entire Seriously? archive here.)

Then, in the Best Special Section category, our Media Literacy Issue is once again making waves. (It took home top honors in the CNPA contest last month).


The premise of the issue was pretty simple: helping you better navigate the media landscape we all live in. Relying on pieces from a talented group of freelancers and our own editorial staffers, the issue included pieces aimed at explaining how we decide what to cover, why there are so many advertisements in the paper, why we write about weed so much, how activists can better utilize the media, why Facebook is evil and how to discern whether the news you’re reading is, in fact, fact-based.

You can find a digital version of the entire edition here, or a list of its online contents here.

And as we note in that issue’s editorial, “Our paper doesn’t exist without you, our readers.” So we’d be remiss if we didn’t also add that these awards are a reflection of your support of this paper. We thank you and hope you’ll share some pride in them, and recognize that they are the product of a lot of hard work by everyone here at the Journal, from our office staff to our sales representatives.

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