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Voice of OC Digital Editor Sonya Quick won first place in the state for infographics, winning against top news agencies in the prestigious California News Publishers Association awards.

Quick’s OC COVID-19 data visualizations — updated every single day throughout the turbulent year of Coronavirus — provided the Orange County public the best way to see and understand the trends. The infographics were built regardless of partisanship or opinion and focused on giving everyone from parents to business owners to elected officials simple and unbiased information on the most important event of the year.

With the award, Voice of OC’s Digital Editor — who also handles marketing, UX, newsletters and social media engagement — won above the noteworthy and nonprofit statewide news agency CalMatters. Just look at what judges had to say about Voice of OC on the general excellence award:

“OC’s coronavirus daily virus tracker loads instantaneously and is packed with useful information. The graphics are easy to understand and nice to look at. Very impressive.”

The first Coronavirus graphics were created just as the first stay-at-home orders were announced and the first Orange County cases were announced. Over the year, additional graphics were created to offer expanded information, such as on demographic trends in cases by ethnicity and age, and also on vaccination efforts.

Voice of OC Digital Editor Sonya Quick’s daughter watches from her lap while staying at home during the pandemic.

The daily Voice of OC charts were embedded every day of the year — yes even on Christmas — into daily COVID-19 stories penned by Voice of OC Reporter Spencer Custodio. His articles brought staggering trends, confusing messages and silenced data to life and to the community of Orange County. Custodio’s articles have been quoted by readers throughout the year as the dependable daily source by which to understand the pandemic’s path through the county.

In a year when multiple news agencies were clamoring to offer a myriad of charts, Voice of OC’s visualizations were built to make it easy to get a clear and unbiased view of where cases stood. In return, Voice of OC heard from loyal donors and new readers throughout the year about the power of presenting COVID-19 data in an accessible but expanded format. Small business owners, parents, teachers, employees and elected officials reached out throughout the year in COVID to express gratitude for the easy-to-understand data.

While Voice of OC’s budget is small, Voice of OC journalists took home a record 18 wins this year. This is the third year in which Voice of OC, a digital outlet, was included in the California News Publishers Association awards contest, originally created for traditional newspapers.

And remember, this award-winning work at Voice of OC comes to you free-of-charge, with no advertising disrupting the experience. But that also means we rely on your support to sustain and expand our efforts — please become a donor today.

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