Throughout 2022, the newsroom continued to earn recognition from the nation’s top journalism organizations.
Voice of OC journalists wrapped up the year, accepting the state’s Mark Twain Award from the California News Publishers Association posthumously on behalf of our former Civic Editor, Tracy Wood – a trailblazing California legendary journalist who passed away in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
This year, Voice of OC Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana, Jr. also was recognized with the prestigious Robert G. McGruber Award for Diversity Leadership from the nation’s top news editors for his leadership in driving diversity in America’s newsrooms.
Santana also was a finalist for the Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists for his column noting disparities in testing, deaths and vaccines in Orange County’s Latino community, “A Chance to Cheat Death For Dia De Los Muertos.”
Voice of OC Photography Director Julie Leopo was a finalist for the prestigious Ruben Salazar Award with the California Chicano News Media Association in the digital division for her photo essay, “In Oxnard, Latinos By the Beach Create A New Reality” published by KCET.
Orange County’s taxpayers association honored the newsroom’s accountability reporting on the County of Orange’s handling of COVID response funds.
The Voice of OC news team was also recognized by the state’s publishers’ association this year, both with the prestigious General Excellence and Public Service awards for the newsroom’s stellar service to Orange County residents in a year that included pandemic coverage, wildfires and the oil spill.
- Voice of OC was awarded first place in General Excellence and first place for Public Service for our oil spill coverage.
- Julie Leopo, won first place for feature writing for her story, Are Santa Ana’s Historic Murals Doomed to Fade into History.
- Arts & Culture Senior Editor, Richard Chang received a third place and honorable mention for his coverage Symphony on the Go Reaches Out to New Audiences.
- First Place in Home Page Layout & Design, Sonya Quick.
- Second Place in Columns, Norberto Santana, Jr, for Latino’s Left Behind in Vaccination Push by Orange County Leaders.
- Second Place in Coverage of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Spencer Custodio, Nick Gerda, and Norberto Santana, Jr.
- Second Place in Coverage of Local Government, Nick Gerda, Norberto Santana, Jr, Spencer Custodio and Sonya Quick, for “ Giving the Public a Voice on the Budget”
- Second Place in Investigative Reporting, Nick Gerda for “Investigating Big Oil’s Run in with Orange County”
- Third Place in Open-Public Service Journalism, Voice of OC Staff, for “Investigating Big Oil’s Run in with Orange County.”
- Third Place in Investigative Reporting, Nick Gerda, Norberto Santana, Jr, and Spencer Custodio for “Carelessness on CARES Act Funds in OC”
- Third Place in Breaking News, Voice of OC Staff, for “Investigating Big Oil’s Run in with Orange County”
- Third Place in Informational Graphic, Sonya Quick for “Orange County COVID-19 Deaths.”
- Third Place in Arts and Entertainment, Richard Chang for Symphony on the Go Reaches Out to New Audiences.
- Third Place in News Photo, Julie Leopo for Korean War Veterans Honored With New Memorial in Fullerton.
- Third Place in Feature Photo, Julie Leopo for The Holidays Look Different for Families of the Incarcerated in Orange County.
- County Reporter Nick Gerda won first place for Best Environmental News story for coverage of the OC oil spill.
- Gerda also took home a first place award for Best Health and Wellness story for his coverage of the spending of local COVID funds.
- Arts Editor Paul Hodgins received the first place award for Best Music/Entertainment Review.
- Tracy Wood Fellow Angelina Hicks received a second place award in the Health and Wellness category for her story about how Orange County is preparing for climate change.
- Civic Editor Spencer Custodio received second place for Best Pandemic News Story for Covid reporting and third place for Journalist of the Year.