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.

Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

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 Journalists also were recognized by OC Press Club

  • 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.

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