Reason Brings Home 4 First-Place Wins at the Southern California Journalism Awards

Plus half a dozen second-place finishes and two third-place spots. Woot!


The Los Angeles Press Club just held its annual awards ceremony to recognize the best journalism produced by media companies headquartered in Southern California. Reason, which is based in Los Angeles, was nominated in 19 categories; we walked away from Sunday night's gala with four wins, six second-place awards, and two third-place prizesOur crew is quite pleased, and we hope that our supporters and readers are as well.

First place in humor and satire writing across all platforms: Austin Bragg, Meredith Bragg, and Andrew Heaton for "Groundhog Day: 2018"

Judges' comment: "Tightly written, devastatingly funny and spot on media critique."

First place in minority and immigration reporting from a print outlet: Shikha Dalmia for "Sanctuary Churches Take in Immigrants and Take on Trump."

Judges' comment: "This is the most thorough and complete entry, although it lacks the humanity of the second-place finisher. In fact, this was a toss-up to decide, because each story expertly hit the mark it was aiming for. But given the immigration news of the past year, a deep policy dive might be the more crucial journalism."

First place for an investigative article in a print magazine: Jacob Sullum for "America's War on Pain Pills Is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony."

Judges' comment: "A well-researched poignant story on the impact on the war on pain pills that unwittingly affects patients who really need them."

First place for an investigative TV or film piece: Jim Epstein for "The $15 Minimum Wage Is Turning Hard Workers Into Black Market Lawbreakers."

Judge's comment: "Great story. It goes past the coverage of one event and shows its future effects. Good use of visuals and a strong narrative."

Second place for obituary/in appreciation across all platforms: Todd Krainin for "Travel Shows Were Boring as F*ck. Then Came Anthony Bourdain."

Second place for editorials across all print: Katherine Mangu-Ward for "When Fixing the Problem Makes It Worse."

Second place for a non-entertainment profile or interview in TV or film: Nick Gillespie, Justin Monticello, and Todd Krainin for "Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, and the Cult of Silicon Valley."

Second place for a soft news feature published online: C.J. Ciaramella for "The Radical Freedom of Dungeons & Dragons."

Second place for sports commentary published online: Eric Boehm for "Curling Is the Closest the Olympics Ever Get to Anarchy." 

Second place for magazine columns: J.D. Tuccille for "Embrace the Dirt Nap." 

Third place for a personality profile in politics/business/arts industries appearing in a magazine: Matt Welch for "Jordan Peterson Is Not the Second Coming."

Third place for a news feature over five minutes: Zach Weissmueller for "Trump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build a Foxconn Plant."

Going through Reason's published work from 2018 in order to put together our awards submissions reminded me that this team punches far above its annual budget across platforms and categories. I am deeply grateful to our readers, to our donors, and to our colleagues in the media industry, who judged these awards. They are not the only—and certainly not the most significant—way to measure our reach and impact, but we are nevertheless proud. If you give to Reason or share our work, you should be proud too.