ChicoSol intern hired by investigative newsroom Sandoval gets award for reporting on CSU, Chico deal

by Dave Waddell

Former ChicoSol intern Gabriel Sandoval, recently honored by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) for his investigative reporting, has been hired by ProPublica as he prepares to enter graduate school in New York City.

photo by Dave Waddell

Bob Butler and Gabriel Sandoval at awards banquet

Sandoval, who received a bachelor’s degree in journalism in December from Chico State, will do reporting for ProPublica, which describes itself as a nonprofit news operation producing investigative journalism in the public interest. ProPublica won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for public service.

Sandoval had caught the attention of ProPublica previously, as he was a member of its Emerging Reporters Program class of 2015-16. Sandoval also has completed summer internships at the Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington, D.C., and at public radio station WNYC in New York City.

“I’m thrilled to join ProPublica, whose investigative team consistently uncovers abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust,” Sandoval said. “ProPublica reporters and editors create real-world impact through their investigative journalism, and I am eager to contribute to their efforts.”

The Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists saluted Sandoval with its 2018 James Madison Freedom of Information Award, Student Journalist category, for two stories – one for The Orion and the other for ChicoSol. Sandoval’s reporting delved into a deal in which Chico State compensated a former administrator, Lorraine Hoffman, hundreds of thousands of dollars after she had left the university.

The award was presented to Sandoval by Bob Butler, a reporter for KCBS radio in San Francisco and a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists who served as master of ceremonies during SPJ NorCal’s March 27 awards banquet at S.F.’s Delancey Street Town Hall.

“I am so honored to be recognized by the society for simply doing something that I love,” Sandoval said. “If it wasn’t for the support of my colleagues, editors and professors, as well as numerous organizations and newsroom leaders who believed in me, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Sandoval said he will move to New York City in May and hopes to continue to work for ProPublica even after entering the City University of New York’s graduate school of journalism in August on a full-tuition scholarship.

ChicoSol News Director Dave Waddell oversees this magazine’s internship program.

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