ChicoSol journalists capture 5 state awards Waddell honored for police shooting, Sites stories

ChicoSol contributor Dave Waddell has won four honors, including two first-place awards, and ChicoSol Editor Leslie Layton was named a second-place winner in the 2019 California Journalism Awards competition.

photo courtesy of Sites Project Authority
A conceptual rendering of the Sites reservoir west of Maxwell. Dave Waddell’s first-place story was supported by an Ethnic Media Services fellowship.

The results were announced Tuesday by the sponsoring California News Publishers Association, which cancelled its planned spring awards gala because of coronavirus risks.

Waddell captured top honors in the in-depth reporting category for a series of stories on law enforcement killings in Butte County. He also placed first in land-use reporting for an extensive story on the proposed Sites reservoir.

Dave Waddell

A judge in the land-use category lauded the depth of the Sites article: “One story tells you everything. Strong reporting, great quotes and you linked nearly the whole state with one topic.”

Layton’s runner-up award came in the feature-writing category for a story about Chico attorney Sergio Garcia’s 25-year journey to U.S. citizenship. A contest judge praised the story’s relevance, clarity and organization.

Two other of Waddell’s entries – in the investigative reporting and public service categories – garnered fourth-place awards for several stories in 2019 related to law enforcement shootings.

In the public service competition, a judge wrote that “ChicoSol went above and beyond an initial news story. The ongoing nature of the story and keeping the issue in the public’s eye is at the very heart of great journalism.”

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