The Free Lance was honored this month with two first-place awards in the 2017 California Journalism Awards contest of the California News Publishers Association.
The Free Lance won first place in the Enterprise News category, for a series of news articles written by Managing Editor Barry Holtzclaw on county school board trustee Mitchell Dabo’s transfer of more than $640,000 from a local charitable trust to his personal accounts.
“Well done,” wrote the CNPA judge of Holtzclaw’s articles. “Reporting and writing are top-notch. Way to stay with this story.”
The Free Lance also won a first-place award for an editorial on the Dabo case, “Leaders silent on Dabo,” and was a finalist for another editorial, “Mitchell Dabo’s departure from public life is long overdue,” both also written by Holtzclaw.
The awards were announced at the annual California Journalism Awards luncheon on April 14 in Sonoma.
Free Lance sister newspapers also won awards. The Morgan Hill Times was a finalist for youth and education reporting, by Scott Forstner, education writer for the Free Lance as well as the Times. Metro Silicon Valley won four awards, including a first place for investigative journalism and for its arts and entertainment coverage.