The California News Publishers Association recognized San Quentin News writers with five awards for articles published in 2020.
Senior Editor Juan Haines received First Place and Fifth Place in two categories of “Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Editor-in-Chief Marcus Henderson received Second Place and Fifth Place in the category of “Editorial Comment.” Staff writer Anthony Caravalho received Fifth Place in the category of “Coverage of Youth and Education.”
The three contests — Print, Digital and Campus — received 3,036 entries, up from last year’s 2,972 entries. The Digital Contest, now in its third year, received 699 entries, up 102 over last year. Print Contest entries totaled 1,927, down from last year’s 2,006. CNPA Campus members sent in 410 entries, up from 383 last year.
“CNPA is the biggie for journalism awards in California,” said Steve McNamara, a founding adviser for SQ News. “Thousands of publishers are competing.”
The SQ News competes with the other CNPA member publications with a monthly or weekly printed circulation of 25,001 & over.
“How remarkable that is for men who a short time ago had never written an article in their life,” said John Eagan, also a founding adviser.
“We were shocked,” said Caravalho about winning the awards. “Getting recognition of our stories’ impact from journalists beyond the prison walls feels great.”
“It’s a well-deserved validation of all the hard work the men are putting into the newspaper,” said long-time adviser Jan Perry.
The SQ News staff wrote most of their award-winning reports while locked inside their cells 23 hours a day during the pandemic.
—Senior Editor Juan Haines contributed to this story