Behind the Badge was honored with 12 awards at the Orange County Press Club’s 2019 Excellence in Journalism Contest, including four first-place nods.
Since launching nearly five years ago, Behind the Badge has won a total of 39 awards from the Orange County Press Club for outstanding work. Entries for the annual contest were judged this year by professionals who are members of the Cleveland, Idaho, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Syracuse press clubs.
The award winners were announced by the event’s emcee, Kedric Francis, at an evening gala at The Clubhouse at Anaheim Hills on Thursday, June 20.
Behind the Badge took first place for work in 2018 in the categories of Broadcast Feature, Best Use of Multimedia, Best News Feature (nontraditional media) and Best News (nontraditional media).
The 12 Behind the Badge winners for work produced in 2018 were:
Best Feature Broadcast or Video: Rebecca D’Auria for “Close Calls” and “Close Calls: Traffic accident nearly turns fatal for officer”
Best Use of Multimedia: Jessica Peralta for “OCSD hosts annual helicopter training exercise for K9s”
Judges’ comments: Great use of video and high-resolution pictures. I also appreciate law enforcement becoming their own storytellers and a positive voice in the community. Plus the highlighted box on the site with their Twitter feed was terrific. Way to stay relevant with clever tweets on current topics and TV shows while not forgetting your mission.
Best News Feature Story: Bradley Zint for “DUI death in La Habra underscores importance of safe driving”
Judges’ comments: “This powerful, poignant story really stood out amongst the pack because it married both the importance of the police work described and the personal story of a victim of DUI. The article was very well done from start to finish, with many emotional moments and depth. Some details, like the family members coming across the crash scene, gave me chills – a testament to how well written and paced the article was.”
Best News Story: Greg Hardesty for “APD targets illegal pot dispensaries, but they keep popping up like mushrooms”
Judges’ comments: This story stood out for the unique glimpse it offered readers inside a law enforcement investigation, complete with challenges, photographs and interviews with both police officers and people affected by the enforcement action. Really fascinating article.
Best Feature Story: Greg Hardesty for “An OCSD patrol deputy’s day can go from routine to horror in a flash, as he can attest”
Best News Feature Story: Elysse James for “Anaheim Police use unconventional methods to clean up problem houses”
Best News Story: Greg Hardesty for “Armed neighbors detain attempted murder suspect in backyard until OCSD arrives”
Best Food/Restaurant Story or Review: Elysse James for “Chow Time: ‘Slammin’ Salmon tacos at Anaheim Fire & Rescue Station 7”
Best News Feature Story: Greg Hardesty for “Mental Health Day is a daily reality for members of Anaheim PD’s PERT”
Best News Story: Jessica Peralta for “Westminster PD Narcan instructor first to administer life-saving nasal spray in the field”
Best News Photo: Steven Georges for “Southern California mourns Costa Mesa Police Officer Oscar Adrian Reyes”
Best Slideshow: Steven Georges for “OCSD medics train to treat K9s injured in the line of duty”
Behind the Badge stories from previous Orange County Press Club awards: