Berkeleyside wins ‘Overall Excellence’ award from San Francisco Press Club; writers also recognized

Frances Dinkelspiel (left) and Emilie Raguso at the SF Press Club awards. Photo: Courtesy

Berkeleyside was honored for overall excellence in online news at an awards ceremony organized by the San Francisco Press Club on Thursday night.

It was the 40th year for the press club’s Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards. Press clubs in several other cities judged the awards.

The entire Berkeleyside team won first-place awards in the digital media division for overall excellence, and also for breaking news, for coverage of the November 2016 election.

Berkeleyside writers Frances Dinkelspiel and Emilie Raguso, and freelancer Alix Wall, also won first-place awards for individual stories in the digital media division.


Dinkelspiel’s extensive reporting on the wine Ponzi scheme John Fox ran through his Berkeley wine store, Premier Cru, was selected as the winner in the series or continuing coverage category.

Raguso’s “Berkeley police emphasize ‘culture of de-escalation‘” won first place in the general news category, and her story “Unstoppable: Berkeley cyclist’s miraculous recovery after crash that nearly killed her” won in the profile category.

Wall’s “Rubicon Bakers rebuilds lives, bakes cakes” took first place in the light-nature feature category.

From left: Frances Dinkelspiel, Alix Wall and Emilie Raguso at the SF Press Club awards. Photo: Courtesy

Dinkelspiel and Raguso also received third-place recognition in the investigative category for their 2016 coverage of homelessness in Berkeley. That coverage was recognized previously by the NorCal Society of Professional Journalists for its comprehensive nature.

According to Antonia Ehlers, president of the San Francisco Press Club, there were more entries for this year’s awards event than there ever have been in the past: More than 300 entries were submitted in TV, print, radio, digital media and public relations. It was the first year Berkeleyside entered the awards contest.


“We are here to celebrate the exceptional work you do throughout the year,” Ehlers told ceremony attendees Thursday night. “We know how hard you work — the late-night deadlines, breaking stories and the ever-changing pace of news. You do your best every day to tell your stories with honesty and integrity.”

Table settings at the SF Press Club awards. Photo: Emilie Raguso
More than 100 media professionals attended the SF Press Club awards Thursday night. Here, Antonia Ehlers, president of the San Francisco Press Club, addresses attendees. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Press clubs in Milwaukee, San Diego, Orange County and Cleveland acted as judges for the event, “and the judges certainly were impressed with your work,” Ehlers told the crowd.

The event emcee was Tara Moriarty of KTVU news. The 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was David Louie of ABC 7. The San Francisco Press Club Service Award recipient was “radio legend Peter Cleveland.”

Read more about the awards on the Press Club website.