OC Press Club Endorses Local News Employment Tax Credit Bill

The Board of Directors sent the following letter to Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) in support of SB 1327 on May 21, 2024.

Dear Senator Min,

We strongly encourage you to support the proposed local news employment credits, which could truly revitalize community news in California. It could dramatically improve the capacity of newsrooms to cover their communities, and is especially attentive to the role of medium- and small-sized outlets, whose survival is most at risk.

As publishers of news in Orange County, we appreciate that the newsroom support approach in the SB 1327 recognizes the numerous nuances in business operations of for-profits and non-profits, urban and rural, and for those both employing full-time staff and rosters of freelancers.

It’s important to understand why supporting local journalism employment is fundamental to the future of local news in California.

In California, since 2004, we have lost an astounding 68% of journalists, as well as 25 percent of our newspapers. Total news circulation has dropped more than 50 percent.

Much research, and commonsense, tells us that communities poor in news see far less public engagement, lower voting and reduced civil debate. Strong local news is as much a public good as are our schools, libraries and hospitals – and integral to the success of all those institutions.

To the end of reversing that decline, we believe the use of employment tax credits will be transformative.

Importantly, the proposed credits keep the state out of the business of picking winners or losers, comfortably compatible with the First Amendment and the need to protect the editorial independence of news outlets. Simply, news operations that maintain and grow their journalism workforces get help in doing so, as market conditions challenge long-used business models.

In addition, we believe the framework supports innovation to come as well, by opening space for publishers to enter new markets and better serve communities of all kinds.

The distribution of funding to news outlets is one we hope California can join in providing model leadership, joining similar laws, one recently passed in New York State and another last year in Canada.

While we understand that there is more legislative debate and discussion to come in this area, including how such funding can best be financed, we underline our support for the instrument of payroll tax credits – best delineated in SB 1327.


The Orange County Press Club

An Open Letter to Melissa Evans, Long Beach Post Management

Dear Melissa Evans,


We seriously urge you and Long Beach Post management to reverse your decision to lay off nine employees of the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal on Friday, all of whom were working toward voluntary recognition of the Long Beach Media Guild, a unit of Media Guild of the West.

It is our understanding that earlier this month, management had planned seven layoffs, but put this plan on hold in response to a letter from staff. 

We find it concerning that this number increased on Friday after the formation of the union, with additional layoff notices sent to workers who were central to the unionization efforts and were assured prior to the union drive that their positions were safe.

This leaves the Long Beach Post newsroom – and the metropolitan area that relies on the organization – with just three reporters. 

We urge you to take a serious look at the union’s proposed cost-saving measures in lieu of the layoffs, in light of your decision to lease a $6,000 per month office in Downtown Long Beach and grant yourself a raise on Dec. 1, according to the Long Beach Media Guild.

We agree with the Guild that this constitutes an act of retaliation and support their filing of an unfair labor practice claim with the National Labor Relations Board.

We trust that you will do the right thing.


The Orange County Press Club Board of Directors


Brandon Pho

Kathy Hobstetter

Daniel Langhorne

Patrice Marsters

David N. Young

Andrew Turner

Jackie Moe

Clara Beard

Spencer Grant

Breeana Greenberg

Caitlin Antonios


An Open Letter to Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do

Dear Supervisor Andrew Do, 

We are writing to express our disappointment in using your position as a public official on Wednesday, Dec. 20 to call for the firing of LAist reporter Nick Gerda, over his reporting on your  approval of awarding public dollars to a nonprofit run by your daughter.

As the OC Register Editorial Board has now shown, your statement uses a minor technical glitch in one of the nonprofit filings to falsely claim that Gerda forged the document.

Journalists would not be doing their job if they did not constantly call attention to suspect public contractor relationships such as yours.

Your comments are a disservice to not only the journalists who watch dog the county, but also to the public you were elected to serve. 

We expect more from our public officials, and seriously urge you to apologize.


The Orange County Press Club Board of Directors


Brandon Pho

Daniel Langhorne

Caitlin Antonios

Kathy Hobstetter

David Young

Patty Marsters

Breeana Greenberg

Jackie Moe

Clara Beard

Andrew Turner

Spencer Grant

Statement Concerning the SCNG Guild Walkout

Dear members,

Tomorrow, journalists from 11 newspapers across Southern California are walking out of their newsrooms in protest of stagnant wages, while their corporate owners spend money to acquire more newsrooms. Alden Global clearly has capital; they’re choosing not to invest it in the employees who make their products possible.

The workers’ message has been clear: Their cost of living has gone up while waiting as much as 20 years for a raise – and they cannot afford to wait much longer.

The Orange County Press Club’s Board of Directors stands with these journalists and their labor union, Southern California News Group (SCNG) Guild, in their efforts to secure the fair contract they deserve.

We urge SCNG executives to come to the table with a proposal that is fair for everyone.

In the meantime, SCNG Guild has been raising funds for workers who may be financially impacted by the walkout.

We encourage you to make a contribution to help our fellow corps members in a time of need. Click here to donate.

Best Regards,

The 2023-24 Orange County Press Club Board of Directors

OC photographer Richard Koehler dies at 82

Photojournalist Richard Koehler died at home surrounded by his family on Oct. 12, Costa Mesa police said in a Facebook post. He was 82.
Koehler was a breaking news photographer since the early 1970s, freelancing for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times and AP.
He was often the first news photographer at crashes and crime scenes in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach, day or night. He attended high school in Newport Beach and graduated from Orange Coast College.
The Orange County Press Club Board of Directors is mourning our long-time colleague Koehler who worked tirelessly to get the “scoop.” He was a frequent recipient of OC Press Club awards, including the 2022 Best News Photo for his image of a fatal crash in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach Police Department traffic officers (MAIT) investigates fatal solo vehicle into building at 6904 West Coast Highway in Newport Beach Saturday evening, January 23, 2021. Photo by Richard Koehler, Contributing Photographer

A Special Note to Members on Orange Unified School District Board Meeting

Dear Members,

The Orange County Press Club Board of Directors is following claims that private security guards hired by the Orange Unified School District attempted to corral Voice of OC, Southern California News Group and freelance photographers into a press pen during a public meeting on Sept. 7.

After speaking with two photojournalists who were harassed in the course of their work, the Board feels it prudent to remind our members that state and federal case law is on their side in these types of situations involving a “designated press area” at public proceedings. We believe arming reporters and photographers with information about their rights is the best defense against this bad behavior.

From the Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press: Cal. Gov’t Code § 54950 As stated by one court, “it is clearly the public policy of this State that the proceedings of public agencies, and the conduct of the public’s business, shall take place at open meetings, and that the deliberative process by which decisions related to the public’s business shall be conducted in full view of the public.”

Journalists are and should be treated just like members of the public. Sequestering people based on their occupation is a slippery slope.

The Board has discussed next steps to educate OUSD officials and the public that we will not tolerate further infringement of press freedoms in Orange County.

Best Regards,

The 2022-23 Orange County Press Club Board of Directors

OC Press Club Seeks 2023-24 Board Candidates

Dear Members,

It’s election season, and an opportunity to bring your voice to the Orange County Press Club Board of Directors.

Voting will happen in the last week of September, but starting now you can add your name as a candidate.

Candidates are asked to email [email protected] with their name, employer/news organization, a short bio and candidate statement (laying out your ideas, values, or anything you think might connect with voters) by Sept. 22.

All candidates must be current on membership dues: $25 for journalists and $50 for PR professionals/non-journalists.

On top of planning the Press Club’s annual awards gala, board members also host networking and informational events throughout the year for members. The volunteer board works alongside groups throughout California to advocate for press freedom and other issues important to journalists in Orange County. The Board also stewards the next generation of journalists by sponsoring scholarships and fellowships for high school and college students.

The Press Club is looking for journalists from across a variety of mediums, publications and backgrounds to help further this mission. Freelancers and journalism educators are welcome to enter.

Please send any questions about the process to [email protected].

Best Regards,

Brandon Pho
Vice President, 2022-23 Orange County Press Club Board of Directors

OC Press Club Mourns Beloved Photographer

Former Orange County Register staff photographer Bill Alkofer died in St. Paul, Minn., after a years-long fight with ALS on June 23.

Theresa Walker, a retired Register staff writer, shared the news about Alkofer on a Facebook group of the newspaper’s alumni. Her post has turned into a memorial with dozens of comments from Alkofer’s colleagues.

“Mindy Schauer and I visited Bill this past week at the assisted living center in St. Paul where he had been living. We reminisced, we laughed, we cursed, we talked about death, we drank several of the beers (Grain Belt) in Bill’s fridge and even got him to take a few sips with a straw,” Walker wrote.

Alkofer was born and raised in North Dakota. He received a degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota in 1985. Alkofer worked for 40 years as a photojournalist, including stints at Pioneer Press and the Register. He photographed popes, presidents and kings, two Olympics, a Super Bowl, a World Series and four Final Fours.

The Orange County Press Club Board of Directors extends its sincere condolences to his devoted family and friends. He was a consummate professional who went above and beyond to make the best photo possible.

Details about a memorial service haven’t been announced.

Bill Alkofer at his October 2021 “awake wake” with Mindy Schauer, Alma Fausto, Ian Wheeler, Jeff Gritchen and Greg Mellen in Minneapolis. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Gritchen)

Here is the complete list of the 2023 OC Press Club Award winners

Each year thousands of stories, photos, social media posts and more are generated by reporters around Orange County seeking to inform the public and hold officials accountable.

The Orange County Press Club is pleased to announce the complete list of winners and finalists for the 2023 OC Press Club Awards.

Best News Story

First place: Spencer Custodio and Hosam Elattar

FBI Reveals What Many Anaheim Residents Felt For Years, City Hall is Run By The Chamber of Commerce,” Voice of OC

Second place: Roxana Kopetman

Ukrainians arriving in U.S. through Tijuana,” OC Register

Third place: Scott Schwebke

Torrance woman recounts harrowing rape by alleged attacker hours after his release from jail,” Daily Breeze


Best News Feature Story

First place: Todd Harmonson

If the story of Super Bowl LVI was a movie plot, you wouldn’t believe it,” OC Register

Second place: Tony Saavedra

What Happened to Jack? Mystery over Texas boating death of OC teen finally unravels years later,” OC Register

Third place: Hannah Fry

After a Black student faced racist slurs, some wonder: Will O.C. ever change?” LA Times

Honorable Mention: Brandon Pho

Fallout From the FBI Corruption Probe Triggers a New Kind of Open Mic Night in Anaheim,” Voice of OC


Best Breaking News Story

First place: Staff of The Los Angeles Times

(Hannah Fry, Richard Winton, Laura Newberry, Jeong Park, Anh Do and Andrew J. Campa)

Churchgoers tackled, hogtied gunman after deadly Laguna Woods church shooting,” LA Times

Second place: Noah Biesiada and Angelina Hicks

Mission Viejo Appoints City Manager to Run the Town After Judge Boots Council Majority,” Voice of OC

Third place: Spencer Custodio

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu Resigns After FBI Reveals Anaheim Corruption Probe,” Voice of OC


Best Investigative Story or Series 

First place: Scott M. Reid

UC Berkeley swimmers allegations against coach Teri McKeever,” OC Register

Second place: Brandon Pho and Hosam Elattar

What Made Anaheim’s Chamber Tick,” Voice of OC

Third place: Jeffrey Collins

Southern California housing plans contain ‘fake sites,’ lack analysis, critics say,” OC Register

Honorable Mention: Connor Sheets, Hannah Fry and Laura J. Nelson

Mater Dei football players allegedly sexually assaulted teammate, police record says,” LA Times


Best Beat Reporting 

First place: Brooke Staggs

Climate/environment coverage, OC Register

Second place: Noah Biesiada

OC Power Authority, Voice of OC

Third place: Hosam Elattar, Nick Gerda, Angelina Hicks and Brandon Pho

Hate on the Rise in OC, Voice of OC


Best Public Affairs Story

First place: Hannah Fry

Amid housing crunch, officials want Orange County to stay the way it is,” LA Times

Second place: Brooke Staggs

Lead spews from some Southern California airports; cleaner fuel is coming,” OC Register

Third place: Brandon Pho

Bladder Infections, Padded Underwear ‘Just Part of the Job’ for Some OC Bus Drivers, Say Those Decrying Bathroom Break Policies,” Voice of OC

Honorable Mention: Hosam Elattar and Angelina Hicks

Car Wrecks, Flooding and a Possible Sewage Leak: Life in a Westminster Mobile Home Park,” Voice of OC


Best Feature Story

First place: Roxana Kopetman

An Orange County couple and their newborn daughter escape Ukraine, one step at a time,” OC Register

Second place: Richard Simon

Newport Beach Lifeguards are Dedicated to Keeping Beachgoers Safe,” Newport Beach Independent

Third place: Anne Marie Panoringan

Panoringan: Finding New Foods by Living the Buy Nothing Lifestyle,” Voice of OC

Honorable Mention: Andrew Turner

Orange Coast College honors late coach, renames facility John Altobelli Park,” Daily Pilot


Best Long-Form Feature Story or Series

First place: Jeffrey Collins and Andre Mouchard

OC Register, Southern California aging boom

Second place: Priscella Vega

Inside one O.C. Mexican Catholic family, abortion still divides generations,” LA Times

Third place: Hosam Elattar

Little Arabia, Voice of OC

Honorable Mention: Tony Saavedra

Eroding beaches, OC Register


Best Political Story

First place: Spencer Custodio and Hosam Elattar

Disney’s PAC Continues Spending Big To Sway Voters in Anaheim,” Voice of OC

Second place: Andrew Turner

Ongoing rancor on Laguna Beach City Council turns uglier this election season,” LA Times


Best Round-Up or Best Of

First place: Richard Chang and Jessica Choi

A Vibrant Korean Community is Thriving in North O.C.,” Voice of OC

Second place: Edwin Goei

Chopstick-lickin’ good: Where to find Asian takes on fried chicken in Orange County,” Daily Pilot

Third place: Brad A. Johnson

Brad A. Johnson’s 75 Best Places to Eat in Orange County, 2022,” OC Register


Best Business Story

First place: Jeffrey Collins

Microgrid will let these Menifee homes keep lights on during outages,” OC Register

Second place: Breeana Greenberg

Monster Wave Puzzles Making a Splash at Local Surf Shops,” San Clemente Times

Third place: Christopher Trela

Newport Beach Entrepreneur Named Among Top 10 Fastest Growing Woman-Owned/Led Companies,” Newport Beach Independent


Best Arts/Culture Story

First place: Paul Hodgins 

Hodgins: O.C. Arts Groups Emerge From Pandemic With New Ideas and Strengthened Resolve,” Voice of OC

Second place: Richard Chang and Kim Pham 

“‘Yellow Submarine Rising’ Gives Asian American Artists a Platform to Speak and Shine,” Voice of OC

Third place: Ashley Ryan 

Cultivating Community Through Creativity,” Laguna Beach Magazine


Best Arts/Culture Review

First place: Timothy Mangan

London Symphony Orchestra Performs Blockbuster Program at Segerstrom with Mixed Results,” Voice of OC

Second place: Paul Hodgins

A Conductor on the Rise Reveals Her Gifts,” Voice of OC

Third place: Timothy Mangan

Pianists Team for an Evening of Music for Two Pianos at Soka,” Voice of OC

Honorable Mention: Richard Chang

Review: OC Museum of Art’s Opening Exhibitions Delight, Confound, Engage,” Voice of OC


Best Music/Entertainment Story

First place: Andrew Turner

Carnival carnage: Demolition derbies are a shattering spectacle at the O.C. Fair,” Daily Pilot

Second place: Sarah Mosqueda

Wine labels to record labels,” Daily Pilot

Third place: Richard Chang

Danny Elfman Percussion Concerto Makes Its North American Premiere in Orange County,” Voice of OC

Honorable Mention: Simone Goldstone

The Relaunched CREEM is the Cream of the Crop for Rock Journalism,” Newport Beach Independent


Best Music/Entertainment Review

First place: Simone Goldstone

Paul McCartney Finally ‘Got Back’ on Tour,” Newport Beach Independent

Second place: Ashley Littlefield

Parallel Voices Has Us ‘Running’ on New EP,” EDM Identity

Third place: Ashley Littlefield

Jamie Jones and Darius Syrossian Dispatch Poolside Vibes on New EP,” EDM Identity


Best Health/Wellness Story

First place: Roxana Kopetman

Pregnant with COVID, she survived a nightmare,” OC Register

Second place: Anne Marie Panoringan

Panoringan: Food As Medicine – Cooking With MaxLove Project’s Fierce Foods Academy,” Voice of OC

Third place: Cathi Douglas

Hospital chaplains steward spiritual healing for end-of-life patients and their families,” San Diego Union-Tribune

Honorable Mention: Noah Biesiada

OC Spends a Third of Mental Health Outreach Money on Sports Teams: Is It Working?” Voice of OC


Best Environmental News Story

First place: Erika Ritchie

Young mountain lion roams 100 miles between beach and Santa Ana mountains,” OC Register

Second place: Richard Simon

The Trashy Side of Newport Beach,” Newport Beach Independent

Third place: Angelina Hicks

Are Community Gardens Becoming Orange County’s Next Town Squares,” Voice of OC

Honorable Mention: Angelina Hicks

Grand Jury: OC Residents Lose Millions Each Year in Unclaimed Recycling Funds,” Voice of OC


Best Education Story

First place: Roxana Kopetman

Lockdown alarm failed 3 preschool classes for deaf students in Santa Ana during intruder evacuation, teachers say,” OC Register

Second place: Shawn Price 

Camp, Sweet Camp,” Parenting OC

Third place: Roxana Kopetman

New Irvine charter school under scrutiny for alleged mismanagement,” OC Register


Best Food/Restaurant Story

First place: Gabriel San Román

In Anaheim, taco vendors and officials play a game of cat-and-mouse,” LA Times

Second place: Simone Goldstone

Brother’s Bond Bourbon is Founded by ‘Vampire Diaries’ Actors and Helps the Environment,” Newport Beach Independent

Third place: Sarah Mosqueda

Orange County’s diverse vegan Mexican food movement gains momentum,” Daily Pilot


Best Food/Restaurant Review

First place: Brad A. Johnson

South Coast Plaza’s Populaire rewrites the French bistro playbook,” OC Register

Second place: Brad A. Johnson

Finally, a proper cheese enchilada,” OC Register

Third place: Edwin Goei

At the Disneyland Resort, it’s a small world of food after all,” Daily Pilot


Best Travel Story

First place: Brooke Staggs

How a trip to Tanzania restored one writer’s faith in humanity,” OC Register

Second place: Anh Do

Taiwanese, Koreans and Hong Kongers can finally travel home. But others are out of luck,” LA Times

Third place: Richard Simon

Crossing the Northwest Passage: A Voyage of Ice, Wind and Polar Bears,” Newport Beach Independent


Best Profile

First place: Joe Mullich

Serving the Underserved,” Super Lawyers

Second place: Joe Mullich

The Difference Maker,” Super Lawyers

Third place: Sara Cardine

Newport Beach retiree Stan Ross, aka the Metal Detector Man, finds O.C.’s lost riches,” Daily Pilot


Best Religion Story

First place: Hosam Elattar

OC Muslims Hope For a More ‘Normal’ Ramadan as They Gear Up for the Third Celebration Since COVID,” Voice of OC

Second place: Lilly Nguyen

Faith leaders gather in Newport Beach to pray for Ukraine, world on National Day of Prayer,” Daily Pilot

Third place: Cathi Douglas

Why a first-responder chaplain’s work is so important,” San Diego Union-Tribune

Honorable Mention: Yusra Farzan

Muslims are fast becoming a powerful voting bloc in Orange County,” OC Register


David McQuay Award for Best Columnist 

First place: Norberto Santana Jr.

Voice of OC

Second place: Patrice Apodaca

Daily Pilot

Third place: Jim Alexander

OC Register


Best Video

First place: Joone Kim-Lopez

From Hate to Healing,” OC World

Second place: Scott Hays

Hope Dies Last,” OC World

Third place: Manuel Gómez 

To Live for the Harvest,” OC World

Honorable Mention: Shawn Price, Jessica Peralta and Aylin Ruiz

A Conversation with Ann & Kong,” Halloween Every Night


Best Use of Multimedia

First place: Jessica Peralta, Shawn Price, Aylin Ruiz and Lindsay Schiro

“‘Spook Show 17’ Offers a Look Behind The 17th Door,” Halloween Every Night

Second place: Samantha Dunn

These 10 Noteworthy books by Southern California authors made an impact in 2021,” OC Register

Third place: Jessica Peralta, Shawn Price and Hannah Nguyen

Twisted Christmas Brings Immersive Scares to The Frida Cinema,” Halloween Every Night


Best Use of Data

First place: Brooke Staggs and Nikie Johnson

Analysis: What are Orange County House members tweeting about?” OC Register

Second place: Brooke Staggs

“Orange County more likely than most to elect women to office, but gaps persist,” OC Register


Best Use of Social Media

First place: Meghann Cuniff 

Law & Crime News, covering Cardi Bi’s federal civil trial in Orange County

Second place: Meghann Cuniff

Law.com/The Recorder, covering John Eastman’s speech at the California Republican Assembly meeting

Third place: Brad A. Johnson

Instagram (@bradajohnson)


Best Graphic

First place: Jennifer Coats and Shawn Price

Salem Witch Trials, Halloween Every Night


Best Illustration

First place: Dominic Ho

Stephen King, Halloween Every Night

Second place: Jeffrey Goertzen

Angels, OC Register

Third place: Dominic Ho

“Psycho,” Halloween Every Night

Honorable Mention: Dexter Urias

Bluebeard, Halloween Every Night


Best News Photo

First place: Mitch Ridder

Emerald Bay fire, Laguna Beach Independent

Second place: Paul Bersebach

coastal day, OC Register

Third place: Leonard Ortiz

Smiling couple, OC Register


Best Sports Photo

First place: Keith Birmingham 

broken bat, OC Register

Second place: Mark Rightmire 

surfing victory, OC Register

Third place: Paul Rodriguez

dejection, OC Register

Honorable Mention: Mark Rightmire

girls soccer, OC Register


Best Feature Photo

First place: Paul Bersebach

Sunrise, OC Register

Second place: Leonard Ortiz

Surfer, OC Register

Third place: Mark Rightmire

Gliders, OC Register

Honorable Mention: Brad A. Johnson

Heritage BBQ, OC Register


Best Portrait

First place: Dustin Snipes

Natalie Weatherford, Super Lawyers

Second place: Dustin Snipes

Irene Y. Lee, Super Lawyers


Third place: Leonard Ortiz

Planned Parenthood technician, OC Register



The Real O.C. Award

First place: Mike Moodian

Coastal Crisis: California’s Vanishing Beaches,” OC World

Second place: Hosam Elattar

““Enough is Enough”: Anaheim’s Edison Community Demands Safer Streets,” Voice of OC

Third place: Tony Saavedra and Laylan Connelly

Southern California coastal towns are losing valuable sand, putting some beaches at risk,” OC Register

Honorable Mention: Brooke Staggs

Afghan refugees find generosity, chaos as they settle in Orange County,” OC Register


Journalist of the Year 

Scott M. Reid




Best News Feature Story

First place: Patrice Marsters

“Business Management Pathway Develops Students’ Entrepreneurial Savvy,” Newport-Mesa Unified School District

Second place: Greg Mellen

CUSD representatives learn about how to combat dangers to students during School Safety Summit,” CUSD Insider

Third place: Jessica Peralta

“In Memoriam: The life of Santa Ana Police K9 Puskas,” Behind the Badge


Best Feature Story

First place: Greg Mellen

Tesoro student turns her pain into anti-racism movement,” CUSD Insider

Second place: Greg Mellen

Nothing can stop San Juan Hills High basketball coach Jason Efstathiou,” CUSD Insider

Third place: Greg Hardesty

One Hundred Years of Gratitude: The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange celebrate the centennial anniversary of the order’s relocation to Batavia Street from Northern California,” Orange County Catholic

Honorable Mention: Jessica Peralta

Post-retirement, Westminster Police Department’s K9 Pako candle shines bright,” Behind the Badge


Best Arts/Culture Story or Review

First place: Greg Hardesty

Hazel Wright Organ: It took a small army of people and nearly a decade to restore world-famous Hazel Wright Organ to her glory,” Orange County Catholic

Second place: Greg Mellen

Santa Ana homicide detective runs youth mariachi nonprofit, providing life-enriching outlet for kids,” Behind the Badge

Third place: Richard Chang

Forging a Common Bond,” UCI Arts

Honorable Mention: Patrice Marsters

“Recess Enhanced with Creative Art Programs,” Newport-Mesa Unified School District 



Best Photo

First place: Jeff Antenore

High school graduation surprise, CUSD Insider


Best Video

First place: Tauli Anderson

Westminster Police Department shuts down alleged slaphouse,” Behind the Badge

OC Press Club Names Journalist Fred Swegles as 2023 Sky Dunlap Award Recipient

The Orange County Press Club Board of Directors is honored to posthumously recognize Fred Swegles with the 2023 Sky Dunlap Award at the 2023 Excellence in Journalism Awards at 6 p.m. on June 15 at Anaheim Hills Golf Course.

The Press Club’s highest honor will be announced in conjunction with our “In Memorium” presentation of recently deceased journalists, which also includes nationally-recognized baseball writer Jean Hastings Ardell and Los Angeles Times reporter Greg Yee.

A longtime Orange County newsman who spent his career covering San Clemente and its neighboring towns, Swegles died on Oct. 23, 2022, after suffering health complications because of a brain tumor. He was 74.

Swegles’ portfolio of work spanned more than 50 years, having previously reported for the Daily Sun-Post and Orange County Register. In 2018, Swegles launched his CoastLines column with San Clemente Times.

“Fred Swegles is an institution in Orange County journalism. His tireless efforts over five decades to cover his beloved hometown of San Clemente are a testament to the impact one journalist can have on their readers. Our board’s decision to honor Fred was unanimous and we sincerely wish it had arrived before his passing,” said Daniel Langhorne, president of Orange County Press Club.

The Sky Dunlap Award is given out at the Press Club’s annual awards gala and honors someone for lifetime achievement and community service in Orange County journalism. It is named for John William “Sky” Dunlap, 1912-68, who owned and published the Globe, an independent newspaper.