Calexico Chronicle/Holtville Tribune Win at CJAs » Holtville Tribune

Journalists and contributors from the Calexico Chronicle and Holtville Tribune cut a fine figure at the annual California Journalism Awards, which recognize the state’s best work of 2021 as judged by their peers.

The Chronicle and Tribune reporters and contributors won four first-place awards, four second-place awards, and placed third and fourth twice each.

“I’m very proud of my editor and our writers and photographers; their professionalism and dedication is what contributes to our success,” said editor Brenda Torres. “Their talents and continued efforts are essential to the growth of this organization.”

The California Journalism Awards are organized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. This year’s competition received 2,800 entries from print, digital and campus publications. The Calexico Chronicle/Holtville Tribune did not enter the 2020 competition.

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1st place – Richard Montenegro Brown, Camilo Garcia Jr., Marcie Landeros

Our in-depth coverage of the crash that killed Imperial County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Redondo and injured multiple farm workers in late June and July 2021 doesn’t go the way it did without the efforts of the photographer Camilo Garcia Jr.who conducted on-site interviews.

Chronicle/Tribune staff also recognized third place for recent news for the cover of accident outside Holtville that killed 13 people in March 2021. Much of the work on this story was done by the editor Richard Montenegro Brown and journalist Julio Morales.

RELATED STORY: An accident that kills a deputy involves a work team of 6 people
RELATED STORY: Valley says goodbye to his fallen deputy
RELATED STORY: Seeley Man in Crash is recovering from ‘traumatic brain injury’

Profile History

1st place – Richard Montenegro Brown and Julio Morales

Days after the March 2021 migrant crash near Holtville that killed 13 people, Richard Brown and Julio Morales worked together on a profile of two of the deceased, Yesenia Cardona, a 23-year-old Guatemalan, and Jairo de Jesus Dueñas Landin, 28, from Mexicali. Brown did the part on Yesenia and Morales wrote the part on Landin, who was identified as the driver of the vehicle.

Judge: “The first-place reporters did an outstanding job of chronicling the human cost of human trafficking – in this case, the life of a 23-year-old Guatemalan woman trying to escape violence. The in-depth reporting here got me reading.

RELATED STORY: Yesenia Cardona left home to find freedom, but found only death


1st place – Richard Montenegro Brown

Boyle Heights artist and Imperial Valley native Ernesto Yerena, guest Richard Brown on one of the last nights of a week-long mural project in El Centro to honor those who died of COVID in Imperial County. A judge wrote, “It was a well-written story about a significant work of art that highlighted and honored the struggles of a community.”

RELATED STORY: COVID mural A mass memorial
RELATED STORY: The flower shop mural has meaning for Dermas

Video Journalism – Other

1st place – Richard Montenegro Brown

An accompanying video with the Ernesto Yerena-COVID mural was meant to capture the mood the night Yerena invited Richard Brown the site. He and his friends listened to a lot of Anderson .Paak. Of course, this publication had to find free music in this vein.

In-depth reports

2nd place – Julio Morales

“Not just a great scoop, but one that has been thoroughly followed up. It offered interesting and divergent points of view, ”wrote a judge about Julio Morales’ work regarding the use of the Barbara Worth Country Club Hotel for COVID quarantine migrants before they are moved out of Imperial County. It was a story that July possessed and it caught the attention of The New York Times, which used the photographer Camilo Garcia Jr.‘s photo on the Times website last year.

RELATED STORY: Team Effort Turns Holtville Hotel into Migrant Housing
RELATED STORY: Residents of Barbara Worth voice concerns over migrant housing

sports report

2nd place – Murray Anderson

sports editor Murray AndersonThe Holtville Walker family’s story was a highlight of the sports section of the Holtville Tribune and would have been well received in any newspaper. A judge wrote: ‘The combined perspective of various family members helped to make it clear that this was a family affair.’

RELATED STORY: BIG LEAGUE FAMILY: Walkers Make Athletics a Family Affair

Photo report/Essay

2nd place – Jimmy Dorantes

Well-known photographer Jimmy Dorantes and the former Calexico Chronicle member wanted to see the photos he took of the influx of Haitian immigrants crossing the border in his old newspaper. We obliged.

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“From the (apparent) aerial shot of the drone to the close-ups of the two Haitians, this photo essay was very good and captured the danger, fear and extreme heat of the scene,” a judge wrote.

RELATED STORY: Focus on the border crisis

Layout and design of the story overview page

2nd place – Richard Montenegro Brown, Lisa Burger, Priscilla Brown, Sergio Uriarte

When we built our new website in 2021, it was very intentionally designed to be user friendly and well organized. This award recognizes story landing pages, i.e. what a page looks like once someone clicks on the home page, which received a third place in the Home page layout and design.

Agricultural reports

3rd place – Antoine Abou-Diwan

Donor Antoine Abou Diwan wrote an ambitious piece about the hemp industry in Imperial County and how it didn’t turn out as hoped. “A huge topic to tackle, and very well done…It’s hard to sum up decades of history in a few grafs at the top of a story, but it does it pretty well. Good job,” one judge wrote.

RELATED STORY: Hemp hubris meets harsh reality


4th place – Daniela and Luis Flores

Calexico Siblings Daniela and Luis Flores have a permanent space in this publication as occasional columnists. Their in-depth, well-researched and well-reasoned views – controversial as they are – are a breath of fresh air.

RELATED COLUMN: ‘Social Autopsy’ on Paulin Avenue in Calexico
RELATED COLUMN: What immigration crisis? It’s a crisis of inequality

General Excellence (Digital)

4th Place – Calexico Chronicle Staff and Editor Brenda Torres

Although the California Journalism Awards really only celebrate first and second place, we are extremely proud to have been ranked in the Overall Excellence category, a category that recognizes journalism, photojournalism, web design, ad placement , the use of video and audio, the whole enchilada.

Calexico Chronicle print editions competed in the weekly 4,300-11,000 division. Holtville Tribune competed in the weekly 4,300-and-under division for the Sports Feature Story. competed in the 100,000 monthly unique visitors and under division.

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