The Modesto Bee took home four awards in the most recent California News Publishers Association contest – the state’s most prestigious local journalism competition.
Reporter Garth Stapley’s investigative story documenting the Modesto Irrigation District’s electric rates for E. & J. Gallo Winery took first place in the business news category. Stapley also scored two second-place awards: one in the enterprise news story category for his reporting that showed MID’s electric rates for consumers no longer were a bargain when compared with those of investor-owned utilities, and another in the local government coverage category, which profiled the Turlock farmers market controversy.
Photojournalist Andy Alfaro scored a first place award for sports feature photo for his dramatic shot from the 2016 Oakdale Rodeo.
The Bee is one of the smaller newspapers in competition category, which makes the awards even sweeter.
“I’m so proud of the work of Garth, Andy and the entire staff of The Bee’s newsroom, which continually punches above its weight class,” Editor Joe Kieta said. “It’s always difficult when we go up against newsrooms that have larger staffs and resources, but this makes the awards even more meaningful.”
The Bee also won an honorable mention in the coveted general excellence category.