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KCET and PBS SoCal Win 14 Southern California Journalism Awards; More Than Any Other LA-Based Broadcast Organization

Presented by Los Angeles Press Club, combined total leads all other TV and radio broadcasters with 49 nominations spread across 35 different categories.
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Filmmaker Jose Luis Figueroa (“187: The Rise of the Latino Vote”) and Jon Christensen (“EARTH FOCUS: The New West and the Politics of the Environment”), winners at the 2021 Southern California Journalism Awards Presented by the LA Press Club. (Photos courtesy of PBS SoCal and KCET). Download

Burbank, Calif. – October 18, 2021 ­­– PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS stations, announced today 14 First Place Wins at the 63rd Annual Southern California Journalism Awards presented by the Los Angeles Press Club on Saturday, October 16, 2021. For the fourth consecutive year, the two PBS stations led all other L.A. broadcasters with the most honors of any regional TV or Radio station. Awards were allocated to multiple winners from a variety of PBS SoCal and KCET on-air and online original programming content. This year, 49 nominations were spread across 35 different categories and honored 15 separate, locally produced series/productions from KCET and PBS SoCal. In addition to the 14 Wins, PBS SoCal and KCET programs picked up 12 second place honors and 7 third place honors. A complete list of winners can be found at

Topping the wins for PBS SoCal and KCET in the three categories of Activism Journalism, Environmental Reporting and Solutions Journalism was environmental series EARTH FOCUS for the programs “The Youth Climate Movement Around the Worldand The New West and the Politics of the Environmentproduced in partnership with the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) at UCLA.

The debut season of the new arts and culture series SOUTHLAND SESSIONS created during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to re-connect artists with their audiences took home top honors in the categories of Television/Film Talk and Public Affairs Program as well as in Humor/Satire Writing. Also honored in two categories was the locally produced investigative news series SOCAL CONNECTED in the Crime Reporting and Entertainment News categories.

In the over 25-minute Feature Documentary category, PBS SoCal and KCET entirely swept the nominations field, with the story of Black architect Paul R. Williams HOLLYWOOD’S ARCHITECT: The Paul R. Williams Story taking the top honor. Additional individual wins went to multi-media arts and culture series ARTBOUND for the program “Light and Space,” and the documentaries 187: The Rise of the Latino Vote, THE FIRST ANGRY MAN, CITY RISING “Youth & Democracy(in partnership with The California Endowment) as well as two digital initiatives: PROPS IN A MINUTE: Election 2020 and I Was There.

The full list of first place wins for KCET and PBS SoCal are listed below:

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, over 25 minutes

● Royal Kennedy Rodgers, Kathy McCampbell Vance, Michelle Merker, Shirlyn A. Cesar and Niki Alilovic, PBS SoCal, “HOLLYWOOD’S ARCHITECT: The Paul R. Williams Story

Judges’ comment: The stunning work of a black architect during the rise of Hollywood in the first half of the 20th century is a terrific story, compellingly told through a compilation of historic films and photos. The ability of Paul Williams to overcome racism in designing iconic homes and buildings in L.A. and around the country is poignant and inspiring.


● Juan Devis, Matthew Crotty, Nicky Milne, Kim Spencer and Jon Christensen, “EARTH FOCUS: The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

Judges’ comment: In a moving, well-done broadcast, KCET wove the stories of four young people worldwide dealing with climate change issues, from island flooding to wildfires. An outstanding exploration of social activism by young people.


● Juan Devis, Matthew Crotty, Omar Foglio, Jose Luis Figueroa and Ana Paola Rodriguez, “187: The Rise of the Latino Vote

Judges’ comment: The perfect mix of historical video with modern commentary tells the story of the deep impact of PROP 187. This is superb television at its finest

NATIONAL POLITICAL/GOVERNMENT REPORTING (All Media Platforms – Print, Radio, TV or Online)

● Camille Servan-Schreiber and Jason Andrew Cohn, “THE FIRST ANGRY MAN

Judges’ comment: This was a riveting portrayal of how California led the nation into the path of anti-government sentiment, which has expanded from the drumbeat of lowering taxes to now include distrust of authority of all kinds, including science. Fascinating and well done.

EDUCATIONAL REPORTING (All Media Platforms – Print, Radio, TV or Online)

● Juan Devis, Justin Cram, Jaime Morgan-Munoz, Matthew Crotty and Cathy Hue, “CITY RISING: Youth & Democracy

Judges’ comment: Good storytelling, nice shots and hard hitting.


● Juan Devis, Matthew Crotty, Jon Christensen, Eric Waldron and Jaime Morgan-Munoz, “EARTH FOCUS: The New West and the Politics of the Environment

Judges’ comment: This clear winner traces the career of former U.S. Senator Harry Reid and his efforts to embrace a new environmentally sensitive vision for the state of Nevada, a place many people considered a wasteland. The former Senate Majority leader used “pragmatic environmental politics” to create national parks, prevent nuclear waste from coming into the state and to promote alternative energy resource development.


● Henry Cram, “PROPS IN A MINUTE: Election 2020

Judges’ comment: An informative series with an appealing presentation style.


● Richard Montoya, Ricardo Salinas and Herbert Siguenza, “SOUTHLAND SESSIONS: Culture Clash’s Totally Fake Latino News

Judges’ comment: This was a wonderful example of what talented actors and writers could do during a quarantine. The satire was topical, on the mark, and very funny!


● Juan Devis, Matthew Crotty, Jon Christensen, Eric Waldron and Jaime Morgan-Munoz, “EARTH FOCUS: The New West and the Politics of the Environment

Judges’ comment: With depth and nuance, this documentary addresses who gets to define a problem, and who chooses the appropriate solution — and how that solution adapts to bridge social, cultural and community divides.


● Karen Foshay, Trevor Jackson, Michael Ray and Tori Edgar, "I WAS THERE"

Judges’ comment: Beautifully done. Four vignettes of different perspectives. The first two, especially, were smart and really thought provoking.


● Karen Foshay, Tori Edgar, Denise Chan, Michael Bloecher and Maya Craig, “SOCAL CONNECTED: The Fight to Know

Judges’ comment: Great reporting here on California's unusual and archaic law and practices when it comes to public records of police misconduct. This clear and compelling report hopefully helps break down this information stonewall.


● Travis LaBella, “ARTBOUND: Light and Space

Judges’ comment: The video so perfectly showed what the artists were explaining. The underwater pictures, the glass explanation -- really well done

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS or FEATURE, under 5 minutes (TV/Film)

● Denise Chan, Michael Ray, Trevor Jackson and Karen Foshay, “SOCAL CONNECTED: Tour is Cancelled But COVID-19 Won’t Stop L.A.’s Las Cafeteras

Judges’ comment: This well-edited and informative piece tells an awesome, heartfelt story and tells it efficiently.


● Juan Devis, Angela Boisvert, Matthew Crotty, Jacqueline Reyno and Rosten Woo “SOUTHLAND SESSIONS: Civic Imagination

Judges’ comment: KCET’s excellent “Southland Sessions” is a terrific compilation of various stories and interviews that explore the intersection of art, culture and social movements during the pandemic crisis.

About PBS SoCal and KCET

PBS SoCal and KCET are both part of the donor-supported community institution, the Public Media Group of Southern California. PBS SoCal is the flagship PBS station for diverse people across California and delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and educate. PBS SoCal offers the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, and a broad library of documentary films with works from Ken Burns; as well as educational content including PBS KIDS programs like DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and CURIOUS GEORGE. KCET showcases the best of PBS and is a leading source for arts, culture, and news in Southern California. Through innovative storytelling, KCET explores and expresses our dynamic local communities helping residents understand and connect with the region's diverse communities and ideas. For additional information about both KCET and PBS SoCal productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit and KCET Originals and PBS programming are available to stream on the FREE PBS App on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast. KCET is also available to watch live on YouTube TV.

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