KCET Wins 19 Southern California Journalism Awards, More Than Any Broadcaster

KCET is honored to announce the win of 19 First Place Awards at the 61st annual Southern California Journalism Awards presented by the Los Angeles Press Club on Sunday, June 30. This is the second consecutive year that KCET has won more awards than any other Los Angeles broadcaster and its first as most honored Los Angeles outlet across all media platforms including TV, radio, print and online organizations.

KCET’s wins include 10 for its acclaimed news program SOCAL CONNECTED, including “Best Talk/Public Affairs Show,” which judges called “honest, touching, informative, and thought provoking."

In addition, SOCAL CONNECTED executive producer Karen Foshay was named “Journalist of the Year” and was described by the judges as “a towering force in producing important and meaningful stories. Her work is a mirror to life in Los Angeles.” Additionally, the news program’s former host and award-winning journalist Val Zavala was awarded “Best Television Host/Anchor” following her retirement in 2018 after 30 years.

KCET’s original arts and culture series ARTBOUND garnered seven awards including “Documentary Short,” for its “beautifully constructed and edited” work.

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Judges called  CITY RISING (in partnership with the California Endowment), “smart, emotional, a great mix of human stories and big picture breakdown. Just a great piece of journalism,” and granted it one award. 

THE MIGRANT KITCHEN (produced in partnership with acclaimed culinary publication Life & Thyme), was called “masterful” and also received one award.

“We are proud that our original content – which reflects the spirit and diversity of our region — continues to be recognized year after year,” said Andrew Russell, President and CEO of the Public Media Group of Southern California, formed last year by the merger of KCET and PBS SoCal. “It’s a testament to the importance of quality storytelling and in-depth journalism, which are at the core of our mission.”

The 61st Annual Southern California Journalism Awards for KCET are: 


SoCal Connected - "Freelance Nation and Made in L.A."

Karen Foshay, Deepa Fernandes, Nic Cha Kim, Dina Demetrius and Kathy Kasaba

Judges’ comment: What an absolutely excellent program. Both segments (Freelance Nation and Made in LA) were so very well-produced, shot, edited, and written. They were both honest, touching, informative, and thought provoking. This is everything that great TV should be!

Judges named SoCal Connected "Freelance Nation," as "everything that great TV should be!" Watch now.


DOCUMENTARY, SHORT, under 25 minutes

Artbound - “Open Your Eyes: Lula Washington Dance Theatre”

Juan Devis, Matthew Crotty, Adebukola Bodunrin, Angela Boisvert and Matt Bass

Judges’ comment: Lula Washington Dance Theatre is a great show. Recorded and produced in a way that loving demonstrates the history, artistry and passion of Lula Washington and her partner Erwin. The cinematography, edit, score, mix, pacing and story is about pitch perfect in portraying an important story on the intersection of artistry and community. A story worth telling, about people, perseverance and passion worth knowing.

Watch Artbound "Open Your Eyes: Lula Washington Dance Theatre," described by judges as "pitch perfect in portraying an important story on the intersection of artistry and community."



Karen Foshay (SoCal Connected)

Judges’ comment: Karen Foshay is a towering force in producing important and meaningful stories. Her work is a mirror to life in Los Angeles.



Val Zavala (SoCal Connected)

Judges’ comment: Val is quite simply a genuine paragon of journalistic professionalism. Our Life and Times are grateful for her.



City Rising: The Informal Economy 

Joanna Sokolowski, Kate Trumbull-LaValle, Justin Cram, Kelly Parker and Pascale Joassart-Marcelli

Judges’ comment: Massive subject brilliantly explained. Smart, emotional, a great mix of human stories and big picture breakdown. Just a great piece of journalism.

Watch "City Rising: The Informal Economy" to understand how people excluded from the benefits of society —  including people of color, women and immigrants — are finding ways to make a living in a parallel economy.



SoCal Connected - “Stolen Paychecks”

Deepa Fernandes, Lata Pandya, Alberto Arce, Austin Stoecklein and Dennis Nishi

Judges’ comment: The winner gives a voice to the economically abused. Very well told.



SoCal Connected - “Blood Money”

Katie Cooper, Karen Foshay, Eduardo Gil de Montes, Michael Ray and Tori Edgar

Judges’ comment: This story shined a light on a growing, large scale problem with effects millions of families. We found the story interesting, compelling and easy follow.


PHOTO ESSAY, Culture/Entertainment

Artbound - “Land Artifacts: A Didactic of Ruins”

Osceola Refetoff

Judges’ comment: Fantastic black and white photos captures the starkness and mood of the story. Shows the power of black and white photography.



Artbound - “Boarded Up Farmhouse” 

Osceola Refetoff

Judges’ comment: A stark, almost haunting scene with detail sharply captured through black and white photography.

Boarded-Up Farmhouse with Watchful Horse - Infrared Exposure - Bishop, CA - 2016 | Osceola Refetoff
Boarded-Up Farmhouse with Watchful Horse - Infrared Exposure - Bishop, CA - 2016 | Osceola Refetoff



Artbound - “La Raza”

Juan Devis, Matthew Crotty, Laura Purdy and Dignicraft

Judges’ comment: A deeply poetic exploration of La Raza’s connection to the Chicano community through art and activism. Beautiful work.



Artbound - “Artist and Mother”

Joanna Sokolowski, Kate Trumbull-LaValle, Jori Finkel, Matthew Crotty and Kelly Parker

Judges’ comment: Absolutely stunningly shot, told and edited. Wonderful interviews appropriately accompanied by a beautiful score.

Kenyatta painting | Still from KCET Artbound "Artist and Mother" Mother AB s9
Kenyatta painting | Still from Artbound "Artist and Mother" 



SoCal Connected - “The People vs. Kiera Newsome”

Gina Pollack, Andy Viner, Karen Foshay, Luisa Conlon and Helki Frantzen

Judges’ comment: A teenage girl’s murder conviction is powerfully examined through the eyes of those seeking her exoneration in the face of an indifferent justice system.


NEWS FEATURE, over 5 minutes

SoCal Connected - “The News Blues”

Karen Foshay, Andy Viner and David Egen

Judges’ comment: Exceptionally sourced. The story was captivating, the in-depth material presented was interspersed seamlessly, and the videography was compelling.


NEWS FEATURE, under 5 minutes

SoCal Connected - “What Happened to ‘LA Weekly'?”

Karen Foshay, Michael Ray and Tori Edgar

Judges’ comment: Wow! Very dramatic and intriguing. There were many sourced data inputs and the story felt well-researched and succinctly reported.

Watch SoCal Connected "What Happened to L.A. Weekly?"



SoCal Connected - “Out of Bounds”

Karen Foshay, Vince Beiser, David Egen and Dan Leonard

Judges’ comment: “Out of Bounds” is a masterful piece of videographic storytelling. From the haunting, minimalist opening featuring a mother tearfully searching among L.A.’s homeless for her one-time athletic star son, to the crescendo of truth-telling about California’s –and the nation’s– mental healthcare failures, to its hopeful ending, this piece artfully weaves together multiple strands of a story with which most are familiar, but which here is brought into high relief. The videography is excellent, the music score is effective and well-chosen, supporting the story’s many emotional highs and lows. The narration becomes more than spoken words designed to bridge from one piece of video to another. Rather, it becomes the weaver of the tale, creating a magnificent piece of whole cloth from one young man’s terrible tragedy.

Out Of Bounds Still
Still from SoCal Connected "Out Of Bounds." 



The Migrant Kitchen

James Mann, Antonio Diaz, Stef Ferrari, Matthew Crotty and Jacqueline Reyno

Judges’ comment: A program that uses masterful images of food to tell the story of the migrant experience in the U.S., and the ties between food and culture.

S3 E1: The Jewish Deli
Judges said The Migrant Kitchen "uses masterful images of food to tell the story of the migrant experience in the U.S., and the ties between food and culture." Watch now.



SoCal Connected - “Under the Influence”

Gina Pollack, Andy Viner, Michael Ray, Tori Edgar and Helki Frantzen

Judges’ comment: This piece had it all - images, interviews, information and a very relevant topic. The pace was good, and the segment flowed very well. Great job!



Artbound - “Electric Earth: The Art of Doug Aitken”

Juan Devis, Matthew Crotty, Austin Simons, Lance Drake and Charlie Balch

Judges’ comment: Exceptional examination of the exceptional work of a unique artist. Beautifully constructed and edited.



Artbound - “La Raza: The Community Newspaper That Became a Political Platform”

Carribean Fragoza

Judges’ comment: Relentless research and reporting drives this powerful, detailed history of a Chicano publication that shaped the communities it covered for the better, and empowered a generation to organize.


Top Image: KCET staff at the awards ceremony | KCET


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