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Signal writers win several awards in national newspaper competition

Posted: July 20, 2013 11:33 a.m.
Updated: July 20, 2013 11:33 a.m.

Signal Multimedia took home several awards, including two for investigative reporting, in the National Newspaper Association’s 2013 Better Newspaper Contest, the association announced Friday.

Signal Senior Staff Writer Jim Holt took home the first-place award for his investigative series on unsolved murders in the Santa Clarita Valley.

This is the second award Holt has won for the series this year. He also won the first-place award for investigative reporting in the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

Holt has won six awards for investigative reporting since starting at The Signal in 2007, including an award from The Associated Press in 2009.

The four stories in Holt's series can be read here, here, here and here.

Signal Staff Writer Luke Money also won a third-place award for investigative reporting for his story on an attempt by Newhall Land Development Inc. to remove a Los Angeles Superior Court judge from further rulings on cases concerning the environmental impact of the proposed 20,000-home Newhall Ranch residential development project.

That attempt stemmed from a report in The Signal, also written by Money, which found that the judge who ruled against the Newhall Ranch project had been involved in a dispute with her neighbor over whether he should be allowed to subdivide his property to build a new house, a dispute Newhall Land alleged presented a conflict of interest.

Signal Sports Writer Jon Stein garnered second-place honors for his feature story on Mykaela Delgado, a swimmer and student at Trinity Classical Academy who turned heads in competitions last year despite the fact that Trinity does not field a swim team.

“The spotlight fell on a unique situation and the writer made the reader pull for the success of the young swimmer,” wrote judges of Stein’s feature. “Good job.”

Signal Features Editor Michele Buttelman also received a third-place award for her feature story on a local connection to the Titanic disaster. The story was published days before the 100th anniversary of the ship sinking.

Judges wrote that Buttelman’s story put them “in the time period and aboard the Titanic.”

Jim Walker, a columnist and the editor for Connect SCV, received an honorable mention for his column “Hey Mom, My Friend Got an IPatch,” which judges described as the entry this year that, “best represented traditional in-your-face humor.”

Walker has won several awards for his columns in the past few years.

“These awards show the breadth of talent we have throughout our newsroom — in news, features and sports,” said Signal Executive Editor Jason Schaff. “I’m very proud of our editorial team. These are national awards. We were competing with newspapers throughout the country.”

There were 1,777 entries in this year’s Better Newspaper Contest. The entries came from 41 different states.


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