Former Art Director Gabrielle Lashley sat in astonishment seconds after she heard her name called as the first place winner in the Student News Writing, On-Campus Issues category, at the 65th Los Angeles Press Club SoCal Journalism Awards gala.
“I wasn’t expecting an individual award at all, especially not first place,” Lashley said. “I was in such disbelief.”
Five staff members of The Pearl Post attended the L.A. Press Club gala at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown L.A. on June 25, which served as the venue for the awards ceremony that spotlighted excellent journalistic works by professional and student journalists. The Pearl Post staff received third-place awards in Best High School Newspaper for the June 2022 issue of The Pearl Post news magazine and in Best High School News Website for the online content produced in 2022.
The first place winner in Best High School Newspaper was Sunny Hills High School’s The Accolade with their March 2022 issue featuring the Russia-Ukraine war as the cover story. Van Nuys High School’s newspaper, The Mirror, received the first place award in Best High School News Website.
Individual recognitions were awarded to Lashley and former Print Editor-in-Chief Delilah Brumer, who won the $5,000 Tony Ross Scholarship. Brumer was one of two student journalists who won the scholarship, which encourages young people to pursue and explore their passion for journalism. Brumer, who will use the money for college expenses at Northwestern University, views the scholarship as a recognition of her growth as a student journalist and her potential in the professional journalism field.
“My passion for my future career is journalism,” Brumer said. “I want to become a professional journalist, so being recognized for the work that I’ve done so far was really great.”
Lashley, who will be attending the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, was awarded for the September 2022 article that covered the rescission of journalism teacher Adriana Chavira’s suspension at the end of a censorship case. The SoCal Journalism Awards judges described the article as an “important ending for a story that garnered national attention.” Boosting her appreciation for the award is Lashley’s pride in getting the opportunity to cover a topic that severely impacted her long-time teacher and adviser.
“It was an unfortunate event but I’m happy I got to cover it,” Lashley said. “I’m really happy I got to get the specifics out into the world so everybody could know the other side of the story, the more personal side of the story.”
Other journalists honored at the gala were ABC7 Eyewitness News anchor David Ono and Spectrum News 1 anchor Giselle Fernandez. Ono, who has been in the journalism field for 27 years, received the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement because of his drive to track down and present the facts in every story. He has covered a multitude of impactful topics from Hurricane Katrina to the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.
Fernandez, who returned to the journalism scene in 2018, received the President’s Award for Impact on Media. As a Latina, she is a symbol of someone who successfully overcame obstacles to pursue her lifelong dreams, said actress Sharon Stone, who introduced Fernandez. Throughout her career, Fernandez has covered many stories such as the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Persian Gulf War.
Philosopher, filmmaker and author Bernard-Henri Lévy was honored with the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism. Lévy is known for reporting on war zones, including the current Russia-Ukraine conflict that sparked in February 2022. He also spent a year learning about the tragic end of journalist Daniel Pearl’s life and sharing the account in his 2003 book “Who Killed Daniel Pearl?” Dr. Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl, introduced Lévy as the honoree.
“It is my very great pleasure and immense honor to present this very precious award to a friend, a mentor and my hero, Bernard-Henri Lévy, a true champion of humanity who closely personifies the legacy of our son, Danny,” Pearl said in his speech.
For The Pearl Post, the awards received at the gala praised their work from the past year while also providing a sendoff to senior staff members who graduated this June.
“It was a great way to culminate our time on staff,” Brumer said.