CTA & You

Honoring Outstanding Journalism

60th annual John Swett Awards for Media Excellence

From hard-hitting news stories on school funding issues to touching pieces about heroic efforts by educators, CTA’s 60th annual John Swett Awards for Media Excellence spotlight the best education stories of 2018 and the journalists who told them.

Former CTA President Eric Heins, NBC Nightly News’ Carol Eggers and Alicia Hastey, then-CTA Secretary-Treasurer David B. Goldberg, and CTA Communications Committee chair Mona Davidson.

Nominated by CTA locals and selected by an independent panel of working and retired journalists and media professionals, 19 entries were honored for outstanding media coverage of education. The awards honor individuals, publications, websites, and television and radio stations for their compelling and informative coverage of public education.

“Journalists are all educators. We depend on their coverage to educate the public about the promise of California’s public schools,” said former CTA President Eric Heins, presenting the awards. “Like teachers, reporters are being asked to do more and more with less and less. But good education reporting will always matter. The work of these media professionals is crucial to helping the public understand the pressures facing public education.”

The winners were honored during a reception at the CTA State Council meeting in June in Los Angeles. These journalists were proud to share the inspiring stories that happen every day in our schools and the dedicated educators who help make them happen.

“Keep on fighting and we’ll keep telling your stories,” said KTVU television reporter and award winner Azenith Smith.

The John Swett Award is named in honor of CTA’s founder, who was California’s fourth superintendent of public instruction and a champion for public education.

Former CTA President Eric Heins, CTA Communications Committee chair Mona Davidson, then-CTA Secretary-Treasurer David B. Goldberg, and Red Bluff Daily News’ Julie Zeeb.


Newspapers

  • David Washburn and Diana Lambert, EdSource, News Story: “Paradise educators work to get kids back in school”
  • Jill Tucker, Trisha Thadani, Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, News Story: “School officials, incoming supes want SF to spend windfall on teacher raises”
  • Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, Continuous Coverage of Educational News
  • Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, Column or Blog: “Oakland teachers, without a contract for more than a year, threaten to strike”
  • Ali Tadayon, East Bay Times, Continuous Coverage of Educational News
  • Craig Shultz, Riverside Press-Enterprise, News Story: “Teachers on strike picket on Banning’s first day of school”
  • Julie Zeeb, Red Bluff Daily News, Feature Story: “Bus driver tells of harrowing escape from Camp Fire” (about driver Kevin McKay, who safely evacuated 22 students and two teachers from Ponderosa Elementary School in Paradise)
  • Richard Bammer, Vacaville Reporter, Column or Blog
  • Ken Epstein, Oakland Post, Continuous Coverage of Educational News
  • Karen Billing, Del Mar Times/Rancho Santa Fe Review, Continuous Coverage of Educational News

Journals, Magazines, Websites

  • Theresa Harrington, EdSource, Continuous Coverage of Educational News
  • Rachel Cohen, The Atlantic, News Story: “’The Teachers’ Movement Goes Virtual”

Radio

  • Vanessa Rancaño, KQED Radio, Continuous Coverage of Educational News
  • Beth Ruyak, Capital Public Radio, Talk Show/News Program: Interview about budget with Nikki Milevsky and David Fisher

Television

  • Azenith Smith, KTVU, News Story: “Teachers from Evergreen School District prepare to go on strike”
  • Lyanne Melendez, ABC7 News KGO-TV, News Story: “Lead found in more than half of San Francisco public schools”
  • Carol Eggers, Alicia Hastey and Ron Allen, NBC Nightly News, Feature: “Teachers in Crisis” (about teachers who can’t afford to live where they teach because of high rents)
  • KXTV ABC 10, Series on a Single Subject/Theme: “Teacher of the Month”
  • KVIE-TV, Continuous Coverage of Educational News: “Inside California Education”

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