The Greater Los Angeles Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is delighted to honor six accomplished local journalists at its 47th annual Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet on Oct. 25 at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

Gwen Muranaka

The honorees are nominated by journalists across Southern California and chosen by the SPJ/LA board in recognition of their outstanding contributions across print, television, radio, visual, and digital media. They are: Patt Morrison, columnist, Los Angeles Times; Gwen Muranaka, senior editor, The Rafu Shimpo; Michaela Pereira, freelance journalist and TV host; Ben Camacho, photographer and journalist, Knock LA; Dean Musgrove, photo editor, Southern California News Group; and Paul Glickman, senior editor, KPCC.

The chapter will also recognize two students – one from a two-year college and one from a four-year university – who show promise as emerging journalists. This year’s outstanding students are Jackson Tammariello, Santa Monica College, and Alexandra Najera, CSU Northridge.

Ticket information will be available soon.

The 2023 Distinguished Journalists Award recipients:

Honoree, Print (Small Circulation)

As a journalist, artist, and newsroom manager, Gwen Muranaka’s experience has spanned more than 20 years and two continents. She oversees both editorial and production as senior editor of America’s oldest and largest bilingual Japanese American community daily, The Rafu Shimpo, now entering its 120th year. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA, she maintains that community newspapers are the front line of information and must continually evolve to reflect the diversity of its readers. She began as a reporter for Pacific Citizen, the Japanese American Citizens League’s house organ, and later channeled her creative side as a cartoonist for The Japan Times in Tokyo.  Her book, “Drawing by Heart,” a compilation of cartoons and cross-cultural commentary, will be released in the fall.

Honoree, Print (Large Circulation)

Patt Morrison is a Los Angeles Times writer, columnist and podcaster who has a share of two Pulitzer Prizes. She’s covered stories from presidential campaigns to the Super Bowl and the death of Princess Diana and interviewed historic figures from Elie Wiesel and DNA scientists Watson and Crick to Supreme Court justices and the late Prince Philip.

For hosting her own public television and radio programs, she has won six Emmys and a dozen Golden Mike awards. She is a regular on the “LA Times Today” Spectrum TV news program and is heard and seen often on NPR stations and television news and documentary programs.

Her latest book, “Don’t Stop the Presses! Truth, Justice and the American Newspaper,” is a best-seller, as was her seminal nonfiction book “Rio LA: Tales from the Los Angeles River,” about the city’s phantom waterway.

Pink’s, the legendary Hollywood hot dog stand, named its vegetarian hot dog The Patt Morrison Baja Veggie Dog in her honor.

Honoree, Broadcast

Michaela Pereira is an award-winning journalist and was the host of Fox 11’s daily flagship program “Good Day LA.” She is a well-known media personality, having hosted her own daily national show on CNN’s sister station HLN, as a longtime member of the KTLA morning news team and host of CNN’s “New Day,” and in the fall will host a new syndicated talk show, “Michaela!”

She is a community and human rights supporter, advocating for women and children as a board member for the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club and an advisory board member of Optimist Youth Home. She has received many awards for her work as a journalist and philanthropist. She is a proud member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a native of Canada.

Honoree, Audio

Paul Glickman worked at KPCC/LAist for 23 years, becoming news director in 2000, when KPCC was a sleepy little college station with a minuscule news staff and a small audience, and helped transform it into a Southern California news powerhouse. He expanded the staff, adding top journalists to the team, which has won hundreds of awards for journalistic excellence. For the last several years he served as a senior editor, overseeing coverage of everything from health care to immigrant communities to criminal justice.

Prior to KPCC, Glickman was a foreign editor at NPR in Washington, D.C. for nearly a decade. He worked with most of the network’s top foreign correspondents, edited NPR’s coverage of South Africa’s first democratic election, the genocide in Rwanda, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and more, winning two duPont Columbia awards, a Peabody, and a Robert F. Kennedy award.

Glickman spent the 1980s working as a reporter, including a two-year stint in Central America. Based in Honduras, he covered the wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador for Newsweek, the Guardian of London, the CBC, Mutual Radio, and several other papers and radio networks. In the late ’80s he covered the U.S. government and international financial institutions for the Rome-based Inter Press Service.

Honoree, Digital

Ben Camacho is a freelance documentary photographer and investigative journalist at Knock LA. His work focuses on state-sponsored violence and the communities impacted by it. In 2018 and ’19, he documented the asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border as an independent journalist. He curated “No Country May Claim Us,” a photography exhibit at Golden Gate University School of Law, which shared stories about seeking asylum as a person of color.

He chairs the legal committee at Industrial Workers of the World’s Freelance Journalists Union, where he organizes to provide legal support to journalists across the country. He co-founded West Side Storytellers, a documentary production team. He enjoys street photography, shows, and breathing clean air. He may or may not possess a flash drive with 9,310 photos on it.

Honoree, Visual

Dean Musgrove has been capturing or editing the images that define Los Angeles since before most Southern California journalists were born and is photo editor for the Los Angeles County publications of Southern California News Group.

He has covered some of the most significant moments in the region’s history in six decades, including the 1984 Olympics, the 1987 Pope John Paul II visit, myriad Dodgers and Lakers championships, the deadly Northridge Earthquake, the L.A. riots, and others. He’s shot every Rose Parade since 1978.

Musgrove earned his BA degree in photojournalism at CSU Long Beach and began his career with The Pasadena Star-News as an intern. He became a staff photographer and later an assistant photo editor at L.A.’s fondly remembered Herald Examiner.

In 1989, Musgrove moved to The Los Angeles Daily News. He’s been a fixture there ever since. He is still busy editing and shooting. And, proving you can teach an experienced journo new high-tech tricks, he has become a licensed, expert photo drone operator.

Student, 4-year University

Alexandra Najera, whose byline is Ally Najera, is a senior studying broadcast journalism and marketing at CSU Northridge. She is an avid reader and enjoys watching films. She is also passionate about words and loves to tell stories through different mediums – audio, video, and print. She is a continuing writer for StudyBreaks magazine, an online news source for university students. She is an editorial intern for publishing company Dzanc Books and has worked at KCSN, the school’s radio station.

Najera was also president of the CSUN Latino Journalists organization. She hopes to pursue grad school in the upcoming year and looks forward to working in journalism.

Student, 2-year College

Jackson Tammariello is a Los Angeles-based journalism student and recent graduate of Santa Monica College, where he was a writer and editor of The Corsair, the school’s award-winning student-run publication.

Tammariello spearheaded coverage of student government elections and led a team in covering the 2022 mayoral election. He also served as the managing editor and senior copy editor, strengthening the staff’s skills in writing, researching, and understanding of journalistic standards.

He was also a contributor for AfroLA, a nonprofit digital and local news organization. His news and profile writing have received awards from the Community College Media Association and the Los Angeles Press Club. He is majoring in journalism at CSU Los Angeles.

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