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Press Democrat takes 14 awards in journalism contest

The Press Democrat won 14 awards, including the top overall prizes for online excellence and coverage of breaking news, in the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's annual journalism contest. Press Democrat staff won a total of seven first-place awards.

The contest, whose winners were announced Saturday in Foster City, recognized work done in 2013 by Bay Area print and online journalists, photographers, radio and TV staffers and public relations professionals. The Press Democrat competed against other daily newspapers and online media outlets of all sizes.

The redesigned Pressdemocrat.com, which made its debut in July, captured general excellence in the broadband division a month after winning the same award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

"Our digital platforms are a key part of our mission to provide North Bay readers with exceptional journalism," said Press Democrat Digital Director Greg Retsinas. "I'm proud of the teamwork and commitment that our newsroom shows each day to ensure that our website continues to be the most updated and reliable source of local news."

The print newspaper took second in the general excellence category.

Staff Writers Martin Espinoza, Julie Johnson, Kevin McCallum, Mary Callahan, Brett Wilkison, Derek Moore, Randi Rossmann and The Press Democrat newsroom as a whole won first place for coverage of the shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy last October.

Staff Photographer Kent Porter won first place for a feature photo taken inside Occidental's St. Philip the Apostle Church. Another photo by Porter of a Cal Fire tanker making a drop while fighting a fire along Todd Road won first place in the spot news category. Porter also won third place in the sports action photo category.

Lowell Cohn took first place in the columnist category.

Staff Writer Phil Barber won first place in the sports game story category for his coverage of the 49ers' win in the NFC championship game.

Sean Scully, now managing editor at the Napa Valley Register, won first place for business or technology article with a profile of Lagunitas Brewing Co. founder Tony Magee.

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