Outlet: Los Angeles News Group
Journalist: Sam Gnerre, Miriam Velasquez and Chuck Bennett
Read full announcement post.
Sam Gnerre, Miriam Velasquez and Chuck Bennett of the Los Angeles News Group win the DFMie for interactive journalism for their project on the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King riots.
Their editors’ nomination explains the project:
As part of our coverage for the 20th Anniversary of the LA Riots, we pored through our archives of our LA-area papers to re-create the news events as they happened at the time. We then digitized the archive photos and stories, and pulled them together into a comprehensive interactive timeline, which also included maps and TV media reports. This was our first use of the JS Timeline tool.
Judges told why they chose this as a winner:
The L.A. riots interactive timeline chronicles the series of events that led to one of the city’s most frightening social crises. Yet despite such a emotionally charged subject, the timeline’s clean presentation and intuitive navigation gently invites us into its abundant curation of archival content – including photos, videos, maps and quotes – and guides us back through a time we may not have otherwise wanted to revisit.
Other finalists for interactive journalism were:
- Jason Plotkin, Samantha Dellinger and Bill Landauer of the York Daily Record for Finding their way out. Dellinger won the DFMie for best print front page.
- Maja Beckstrom, MaryJo Webster, Jen Westpfahl and Kelsey Shirriff of the Pioneer Press for a family outings map. Webster shared in the DFMies for data journalism and investigative journalism and was also a finalist for special contribution. She is the only winner of two annual DFMies and the only four-time finalist.
Gnerre has worked for the Daily Breeze in Torrance for 29 years. He grew up in Fontana, Calif., and is a graduate of Fontana High School. He earned a B.A. in English literature from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master’s degree in library science from UCLA.
He was hired at the Daily Breeze in 1984 to help with the conversion of the paper’s manual clip file system to an online database of archived stories. He has run the Breeze’s library and archives since 1987, providing research assistance for reporters and editors in addition to maintaining the archives. In addition, he writes the paper’s weekly News Quiz, does a weekly music CD review, and researches and writes local history articles for the South Bay History blog, in addition to his current duties as a night website editor for the Los Angeles News Group’s metro papers.
Velasquez has worked at the Daily News since 1988, when she was hired as an assistant librarian at the LA Daily News. While working as a researcher and archivist, she was part of the team that literally put the library back together after the Northridge Earthquake in 1994. Miriam helped develop the partnerships between the Daily News and research services like LexisNexis, which continue to generate revenue for the company. She was named head librarian in 2000, and oversaw the move of the tens of thousands of photo and clip files from Oxnard Street to the Burbank Boulevard office. She now works on online projects, research for editors and reporters and is an online photo editor for LANG.
Miriam lives in Canoga Park, CA with her husband, Jose Garcia, and son, Jose Luis. Her daughter, Cynthia, lives in New Orleans.
Bennett has been the photo editor at the Daily Breeze since 1997, returning to his home state after working in New York for five years as a photo editor at Newsday. In his current role, he oversees the photo departments of the Daily Breeze and Long Beach Press-Telegram and is one of three photo editors for LANG. He is married to Denise Bennett, managing editor of the McClatchy-Tribune News Service, and has two kids, Chuck, 16, and James, 11. He spends his spare time at the cigar lounge he owns in San Pedro, Calif. Chuck is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach.