A News Cafe Wins Again

California News Publishers Association bear logo.

If you’re one of those incredible, generous, conscientious people who support A News Cafe financially — either as a voluntary subscriber or a paid advertiser — then today’s post is especially for you.
Because of you, ANC won several awards at the annual California News Publishers Association (CNPA) contest. You deserve credit for ANC’s wins, because without you and your support, ANC wouldn’t exist. Also, without you, ANC wouldn’t have lasted nearly 16 years, let alone have the ability to enter journalism contests.
Last year was a big year for ANC, which I addressed in an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink column, including mention of seven CNPA 2021 awards for ANC; three for R.V. Scheide, and two each for me and Shawn Schwaller.
This year I’m delighted to announce that in 2023 A News Cafe received a total of six awards from the California News Publishers Association for 2022 stories in Digital Division, Monthly Unique Visitors: 100,000 & under.
That 100,000 monthly unique visitors classification is a double-edged sword for A News Cafe. The good part is 100,000 is an impressively high number. The bad part is that being in that 100,000 category throws us into the deep end of the pool along with media companies that have more staff, more resources and basically, more money.
As proud as I am about the awards we did receive, I am profoundly disappointed and confused about the stories that didn’t win, such as Shawn Schwaller’s reports about the State of Jefferson and law enforcement.
Of course, contests can be fickle, and sometimes appear unfair. When human judges are involved, the awards ultimately depend solely upon judges’ personalities and preferences. Journalist R.V. Scheide and I were both CNPA judges, so we know it’s not an easy task.
Where are my manners? I’ll quit whining about the wins that got away, and announce this year’s award-winning submissions that were recently announced by CNPA.
A News Cafe Publisher/Owner/Journalist Doni Chamberlain

Doni, age 7, on East Street in Redding with aptly named Ginger Snap, the family pup. (This photo’s a placeholder until Chamberlain finds a photo she likes better than her current head shot.)

CNPA Breaking News – Doni Chamberlain, 2nd Place

Carlos Zapata in RWB Episode 6.5.

Could Carlos Zapata’s Death Threat Land Him in Prison?

CNPA Coverage of Business and the Economy – Doni Chamberlain, 3rd Place
Judge’s Comment: A thoughtful and unique article about the economic and societal impacts when a community’s only gay bar shuts down… what it means to residents who count on it as a second home, along with an interesting plot twist around the economics and business wrangling around a much sought after liquor license.
Journalist R.V. Scheide

R.V. Scheide

 CNPA Feature Story –  first place
Judge’s Comment: This is good, solid reporting. What a tale. It’s absolutely unbelievable, but the writer did a good job in pulling the reader in. The truth is stranger than fiction sometimes and this is a perfect example of that.
Reporter Liz Merry

Liz Merry

CNPA Columns – Columnist Liz Merry Covers Rural Tehama County – Liz Merry, 2nd place

Lassen Park Update; A Little History

 Reporter Hal Johnson

For Monday evening, the Delta Bombers appear at The Dip, and Hal Johnson plays at Cedar Crest Brewing.

CNPA Arts & Entertainment Coverage – Hal Johnson, 3rd place
Judge’s Comment: Very thorough and detailed look at the entertainment scene.
A News Cafe
CNPA Home Page Layout & Design, A News Cafe, 3rd place
Judge’s Comment: Clean and simple. Tabs on home page easy to navigate at the top. Viewing comments is unique among those who entered this category. Photo Cafe is a nice touch.
This win is especially meaningful because the simplified design was created by Joseph Domke just before he stepped down from his ANC position to pursue another life chapter.
Winners all around

As proud as I feel about the ANC’s six CNPA awards for the 2022 submissions, I am even more proud of our entire group of talented, hardworking people who make this site as awesome as it is.
At this point, A News Cafe’s editorial staff is larger than the daily newspaper’s, a realty that makes me feel both glad and sad, because it says a lot about the depressing state of local daily newspapers.
Back to the glad part. In addition to the 2022 CNPA award winners already mentioned, other ongoing key ANC staff members are assistant/comments moderator Barbara Rice, journalists George Winship and Jon Lewis, cartoonist Phil Fountain, videographer Alan Ernesto Phillips, video content-creator Benjamin Nowain, bird columnist Dan Greaney, and photo cafe deputies Dave Bogener, Joanne Snyder and Jim Dowling.
Stay tuned for announcements about two new ANC additions coming soon; one career journalist, and one audio/video production specialist.
No pushy hard sell, no paywall
You know I hate to ask for money, so I won’t, especially since I made my last support pitch in December. However, if you’re a regular ANC reader, and yet you’ve never helped with a financial contribution, today might be a good day to show us the love with as much as you can afford, no matter how modest the amount.
Your support enables ANC to provide award-winning investigative journalism, solid reporting, colorful commentary, thoughtful editorials, spot-on cartoons, and memorable photography and videos. And the comments! Where would we be without the comments?
This is the year ANC turns sweet 16, and how sweet she is. She’s flattered that more than 100,000 monthly unique visitors check her out, but flattery doesn’t provide living-wage compensation to trained, top-notch media professionals.
We are honored that although our work is made possible through generous readers and subscribers, ANC is free to everyone; no paywalls. We believe a free press should be free.
And what better day to announce this news than on Memorial Day, which reminds us of the ultimate sacrifices made by so many to ensure our First Amendment rights and freedom of the press?
OK, back to work. Those award-winning stories won’t write themselves. Much reporting awaits about Shasta County shenanigans, where there’s no shortage of sometimes unbelievable material that’s put Shasta County on the map for worldwide gawkers.
In the meantime, every one of you wonderful ANC supporters, please pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for making ANC’s work possible. We appreciate you more than we can adequately express. We literally could not do what we do without you. You’re the true winners.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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