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Getting to Know Some of This Year’s SoCal Journalism Award Finalists

Congrats to all finalists (so far) for the LA Press Club’s 55th annual SoCal Journalism Awards, to be presented at the Biltmore Hotel Sunday June 23. In perusing the honor rolls, here are some of the categories that most intrigued us:

Journalist of the Year – Print (Over 50,000 Circulation):

The name we were not completely familiar with – alongside those of Gustavo Arellano (OC Weekly), Matthew Belloni (THR), Gene Maddaus (LA Weekly) and Matthew Garrahan (Financial Times) – is U-T San Diego’s Fred Dickey (no relation to TMZ managing editor Josh). Even if this Dickey wins, he will still have a tough road to hoe in that department at home. According to his website bio, microbiologist wife Kathleen has lent her name to nine U.S. patents.

Journalist of the Year – Online

These are dark days for Patch, with a conference call last Friday as reported by Romenesko revealing more rough tactical agenda items. But here in SoCal, the sun is shining on Rancho Santa Margarita local editor Martin Henderson. He is nominated in this category together with Dennis Romero (LA Weekly), Dylan Howard (Celebuzz), Chris Hedges (Truthdig) and Catherine Green (Neon Tommy). This guy has paid his dues, winning his first journalism award in high school and starting at the LA Times all the way back in1990.

Journalist of the Year – Entertainment Journalist

Here once again appears the aforementioned (and frequently 2013 nominated) Howard. He actually no longer works for Celebuzz but rather has relocated to New York City and his former AMI employer Radar Online. Howard will no doubt make the trip back out west this summer for the big banquet, together with in this case category nominees Rachel Abrams (Variety), Stephen Galloway (The Hollywood Reporter), Jennifer Garcia (People magazine) and James Desborough (freelance). Is this the same Desborough who was caught up last year in the News of the World scandal? We believe so, but were checking at press time with the LA Press Club to confirm.*

Online – Non-Political Column/Commentary

Next to CNN.com, forbes.com, The Huffington Post and Reason magazine, in this category there is also a nod for LA Streetsblog founding editor Damien Newton. It’s a David vs. Goliaths situation as Newton’s five-year-old outlet relies on grants from non-profits. He is based in Mar Vista.

International Journalism – News

Finally, in addition to a pair of correspondents from Australia’s Network 7 (Mike Amor, John Varga) and a reporter for Le Monde (Claudine P. Mulard), the other nominated foreigners in this category are CTV’s Tom Walters (pictured) and Liam Hyland. Remember the controversial YouTube trailer for Innocence of Muslims? The CTV report cited here is all about Sam Bacile, its pseudonymous creator. Walters is the LA bureau chief for Canada’s leading private-sector TV network and no stranger to journalism awards, especially in his native land. Walters is also nominated this year for TV Columnist/Critic.

*Update – 05/30/13: A rep for Desborough contacted FishbowlLA to let us know that although yes, this is the same person, the journalist was fully exonerated by British detectives in March 2012.

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