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A three-part voiceofsandiego.org series looking into life at a canyon shantytown for immigrants in northern San Diego took home the top prize last night for daily journalism at the San Diego Press Club‘s 33rd annual awards ceremony.

The series “The Forbidden City” by former voiceofsandiego.org staff writer Will Carless was awarded Best of Show for daily newspapers/websites, grabbing the prize for the best daily news story of the year. Carless spent five days living in the makeshift canyon neighborhood to compose the series, which described the living conditions of immigrants as a debate on immigration raged nationwide.

voiceofsandiego.org staffers took home a number of other first-place awards at the event. Rob Davis won first place in the daily newspaper/website general news category for his piece “The Border’s Pending Fight;” Scott Lewis was named the region’s top columnist; and Andrew Donohue won first place in the political/government category for “The History of V&E.”

Carless’ immigration series also took home first place for the following categories: at large reporting-multicultural coverage, at large reporting-personal, eyewitness account and daily newspaper/website-series.

Evan McLaughlin took home a second-place prize for “Thunder Stolen, DA’s Case Moves Forward” in the criminal justice category and honorable mention for “The In-lieu Switcheroo” in the political/government category.

Carless also won an honorable mention in the criminal justice category for “How Much Has Tijuana Done to Clean Up Its Corrupt Police Force?

The staff of voiceofsandiego.org also won honorable mention for Overall News Site. In total, voiceofsandiego.org took home seven first-place awards and 11 overall.

(Carless phoned in from India to find out the results late last night and was quite pleased.)

ANDREW DONOHUE

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