Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers, Siskiyou Daily News win awards for 2020 news coverage

Staff reports
Freelance reporter Barry Kaye and Mt. Shasta Area Newpapers and Siskiyou Daily News editor Skye Kinkade were recognized by the California News Publishers Association for their work in 2020.

Freelance reporter Barry Kaye won a first place California Journalism Award for a story he wrote for the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers in November, which details the struggles teachers faced while education was shifted online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Siskiyou Daily News and Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers editor Skye Kinkade earned a fourth place nod for a story she wrote about families who escaped the Sept. 8, 2020 Slater Fire that destroyed much of the town of Happy Camp.

The California News Publishers Association presents the annual competition for print and online news organizations across the state. The Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and Siskiyou Daily News competed with other weekly newspapers with a circulation of 4,300 or less.

Read the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and Siskiyou Daily News' award winning work:

• 'Twice the work and half the fun:' teaching during COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge

'It was like Armageddon:' Happy Camp families recount escape from Slater Fire

"These awards celebrate great journalism, but they're particularly meaningful because they represent the kinds of local stories the Mount Shasta Herald and Siskiyou Daily News are here to tell," said executive editor Silas Lyons. "These two stories in particular reflect the resilience of the community - even in the face of a wildfire and a pandemic. Skye and Barry are terrific journalists, and it's great to see their work recognized by colleagues across the state."

Judges said Kaye's story did "a good job painting a picture of the challenges that teachers, students and parents are facing in the pandemic." They pointed to the good number of sources which "brought in the personal element" and his balanced reporting.

Kaye has previously been honored by the CNPA for sports writing in 2018 and for in depth reporting in 2019. He was also named a 2019 John Swett award winner for media excellence in education reporting.

The California Journalism Awards are presented each year by the California News Publishers Association.

This time around, Kaye's story came out on top in the CNPA's "Coverage of Youth and Education" category, while Kinkade's was entered as a feature story.

About Kinkade's story, judges said: "When we think of feature stories, we tend to think of stories of fluffy, happy things. This is a great example of a news feature, where we can see how these folks escaped a fire, almost step by step. The story was well-written, and the related links on your website to all the other coverage of the fire was a perfect addition for your readers."

Kinkade said she is honored that two families trusted her enough to tell their story during such a difficult time of heartbreak and upheaval. She has previously been recognized by the CNPA for her work covering winter storms in 2010 and for sports photography in 2019. In 2018, Kinkade was named Editor of the Year in the Best of Gatehouse contest.

Read Kaye's previous award-winning work:

A look at the Klamath River and those who depend on it

Ten years later: Corben Brooks can't wait for the future