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SF Chronicle Wins Six Society for Features Journalism Awards

The San Francisco Chronicle has won several awards from the Society for Features Journalism for its reporting, writing, photography, and presentation of work in the arts, culture, and food.

The annual competition honored both print and online work from American newspapers in 2020. The Chronicle’s six SFJ awards were the third-highest in the broad newspaper division, which included newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post.

The awards included:

A first place (integrated narration) and a second place (series or feature film project) for editors Robert Morast and Sarah Feldberg and deputy creative director Alex Fong for “The Throughline,” the 9-week special section of The Chronicle offering insights into the Bay Area’s post-pandemic future. Among the judges’ comments: “It is often said that journalists write the first draft of history; with this glorious project, The Chronicle writes the first draft of the future.

A first place for the best digital presentation of feature content on The Chronicle’s website,, and its social media accounts. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed by media sites these days,” the judges wrote. “These digital offerings are different – they’re easy to navigate, with great photography and smart, helpful content.”

A second place in arts and entertainment reviews for Chronicle theater critic Lily Janiak, whose reviews and columns were described by the judges as “stellar examples of writing that encourage readers to seek out the art in question”.

A second place in digital innovation for “Class of 2020 – A Senior Year Like No Other,” a four-part visual essay by Director of Visuals Nicole Fruge, Page Designer Daymond Gascon and former Designer-Developer Kazi Awal in which Chronicle photographers Scott Strazzante, Gabrielle Lurie, Liz Hafalia, Carlos Avila Gonzalez, Lea Suzuki and Jessica Christian followed seven students through their pandemic-interrupted high school years. The judges called it “a brilliant idea that any publication could do, even if it would be difficult to pull it off as gracefully as The Chronicle”.

A second place for The Chronicle’s print feature sections as a group – Datebook (editing by Mariecar Mendoza), Food & Wine (editing by Serena Dai) and Culture Desk / Throughline (editing by Sarah Feldberg and Robert Morast) – which the judges described as “visually stunning and full of content to help readers better navigate the city. Lead designers for the section included Anne Mellinger, Steven Boyle, Daymond Gascon, and assistant creative director Alex Fong.

“We are delighted to see the excellent work done by our journalists recognized by the Society for Features Journalism,” said Emilio Garcia Ruiz, editor of the Chronicle. “Honors in Best Digital Presence and Embedded Storytelling Features are particularly gratifying because they confirm what The Chronicle readers have long known: that our digital work is among the best in the country.”

About the San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Chronicle ( is Northern California’s largest newspaper and the second largest on the West Coast. Acquired by Hearst Corporation in 2000, The San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 by Charles and Michael de Young and received six Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic excellence. Follow us on Twitter at @SFChronicle.