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COLUMNIST GARZA WINS FIRST AT PRESS AWARDS.

Byline: Daily News

Mariel Garza of the Daily News was named best columnist in Southern California in the Los Angeles Press Club's 46th annual Journalism Awards competition.

In addition to Garza, Daily News contributor Jill Stewart won for best signed commentary, and Daily News Editorial Page Editor Chris Weinkopf took home second-place honors for his weekly column.

The judge noted that Garza ``makes the reader an on-the-scene witness to the moods and mechanisms of L.A. City Hall,'' and that Stewart's columns ``represent everything readers should demand from regular commentators - biting, ironic, well-reported, logical, factual, amusing where humor is appropriate, and consistent.''

Sports writer Billy Witz won honorable mention for a story on the firing of UCLA men's basketball coach Steve Lavin.

Photographer Hans Gutknecht also won an honorable mention for his photo essay on a crew of female prison inmates who work as firefighters.

``The Press Club awards underscore yet again that the Daily News places a high premium on strong commentary pieces and columns that express a wide variety of views,'' said David J. Butler, editor of the Daily News and executive vice president/news of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

``Week in, week out, columns by Garza, Stewart and Weinkopf tackle tough and often sensitive topics and they get readers to think and respond - exactly what the writers should be doing. Along with their award-winning colleagues, they represent talent that focuses on providing no-holds-barred commentary and coverage of Greater Los Angeles.''

The awards were presented Saturday night at a banquet at the St. Regis Hotel in Century City.

The Daily News competed with newspapers with circulations of 100,000 and over, with other first-place awards going to the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune.

Awards also were given to papers with under-100,000 circulation; to weeklies, monthlies and online journalism; and to radio and television news broadcasters. The competition was open to material published during 2003.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 15, 2004
Words:320
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