Mission Local was honored with an award for community journalism last night for coverage of the Mission District, with special attention to how the housing crisis affects residents.

In a room filled with a couple hundred wine-sipping journalists, some veteran award-winners and others soon to be decorated, moderators congratulated dozens of reporters from the Bay Area and northern California on their work from the past year. Award-winning pieces dealt with issues from the San Francisco housing crisis to the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, the latter earning author Jennifer Gollan an award for Journalist of the Year.

Mission Local received the organization’s Community Journalism award. Presenters said Mission Local “exemplified the best of community journalism” for its “in-depth coverage of San Francisco’s Mission District, with a strong focus on how housing issues affect residents.” Laura Wenus and Andrea Valencia accepted the award, giving a five-word speech — a recent tradition at the dinners — alluding to the loss of our building to fire in February.

“The watchdog rises from the ashes,” said Valencia, an article above the limit. Wenus explained the situation — causing chattering journalists to subdue their voices at the mention of the burned building — and made her own speech in reference to the recent Mission fires. “Man, we are on fire,” she said.

The Excellence in Journalism awards dinner was put on by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which annually recognizes journalists from northern California. KQED made an impressive showing, winning eight awards, as did the San Francisco Public Press, which took home two awards for explanatory journalism.