Andrew Gilbert and Will Jarrett among the pieces that won them their awards. Graphic by Will Jarrett.

Mission Local data maven Will Jarrett and arts writer Andrew Gilbert have each been honored with top prizes by the Society of Professional Journalists Northern California Chapter. 

Gilbert drew raves for his coverage of the music scene in the Mission. He previewed a show at the Brava by the venerable Los Angeles ensemble Quetzal, reported on the 100 new works marking the Community Music Center’s 100th year, and profiled ascendant Mission icon La Doña

But, much like the Giants can’t make it to the playoffs without a deep bench, the far-reaching success of La Doña (aka Cecilia Peña-Govea, or Ceci to her longtime friends) flows not only from her own fecund creativity. Long before Peña-Govea adopted her imposing moniker, which translates loosely as “boss lady,” she had cultivated an extended team of collaborators whose work plays an essential role in her music, videos, album art, merchandise and personal style. 

YouTube video

Jarrett won in the category of data visualization, where his work has given added depth to Mission Local’s reporting. 

His winning entries included graphics and deep-dive reporting on scooter crashes, campaign finance and, in one of Mission Local’s most popular and innovative features, the interactive “Web of Corruption.”  

Each of his entries, wrote editor Lydia Chávez in the nominating letter, “asks readers to engage with ongoing stories, often pushing them to consider the story from a different angle.” 

The Web of Corruption, she wrote, “is a superb example of how to help readers untangle an ongoing scandal, and would stand on its own as a single entry. Joe Eskenazi’s writing on city corruption over the last couple of years has spread to so many people in and out of city government that it has become difficult for readers to keep track of all the pieces.”

Jarrett’s interactive remedied that, and is updated as the scandals continue. 

“I’m damn proud of both Andy and Will today,” said Mission Local managing editor Joe Eskenazi. “This demonstrates Mission Local’s excellence as both a traditional community news source while breaking into new dimensions of what a community news source can be. And, by all means, go play with the Web of Corruption. Drag around the players. See who follows who. We laugh so as not to cry.” 

For a full list of winners, see here.

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

Join the Conversation


  1. Will,

    Every line or color change of your graphs is, “worth a thousand words”.

    I can ‘read’ the narrative that spawned your graphs from across room.

    While having the story read to me.

    This old hippie appreciates the technology.

    Go Niners !

    Cut and Run for Ten Large ??


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  2. Congratulations both! Very impressive to see the Davids outperforming the Goliaths — that doesn’t happen without a lot of brave ideas and hard work to realize them.

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  3. Congratulations to all!

    I LOVE Will’s Web of Corruption. It’s really helped me synthesize Joe’s reporting on City Hall and see the larger picture of how very poorly managed our beloved city is in these times and how we citizens are being incredibly let down.

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