From left to right: Sindya Bhanoo, Joe Eskenazi, Molly Oleson, Eleni Balakrishnan, and Helene Goupil.

The Mission Local team scooped up another armful of awards at last night’s San Francisco Press Club celebration.

Managing editor Joe Eskenazi won second place in the “Digital Media: Investigative Reporting” category for his work on onetime president of the Building Inspection Commission, Rodrigo Santos. Santos is accused of bank fraud, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Joe also secured second place in “Digital Media: Columns, News/Political” for his package of stories on the renaming of San Francisco schools, Alison Collins’ lawsuit against the city, and London Breed’s declared crackdown on crime in the Tenderloin.

Our police and crime reporter Eleni Balakrishnan was a winner as well. She picked up third place in the “Digital Media: General News” category for her coverage of the fallout of rape allegations made against community leader Jon Jacobo, and the subsequent firing of nonprofit workers who spoke out.

The Mission Local crew at the San Francisco Press Club awards. L-R: Eleni Balakrishnan, Annika Hom, Yujie Zhou, Chuqin Jiang and Will Jarrett.

Mission Local’s freelancers had a good evening, too. Helene Goupil, Sindya Bhanoo and illustrator Molly Oleson secured second place in the “Digital Media: Feature Story of a Serious Nature” category for their multimedia coverage of the neighborhood’s experience of remote learning during the pandemic.

“The awards are all great validations of stories I have loved from the moment we published,” said Editor-in-Chief Lydia Chavez. “The reporters often took on difficult topics that required deep reporting ,and the selection also demonstrates the varied ways we try to engage with readers.”

Yesterday’s awards featured publications from all across the Greater Bay Area. For a full list of winners, take a look at the SF Press Club website.

These awards cap a good year for Mission Local. Editor-in-Chief Lydia Chavez won an Insight Award from the Institute for Nonprofit News for her Garbage Odyssey in October, and the whole newsroom won a national General Excellence award from the Online News Association around the same time. Just last month, data reporter Will Jarrett and music writer Andrew Gilbert won an award each from the Northern Californian Society of Professional Journalists.

All this is only possible thanks to our generous donors, big and small, from the Mission and from the wider world. Right now, we are $36,000 shy of our fundraising goal for the year. If you are able, please consider giving to support local news.

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DATA REPORTER. Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

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  1. Congratulations to the entire team, it’s great to see folks being recognized for such outstanding journalism. The RoDBIgo story is one that will go down in San Francisco lore for eternity.