Southern California Journalism Awards

The Southern California Journalism Awards were born during the Cold War, when Los Angeles journalism was dominated by the city’s many newspapers. Television was in its infancy. Developments like all-news radio were still years away. Women journalists were rare in mainstream media. Minorities, even rarer.

Today we see greater diversity in the newsroom and in the ways we provide information. The Press Club has been striving to embrace Internet journalists and bloggers–clearly the wave of the future.

The Southern California Journalism Awards, now celebrating 52 years of recognizing high-caliber journalism, continues to call attention to the Los Angeles area’s fine journalists while promoting excellence in new and emerging media.


The Joseph M. Quinn Memorial Award for journalistic achievement and distinction is the highest honor bestowed by the Los Angeles Press Club. Winners join a select group of distinguished journalists, including a number of Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award winners.

The award was named in honor of Joe Quinn, who died in 1977. Joe was a veteran reporter, war correspondent and wire service editor who took over a floundering City News Service in the mid-1950s and built it into a successful newsgathering organization. Joe was known as a benefactor of out-of-work journalists who needed a second chance in the business, and he made helping people in need one of his major priorities. He was president of the Los Angeles Press Club 42 years ago when these journalism awards were launched because he felt it was important to recognize journalistic excellence in Southern California. The press club decided to honor his memory with this award two years after his death.


The President’s Award was initiated in 1994 by that year’s president, Dusty Brandel. The award was conceived to recognize an individual member’s dedication of energy and effort on behalf of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, and whose work has the most impact on media.


The world has come to know Daniel Pearl as the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002, just four months after 9/11. People around the world, along with his pregnant wife and family, prayed for his release. Since then, he has been remembered as a symbol of hope: a man who built bridges between diverse cultures — as a writer and a gifted musician. The Daniel Pearl Memorial Award is given for courage and integrity in journalism.

Back to Top