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Variety Wins for Best Website at Southern California Journalism Awards

Variety won for best website at the Los Angeles Press Club’s SoCal Journalism Awards Sunday night at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

The publication earned four other honors  as well for a wide variety of achievements in categories encompassing news, commentary and design.

Variety creative director Chris Mihal took home two awards for best illustration or graphic for a depiction of Donald Trump titled “Media Monster” and for best design for a pictorial of Kristen Stewart for the Cannes Film Festival.

Variety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman won for best entertainment commentary regarding the Jason Bourne franchise.

Variety’s New York bureau chief, Ramin Setoodeh, won for best entertainment news story for his exclusive reportage during the Nate Parker controversy.

The Variety website is led by Variety.com editor Stuart Oldham.

“We’re honored to have our hard-working newsroom recognized for the outstanding journalism they produced over the past year,” said Andrew Wallenstein and Claudia Eller, co-editors-in-chief at Variety. “Thank you to the LA Press Club for this incredible recognition.”

Variety had been nominated for 48 Los Angeles Press Club Southern California Journalism Awards, more than any other news organization, including three nominations in journalist of the year categories.

Setoodeh was nominated for Entertainment Journalist of the Year; Gleiberman was nominated for Online Journalist of the Year; and Senior Film & Media Editor Brent Lang was nominated for Print Journalist of the Year.

Several Variety staffers picked up multiple nominations led by Awards Editor Kristopher Tapley with seven, followed by Gleiberman with five and Variety Co-Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wallenstein with four.

Variety’s wins came amid a star-studded evening that included special honors handed out to Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and Harvey Weinstein for  the Truthteller Award for Contributions to the Public Discourse and Cultural Enlightenment of our Society; CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who accepted the Presidents Award for Impact on Media; NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who was given the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement

Tapper said there’s never been a “more trying time” in journalism than right now given the current administration, and urged the assembled reporters to hold themselves to a higher standard.

“We need to stand up and make sure that we get our facts right,” he said. “We are trying to wade through a swamp of lies and half-truths and mistruths and misinformation. We are trying to guard something very precious which is the fact and importance of truth in this world.”

He said it was even more crucial for reporters to set aside their own biases and avoid making any mistakes, lest they give the “enemies of the fourth estate any ammunition,” he said. “We need to be squeaky clean. We’re not the resistance. We’re not the opposition. We’re here to tell the truth.”

The SoCal Journalism Awards are determined by journalists representing media organizations across the country instead of the members of the LA Press Club itself in order to ensure “fair and impartial judging,” according to the organization.

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