Hannah Furfaro, The Fresno Bee’s education reporter, was honored for her coverage of career technical education efforts in the Valley at the 27th annual George F. Gruner Prizes for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism competition.
The awards for work produced in 2014 were announced Tuesday night at a reception at the Fresno Art Museum.
The prizes honor George F. Gruner, a former executive editor of The Bee who had never missed an awards ceremony until Tuesday’s. Richard Gruner told the gathering that his father’s health prevented him from attending, but promised he would be at next year’s ceremony.
Furfaro won for her stories in the March edition of Eye on Education, a quarterly section. She won in the category for daily newspapers with circulation over 50,000.
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Other winners were Joe Johnson of the Hanford Sentinel, for a three-part series on law enforcement’s use of force; Rachel Cook of the Bakersfield Californian, for an in-depth examination of dental malpractice; and Morgan Voorhis of the Sierra Star in Oakhurst for an examination of gambling addiction.
Three journalists from the Selma Enterprise were finalists for their examination of concussion issues involving football. The writers are Esra Hashem, Chris Aguirre and Jenny McGill.
Winners receive $500 and finalists get $250.
The Gruner awards are sponsored by The Bee and the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Fresno State and are open to newspapers from Merced to Bakersfield.
The judging is done by a group of professional journalists outside the Valley.
The Gruner awards are funded by the Fresno Regional Foundation and the Central Valley Foundation.