Fresno Bee recognized with award for ‘speaking truth to power’ in Devin Nunes coverage

Reporters at work in The Fresno Bee newsroom.
Reporters at work in The Fresno Bee newsroom. Fresno Bee file

The Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has awarded a special citation to The Fresno Bee for “Speaking Truth to Power” in the newspaper’s 2018 campaign coverage of Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare.

The award, which will be given at SPJ’s annual dinner in San Francisco in late March, cites The Bee’s reporting in the face of “fierce opposition from Nunes and his allies” in the run up to the 2018 midterm election.

“It’s telling that, for a congressman frequently under attack in Washington for his defense of (President Donald) Trump, Nunes seems most wrathful about the tough reporting by his hometown newspaper,” the award notation reads.

Nunes won a hard-fought contest over Democrat Andrew Janz to retain his seat.

The Bee is the only California news organization to receive a special SPJ citation this year. The SPJ chapter is awarding 13 other awards to news organizations and individuals in various award categories.

“We’re certainly honored for this recognition, which came as a surprise,” Bee Editor Joe Kieta said. “Every journalist in this newsroom is dedicated to fairly and accurately reporting the news and holding elected leaders accountable. It’s a role we take seriously and will expand this year with greater emphasis on transparency in our work.”