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Golden Globe Voting Members Win Eight Prizes at 2023 Southern California Journalism Awards

Three Golden Globe voting members took home a total of eight prizes at the 65th annual Southern California Journalism Awards, held on Sunday night, June 25, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Ruben V. Nepales notched a first-place finish in the Best Blog, Individual category, alongside two additional second prizes as well as a third prize. Lena Basse won third prize in the Foreign Correspondents Columnist or Critic section, and Janet R. Nepales won second prize and a pair of third prizes in different categories. Golden Globe voting member Barbara Gasser was also honored as a finalist, receiving two of the 14 total nominations bestowed upon members of the group.

“I am truly humbled to win first prize in the Best Blog, Individual category for my ‘Only IN Hollywood’ on Rappler amid well-known fellow finalists, and from top outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter and TheWrap,” said Ruben V. Nepales. “I already felt honored to be in the company of these journalists and mainstream outlets as my fellow nominees, so to bag the top prize is truly an honor!

“It was my first time to wear a barong (the Philippines’ national shirt) in a journalism competition, and it proved to be a lucky charm. I won in all the four categories I was nominated in,” continued Nepales, who took third prize as Entertainment Journalist of the Year, and second prize for his feature writing in other categories. “I was a proud Filipino in this lucky barong by a Manila-based designer, Francis Libiran, in this formal event.”


Special honorees at the 2023 Southern California Journalism Awards included Giselle Fernandez, who received the LA Press Club’s President’s Award; Bernard-Henri Lévy, who was the recipient of the Daniel Pearl Award; and ABC7 reporter and anchor David Ono, who received the LA Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other previously announced awardees included Los Angeles Times’ Alene Tchekmedyian, the Guardian Award; actor Gary Sinise, the Bill Rosendahl Public Service Award, for his eponymous foundation; and actor, comedian and author John Leguizamo, the President’s Award for impact on media.


“I am very honored to be among those journalists who were celebrated at the 65th annual Southern California Journalism Awards in the historic Crystal Ballroom,” said Basse. “Needless to say, I felt very grateful to be recognized as the third-place winner in the ‘Columnist or Critic, Foreign Correspondents’ category with my article on the Golden Globe website ‘Ukraine Is Not Yet Dead, Nor Its Glory and Freedom,’ a very emotional piece that I wrote the next day after the full invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation last year.”


Janet R. Nepales was also thrilled with her victories, which included news and feature pieces on the legendary Al Pacino and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish co-director Januel Mercado. “I am always grateful whenever I get nominated because I know the competition out there is tough and the LA Press Club always gets thousands of entries every year,” said Janet R. Nepales. “Just to be able to compete with mainstream press from Los Angeles Times to Variety or The Hollywood Reporter is already a big deal for me. So, when I get honored with an award, I am humbled and very grateful. I am happy to share my three wins with my immediate family and my Golden Globe family. Proud to represent!”