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HFPA Members and Sean Penn, Sanjay Gupta Honored by LAPC

HFPA members Adam Tanswell and Janet R. Nepales won prizes in the 63rd Southern California Journalism Awards, the annual contest presented by the Los Angeles Press Club (LAPC).

In the ceremonies held on October 16 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, LAPC also feted Sean Penn and Ann Lee, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and other figures with honorary awards.

Adam bagged the first prize in the entertainment news or feature – foreign correspondents’ category for his entry, The Making of Antebellum: Southern Gothic, in Total Film. A member since 2015, Adam writes for the United Kingdom.

Janet won second prize in the entertainment news or feature, under 5 minutes – television/film field for Exclusive Interview on Darren Criss on Hollywood on GMA-7. A member from the Philippines since 2008, Janet also garnered third prize in the entertainment news or feature – newspapers for Oliver Stone Recalls Filming in PH in New Memoir in Manila Bulletin.

Helen Hoehne, president of the HFPA, who attended the awards event, said, “The HFPA is thrilled for the recognition bestowed on Adam Tanswell with a first-place award and Janet Nepales’ two award wins by the Los Angeles Press Club. Their colleagues have long known of their dedication, integrity, and savvy as respected international journalists and these awards only validate what we already know. These awards are well deserved by Adam and Janet and we look forward to many more awards recognizing their talent.”

Yong Chavez, a new member, and this writer were finalists in the entertainment news or feature – foreign correspondents and personality profile, film/TV personalities (online) categories, respectively.


LAPC gave the Bill Rosendahl Public Service Award to Sean Penn and Ann Lee, co-founders of Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), “for contributions to civic life.” (Last year CORE was a recipient of a special grant from the HFPA for their efforts in COVID-19 testing and vaccination).

“As the world was reeling from the spread of COVID-19, Sean and Ann jumped in and mobilized a massive testing effort in Southern California and beyond. They are continuing to fight the pandemic with relief efforts targeted to marginalized and hard-to-reach communities,” said LAPC president Lisa Richwine in a statement.

Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph M. Terrazas, who presented the award to Sean and Ann, commended CORE’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis by administering millions of free tests and vaccines.

CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, received the President’s Award “for impact on media.” Jeff Daniels introduced Sanjay, who is his long-time friend.

Lisa cited Sanjay: “During the pandemic, it was crucial that journalists provide information that would help the public understand the crisis. Audiences turned to Dr. Gupta for his expertise and ability to explain the science behind a complex and rapidly evolving story that touched every corner of the world.”

The Daniel Pearl Award, in honor of the slain The Wall Street Journal writer, was given to Bari Weiss, former The New York Times opinion editor, “for courage and integrity in journalism.”

Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel, who presented the award to Bari, said in a statement, “The Daniel Pearl Foundation is thrilled to have Bari Weiss as the recipient of the 2021 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism. Bari has earned this award for her persistent willingness to resist groupthink, her commitment to telling the truth, even when it’s politically inconvenient, and her courage in standing up for her people against the rising tide of anti-Semitism and Zionophobia.”

ABC7’s Marc Brown was honored with the Joseph M. Quinn Award “for lifetime achievement.” George Pennacchio, who introduced Marc, recalled his early years working with the veteran news co-anchor.

LAPC said, “Marc has devoted his life and career to informing the community in his native Los Angeles. He exemplifies the type of journalist we look to honor with the Quinn Award.”

The other special honorees were KPCC/LAist’s Josie Huang (The Guardian Award) and comic Aida Rodriguez (entertainment).