Courier Wins Two LA Press Club Awards

Beverly Hills Courier publisher Lisa Friedman Bloch was honored at the 65th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards with a first-place win in the category “Feature: Business/Government” for her profile of Nicholas Bijan. Entitled “Nicholas Bijan: The Prince of Beverly Hills,” the piece appeared on the cover of the Beverly Hills Courier’s 2022 Summer STYLE Magazine and in the June 17, 2022 issue of the Courier.

Bloch also came in third place in the category of “Personality Profile, Politics/ Business/Arts Personalities” for her Holiday 2022 STYLE Magazine cover feature, “ANASTASIA: Beverly Hills’ World-Famous Eyebrow Queen,” which appeared in the Nov. 18, 2022 issue of the Courier.

The awards were given out by the Los Angeles Press Club, the oldest and largest organization of its kind in Southern California. Each year, the organization honors journalistic excellence in print, radio, podcast, TV and online categories. A list of finalists was published this spring, with the winners announced on June 25 at a gala dinner in the Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

In addition to Bloch’s achievements, the Beverly Hills Courier also shared in one of the most important honorary awards of the evening. Beverly Hills Courier Advisory Board Member Giselle Fernandez from Spectrum News 1 received one of two President’s Awards for Impact on Media.

Fernandez was introduced by actress and humanitarian Sharon Stone, who cited the critical role the media play as truth-tellers. She lauded her longtime friend Fernandez as a courageous and tenacious industry role model.

Actress Sharon Stone introduced Courier Advisory Board Member Giselle Fernandez, who won The President’s Award. Photo by Gary Leonard

Fernandez’s accomplishments as a multiple Emmy-winning television correspondent and anchor are well known. But it is her “second act” in journalism that is particularly impressive. After leaving journalism for 15 years, she returned to television in 2018, to the newly-created Spectrum news network. In the five years hence, Fernandez’s passion for telling stories has helped to propel the network into a hyper-news powerhouse.

Fernandez continues to win awards (including two Los Angeles Press Club Journalist of the Year honors) in this latest phase of her career. She currently appears daily on the Spectrum News 1 “Your Morning” broadcast, on the weekly “L.A. Stories With Giselle Fernandez” series, as well as on her “L.A. Stories Unfiltered” podcast.

Additional awards of note presented during the evening included the Guardian Award for First Amendment Contributions, which went to Alene Tchekmedyian of the Los Angeles Times, who famously stood up to the intimidation tactics of former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. The Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism went to philosopher, writer and filmmaker Bernard-Henri Lévy. And the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement went to David Ono from ABC7.

The Los Angeles Press Club is more than a century old, with a membership of some 1,000 strong. The organization is now more than ever an ardent advocate of the rights of journalists in Southern California and throughout the globe. On a day when an attempted coup in Russia sent shock waves around the world, the fate of journalists covering world hot spots was top of mind at the awards dinner. Fittingly, the royal blue and yellow flowers on table centerpieces were designed as a tribute to Ukraine, where more than 17 journalists have been killed during the conflict with Russia. The evening itself was dedicated to all Ukrainian journalists as well as Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is currently wrongfully detained in Russia.

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