Courier Wins Los Angeles Press Club Award

Beverly Hills Courier Publisher Lisa Friedman Bloch was honored at the 66th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards with a first-place win in the newspaper category of “Personality Profile” for her piece on designer Mike Amiri. Entitled “Mike Amiri: Building a Modern Luxury House on His Own Terms,” the feature appeared on the cover of the Beverly Hills Courier’s 2023 Summer STYLE Magazine and in the June 16, 2023 issue of the Courier. It is the third win for Bloch, who previously garnered first-place awards for her profiles of Lionel Richie and Nicholas Bijan, respectively.

The awards were given out by the Los Angeles Press Club at its June 23 gala dinner in the Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Executive Editor Ana Figueroa came in third place in the category of “Hard News, Print, Any Outlet” for her story entitled “Hostage Families Tell Their Stories in Beverly Hills.” The Courier’s Neely Swanson was a finalist in the category “Commentary/Analysis of Film All Media” for her review of the film “Oppenheimer” and Bloch was a finalist in the category of “Entertainment News or Feature” for her cover profile of Eva Longoria for the 2023 Holiday STYLE magazine.

The evening included tributes to two local television icons who passed away this year, Ruth Ashton Taylor and Sam Rubin. Additional presentations of note included the Guardian Award for First Amendment Contributions to Mickey H. Osterreicher of the National Press Photographers Association; the President’s Award for Impact on Media to Amanda Salas of FOX 11; the Bill Rosendahl Public Service Award for Contributions to Civic Life to actress and humanitarian Jane Seymour and the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement to ESPN host and commentator Stephen A. Smith.

Perhaps the most moving award of the night was the presentation of the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism, created in honor of the slain Wall Street Journal reporter. Presented by Daniel Pearl’s father Judea, the award was given in absentia to the Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich. Wrongfully detained while reporting in Russia more than a year ago, Gershkovich is on trial this week for espionage in a closed proceeding in Russia. The trial is taking 900 miles from Moscow in Yekaterinburg, infamous as the city where Czar Nicholas II and his family were exiled and later executed in 1918. If convicted, Gershkovich faces 20 years in prison. The Wall Street Journal’s Assistant Editor Paul Beckett accepted the award on Gershkovich’s behalf, decrying the treatment of his colleague and encouraging everyone to join in pressuring U.S. government officials for his release.

It was a strong reminder that the rights of journalists remain threatened throughout the world. And the editorial excellence recognized during the evening was a robust reminder of the influence and importance of strong local journalism.

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