at the 2014 San Diego Press Club Awards

(from left) David Dixon, Welton Jones and Kris Eitland

(from left) David Dixon, Welton Jones and Kris Eitland

Jacobs Center, Lincoln Park, San Diego, California, October 28, 2014 – In only it’s second year of publication, made a second year of recognition in the annual juried awards by the San Diego Press Club.  Dance critic Kris Eitland and theater critic Welton Jones represented the site with one first place, four second place and one third place showing.

Partnered with other press clubs around the nation, the San Diego Press Club gathers submissions from all of the media in San Diego – newspaper, periodical, tv, radio and Internet.  The submissions are then sent out of town to be reviewed by fellow journalists in other places to strip out the personality or relationship issues that might bias the awards.  This is truly a judgement on the journalistic merits of each piece of work.

Co-founder of Critics LLC – operator of, Welton Jones – longtime critic at large for the Union-Tribune won a Third Place in “Daily Newspapers and websites: Essay/Commentary/Opinion” for his thoughts on the unfolding drama of the recent near closing of the San Diego Opera “Where Is the Dignity of Surrender? San Diego Opera Belongs to Us All” published April 29, 2014:

“Saying there will be no more donors is like having a sudden revelation that the audience is getting older. I’ve been sitting in audiences professionally for 50 years and they’re always getting older. Every successive generation of them.” – Welton Jones

Two Union-Tribune pieces by Laura Walcher and Bill Gunderson won first and second place, respectively.[php snippet=1]

Dance Critic and also a co-founder of Critics LLC, Kris Eitland, won First Place in the category “Daily newspapers and websites: Reviews: Arts & Entertainment” for her piece entitled “Floating in the Dreamy Womb of Ascure bartons’ ‘Awaa'” published February 22, 2014:

“With one woman and a pack of men, one would expect dangerous encounters and violence, maybe a death by drowning. Barton’s Awáa is a peaceful floating world that avoids conflict.  Men are magnificent rippling pacifists, the woman forgiving. We are left with the image of mother as nurturer as the curtain falls, and many curious ideas and symbols swirling above and below the water.” – Kris Eitland

Ms Eitland witnessed and reviewed 44 performances during the award period, running second on only to prolific classical music critic Ken Herman at 68 reviews.  Possibly overwhelming her reviewers with good material, Kris tied with herself and Gayle Falkenthal of Communities Digital News for second place in the same category as above.  Her two second place entries were “Laugh a lot at Moonlights Splendid “Spamalot'” and “Trolley Dances Soars with Choir and Murals; Sparks Talk About Homeless.”  James Hebert of the Union-Tribune took third place in this category.

President-elect and critic Kris Eitland speaks at the 2014 San Diego Press Club Awards

Press Club President-Elect and critic Kris Eitland speaks at the 2014 San Diego Press Club Awards

Ms.Eitland also scored another dual second place with “Malashock/RAW4 Inspired by Lou Reed and Emotional Narrative”  and  “’Tis the Season of Hot Men in Tights, On Toes” in the category of “Daily Newspapers and websites: “Arts & Entertainment Reporting”.

Student journalist David Dixon, also a contributor to, won a first and second place for the category “College Print: Reviews” for his work in San Diego State University’s “Daily Aztec.”

Barbarella Fokos, a local journalist and 2014 first place winner for the Reader’s “Diary of a Diva” column presided over the event as emcee which included the annual elections for the club.   Kris Eitland, a member of the board of directors and Chair of the event, was elected to be the new President of the San Diego Press Club for 2014-2015.  She was deeply involved in the excellent array of food and drink provided by 40 local restaurants, wineries and breweries that nearly filled the hall.  The fresh ingredients, surprising dishes and generous pours made the 90 minute networking hour as conducive to good conversation and a good time as can be had.

Former LA Times music critic Ken Herman and San Diego State University professor Bill Eadie are also part of the founding team of critics and co-owners of Critics LLC along with publisher and web site “roadie” for the team, Mark Burgess.

Other notable honorees at the event included:

  • Director’s Distinguished Service Award
    Phylis Van Doren from San Diego Home Garden/Lifestyle Magazine
    (This was only the fourth time in 40 years of the press club for this award.)
  • Drew Silvern Award
    Carlsbad High School Film Students for their film about immunization entitled “Invisible Threat”
  • Harold Keen Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism
    Mark Sauer of KPBS
  • Andy Mace Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Relations
    Maurice Luque, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department
  • Jim Reiman Award for Enlightened Media Management
    Joe Guerrin of the San Diego Daily Transcript

For a complete list of winners click here.

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1 Comment

  1. Geoffrey Clow on October 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Congratulations on the much-deserved recognition. SD Story has assembled a remarkable pool of talent. You produce a continuous stream of entertaining insight into San Diego’s arts, and it is appreciated. Thank you Bill, David, Janice, Ken, Kris, Welton and team.

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