The Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California Chapter has named Hercules Patch a First Amendment Honoree, and will present the award at the 27th annual James Madison Awards Banquet on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at the City Club of San Francisco.
About the honor, SPJ writes on their blog:
● The Hercules Patch, the local news site operated by America Online, receives the News Media award for its dogged tracking of the questionable financial management practices in the East Bay city of Hercules. Patch produced more than 13 investigative stories and 100 daily stories, and created 20 databases to follow the money.
We at Patch couldn't be any prouder of the team, especially Hercules Patch local editor Laila Kearney along with senior regional editor Ari Soglin and their team in the East Bay. Hercules Patch is relatively new to the media scene in California and is already making a major difference in the lives of residents in Hercules. To be recognized by one of the oldest and most prestigious organizations in the country representing journalists, especially for such an important series, is truly a major accomplishment by Laila and her colleagues. Go Hercules Patch!