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Paul Wellman's winning photo in the Artistic category

Paul Wellman

Paul Wellman's winning photo in the Artistic category


The Independent Wins Numerous CNPA Awards


The Santa Barbara Independent proudly laid claim to numerous awards at the Better Newspaper ceremony hosted by the California News Publisher Association (CNPA) this past weekend.

First-place awards went to writer Richie DeMaria for “Transgender Life in Santa Barbara” in the Non-Profile Feature category; photographer Paul Wellman for Sandspit Surf, Sports Action, and Las Cumbres Observatory, Artistic; and art director Ben Ciccati for Vanilla Ice, Illustration. Advertising Excellence awards went to our advertising team, who landed first place wins for their Tri-County Produce ad in the Best Creative category; Nectar Restaurant, Multi-Color; and Real Estate section, Niche Product.

By Paul Wellman

Paul Wellman’s winning photo in the Sports Action category

Second places went to writers Tyler Hayden (“Is It High Time?” for business news) and Matt Kettmann (“Following the S.B. Wine Country Ordinance,” ag reporting), and to graphic designers Ciccati and Caitlin Fitch for layout and design on the Community Arts Workshop, Staycation, and Nell Campbell stories. Our Education issue won second place as a Best Niche Product for the ads folks, as did the Locals’ Brew Bracket for Best New Advertising Idea.



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