Pasadena reporter Justin Chapman wins three LA Press Club journalism awards – Pasadena Now
Journalist Justin Chapman, who writes for Pasadena Now, won 1st prize in the Travel Reports category at the 64th Annual Los Angeles Press Club’s Southern California Journalism Awards on Saturday for his story on Slab City in Culture Honey Magazine, a Pasadena-based digital publication. Over 2,000 nominations were submitted this year.
“Excellent descriptive writing and the character of Jinxy Bonesaw really brings this quirky arts community to life,” the judges wrote of Chapman’s winning entry, “Off-Season in Slab City, USA.” “It makes readers more invested in getting to that place on their own, which achieves the intended purposes of a travel diary.”
Slab City is known as the “Last Free Place in America,” a “resolutely anti-capitalist nomadic arts community in the desert near the Salton Sea where marginal members of society live for free in makeshift camps,” Chapman wrote. It is located “on the site of an abandoned World War II Marine Corps artillery training base and barracks called Camp Dunlap, which was dismantled in the late 1950s. The state essentially acted as an absentee landlord for decades, allowing vagrants, squatters, loners, dropouts, fugitives, hippies, drifters, desert dwellers, gypsies, entertainers, freight travelers, to nomads, drug addicts and other marginalized members of society to settle there and set up camp without rent, without property tax and without landlord commitment.
Chapman also won two 3rd place awards in the TV/Public Affairs category for hosting the Pasadena News Talk Show “NewsRap Local with Justin Chapman” on Pasadena Media, and in the Entertainment Features category for its story on Paradise Springs in list“The hedonistic story of Paradise Springs, where Hollywood went wild.”
“It was an honor to be recognized among so many excellent journalists who do hard work to keep our communities informed,” Chapman said. “Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. Thanks for the work you do.
Last year, Chapman placed 2nd in the Hard News category and 3rd in the Obituary/In Appreciation category for his article in Alta Journal about Mad Mike Hughesthe daredevil Flat Earther who launched himself in a self-made steam rocket and crash-landed in the desert outside Barstow in February 2020. Chapman is currently writing a book about Hughes.
Chapman, who was born and raised in Altadena and Pasadena, has been a freelance journalist since 2005. He has written hundreds of articles for two dozen print and digital publications, including KPCC/list, Alta Journal, Huffington Post, LA Weekly, Berkeley political magazine, and abundantly for Pasadena Now and Pasadena Weekly. He is a digital content writer and editor at Michelson Philanthropies and previously served as communications manager at the Pacific Council on International Policy.
“NewsRap Local with Justin Chapman,” which launched in April 2021 and airs the third Friday of each month on the Arroyo Channel on cable and Pasadena Media’s streaming apps, is the only television talk show that focuses exclusively on Pasadena news and politics. In March, the show came in 2nd place at the Alliance for Community Media West’s WAVE Awards (Western Access Video Excellence) in the News Programming (Community Producer) category and was a finalist in the News Programming (Professional) category. .
Chapman also served as editor of USC’s Public Diplomacy Magazine and as an editor at Daily Trojan. He received his master’s degree in public diplomacy from USC and his bachelor’s degree in mass communication/media from UC Berkeley. His book on his travels through Africa, Saturnalia: Traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in search of an African utopiawas published by Rare Bird Books in 2015.
He sits on the Citizens Advisory Board of Pasadena Media and is a member of the LA Press Club. Previously, he served as president of the Pasadena-based nonprofit Men Educating Men About Health, secretary of the West Pasadena Residents Association (and currently a member of the WPRA Advisory Board), secretary of the Board of Administration of the ACLU SoCal Pasadena/Foothills Chapter. , as a member of the Communications Committee of the Pasadena Chapter of the United Nations Association and as Commissioner of the Northwest Pasadena City Commission. Like a professional child actorhe has starred in dozens of commercials, TV shows, plays, and movies.