California Rocker Honored as Six-Time Finalist for Southern California Journalism Awards

California Rocker's coverage of A Bowie Celebration earned finalist designations in SoCal Journalism Awards - Photo © 2020 Donna Balancia
California Rocker's coverage of A Bowie Celebration earned finalist designations in SoCal Journalism Awards - Photo © 2020 Donna Balancia

By JOHN DALY

California Rocker has been named a finalist in a six categories of the Southern California Journalism Awards, it was announced today.

The Southern California Journalism Awards honors the work of media members in Southern California-area online publications, print newspapers, broadcasts and podcasts, and print magazines. The awards are bestowed annually by the Los Angeles Press Club.

California Rocker is published by Donna Balancia and she and staffers attend and report on live events, review music and report the news on pop culture and the arts.

Corey Glover and Judith Hill duet at A David Bowie Celebration - Photo © 2020 Donna Balancia
Corey Glover and Judith Hill duet at A David Bowie Celebration – Photo © 2020 Donna Balancia

California Rocker’s coverage of A David Bowie Celebration at The Rose in Pasadena was included as a finalist in the Best Individual Blog category and Best Photo Essay category. The David Bowie Celebration, organized and produced by Bowie’s pianist and friend Mike Garson continues to inspire and remind fans of the legacy of the beloved “Star Man.” The 2020 tour was abbreviated by the pandemic. Performers included Bowie’s band members Kevin Armstrong, Gerry Leonard, Alan Childs, and Carmine Rojas. Featured performers were Judith Hill, Corey Glover, Joe Sumner, Gaby Moreno and Sass Jordan.

Mike Garson, A David Bowie Celebration – Photo © 2020 Donna Balancia
Kevin Armstrong Corey Glover and Joe Sumner at Bowie Celebration - Balancia
Kevin Armstrong Corey Glover and Joe Sumner at Bowie Celebration – Balancia

Balancia’s photo of Mick Jagger revving up the fans in Pasadena at The Rose Bowl was included as a Best Entertainment Photo finalist (the image also secured second place in the 2020 National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards). In 2020, the Rolling Stones announced they would return to tour and we recapped our Best Photos of the Year.

Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones Rocks the Rose Bowl - Photo by Donna Balancia
Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones Rocks the Rose Bowl – Photo by Donna Balancia

Balancia’s review of Bob Dylan’s “Murder Most Foul” was named a finalist in the Best Music Criticism category. Balancia, who also publishes U.S. Rocker and East Coast Rocker online, has interviewed celebrities, personalities and newsmakers across all industries since the beginning of her journalism career in 1979 while attending Iona College of New Rochelle, N.Y. She started as a part-time sportswriter and a music reviewer for Gannett’s Westchester Rockland Newspapers while majoring in Communications Arts in college. Read the review here.

Balancia’s daughter, Malia Balancia, a well-regarded artist and designer in Los Angeles, received two finalist designations for her work with California Rocker. She received finalist designation in Best Graphic and in Best Moving Graphic categories for her work on The Weeknd’s “After Hours” review.

Malia Balancia’s artwork for the review of ‘After Hours’ by The Weeknd earned two finalist designations from SoCal Journalism Awards – Courtesy Art by MIMI

The list of the Southern California Journalism Awards finalists can be found here.

For more information on the Los Angeles Press Club, go here.