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The Berkeleyside team had a blast Thursday night celebrating senior reporter Emilie Raguso as she accepted the Journalist of the Year honor at the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’s “Excellence in Journalism” dinner.

Delivering the “highest award to be given tonight,” emcee Julie Caine praised Raguso’s depth of knowledge about the community she covers.

“The board commends Raguso for providing the kind of nuance, context and depth that exemplifies the best community journalism,” said Caine, a producer with AJ Digital.

Accepting the award, Raguso said the recognition was “far beyond my wildest dreams.”

“I’m just trying to keep my head down and my ear to the ground, and produce the kind of stories the community wants and needs to know, as thoroughly, accurately and quickly as possible,” she told the crowd at the City Club of San Francisco.

Although Berkeleyside is a small operation without the capacity to conduct massive investigations, the gratifying tradeoff is “the heartfelt appreciation of our readers every day for helping them stay informed about the issues that matter most to them,” Raguso said.

“This award is really a testament to the value of  how important local news can be,” she said.

Watch the full acceptance speech above.

Emilie Raguso joins the other 2017 Excellence in Journalism award winners at the City Club of San Francisco Nov. 9. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Numerous other news organizations were also honored, including the East Bay Times for its coverage of the Ghost Ship fire, KQED, San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Public Press, Bay Nature, KDTV Univision 14, KCBS, KALW News. Bloomberg News, Richmond Confidental and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Reveal and many others.

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Berkeleyside staff

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions?...