2008 Small Newspaper


Kara Platoni won in the small-newspaper category for stories in the East Bay Express about efforts of local scientists in the San Francisco-Oakland area to determine whether there is life elsewhere in the cosmos. “So many wonderful scientists gave me amazing sit-down interviews,” Platoni said. “Each one felt like I was getting a graduate-level lecture for a class of one.” Platoni introduced her readers to the work of local scientists searching for answers to perhaps the biggest scientific question of all: Are we alone in the universe? Platoni explored the field of astrobiology in a compelling two-part series. “Ms. Platoni took maximum advantage of the strong local presence of the institutions and scientists who could best tell the story,” said Kathy Sawyer, a freelance writer who was formerly with The Washington Post. Andrew Revkin of The New York Times said Platoni “did a marvelous job of bringing the faraway questions surrounding astrobiology down to Earth and—particularly important—to the readers in her region.”