In summary

We won a similar award from E&P last year in the category for smaller sites, so we’re especially proud to have grown into the top spot among large sites this year.

CalMatters was just named the best online-only news website in the nation.

The honor for websites serving more than 1 million people is given by Editor & Publisher.

“Love the interactive features that immerse the reader into a deeper experience,” the judges said. “Great content that’s specific to a defined audience.”

The award pays tribute to the nonprofit journalism that our members, major donors, sponsors and institutional funders make possible, explaining California policy and politics.

We won a similar award from E&P last year in the category for smaller sites, so we’re especially proud to have grown into the top spot among large sites this year. We also won an award from this prestigious national competition in 2018 for our Voter Guide and for Best Innovation Project.

This award places CalMatters amongst the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, The Dallas Morning news, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, La Noticia and other respected media organizations in this year’s EPPY Awards.

Editor & Publisher provides insight and perspectives on the media industry and was founded in 1884. The organization’s EPPY Awards are open to all media websites, are judged by more than 40 industry experts and media specialists and are awarded to a select few organizations among more than 400 entries.

The judges reviewed the following work:

Trial by Fire: The trauma of fighting California’s wildfires

In this series, Cal Fire crews opened up to tell CalMatters their heart-wrenching stories — exhaustion on the firelines, weeks on duty without respite, suicidal thoughts, never-ending trauma and the terror and pain of seeing their colleagues injured or killed.

The series was reported and written by Julie Cart and edited by Marla Cone. Photography and videos were by Ariana Drehsler, Martin do Nascimento, Miguel Gutierrez Jr. and Julie Hotz. Data visualizations and analysis were by Jeremia Kimelman, Erica Yee and John D’Agostino. Illustrations were by Victor Lowe and Julie Hotz. Production by Liliana Michelena.

2021 Recall Voter Guide

The CalMatters 2021 guide to the recall election provided what voters needed to know when deciding whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom — including how the recall works, a voting FAQ, a thorough examination of Newsom’s record,, and information about the candidates seeking to replace him. 

The guide was reported by a CalMatters team that included Ben Christopher, Sameea Kamal, Byrhonda Lyons, Laurel Rosenhall and Jeremia Kimelman, edited by Foon Rhee, and produced by John Osborn D’Agostino, Kim Fox, Sapna  Satagopan, Avriana Allen and Shyla Nott.


The series examines how California is struggling to recover illegally owned firearms, despite having some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.

The work was reported by Robert Lewis, produced by Jeremia Kimelman and edited by Marjie Lundstrom and Joel Sappell. 

California Drought and Water Tracker

As the climate crisis intensifies, California droughts are becoming more commonplace and more intense. Communities across the state are experiencing water shortages. Snowpack levels are not meeting our needs. Groundwater is being drained quicker than it can be recharged. And California reservoirs are being pushed to the max.

This dashboard provides current and historical perspective on water issues facing the state using a variety of publicly available datasets, and explores how droughts are making those issues worse.

The package was produced by: Jeremia Kimelman, John Osborn D’Agostino, and Erica Yee, with  Marla Cone,  Sapna Satagopan and Jahm Alissa.

We want to hear from you

Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? You can find our submission guidelines here. Please contact CalMatters with any commentary questions:

Sonya builds bridges between the community and CalMatters as director of membership and engagement. Previously she managed engagement, fundraising, marketing, digital storytelling and UX at Voice of OC,...