The Center for Investigative Reporting today received two Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California Chapter.

California Watch, the largest investigative team in the state, won for Journalism Innovation, for deftly combining traditional journalism with new ways to connect to communities.”

The Price of Gas,” produced by CIR’s Carrie Ching and Sarah Terry-Cobo and animated by Arthur Jones, won in the Explanatory Journalism category for a multimedia daily. The animated feature explains why a $4 gallon of gasoline in the U.S. may cost more like $15, when the carbon footprint and other “external costs” enter the equation.

In 2010, CIR won two SPJ Northern California Chapter awards: California Watch received Journalist of the Year, and reporter G.W. Schulz won in the Online category for “Homeland Security marked by waste, lack of oversight,” his investigation detailing waste of federal homeland security funds.

Christa Scharfenberg

Christa Scharfenberg is CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting. She joined CIR in 2003 as communications manager and has been a leader in its growth from a small nonprofit news organization, producing a handful of stories a year, to a multiplatform newsroom that reaches millions of people monthly through public radio, podcasts, documentaries, social media and the web. She managed the launch and growth of Reveal, CIR's Peabody Award and duPont-Columbia University Award-winning national public radio show and podcast, produced with PRX. She has been an executive or senior producer of documentaries for CIR, including the Academy Award-nominated film “Heroin(e),” numerous FRONTLINE co-productions and the independent film “Banished,” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Scharfenberg is a member of the Poynter Institute's National Advisory Board and was a 2014 Punch Sulzberger Program fellow at Columbia University Journalism School. Prior to joining CIR, she was associate director of the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco. She is based in CIR’s Emeryville, California, office.