KCLU journalist wins 5th national award

Lance Orozco will pick up the 2018 National Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Radio Breaking News Reporting among small-market stations for his live coverage of the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting and the Hill and Woolsey fires. 

Photo: Brian Stethem

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 13, 2019) KCLU Radio News Director Lance Orozco will receive his fifth national award for excellence in journalism on June 21 in Washington, D.C.

Orozco will pick up the 2018 National Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Sigma Delta Chi Award at the National Press Club for Best Radio Breaking News Reporting among small-market stations for his live coverage of the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting and the Hill and Woolsey fires.  

As the station’s only full-time news employee, Orozco was in the field covering both major disasters for 10 straight days. He reported on the tragedies for not only KCLU, but also National Public Radio and other stations around the country.

This is Orozco’s fifth national journalism award. The SPJ honored him in 2018 for Best Radio Feature Reporting for his story on a dog trained to sniff out a specific species of ant, in 2017 for Best Radio Breaking News Reporting for his coverage of the Sherpa Fire and in 2013 for Best Feature Reporting for his story chronicling his battle with kidney cancer. In 2010, he received a National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Audio Sports Reporting from the Radio Television Digital News Association for his profile of the oldest living team member of the Dodgers.

KCLU also received many regional awards this year. In May, the Associated Press Television and Radio Association named Orozco Small-Market Reporter of the Year in the western United States for the 11th time and honored him for Best Continuing Coverage for his reporting on the shooting and fires and Best Sports Coverage for his story on a golfer playing his 10,000th round. In April, Orozco picked up two 2018 Edward R. Murrow awards for small-market stations in California, Hawaii and Nevada — Best Breaking News Coverage for his live reporting on the Borderline shooting and Excellence in Sound for his story on an Ojai man who handcrafts violins and other string instruments. In January, Orozco, KCLU weekend reporter Debra Greene and the entire news staff received seven Golden Mike awards for Best Individual Writing, Best Continuing Coverage, Best Live Reporting, Best Entertainment Reporting, Best Government and Political Reporting, Best Medical and Science Reporting and Best Use of Sound among small stations in the region stretching from San Luis Obispo and Fresno to the Mexican border. 

To listen to excerpts from Orozco’s coverage of the shooting and fires, go to https://www.kclu.org/post/borderline-bar-and-grill-attackhill-and-woolsey-fires#stream/0 

KCLU, a community service of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, provides NPR and local news programming to 130,000 weekly listeners in Ventura County at 88.3 FM, southern Santa Barbara County at 1340 AM and 102.3 FM, Santa Maria at 89.7 FM, San Luis Obispo at 92.1 and online at KCLU.org.

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