The News-Sentinel won four awards in the annual better newspaper contest sponsored by the California Newspaper Publishers Association:
- First place, spot news photography, for a photo by Brian Feulner, former chief photographer, for his image of a mother reacting to the shooting of her son.
- First place, special edition, for the News-Sentinel's tribute to Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown-Trafton of Galt.
- First place, writing, for a story by Richard Hanner, editor, on two Lodi fishermen who survived being capsized off the coast of Point Reyes.
- Second place, editorial writing, for an editorial by Marty Weybret, publisher, reflecting on the debate over prayer before City Council meetings.
The News-Sentinel also had two finalists; a photo essay by Chief Photographer Dan Evans on a homeless encampment in Sacramento and an entry in the environmental-agricultural writing category.
The awards were announced last weekend in Monterey at the association's annual convention.