From staff reports

San Jose Mercury News staff writer Lisa M. Krieger has been named Journalist of the Year by a Northern California journalists group for her extensive "Cost of Dying" series and her "dedication to helping the public understand critical decisions about end-of-life care."

The award was one of six given to journalists in the Bay Area News Group and one of two Krieger received this year from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter.

The society noted that Krieger's work, including print stories, interactive graphics, videos, online chats and community forums, "has continued to help the public understand the complex and emotionally fraught choices dying individuals and their caretakers must often make." Last year it honored her series with an Explanatory Journalism award.

Oakland Tribune photographer Jane Tyska also won two honors for her intimate photo essay documenting a 2-year-old's liver and kidney transplant and for her portfolio of video journalism, which the society praised as "capturing the depth of her subjects while telling their stories using an exquisite video framing technique."

"This is a particularly strong showing by our journalists in a wide range of categories," said David J. Butler, editor of the Bay Area News Group. "We're proud to employ the Northern California Journalist of the Year, and our pride extends to our group's accomplishments in commentary, still photo and video as well."

Krieger's work appeared in Bay Area News Group publications throughout the region, including the Oakland Tribune and the Contra Costa Times.


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She and Mercury News photojournalist Dai Sugano also received a video journalism award for their essay on a woman who chose to die at home instead of undergoing life-sustaining dialysis.

Mercury News photographer Nhat V. Meyer received the single image photojournalism award for "a stunning photo that catches (gymnast) Gabby Douglas in a graceful moment of peak action" at the U.S. Olympic trials.

Opinion page writer Daniel Borenstein of the Contra Costa Times, the Oakland Tribune and other East Bay papers in the regional news group received a commentary award for what the Society called "his bracing articles that protect public interest and incite change."

The winners will be honored at an awards dinner Nov. 19.