Truthdig received six National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards on Sunday night at the Los Angeles gala that featured such speakers as film director Quentin Tarantino, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, co-founder of “The Young Turks” Ben Mankiewicz, actor and philanthropist Danny Trejo and film legend Ann-Margret.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers for the quality criticism we provide in a climate increasingly hostile to the arts and journalism,” said Zuade Kaufman, Truthdig’s publisher.

Truthdig’s Allen Barra, whose excellent work you can read here, received two first-place trophies and a second-place finish. Regarding his first-place award for his literary criticism, the judges said, “A book critic who writes such a sumptuous, yet earthy review must himself be immediately investigated to see what else they’ve written that can be consumed.” His expert review “The Trickster King and the Erudite Literalist” also received a second-place mention in the category of  “Commentary Analysis/Trend—Books/Arts.” Jordan Riefe’s illuminating piece, “ ‘Black Is Beautiful’: Identity, Pride and the Photography of Kwame Brathwaite” placed third in the same category.

Barra also won a first-place trophy in the Commentary Analysis/Trend—Film category for his piece “ ‘Mulholland Drive’ is David Lynch’s ‘Ulysses,’ ” which the judges called “An astonishing look into one of David Lynch’s most disturbing and controversial movies. Knowledgeable, illuminating and rich in details.”

Truthdig’s Foreign Editor, Natasha Hakimi Zapata, won a first-place award in the Celebrity Feature category for her piece, “Lawrence Ferlinghetti Is Still Revolutionary at Age 100,” which features an exclusive video by filmmaker Steve French about the legendary poet, as well as commentary by Truthdig’s Editor in Chief Robert Scheer, who has maintained a long-lasting friendship with the founder of the seminal City Lights bookstore. Commenting on the award-winning piece, the NAEJ judges called it an “admirable reminder of one of America’s great Poets and the spirit of democracy he wrote about. Most appreciated.”

Hakimi Zapata also placed second in the Book Critic category for her literary criticism, which you can read alongside her opinion pieces and reporting here. The foreign editor, who attended the gala with Kaufman, said, “I am thrilled to be honored for work I am passionate about, and grateful to Truthdig for giving it a first-rate home all these years.”

Speakers throughout the night commented on political issues ranging from women’s rights to the threats the press faces in the current era.

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