The Los Angeles Press Club was founded in 1913. (Los Angeles Press Club)

Truthdig made a strong showing at the 58th annual Southern California Journalism Awards, presented by the Los Angeles Press Club on Sunday night.

Truthdig was nominated for 20 awards and took home five first-place trophies and three second-place honors. Truthdig’s co-founders, Publisher Zuade Kaufman and Editor in Chief Robert Scheer, took top honors for best News Organization Exclusive to the Internet. Truthdig columnists Chris Hedges and Bill Boyarsky, as well as editorial staffers Kasia Anderson and Natasha Hakimi Zapata, were winners in their respective categories (see full listing below).

“We’ve won six Webbys; we’ve won national Society of Professional Journalists awards, and we’re thrilled that our colleagues in the Los Angeles market are carrying the best standards of traditional journalism into the internet world,” Scheer said after Sunday’s ceremony.

“As publisher, I am super-proud that Truthdig was recognized by our peers around the country and awarded by the Los Angeles Press Club as best website,” Kaufman said. “We have a great team that is dedicated every day to producing the best in journalism and informing our readers of news that often is not covered elsewhere.”

Scheer added, “We have in Bill Boyarsky and Chris Hedges two of the best journalists to come out of mainstream journalism, and once again their excellence is recognized.” Of the two wins in entertainment categories, he said, “We covered the hometown industry better than anyone.”

Journalists from online, print and broadcast outlets converged at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown L.A. for the occasion. Event organizers noted that this year’s judges reviewed more than 1,000 submissions — a record number of entries.

The L.A. Press Club put on a memorable event that included special honorees including environmental activist Erin Brockovich, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and photojournalist Nick Ut. On site to present Ut with his award was Kim Phuc, who at just 9 years old became the subject of his most famous photo, this iconic image from the Vietnam War.

Truthdig’s first-place winners at the Southern California Journalism Awards were:

● Zuade Kaufman and Robert Scheer, for best News Organization Exclusive to the Internet. “The block format, numerous illustrations and readable typography result in a clean, easy to navigate website.”

● Chris Hedges, in the Online Political Column/Commentary category, for his column “We Are All Greeks Now.” “An important piece of journalism and an object lesson in what happens when the government tries to silence a media outlet.”

● Bill Boyarsky, in the Best Activism Journalism, All Platforms category, for his piece “Why Ending Homelessness Is Political Poison.” “This entry stood out with real journalism identifying a problem and interviewing the people working hard to solve it.”

● Kasia Anderson, in the Entertainment News, Online category, for her story “Politicon 2015: Ann Coulter Claims She Fed Donald Trump ‘That Spicy Stuff on Mexican Rapists.’ ” “Anderson enlightens readers about Coulter’s anti-charm punditry and her claim that she is the ‘mastermind’ behind Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric.”

● Natasha Hakimi Zapata, Best Entertainment Review, Online category, for her piece titled “I Am the Beggar of the World.” “Poetry book reviews are not given much space, but this review of the poetry of Afghan women is an exception and deservedly so.”

(Quoted comments are from the L.A. Press Club judges, representing press clubs across the country.)

First runners-up in the Best Group Blog contest were Truthdig’s Ear to the Ground contributors — Kasia Anderson, Jenna Berbeo, Roisin Davis, Donald Kaufman, Natasha Hakimi Zapata, Alexander Reed Kelly. Scheer was runner-up in the Online Journalist of the Year category, and contributor Allen Barra took second place in the Online Entertainment Reviews category for his book review on Clive James’ “Latest Readings.”

READ: Los Angeles Press Club Nominates Truthdig for 20 Southern California Journalism Awards

Below is video footage of Kim Phuc’s remarkable story and presentation to “Uncle Ut” at Sunday’s awards ceremony:

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.