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The Motor Press Guild's Dean Batchelor Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Published on Sat, Mar 7, 2020

By: Doug Stokes

Held this year on February 23rd at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, the Motor Press Guild’s annual Dean Batchelor Awards dinner was a great success.

Automotive broadcaster Dave Kunz opened the evening with a heartfelt remembrance of Art Gould, the well-known car talk radio host, whom we lost in November of 2019. This year, the MPG renamed the MPG Best of Audio Award to honor Gould.

The MPG posthumously honored Eric Dahlquist with the MPG Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the industry. Eric was a founding member of the MPG and president of Vista Group, the automotive public relations agency he started in the 1970s.

The final highlight in a night of highlights, the presentation of the Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism was a popular choice, the winning feature video “Shelby American, The Carroll Shelby Story” also taking home the coveted Batchelor trophy as the most outstanding effort of 2019.

The award is named for one of the founders of the Motor Press Guild, the late Dean Batchelor who was a journalist, photographer, book author, automotive museum curator, and mentor to many in those fields.

The 2019 Awards:

MPG Best of the Year: Feature Article
Jeff MacGregor: “Danny Thompson’s Blazing Nitromethane-Fueled Pursuit of Racing Glory” (Smithsonian)

MPG Best of the Year: Books
“The Speed Kings The Rise and Fall of the Motordromes” by Don Emde

MPG Best of the Year: Video Review
Micah Muzio / COTU Media: “2019 Tesla Model 3 – Review & Road Test”

MPG Best of the Year: Feature Video
Adam Carolla & Nate Adams: “Shelby American: The Carroll Shelby Story”

The Art Gould Award for Audio Programming
Daniel Miller: “Larger Than Life”

Bob D’Olivo Award for Photography
Marc Urbano: “Porsche Panorama 06-2019”

Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism
Adam Carolla & Nate Adams: “Shelby American: The Carroll Shelby Story”

The Los Angeles-based Motor Press Guild (“MPG”) is a national association of professional journalists, photographers, editors, industry members, public relations practitioners, and students who are all involved in the automotive industry.

It is the largest of such associations in the United States and has members across the country and around the world. In fact, many of LACar’s contributors and staff members are long-time MPG members.

Each year for the past 25 years the Guild has honored the work of its members and others in eight different categories (as above). Entries in each category are judged by specially-formed committees that evaluate and choose the best of the best to be honored.

This year, as always, the judging was difficult. The quality of the work was universally outstanding and each committee worked very hard to come up with first, three finalists, and then a single winner in each category.

Of course, they all did, and the results are listed above. And the above list certainly could well be called “recommended reading” for visitors.  I was the chair of the best book committee this time around and I can tell you, because of the quality of the entries, that our final selection was not an easily arrived at choice. But in the end, it was unanimous.

Keeping automotive journalism standards high, keeping its membership well-informed, and honoring top quality work … that’s what the Motor Press Guild does, and the public is the better for the organization’s efforts. â€“ Doug Stokes, Editor-at-Large

Top image: Motor Press Guild President Amelia Dalgaard presenting the awards to the evening’s recipients (photos by Myles Regan for the Motor Press Guild)

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