100. Tal Kopan and Joe Garofoli
Tal Kopan was the Washington, D.C. correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, (she’s now at the Boston Globe) and Joe Garofoli is the paper’s senior political writer. Together, they did good this year – real good. On April 14, their story on questions about U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s mental state was published in a 3,000-word epic that carefully documented the issue, explored the political ramifications and cited comments from Feinstein’s fellow senators, as well as staff members and observers. Not surprisingly, given the sensitivity of the subject, the comments were largely unattributed. But it was clear that Feinstein’s mental acuity raised serious concerns. In December 2020, the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer wrote about Feinstein’s missteps, while a week later a Washington Post opinion piece raised similar issues. But the Chronicle’s piece was far more comprehensive, balanced and persuasive, and, as far as we could tell, resonated more deeply in the California political community.