THE MISSION of the California Press Foundation
is to guard the history and traditions of California journalism, to recognize and honor contemporary achievements, to assure the future of California journalism through encouragement of education and to provide a social and educational forum for its members.
One of the earliest press associations in the country, the California Press Association was founded in 1878 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. In 1925 and 1926, the association worked with the Southern California Editorial Association to form a trade organization—the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2013, the 136-year-old Cal Press Association merged with the CNPA Foundation, CNPA’s 501(c)(3) charitable division, formed in 1993, to form the California Press Foundation.
Outstanding speakers and programs are presented at the annual Cal Press awards luncheon and dinner in San Francisco the first Friday in December. The association also gives public recognition at its annual winter meeting to outstanding newspaper people of the state, past and present, with six of the most coveted awards in California journalism:
Justus F. Craemer California Newspaper Executive of the Year Award, for publishers, editors-in-chief and equivalents who have involved themselves in the directions of the editorial and news side of their newspapers by showing exceptional editorial achievement.
Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award, which honors distinguished publishers who are no longer fully active in the industry but who have served their communities well for an extended period.
Jack Bates Award honors an individual for distinguished service to the California Press through effective leadership in addressing newspaper challenges and assisting journalism education.
The Mark Twain Award for Journalism Excellence in California, awarded posthumously, honors superior journalism among newspapers and news sites across California.
The California Newspaper Hall of Fame, which each year posthumously honors two newspaper people whose outstanding devotion to their responsibilities resulted in substantial contributions to their regions and to the development of California.