By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |

The Lens won considerable recognition at the Press Club of New Orleans Awards on Saturday night.

Co-founder and staff writer Ariella Cohen won first place in the print investigative category and the Alex Waller Memorial Award for her entry “Following the money: the use and abuse of Katrina recovery dollars.”

Judges praised Cohen’s “NY Times level reporting,” and her ability to broaden a local story with painstaking research.

Co-founder and staff writer Karen Gadbois and staff writers Matt Davis and Jessica Williams also received second and third place awards in the print investigative category for their work on efforts to expand Orleans Parish Prison, and charter school transparency.

The Lens also won a first place award for best social media, and was nominated for an award for best local news website, with judges praising the “real public service” of our work. Opinion writer Mark Moseley was also nominated for an award for his work.