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INDIANAPOLIS – Allan M. Siegal, recently retired assistant managing editor for the New York Times, will receive an Ethics in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
The award honors reporters, editors or news organizations that distinguish themselves by performing in an outstanding ethical manner as defined by the SPJ Code of Ethics. Siegal was nominated for the award by SPJ’s national Ethics Committee.
“Allan M. Siegal set the standard for standards at the Times, which often sets standards for American journalism,” wrote the Ethics Committee in its recommendation. “He headed a committee that took a hard, thorough look at the newspaper and its procedures after the Jayson Blair affair, laying the groundwork for important changes, including an appointment of the paper’s first public editor. That was fitting, because he often was an unofficial, internal ombudsman, who devoted his career to maintaining the paper’s standards.”
Siegal’s committee created changes within the newspaper, such as six more staff members who check résumés, additional training for middle managers and the addition of the public editor, who answers directly to readers. Siegal also helped write new rules for the Times regarding the use of anonymous sources.
SPJ’s Ethics Committee promotes the Society’s Code of Ethics, the gold standard of ethical guidelines in journalism. It also answers public concerns about ethical practices and serves as a spotter of national reporting trends.
Siegal’s work will be recognized Saturday, Aug. 26 during the President’s Installation Banquet at the 2006 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr.
Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.