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Announcing the 2020 Sigma Delta Chi Award winners


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6/12/2021


CONTACT:
Lou Harry, SPJ Manager of Publications and Awards, 317-920-4786, lharry@spj.org
Ashlynn Neumeyer, Communications Coordinator, 317-361-4133, aneumeyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists is proud to recognize the recipients of the Sigma Delta Chi Awards, which honor exceptional professional journalism produced in 2020.

Prominent veteran journalists, who served as SDX Awards judges, selected about 90 official winners from more than 1,200 submissions.

Winners were announced and recognized during a virtual presentation today, which is archived online. CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Nancy Cordes hosted the event.

“There’s no question that 2020 was one of the most consequential years for journalists in decades,” Cordes said. “In covering the stories of 2020, including the coronavirus pandemic, protests against racial justice, a fierce presidential election and much more locally, nationally and globally, journalists across media demonstrated the power of good and ethical reporting.

“A lot of courage was shown in 2020,” Cordes continued. “Journalists saw peers attacked in the streets. They risked their own health to report on the pain on the coronavirus pandemic, and they stood strong while surrounded by threats. In spite of adhering to SPJ’s Code of Ethics and our own truth-seeking instincts, we often fought accusations of misinformation, disinformation and ‘fake news.’ As journalists, we helped our audiences understand some of the most complicated stories of a generation.”

Dating back to 1932, the awards originally honored six individuals for contributions to journalism. The current program began in 1939, when the Society granted the first Distinguished Service Awards. The honors later became the Sigma Delta Chi Awards.

Entries included submissions from television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, online news outlets and magazines. SPJ updated its program this year with the addition of video game writing and reporting categories and the addition of two special topics categories: “Inequalities in Society” and COVID-19 coverage.

Winners are listed and have their work displayed on the SPJ website.

In addition to recognizing the SDX winners, SPJ announced the“MOEy” Best in Show award winner. The MOEy recognizes the best student journalism in the country and is given to the top entry among all national Mark of Excellence award winners, out of thousands of entries. The winner this year is the staff of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University’s Cronkite News. In their Online News Reporting entry, “Operation Agent Touch,” the team investigated and reported on how the documentation by Homeland Security agents in government reports on sex trafficking led to the dropping of charges against suspects. Congratulations on this outstanding, important entry!

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

The SPJ Foundation is a public foundation dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. The SPJ Foundation supports educational and professional needs of journalists and journalism students. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Give to the SPJ Foundation.

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