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SPJ honors Martinez for exceptional service to journalism



Chad Hosier, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 920-4791, chosier@spj.org
Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, ekobe@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Al Martinez as Fellow of the Society. It is the highest honor given by the Society and is awarded for extraordinary contribution to the profession.

Martinez has held many titles during his career path — reporter, author, scriptwriter, documentarian and television series creator. And great success has come of these endeavors.

He has won three Pulitzer Prizes at the LA Times for contributions in a 1983 series on the Southern California Latino community, team coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and a staff award for reporting on 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Martinez has written columns for The Times since 1984. Before then, he was a news feature writer and reporter at the newspaper for 12 years. Previously, he was a columnist, feature writer and military reporter for the Oakland Tribune.

He has been highly regarded for his efforts in journalism over the past two decades. In 1996, SPJ named him Journalist of the Year, and the California Chicano News Media Association awarded him the 2002 Print Journalist of the Year. Other honors include a 1988 National Ernie Pyle Award and a 1988 National Headliner Award. He was also nominated for a 1992 Emmy for the CBS-TV movie "Out on the Edge."

Martinez is a published author of "The Last City Room" and "City of Angles, a Drive-By Portrait of L.A.," as well as two books profiling Spanish-speaking Americans, "Rising Voices" and "Rising Voices: A New Generation." In addition to creating three network television series, he has 20 writing credits for TV movies.

Martinez attended San Francisco State College and the University of California, Berkeley, and received an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters from Whittier College in 1996. He was born in Oakland and is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He is married and has three children.

Martinez will be honored at the Excellence in Journalism 2013 conference in Southern California. He will receive a jeweled key and a plaque on Aug. 26 at the President’s Installation Banquet. Click here for a list of previous honorees.

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. For more information on SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.


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