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SDX Foundation Awards 2001-2002 Pulliam Editorial Fellowship


Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001


Paul McMasters, Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board president, 703/284-3511 or pmcmasters@freedomforum.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the educational arm of the Society of Professional Journalists, has awarded the 2001-2002 Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Fellowship to Joe Holley, Insight editor at the San Antonio Express-News.

During his fellowship, Holley will study changes at the U.S.-Mexican border and investigate a theory that the border is being transcended. He will research and write columns, editorials and news articles on the issue. Holley hopes to turn his research on the U.S.-Mexican border into a book or series of articles that summarize his findings.

“Time to read, write, travel and study is a gift beyond compare,” Holley said. “I’m extremely grateful to the Foundation.”

The Foundation chose Holley from among 17 applicants based upon his qualifications, project proposal, writing and research abilities, employer support and professional involvement. He will receive a $40,000 cash award to take time away from daily responsibilities at the San Antonio Express-News and pursue his study.

“This had to be one of the finest groups of proposals we’ve had in the more than a decade that I’ve been helping select the Pulliam Fellows,” said Paul McMasters, Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board president and one of three former editorial writers who served as judges for this year’s award. “There were five or six candidates whose applications were outstanding, but Joe Holley's proposal was so compelling and his credentials so strong the judges were unanimous in selecting him for this year’s fellowship.”

Other judges were Jean Otto, retired journalist, former chairperson of the SDX Foundation Board and past president of SPJ; and Fred Fiske of The Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y., and president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers.

Holley has been writing editorials for more than 20 years. In 1987, his editorial page won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of editorials on immigration reform written by previous Pulliam Fellowship winner Jonathan Friedman.

Holley also has received several other writing and journalism awards, including a 2000 Carr P. Collins Award for the book “My Mother’s Keeper,” which he co-authored with his wife, Tara Elgin Holley, and a 2000 Jim Lehrer Award and a 2000 Stanley Walker Journalism Award for an Express-News series on sprawl, overdevelopment and environmental pressures in the Texas Hill Country. Holley earned a master’s in English from University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

“What a treat and a challenge it was to have so many exceptional entries in this year’s competition,” Otto said. “It was inspiring to see so many editorial writers focusing on the major issues of the times, all subjects that fill the pages of our daily papers and cry for solutions.”

Fiske said, “The reservoir of applications this year was unusually deep, rich and diverse. The applicants proposed new approaches, original projects designed to capture the attention of readers and policy-makers, contribute to a deeper understanding of problems and possible solutions, and expand the range and impact of their own editorials and commentary.”

The Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship is a Sigma Delta Chi educational program of the Society of Professional Journalists. The Society first offered the fellowship in 1977. It is funded by a grant from Mrs. Eugene C. Pulliam, honoring the memory of her husband, one of the original members of the Society and former publisher of The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis News, The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette.

Founded in 1961, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. Its goal is to support the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and to serve the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.

The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. 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.


Sarah A. Shrode
SPJ Director of Communications
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208-4045
317/927-8000 ext. 213

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