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Leonard Downie Jr. To Speak At Annual Pulliam Editorial Fellowship Banquet


SDX Foundation News Release

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

INDIANAPOLIS – Leonard Downie Jr., one of the nation’s most influential journalists and editors, will speak at the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation’s annual Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Fellowship Banquet.

Downie, executive editor of The Washington Post, will speak about “The Future of News” at the April 19 banquet to be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The banquet will honor Joe Holley, Insight editor at the San Antonio Express-News, this year’s recipient of the $40,000 Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Writing Fellowship.

“We are delighted to have Len Downie as this year’s featured speaker,” said SDX Foundation President Paul McMasters, First Amendment ombudsman at The Freedom Forum in Arlington, Va. “Len joins a long line of distinguished journalists and newsmakers who have headlined the Pulliam banquets.”

Downie has been The Washington Post’s executive editor since 1992, after serving seven years as managing editor. Downie began his career with the Post in 1964 as an intern and since has held a number of news positions with the Post. He also helped supervise the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Watergate.

Downie has won several journalism awards, including two Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Front Page awards, The American Bar Association Gavel Award for legal reporting, and the John Hancock Award for business and financial writing. He is the author of four books, including his latest work – “The News About The News: American Journalism in Peril” – co-authored with Robert G. Kaiser, associate editor of The Washington Post. The book was released in February.

“Aside from his stellar accomplishments as a journalist, Len Downie has proven to be an insightful observer of issues and challenges facing the news media today,” McMasters said. “His presence on the banquet program is a wonderful contribution to our efforts to recognize the importance of professionalism in journalism as well as to honor one of the nation’s top editorial writers.”

Holley, the guest of honor, will describe his fellowship project. He is studying changes at the U.S.-Mexican border and investigating a theory that the border is being transcended. At the conclusion of his research, Holley will write columns, editorials, and news articles on his project, and he proposes to turn his research into a book or series of articles.

The SDX Foundation selected Holley as the 2001 fellow from a pool of 17 applicants. The selection was based upon his journalistic qualifications, project proposal, writing and research abilities, employer support, and professional involvement.

The banquet is scheduled for April 19 at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. and the program at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 each or $500 for a table of eight.

Make reservations by contacting Awards Coordinator Bobby Deckard at 317/927-8000 ext.215 or bdeckard@spj.org.

The banquet is an annual Sigma Delta Chi Foundation event that recognizes the importance of editorial writing and honors recipients of the Foundation’s Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Fellowship. The event is sponsored by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Press Club.

The Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship is a Sigma Delta Chi Foundation educational program. The Foundation first offered the fellowship in 1978. 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.


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