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SDX Foundation Awards 2002 Pulliam Editorial Fellowship


Paul McMasters, Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board President, 703/284-3511 or

INDIANAPOLIS – The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the educational arm of the Society of Professional Journalists, has awarded the 2002 Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Fellowship to David Sarasohn, associate editor of The Oregonian.

Sarasohn will be recognized Sept. 21 at a luncheon at the 2002 National Conference of Editorial Writers Convention in Nashville, Tenn. As the Pulliam fellow, he will receive $40,000 from the SDX Foundation to conduct his research.

During his fellowship, Sarasohn will explore the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial celebration in an effort to help connect the past with the future in the American West. The Pulliam Fellowship will allow Sarasohn to travel from Buffalo to Seattle and attend tribal events and planning sessions, follow the environmentalists’ campaigns, and meet with experts on the future of the West. He plans to produce a major commentary series for The Oregonian and possibly turn his research into a book on his research.

“The project will explore some of the fundamental issues of the real West, at a time when the nation’s attention will be focused on the mythic West,” Sarasohn said.

“I am extremely grateful to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and SPJ for this opportunity,” Sarasohn added. “Lewis and Clark still walk through every debate on the future of the West and its meaning for this country, and I cherish to opportunity to see today’s Americans walk with them.”

The Foundation chose Sarasohn from among 11 applicants based upon his qualifications, project proposal, writing and research abilities, employer support and professional involvement. He will receive the $40,000 cash award to take time away from daily responsibilities at The Oregonian and pursue his study.

“The fellowship selection committee members were very excited about David's proposal and what he brings to the project in professional qualifications, performance and vision,” 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. "We had a very strong field of applicants this year, which speaks to the strength of David's proposal."

Other judges were Phil Haslanger of The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., and president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, and Jean Otto, retired journalist, former chairperson of the SDX Foundation Board and a past president of SPJ.

Sarasohn has been writing editorials for nearly 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.

Historical writings by Sarasohn have appeared in the Western Historical Quarterly, Social Science History, Journalism Quarterly and the Dictionary of American Biography. He was also co-editor of the third edition of “American Negro Slavery,” and authored “Party of Reform: Democrats in the Progressive Era.”

In 1995, Sarasohn won first place in column-writing in the “Best of the West” contest, covering 13 states. That year he also won the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon’s Freedom of Expression award, the first time it was awarded to a journalist. In June 2000, he was an American Journalism Foundation fellow in Greece, and in 2001, the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children named him a “Champion of Children.”

Sarasohn earned a master’s in history from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and received a doctorate in history from UCLA. He has also taught at Reed College, UCLA, California State University-Northridge and Portland State University

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.


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