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1996 Sigma Delta Chi Award Winners

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The 1996 Sigma Delta Chi Awards have been given to journalists whose work includes the coverage of the Los Angeles County judicial system; conflict in Afghanistan and Bosnia; a young mother's decisions about her disabled child; the future of the world's fisheries; and the crash of TWA Flight 800.

"This is an impressive array of stories produced by journalists and news organizations across the country. The winners tackled the important policy issues, such as the debate over Gulf War syndrome and the quality of our schools, to declining fisheries and infant mortality," said Steve Geimann, president of SPJ. "These entries showed solid, responsible reporting, commentary and basic research by American journalists."

The year's public service awards went to The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, La.; the Winston-Salem Journal in Winston-Salem, N.C.; U.S. News & World Report; WSM Radio in Nashville, Tenn.; Dateline NBC; and KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Okla. Additional award winners are list below.

Two news programs, "Inside Edition" and CBS News' "Face the Nation," are repeating a 1995 win in the same categories. With seven Sigma Delta Chi awards for editorial cartoons, Paul Conrad of the Los Angeles Times has received the award more than any other individual. The Los Angeles Times also won its fourth award in five years in the foreign correspondence category. The Times-Picayune, winner of a newspaper public service award, received the same award in the 1993 contest.

The web site includes a complete list of winners and a summary of all winning entries. Each print category includes the text, graphics and photographs of the winning entry. Television and radio categories include descriptions and graphics. Audio for the radio entries will be available in the near future.

The awards presentation will be Oct. 3-5 at the Society's national convention in Denver, Colo. At the convention, many of the award winners will lead professional development programs and discuss their work.


Newspaper/Wire Service Deadline Reporting
The staff of The Washington Post won the award for its reporting of the collision of a Maryland commuter train and an Amtrak train which killed 26 and injured 11.

Newspaper/Wire Service Non-Deadline Reporting
The staff of the Los Angeles Times including Ted Rohrlich, Fredric N. Tulsky, Richard O'Reilly, Patrick Downs and Tim Reiterman won for "And Justice for Some: Solving Murders in L.A. County." The report is the culmination of a 20-month study by the Times to assess how effectively and fairly the system dealt with the 2,000 homicides in Los Angeles County each year.

Newspaper/Wire Service Investigative Reporting
Keith C. Epstein and Bill Sloat of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, received the award for "DRUG TRIALS: Do People Know the Truth About Experiments?". The four part series detailed the FDA and researchers who use humans to experiment with new drugs.

Newspaper/Wire Service Feature Reporting
Tom Hallman Jr. of The Oregonian in Portland, Ore., won for "Diana's Choice," a portrait of a young mother who had to make the ultimate choice concerning her disabled child.

Newspaper/Wire Service Editorial Writing
Joseph Dolman of Newsday received the award for a series of editorials titled "Reforming the Schools." After the series, the state legislature was recalled for a special session to pass city school governance reform.

Newspaper/Wire Service Washington Correspondence
Philip Shenon of The New York Times won for "Gulf War Syndrome," which shone light on a serious problem that the Pentagon hadn't been willing to fully acknowledge.

Newspaper/Wire Service Foreign Correspondence
John-Thor Dahlburg of the Los Angeles Times won the award for his reporting on Afghanistan. The report shaped an investigation into the unforeseen and unintended consequences of superpower action and reaction there.

Newspaper/Wire Service Public Service in Journalism - Circulation over 100,000
John McQuaid, Bob Marshall, Mark Schleifstein and Ted Jackson of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, La., won the award for "Oceans of Trouble: Are the World's Fisheries Doomed?". The series examined the impact of fisheries on lives, economies, the environment and the future.

Newspaper/Wire Service Public Service in Journalism - Circulation under 100,000
Phoebe Zerwick and Angela Rucker of the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina received the award for "The Unheard Cry," a series which brought attention to a county's chronic problem with infant mortality, which many community leaders either didn't know about or didn't see as a cause for action.

Magazine Reporting
Mary Battiata of The Washington Post Magazine received the award for "War of Worlds," a perspective on the political violence and political conscience surrounding the Bosnian war.

Public Service in Magazine Journalism
Stephen Hedges and Dana Hawkins of U.S. News & World Report won for "The New Jungle," a look at the use of illegal immigrants as workers in the meatpacking industry.

Brian Peterson of The Star-Tribune in Minneapolis, Minn., won the award for "With Unending Grace," a pictorial history of the life and death of a woman suffering from AIDS.

Editorial Cartoons
With a collection of pointed cartoons, Paul Conrad of the Los Angeles Times receives his seventh Sigma Delta Chi award and sets a new record for individual award winners.

Informational Graphics
Philip Dionisio of Newsday received this award for his graphics explaining "The Crash of Flight 800."

Radio Spot News Reporting
KCBS News Team at KCBS Radio in San Francisco, Calif., won the award for "BART Shutdown," its coverage of a major transportation disruption between East Bay and San Francisco.

Radio Continuing Reporting of a Breaking Event
Robert Berger of CBS News Radio received the award for "Tunnel Opening Triggers Violence," a series from Ramallah on the violence triggered when Israel opened an entrance to the archeological tunnel at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Radio Editorials
Geo Beach of Tempest Media in Homer, Alaska, won the award for his "Personal Days" series.

Radio Investigative Reporting
Stephen Dean of KTRH NewsRadio received the award for "HPD Sexual Harassment," a series that exposed a pattern of unfair treatment and retaliation against female Houston Police Department officers who reported sexual harassment.

Radio Feature Reporting
Maia Krache, Ceil Muller, Rosy Weiser and Sally Eisele of KQED-FM in San Francisco, Calif., won the award for "Found Stories: On the Road in San Francisco." From the program, The California Report, the pieces examine little-known people and places.

Public Service in Radio Journalism
Jerry Dahmen and Tom Bryant of WSM Radio in Nashville, Tenn., were recognized for "Have You Seen Me?", a report on the kidnapping of children.

Television Spot News Reporting
Jeff Fager, Pat Shevlin, Scott Pelley, and Randall Joyce of CBS Evening News won the award for "351 Die in Air Collision," a report from the site of the collision of a Saudi Arabian jumbo jet and a Kazak Airlines Illyushin 76.

Television Continuous Reporting of a Breaking Event
Christiane Amanpour of CNN won the award for "Christiane Amanpour reports from Zaire." Amanpour traveled to Goma in the aftermath of the fighting and reported on the violence of what had happened there.

Television Editorials
Bob Schieffer and Carin Pratt of CBS News' "Face the Nation" won the award for Schieffer's series of commentaries ranging from elections to Hollywood to John Grisham.

Television Investigative Reporting
Matt Meagher, Tim Peek, Miguel Sancho, Richard Cherkis, Bob Read, Sheila Sitomer and Charles Lachman of "Inside Edition" received this award for "Door-to-door Insurance," the reporting of an undercover investigation of the United Insurance Company of America in Little Rock, Ark.

Television Feature Reporting
Catherine Curtin, Charlene Shirk and Michael Jenkins of KOTV-TV, Tulsa, Okla., won for "The Long Journey Home," the story of paraplegic cowboy Randy Bird, who was paralyzed as the result of a traffic accident after drinking and driving.

Public Service in Television Journalism - Networks & Top 40
Neal Shapiro, Marc Rosenwasser, Janet Tobias, Kelly Venardos, Richard M. Platt and Jamie Bright of Dateline NBC receive the award for "Little Girl Lost." This one hour special exposed the tragic death of a six year old girl named Elisa Izquierdo, and the five part investigation reported the complicated story of Elisa and her family and their involvement with child welfare authorities.

Public Service in Television Journalism - All Other Markets
Linda Cavanaugh and Tony Stizza of KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Okla., won the award for "Tapestry," a look one year later at some of those who were most directly touched by the April 19 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Public Service in Newsletter Journalism
Margaret Ebrahim of the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., won for "Fat Cat Hotel," the first report to expose the Clinton White House's efforts to reward big donors and fund raisers with overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom.

Research about Journalism
David H. Weaver and G. Cleveland Wilhoit from Indiana University won for "The American Journalist in the 1990s." The book examines the perceived role of journalists, their backgrounds and attitudes.

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