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Duke Cunningham case to be discussed during 2007 SPJ Convention & Journalism Conference

For Immediate Release:

Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211

INDIANAPOLIS – Randy “Duke” Cunningham was a war hero, one of the most powerful members of Congress and also one of the most corrupt. The Copley Washington bureau exposed the millions in cash, antiques and other payoffs that the California Republican took in trade for lucrative defense contracts. Within six months of the findings, the congressman was jailed. With hunches and a healthy appetite for curiosity, a small team of Copley News reporters exposed this abuse of power and the political climate where it thrived. The investigative reporting resulted in a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, and the subsequent book, “The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught.”

During a panel discussion at the 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, Copley News Service Washington bureau chief George Condon and fellow Washington correspondents Jerry Kammer and Marcus Stern will share the reporting techniques they used to uncover this amazing story. Todd J.Gillman, Washington correspondent for The Dallas Morning News, will moderate the discussion. The event will take place at 9 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW in the Columbia B room.

“The Copley team’s work on the Cunningham story set the bar higher for journalists seeking to hold Washington D.C. politicians accountable,” SPJ National President-Elect Clint Brewer said. “Their work is one of the finest examples of watchdog reporting in recent memory, and attendees at our conference will have the benefit of hearing about the techniques they used to nail this important story about abuse of power and public trust.”

To obtain a media credential for this event, please contact SPJ Communications Manager Beth King at (317) 927-8000, ext. 211. For more information about the 2007 SPJ National Convention & Journalism Conference — including a full convention schedule — or to register, visit SPJ's Web Site.

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 about SPJ, visit www.spj.org.

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