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Awards & Honors Committee

Sue Kopen Katcef, chair
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland
Bio (click to expand) picture Sue Kopen Katcef is an award winning reporter who's currently the Broadcast Bureau Director for the Capital News Service operated by the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Sue has been a member of SPJ since 1974 (when it was still Sigma Delta Chi) while a student at the University of Maryland. She is a past president of the Maryland Pro Chapter and a former long-time board member of the Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter. She has previously served on the SPJ national board as a campus adviser at-large and is currently SPJ's National Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs. Sue has served on SPJ's Awards & Honors Committee for a number of years. As chair of the committee, Sue led the panel in what is now an on-going review of both the MOE and SDX awards to try and contemporize both contests. Sue has submitted MOE entries (on behalf of her students) as well as judged and coordinated (regionally) the Mark of Excellence contest and served as a judge for many years of the Sigma Delta Chi contest.

Andy Schotz, vice chair

2007 Sigma Delta Chi Award Honorees

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2007 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism.

This year’s winners were chosen from more than 1,000 entries in 48 categories including print, radio, television and online.

The Sigma Delta Chi Awards date back to 1932, when the Society first honored six individuals for contributions to journalism. The current program began in 1939, when the organization awarded the first Distinguished Service Awards. These awards later became the Sigma Delta Chi Awards.

“Year after year, the winners of the Sigma Delta Chi awards represent the very best journalism has to offer,” said SPJ President Clint Brewer. “These awards and the journalism they recognize represent the incredibly positive contributions our profession makes to the national dialogue and to our communities. We thank the winners and all the entrants for their service and congratulate them on a job well done.”

The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s 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.

Newspaper/Wire Services

Deadline Reporting (circulation of 100,000 or greater)
“Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination,” Staff, The Associated Press, New York

Deadline Reporting (circulation of less than 100,000)
“Courageous,” Staff, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.

Non-Deadline Reporting (circulation of 100,000 or greater)
“Chemical Fallout,” Susanne Rust, Meg Kissinger & Cary Spivak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee

Non-Deadline Reporting (circulation of less than 100,000)
“Sofa Super Store Fire,” Staff, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.

Investigative Reporting (circulation of 100,000 or greater)
“American Imports, Chinese Deaths,” Loretta Tofani, The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City

Investigative Reporting (circulation of less than 100,000)
“Child Care Nightmare,” Erin Middlewood & Stephanie Rice, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.

Feature Writing (circulation of 100,000 or greater)
“The Beekeepers,” Louise Kiernan, Chicago Tribune

Feature Writing (circulation of less than 100,000)
“The Caged Life,” Alan Prendergast, Westword, Denver, Colo.

Editorial Writing
“For I Was Hungry,” Naomi Schalit, Kennebec Journal, Augusta, Maine

Washington Correspondence
“Interrogation Secrets,” David Johnston, Mark Mazzetti, James Risen & Scott Shane, The New York Times

Foreign Correspondence
“Zimbabwe’s Pain,” Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times

General Column Writing
“Column Collection,” Bob Dyer, Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio

Sports Column Writing
“Sports Columns,” Jim Litke, The Associated Press, New York

Public Service Circulation (circulation of 100,000 or greater)
“Beyond Walter Reed,” Staff, The Washington Post

Public Service Circulation (circulation of less than 100,000)
“Elder Abuse: A Silent Shame,” Staff, Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wis.


Magazine Writing
“Pearls Before Breakfast,” Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post Magazine

Public Service in Magazine Journalism
“Healthcare Crisis,” Staff, Consumer Reports, Yonkers, N.Y.

Magazine Investigative Reporting
“Poverty Series,” Brian Grown, Keith Epstein, Robert Berner & Geri Smith, BusinessWeek, New York


Photography Spot News
“The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto,” John Moore, Getty Images, New York

Photography Features
“The Bottom Line,” Mona Reeder, The Dallas Morning News, Dallas

Photography Sports
“Stanley Cup: A day with hockey’s holy grail,” Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times

Editorial Cartooning
“2007 Cartoons,” Michael Ramirez, Investor’s Business Daily, Los Angeles

Informational Graphics
“The Southern California Wildfires,” Staff, Los Angeles Times


Breaking News Reporting
“August 23 Storms,” Staff, WBBM Newsradio 780, Chicago

Investigative Reporting
“Gage Park,” Jay Field & Julia McEvoy, Chicago Public Radio

Feature Reporting
“Rwanda: Trying to Move On,” Jeb Sharp, Jennifer Goren & Ray Fallon, PRI’s The World, WGBH Radio, Boston

“The Drop Out Dilemma,” Mills Public Radio Reporting Class of 2007, KALW-FM, San Francisco

Public Service in Radio Journalism
“Grading Michigan Schools,” Staff, Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, Mich.


Breaking News Coverage (Network/Top 25 Markets)
“The Massacre at Virginia Tech,” Staff, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, New York

Breaking News Coverage (all other markets)
“Lynn Dejac: Conviction Set Aside,” Rich Newberg and the News 4 Team, WIVB-TV, Buffalo, N.Y.

Investigative Reporting (Network/Top 25 Markets)
“Evidence of Injustice,” Steve Kroft, Ira Rosen, Matt Richman & Sumi Aggarwal, CBS News-60 Minutes, New York

Investigative Reporting (all other markets)
“Meth Houses,” Debbie Dujanovic & Kelly Just, KSL-TV, Salt Lake City

Feature Reporting (Network/Top 25 Markets)
"The Purge," Shawn Efran, Phil Ittner, Andy Soto & Scott Pelley, CBS News-60 Minutes, New York

Feature Reporting (all other markets)
“Heroin in the Suburbs,” Brad Hicks, WITI, Milwaukee

Documentaries (Network/Top 25 Markets)
“SIU: Judgment in Jena,” Staff, CNN, Atlanta

Documentaries (all other markets)
“Mercy in Motion: The Culture that Crawls in Vietnam,” Sarah Hill, Scott Schaefer, Stacey Woelfel & Scott Schmidt, KOMU-TV, Columbia, Mo.

Public Service in Television Journalism (Network/Top 25 Markets)
“Mortgage Meltdown,” Staff, WMAR-TV, Baltimore

Public Service in Television Journalism (all other markets)
“Home Sweet Meth Home,” Staff, WLOX-TV, Biloxi, Miss.


Public Service in Newsletter Journalism
“The Crandall Canyon Mine Disaster,” Staff, Mine Safety and Health News, Pittsford, N.Y.


Research about Journalism
“From Ink on Paper to the Internet: Past Challenges and Future Transformations for New Jersey's Newspapers,” Jerome Aumente, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

Online Reporting

Deadline Reporting (affiliated)
“Path of Destruction: Central Florida Storms,” Clarisa Gerlach & Staffs,, WFLA and The Tampa Tribune

Deadline Reporting (independent)
“Fed Alert: Breaking Fed News,” Staff,, North Palm Beach, Fla.

Non-Deadline Reporting (affiliated)
“Mormonism in America,” Jason Szep, Reuters, Boston

Non-Deadline Reporting (independent)
“Wasting Away: Superfund’s Toxic Legacy,” Staff, The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C.

Investigative Reporting (affiliated)
“Cause for Alarm,” Bill Dedman,, Redmond, Wash.

Investigative Reporting (independent)
“Collateral Damage: Human Rights and U.S. Military Aid Before and After 9/11,” Staff, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists at The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C.

Public Service in Online Journalism (affiliated)
“Faces of TYC: Abuse and Scandal Plague the Texas Youth Commission,” Staff, The Dallas Morning News

Public Service in Online Journalism (independent)
“States of Disclosure: Tracking the private interests of public officials,” Staff, The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C.