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Contact Matthew Kent.

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

2009 Sigma Delta Chi Award Honorees

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2009 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism.

Judges chose the winners from over 1,300 entries in categories covering print, radio, television and online. The awards recognize outstanding work published or broadcast in 2009.

Dating back to 1932, the awards originally honored six individuals for contributions to journalism. The current program began in 1939, when the Society granted the first Distinguished Service Awards. The honors later became the Sigma Delta Chi Awards.

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 (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)
Natural Gas Explosion Destroys Half a Downtown Block,” Staff, Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle

Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)
No Award Given

Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 100,001+)
Four Officers Slain,” Staff, Seattle Times

Deadline Reporting (Non-Daily Publication)
No Award Given

Non-Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)
Fatal Funnel,” Gabe Semenza, Chris Cobler, Staff, Victoria (TX) Advocate

Non-Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)
Broken Silence,” Shoshana Walter, The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla.

Non-Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 100,001+)
Allen Stanford's Miami Connection,” Michael Sallah, Rob Barry, Lucy Komisar, The Miami Herald

Non-Deadline Reporting (Non-Daily Publication)
Crisis on the Border,” Timothy Roberts, El Paso (TX) Inc.

Investigative Reporting (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)
Luzerne County Corruption Investigation” Terrie Morgan-Besecker, Jen Learn Andes, Jerry Lynott, Gary Visgaitis, The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Investigative Reporting (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)
Dead by Mistake,” Eric Nalder, Cathleen F. Crowley, Times Union, Albany, N.Y.

Investigative Reporting (Daily Circulation 100,001+)
Toxic Waters,” Charles Duhigg, The New York Times

Investigative Reporting (Non-Daily Publication)
WaMu's Final Days,” Kirsten Grind, Alwyn Scott, George Erb, Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle, Wash.

Feature Reporting (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)
Hospice: Learning How to Live,” Sara Schilling, Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, Wash.

Feature Reporting (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)
The Miracle of Father Kapaun,” Roy Wenzl, The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle

Feature Reporting (Daily Circulation 100,001+)
Trapped” and “The Way Out,” Neil Swidey, The Boston Globe

Feature Reporting (Non-Daily Reporting)
Aftermath,” Nadia Pflaum, The Pitch, Kansas City, Mo.

Editorial Writing (Daily Circulation 1-50,000+)
“Kids for Cash,” Dave Janoski, The Citizens’ Voice, Wilkes Barre, Pa.

Editorial Writing (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)
“Tenure Law for Felons,” Mac Thrower, Press-Register, Mobile, Ala.

Editorial Writing (Daily Circulation 100,000+)
Michigan’s Budget Tightrope,” Barb Arrigo, Detroit Free Press

Editorial Writing (Non-Daily Publication)
Forward Editorials,” Jane Eisner, Forward, New York

Washington Correspondence (Daily Publication)
Obama’s War,” Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post

Washington Correspondence (Non-Daily Publication)
No Award Given

Foreign Correspondence (Daily Publication)
Hearts, Minds and Blood: The Battle for Iran,” Farnaz Fassihi, The Wall Street Journal, New York

Foreign Correspondence (Non-Daily Publication)
No Award Given

General Column Writing (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)
“Sunday Reflections,” Tracey O'Shaughnessy, Republican American, Waterbury, Conn.

General Column Writing (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)
Sean Kirst, The Post-Standard, Syracuse, N.Y.

General Column Writing (Daily Circulation 100,000+)
Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times

General Column Writing (Non-Daily Publication)
Ray Hanania, Southwest News-Herald, Chicago

Sports Column Writing (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)
Mike Benischek, Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal

Sports Column Writing (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)
Mike Hlas, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA

Sports Column Writing (Daily Circulation 100,000+)
John Canzano, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

Public Service Journalism (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)
Meijer's Secret Plan,” Brian McGillivary, Traverse City (Mich.) Record-Eagle

Public Service Journalism (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)
Failing our Students,” Diette Courrege, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.

Public Service Journalism (Daily Circulation 100,000+)
Trust Betrayed,” Sally Kestin, Peter Franceschina, John Maines, Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Public Service Journalism (Non-Daily Publication)
WaMu and the Foreclosure Crisis,” Kirsten Grind, Jeanne Lang Jones, Alwyn Scott, George Erb, Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle, Wash.


Magazine Investigative Reporting (National Circulation)
Trial By Fire,” David Grann, The New Yorker

Magazine Investigative Reporting (Regional/Local Circulation)
Watchdogs on a Leash,” Cynthia Barnett, Florida Trend, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Magazine Writing (National Circulation)
The Deadly Choices at Memorial,” Sheri Fink, ProPublica with The New York Times Magazine

Magazine Writing (Regional/Local Circulation)
Free Man,” Tony Rehagen, Indianapolis Monthly

Public Service in Magazine Journalism (National Circulation)
Climate Countdown, Staff, Mother Jones, San Francisco

Public Service in Magazine Journalism (Regional/Local Circulation)
Reaching Black Boys,” Sarah Karp, John Myers, Catalyst Chicago


Breaking News Photography (Newspaper Circulation 1-50,000 or Regional Magazine)
Black Hawk Down,” Dave McDermand, The Bryan-College Station (TX) Daily Eagle

Breaking News Photography (Newspaper Circulation 50,001-100,000 or Online Independent)
Suspect in Custody After 8-hour Standoff,” Justin Cook, The Roanoke (Va.) Times

Breaking News Photography (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine
Miracle on the Hudson,” Steven Day, The Associated Press, New York

Breaking News Photography (Non-Daily Publication)
No Award Given

Editorial Cartooning (Newspaper Circulation 1-50,000 or Regional Magazine)
No Award Given

Editorial Cartooning (Newspaper Circulation 50,001-100,000 or Online Independent)
Cartoons by Mr. Fish,” Dwayne Booth, Truthdig, Santa Monica, Calif.

Editorial Cartooning (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)
Cartoons by Jack Ohman,” Jack Ohman, The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.

Editorial Cartooning (Non-Daily Publication)
Cartoons by Terrence L. Nowicki Jr.,” Terrence L. Nowicki Jr., Freelance, Forks, Wash.

Feature Photography (Newspaper Circulation 1-50,000 or Regional Magazine)
No Award Given

Feature Photography (Newspaper Circulation 50,001-100,000 or Online Independent)
Congo’s Greatest Shame,” Mary F. Calvert, The Washington Times

Feature Photography (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)
Choosing Thomas,” Sonya N. Hebert, The Dallas Morning News

Feature Photography (Non-Daily Publication)
“Energizing the Fans,” Marcus Donner, Jenny O’Brien, George Erb, Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle, Wash.

Informational Graphics (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)
“Obama Inauguration,” Doug Stevens, Lorena Iniquez Elebee, Julie Sheer, Adam Zoll, Los Angeles Times

Informational Graphics (Non-Daily Publication)
Healthcare by the Numbers,” Eric Semelroth, Modern Healthcare, Chicago

Sports Photography (Newspaper Circulation 50,001-100,000 or Online Independent)
Touchdown, Virginia Tech,” Jared Soares, The Roanoke (Va.) Times

Sports Photography (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)
Head Strong,” Damian Strohmeyer, Sports Illustrated, New York


Breaking News Reporting (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)
“The Maday Escape,” Kris Habermehl, Bernie Tafoya, Bob Roberts and the WBBM Newsradio 780 Staff, WBBM Newsradio 780, Chicago

Breaking News Reporting (101+ Market)
No Award Given

Investigative Reporting (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)
Hard Times: California's Broken Parole System,” Doug Sovern, KCBS Radio, San Francisco

Investigative Reporting (101+ Market)
No Award Given

Feature Reporting (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)
California’s Three Strikes Law: 15 Years of Controversy,” Ina Jaffe, Philip Bruce, Amy Walters, NPR, Washington, DC

Feature Reporting (101+ Market)
Hurricane Camille Remembered,” Sandy Hausman, Rick Mattioni, Connie Stevens, WVTF / RADIO IQ, Roanoke, Va.

Documentaries (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)
Created in China,” Mary Kay Magistad, Public Radio International’s “The World,” Boston

Documentaries (101+ Market)
“Cash, Credit and Saving While in College,” Kevin Hurd, KVSC-FM, St. Cloud, Minn.

Public Service in Radio Journalism (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)
This is the South Bronx,” Miguelina Diaz, Keith Tingman, Amon "AJ" Frazier, WNYC Radio, New York

Public Service in Radio Journalism (101+ Market or Network Syndication)
A Community Victimized in the Shadows,” Charles Lane, Naomi Starobin, Katie Davis, WSHU, Fairfield, Conn.


Breaking News Coverage (Small-Market Station 51+)
“August Flash Flood,” April Samp, KGAN News Team, KGAN-TV, Cedar Rapids, IA

Breaking News Coverage (Large-Market Station 1-50)
Canal Fire,” 24-Hour News 8 Staff, WISH-TV, Indianapolis

Breaking News Coverage (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)
Miracle on the Hudson,” Staff, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, New York

Documentaries (Small-Market Station 51+)
Five Years After Charlie,” Lauren Bernaldo, Todd Ofenbeck, Yn Pragne, Waterman Broadcasting, Fort Myers, Fla.

Documentaries (Large-Market Station 1-50)
33 Minutes to 34 Right,” Tony Kovaleski, Tom Burke, Arthur Kane, Jason Foster, KMGH-TV, Denver, Colo.

Documentaries (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)
Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground,” Staff, PBS Frontline World, PBS, Berkeley, Calif.

Feature Reporting (Small-Market Station 51+)
Reunion in Rochester,” Evan Axelbank, Leif Nielsen, WROC-TV, Rochester, N.Y.

Feature Reporting (Large-Market Station 1-50)
Land of 10,000 Stories,” Boyd Huppert, Jonathan Malat, KARE-TV, Minneapolis, Minn.

Feature Reporting (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)
Children of the Recession,” CBS News, New York.

Investigative Reporting (Small-Market Station, 51+)
“Protecting Patients,” Don Dare, Dave Wignall, WATE-TV, Knoxville, Tenn.

Investigative Reporting (Large-Market Station 1-50)
Evergreen Community College Investigation,” Beth Rimbey, Dan Noyes, KGO-TV, San Francisco

Investigative Reporting (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)
60 Minutes: Amazon Crude,” Scott Pelley, Draggan Mihailovich, Warren Lustig, Nathalie Sommer, CBS News, New York

Public Service in Television Journalism (Small-Market Station 51+)
Crime Files: A Call to Action,” Kathy Reynolds, WGGB, Springfield, Mass.

Public Service in Television Journalism (Large-Market Station 1-50)
Hate Crimes,” 10News I-Team, KGTV 10 News, San Diego, Calif.

Public Service in Television Journalism (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)
Making a Difference,” Staff, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, New York


Public Service in Newsletter Journalism
Wal-Mart Tagged Over Needle Sticks,” Kevin Thompson, Cal-Osha Reporter, Roseville, Calif.


Research about Journalism
Detecting Bull: How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web,” John H. McManus, The Unvarnished Press, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Online Reporting

Deadline Reporting (Affiliated)
Massacre on Front Street,” Staff,, Binghamton, N.Y.

Deadline Reporting (Independent)
Three-alarm Fire Destroys Greenwood Businesses,” Doree Armstrong, Cory Bergman, Kate Bergman, Dale Steinke,, Seattle, Wash.

Digital Media Presentation (Affiliated)
AP Economic Stress Index,” Staff, The Associated Press, New York

Digital Media Presentation (Independent)
The Bay Area Toxic Tour: West Oakland,” Kim Komenich, Kwan Booth, Josh Wilson, Arts & Media, San Francisco

Investigative Reporting (Affiliated)
Agent Orange: A Lethal Legacy,” Chicago Tribune Online Staff, Chicago Tribune

Investigative Reporting (Independent)
Buried Secrets: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat,” Abrahm Lustgarten, Joaquin Sapien, Sabrina Shankman, ProPublica

Non-Deadline Reporting (Affiliated)
Real Florida,” Jeff Klinkenberg, Maurice Rivenbark, St. Petersburg Times

Non-Deadline Reporting (Independent)
"Credit Rating Series,” Ben Protess, Lagan Sebert, Huffington Post Investigative Fund, Washington, DC

Online Column Writing (Affiliated)
Charlie LeDuff, The Detroit News

Online Column Writing (Independent)
Sharp Eye on Washington, Minimum Snark,” Jill Lawrence, Politics Daily, Washington, D.C.

Public Service in Online Journalism (Affiliated)
The Promise Audit,” Staff, National Journal, Washington, DC

Public Service in Online Journalism (Independent)
Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice,” Kristen Lombardi, Kristin Jones, Gordon Witkin, David Donald, The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, DC

Specialized Journalism Site, Staff, CNNMoney, New York