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SDX presents more than 50 awards at banquet; fire alarm ends event early

By Billy O'Keefe

By Mark Anthony Smith
For the second year in a row, KARE-TV in Minneapolis walked away from the Sigma Delta Chi Awards banquet with honors for television feature reporting.
The station won for a series of features called the “Land of 10,000 Stories,” a play on Minnesota’s reputation as the “land of 10,000 lakes.”
More than 50 awards were presented to print, broadcast and online outlets for outstanding deadline, investigative, feature and public service journalism, along with honors for photography, graphics and online reporting.
Lauren Rochester, the Society of Professional Journalists’ awards coordinator, said that although the honors are equal in importance, she considers the public service awards to be very special.
“These awards really demonstrate the effect they have on the community,” she said.
Steven Day, an Associated Press photographer, was recognized for his images of the airplane that crash-landed in the Hudson River last year. A team from CBS’ “60 Minutes” was also honored for an investigative report on the crude oil that American oil companies left behind in the Amazon.
A separate public service award, the New America Award, was to be presented at Saturday night’s ceremony at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The award recognizes journalists who go beyond basic reporting in the areas of ethnicity and immigration, Rochester said.
But a fire alarm sounded before those awards could be presented and banquet officials decided to call it a night. The winners of the New America Award were a team from the Phoenix New Times and the KGTV 10 News I-Team in San Diego.
Sigma Delta Chi, also known as SDX, was founded in 1909 as the journalism fraternity at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. In 1989, after expansion into several other states, the organization changed its name to SPJ and founded the society now known to most journalists around the world.