The Society of Professional Journalists Los Angeles chapter gave me their award last Thursday for Distinguished Work in New Media. Why, thank you very much.
It's fun to hang around other journalists, and we don't do it in Los Angeles a whole lot, probably because everything is so far-flung. So that made it especially rewarding to be in a room where the core values of fact-checking, accountability and fairness and the sheer adrenaline rush of getting-the-damn-story-out were shared at every table.
Jeff Fager (pictured), the chairman of CBS News, was the keynote speaker. He took the opportunity to laud old-fashioned journalistic values which include, at least at "60 Minutes," the best in TV journalism, no focus groups.
Other recipients for distinguished work in print, radio and television included:
Marty Sauerzopf, City Editor, City News Service Dan Evans, Editor, Community Newspapers, Los Angeles Times Beverly White, Reporter, NBC Los Angeles Andy Ludlum, Director of News Programming, KNX Newsradio 1070/KFWB News Talk 980
Jean-Paul Jassy, Attorney & Counsel for SPJ/LA, won an award for his work defending the First Amendment. I was thrilled to accept on behalf of TheWrap, which at four years old and as a digitally native brand has earned the respect of our journalistic peers. Folks, I'm here to tell you: it can be done. Robert Scheer, a past recipient of the same award and the founder of Truthdig.net, was kind enough to present the award with an introduction that made me blush and will not be repeated here. (Thanks Bob! pictured right)
The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation's largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to promoting high standards of ethical behavior and encouraging the free practice of journalism. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.