KOKOMO, Ind. – Not often does a small town sports publication garner national attention. But that is what has happened to our very own publication. Less than 16 months after its debut, the Sports Journal of Central Indiana staff learned it will be awarded one of the most prestigious awards in journalism – the 2011 Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. The Sports Journal won in the category of sports photography (newspaper circulation 1-100,000, regional magazine, non-daily publication or online independent). The first awards were presented in 1932.

“I am stunned! This is an outstanding honor,” said Sports Journal Owner/Publisher Dean Hockney, who launched the publication on Jan. 11, 2011. “It is truly amazing that the Sports Journal has been recognized by the SPJ. Our readers constantly tell us how much they love our pictures, and I guess they are right.”

The award was earned for the March 22, 2011, front cover picture taken by Photo Editor William Gibson. The shot is of Kokomo High School’s D.J. Balentine hitting the game winning 3-pointer against No. 1 ranked and previously undefeated Munster in the IHSAA Class 4A Lafayette Semi-State. Balentine’s basket sent the
Wildkats to the state championship game.

“I am humbled by this award,” said Gibson. “I was really in the right place at the right time. And I want to thank the Society for recognizing our hard work. This is a thrill and I am very excited.”

Gibson is being recognized for taking the actual picture and Hockney for the subsequent workup and layout of the front page photo.

“For as small a publication as we are, I am thrilled that we are being recognized,” Hockney said. “We are a low budget publication with a small staff, but we know our photography is something that is a draw since every picture we publish is of high quality and in color. When I started the Sports Journal, I wanted our photography to be top notch and a focal point each week.

“As a former athlete and huge sports fan, William Gibson understands the game and that gives him an advantage on where to be on the floor or in the field for the best chance for a good shot. His picture of Balentine at the semi-state is a case in point.”

Greg Rakestraw, an on-air sports personality for Hometown Sports and News and ESPN 1070 the Fan in Indianapolis, said the Sports Journal is at the forefront of the new age of journalism.

“One of the best things I have seen come down the pike in the last year or two, when it comes to covering local sports, it is the Sports Journal,” he said. “That is  ahead of its time, ahead of the curve, as far as covering from a local sports standpoint. They are there to chronicle the stories of young athletes and that is wonderful.”

Sigma Delta Chi Awards are one of the most prestigious in journalism and is awarded by the SPJ – the largest journalism organization in the United States. Other publications that were honored with 2011 Sigma Delta Chi awards include WISH-TV (Indiana State Fair tragedy coverage), The (Muncie) Star Press, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, Chicago Tribune, 60 Minutes, Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  For a complete list of winners, visit the Sports Journal website.

In July, Hockney and Gibson will travel to the National Press Club in Washington,
D.C., to accept the award.



Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 100,001+)

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Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)

Capitol shocker – by Staff, Wisconsin State Journal

Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)

Tropical Storm Irene – by Staff, Valley News (White River Junction,

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Breakaway wealth – by Staff, The Washington Post

Non-Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)

Pill sick – by Matt Lakin, Knoxville News Sentinel

Non-Deadline Reporting (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)

Blue water veterans – by Will Doolittle, The Post-Star (Glens Falls,

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Other People’s Money – by Greg Lamm, Puget Sound Business Journal

Investigative Reporting (Daily Circulation 100,001+)

Shattered trust – by Raquel Rutledge, Rick Barrett, John Diedrich and
Ben Poston, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Investigative Reporting (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)

Danger below: Cancer cluster raises questions about legacy of toxic
waste – by Amy Choate-Nielsen, Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Investigative Reporting (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)

The case of Dr. Konasiewicz – by Brandon Stahl and Mark Stodghill,
Duluth (Minnesota) News Tribune

Investigative Reporting (Non-Daily Publication)

“The Waste Land” and other stories of people living near
garbage – by Rebekah L. Cowell, Schuster Institute for Investigative
Journalism. Published in The Independent Weekly. (Durham, N.C.)

Feature Reporting (Daily Circulation 100,001+)

A Chance in Hell – by Corinne Reilly, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk,

Feature Reporting (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)

Transgender – by Paul Grondahl and Cindy Schultz, Albany Times Union

Feature Reporting (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)

Hard lessons of the tweed – by Candace Page, Burlington (Vt.) Free

Feature Reporting (Non-Daily Reporting)

My father’s bones – by Stefan Kamph, New Times Broward/Palm Beach

Editorial Writing (Daily Circulation 100,000+)

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Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)

Editorial Writing (Daily Circulation 1-100,000/Non-Daily Publication)

Editorials on social justice issues – by Jane Eisner, Forward Newspaper

Washington Correspondence

Disabled system – by Damian Paletta, The Wall Street Journal

Foreign Correspondence

China: Repression and dissension – by Tom Lasseter, McClatchy

General Column Writing (Daily Circulation 100,000+)

Columns by Brian McGrory, The Boston Globe

General Column Writing (Daily Circulation 1-100,000)

Columns by Dan Casey, The Roanoke Times

Sports Column Writing (Daily Circulation 100,000+)

Columns by Sally Jenkins, The Washington Post

Sports Column Writing (Daily Circulation 1-100,000)

Russell monument would cap overdue reconciliation – by Ron Chimelis,
The Republican (Springfield. Mass.)

Public Service Journalism (Daily Circulation 100,000+)

The End of Privacy – by Staff, The Wall Street Journal

Public Service Journalism (Daily Circulation 50,001-100,000)

Jerry Sandusky and Penn State – by Sara Ganim, Donald Gilliland, Ivey
DeJesus and Jeff Frantz, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Public Service Journalism (Daily Circulation 1-50,000)

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Keith Roysdon, The Star Press (Muncie, Ind.)

Public Service Journalism (Non-Daily Publication)

Rotten to the core: An investigation of the McKay Scholarship Program –
by Gus Garcia-Roberts, Miami New Times


Magazine Writing (National Circulation)

Smoke signals – by J. Malcolm Garcia, The Investigative Fund at the
Nation Institute/The Oxford American

Magazine Writing (Regional/Local Circulation)

The Return: One Marine’s story of a mission accomplished, but not
really over – by Sarah Stuteville, The Common Language Project

Magazine Investigative Reporting (National Circulation)

The invisible army – by Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

Magazine Investigative Reporting (Regional/Local Circulation)

Behind bars: Love, sex, rape and New York’s women prisoners – by Kelly
Virella, Marc Fader, Anthony Smyrski and Jarrett Murphy, City Limits (New York

Public Service in Magazine Journalism (National Circulation)

Why your food isn’t safe – by Madeline Drexler, Schuster Institute for
Investigative Journalism. Published in Good Housekeeping.

Public Service in Magazine Journalism (Regional/Local Circulation)

Out at first – by Angela Caputo and Kimbriell Kelly, The Chicago


Breaking News Photography (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)

For those I love I will sacrifice – by Laura Rauch, Stars and Stripes

Breaking News Photography (Newspaper Circulation 1-100,000 or Online Independent)

Violence, vandals divide a movement – by Ray Chavez, Bay Area News

Editorial Cartooning (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)

Cartoons by Matt Bors, Universal Press Syndicate

Editorial Cartooning (Newspaper Circulation 1-100,000, Regional Magazine, or Non-Daily Publication)

Cartoons by Marty Two Bulls, Indian Country Today Media Network

Feature Photography (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)

A lasting toll – by Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times

Feature Photography (Newspaper Circulation 1-100,00, Regional Magazine, or Non-Daily Publication)

Hope for Haiti – by Andrew West, The News-Press Media Group (Fort
Myers, Fla.)

Informational Graphics (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)

The recession’s toll: A Seattle Times report – by Drew DeSilver, Sanjay
Bhatt, Justin Mayo and Whitney Stensrud, The Seattle Times

Informational Graphics (Newspaper Circulation 1-100,000, Regional Magazine, or Non-Daily Publication)

Fracking environmental impact – by Robert Zavala, Dianna Wray and Chris
Cobler, Victoria (Texas) Advocate

Sports Photography (Newspaper Circulation 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine)

Keith Appling – by Jimmy Colton, Steve Fine and John W. McDonough,
Sports Illustrated Magazine

Sports Photography (Newspaper Circulation 1-100,000, Regional Magazine, or Non-Daily Publication)

The shot! – by William Gibson and Dean Hockney, Sports Journal of
Central Indiana


Breaking News Reporting (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)

Death of Osama bin Laden – by Staff, CBS Radio News

Breaking News Reporting (101+ Market)

Tuscaloosa tornado – by Pat Duggins, Ryan Vasquez, Maggie Martin and
Stan Ingold, Alabama Public Radio

Investigative Reporting (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)

Native foster care: Lost children, shattered families – by Laura
Sullivan and Amy Walters, NPR

Investigative Reporting (101+ Market)

Bone marrow testing scandal – by Jon Greenberg, New Hampshire Public

Feature Reporting (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)

Frank’s donation – by David C. Barnett and David Molpus, WVIZ/PBS and
90.3 WCPN ideastream (Cleveland)

Feature Reporting (101+ Market)

Assistance in dying case raises legal and ethical questions in
Connecticut – by Craig LeMoult and Naomi Starobin, WSHU Public Radio
(Fairfield, Conn.)

Documentaries (1-100 Market or Network Syndication)

Our 9/11 – by Staff, WNYC Radio Rookies and PRX (New York City)

Documentaries (101+ Market)

Fear of fracking – by Sandy Hausman, WVTF and RadioIQ (Roanoke, Va.)

Public Service in Radio Journalism (Market 1-100 or Network Syndication)

Danger at work – by John Ryan and Jim Gates, KUOW-FM (Seattle)

Public Service in Radio Journalism (101+ Market)

LIPA struggles to provide oversight of storm costs – by Charles Lane
and Naomi Starobin, WSHU Public Radio (Fairfield, Conn.)


Breaking News Coverage (Large-Market Station 1-50)

State Fair tragedy – by 24-Hour News 8 Staff, WISH-TV (Indianapolis)

Breaking News Coverage (Small-Market Station 51+)

Giddings homicide investigation – by Michelle Quesada and Tyler
Southard, WGXA NewsCentral FOX24/ABC16 (Macon, Ga.)

Breaking News Coverage (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)

World News with Diane Sawyer: Disaster in the Pacific – by Diane Sawyer
and the staff of World News, ABC News

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Desert underwater – by Staff, KLAS-TV (Las Vegas)

Documentaries (Small-Market Station 51+)

32 minutes in May – by Michelle Bogowith and Jim Riek, KOMU-TV 8
(Columbia, Mo.)

Documentaries (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports: Terror in the dust – by Dr. Sanjay Gupta,
Roni Selig,Timothy Langmaid and Stephanie Smith, CNN

Feature Reporting (Large-Market Station 1-50)

When cultures clash – by Tara Rosenblum, Jack Kearney, Gina Curran
& Eric Leeds, News 12 Westchester (New York)

Feature Reporting (Small-Market Station 51+)

15 days: A soldier’s journey home – by Mark Geary, Erik Arendt and Liz
Martin, KCRG-TV9 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Feature Reporting (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)

60 Minutes: Hard times generation (I) – by Scott Pelley, Robert G.
Anderson, Daniel Ruetenik and Nicole Young, CBS News 60 Minutes

Investigative Reporting (Large-Market Station 1-50)

Toxic secrets – by Tammy Leitner and David L. Paredes, KPHO – CBS 5
News (Phoenix)

Investigative Reporting (Small-Market Station, 51+)

Hiding behind the badge – by Lee Zurik, Donny Pearce, Greg Phillips and
Mikel Schaefer, WVUE-TV (New Orleans)

Investigative Reporting (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)

Brian Ross investigates “Peace Corps: A trust betrayed” – by Brian
Ross, Anna Schecter, Rhonda Schwartz and Angela Hill, ABC NEWS

Public Service in Television Journalism (Large-Market Station 1-50)

Bully Project – by News 4 Team, WIVB-TV (Buffalo, N.Y.)

Public Service in Television Journalism (Small-Market Station 51+)

Recording police illegal – by Patrick Fazio, Bob Bruce and Tony Grant,
WTWO-TV (Terre Haute, Ind.)

Public Service in Television Journalism (Network/Syndication Service/Program Service)

The CNN Freedom Project – by Staff, CNN Worldwide Staff


Public Service in Newsletter Journalism

Fukishima fallout – by Douglas P. Guarino, Inside EPA


Research about Journalism

Tablet revolution and non-profit news: Two groundbreaking studies of
emerging trends in journalism – by Tom Rosenstiel, Amy Mitchell and the staff
of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism


Deadline Reporting (Affiliated)

Occupy Burlington shooting – by Staff, Burlington (Vt.) Free Press

Deadline Reporting (Independent)

Gene therapy may reverse hemophilia – by Brenda Goodman, Sean Swint and
Laura Martin, MD, WebMD

Digital Media Presentation (Affiliated)

The reckoning – by Staff, The New York Times

Digital Media Presentation (Independent)

31 days, 31 ways: The casualties of Texas’ budget crisis – by Staff,
Texas Tribune

Investigative Reporting (Affiliated)

Wired for repression – by Vernon Silver, Ben Elgin and Alan Katz,
Bloomberg News

Investigative Reporting (Independent)

Green energy: Contracts, connections and the collapse of Solyndra – by
Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, The Center for Public Integrity in partnership

Non-Deadline Reporting (Affiliated)

Victoria’s secret revealed in child picking Burkina Faso cotton – by Cam Simpson, Bloomberg News

Non-Deadline Reporting (Independent)

Fueling fears – by Jim Morris and Chris Hamby, The Center for Public

Online Column Writing (Affiliated)

American Story with Bob Dotson – by Bob Dotson, MSNBC

Online Column Writing (Independent)

The great recession, c. 2011 – by Robert Scheer, Truthdig

Public Service in Online Journalism (Affiliated)

The Fed’s trillion-dollar secret – by Richard Teitelbaum, Bob Ivry,
Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz, Bloomberg News

Public Service in Online Journalism (Independent)

Poisoned places: Toxic air, neglected communities – by The Center for
Public Integrity in partnership with NPR and Investigative News Network

Specialized Journalism Site

SchoolBook – by Staff, The New York Times and WNYC

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