South Sound magazine proudly announces that it has been awarded the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award by the Society of Professional Journalists in the category of Public Service journalism for its in-depth report on family homelessness in Pierce County.
The award recognizes the most outstanding professional journalism in the nation. The Society of Professional Journalism’s Sigma Delta Chi Awards have been an annual tradition since 1932 — past recent recipients include a who’s-who list of media powers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, CBS and TIME. The Public Service category is not only judged by the quality of the article, but evidence of courage and initiative in overcoming opposition, effectiveness of presentation and results obtained.
The awards reception will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on June 20.
South Sound’s multimedia story, “The State of Family Homelessness In Pierce County,” not only featured a large series of print stories and photography, but also videos and an original song written specifically for the project. “We really stepped outside of our usual coverage areas to create this package. It’s like nothing we’ve ever done before,” South Sound’s editor in chief Lisa Patterson said. “We are honored to be recognized and are inspired to produce more stories about social issues and other important issues that matter to our readers who also responded favorably.”
The project was supported by a grant from the Seattle University Center for Strategic Communications Department of Communication, under a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the project is to educate individuals about issues happening in their communities in the hopes of fostering change.
South Sound magazine’s team was led by Jeff Burlingame, an NAACP Image Award-winning author of 30 nonfiction books and winner of more than a dozen regional SPJ awards. Burlingame’s team of writers included South Sound staff writer Lauren Foster, as well as Burlingame’s University of Puget Sound intern, Danielle Meeker. The team spent more than a year researching, compiling and producing the report, which appeared as the cover story “Bridging the Gap” in the August/September 2013 issue.
The package can be viewed online at southsoundmag.com.