The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce that longtime journalist Sandy Banks will be the mistress of ceremonies at the group’s 40th annual Distinguished Journalists Awards dinner.
The annual awards banquet will be held on Thursday, April 14 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel in downtown. The cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.
During a journalism career that spanned almost four decades, Sandy Banks explored and explained the forces that shape our public conversations and impact our private lives.
Her 36-year-career at the Los Angeles Times included stints covering education, religion, criminal justice and race relations. She also served as an editorial writer, assistant metropolitan editor and director of the newsroom’s diversity efforts, and was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
But she is best known for her twice-weekly Times columns, which offered a personal perspective on social and economic issues of the day. She wrote frequently on education, foster care, criminal justice, race, homelessness and mental health – serving as a voice for the ignored, unheard and unknown.
Her work has been honored by a broad range of journalism organizations and civic groups. She was named the Distinguished Print Journalist of 2013 by SPJ/LA.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she is a widow and the mother of three now-grown daughters, and has lived in Northridge for almost 30 years. She left the Los Angeles Times in December 2015 and is now teaching journalism at Cal State Northridge, consulting with community groups and working on a book about her family and the legacy of race.
This year, the Distinguished Journalist honorees are: Steve Loeper, West Coast entertainment editor at the Associated Press; Frank Suraci, city editor of the Daily Breeze; Frank Mottek, business news anchor at KNX; David Ono, co-anchor for ABC7 Eyewitness News; and Adrian Glick Kudler, senior editor of Curbed LA.
The Freedom of Information award will go toTheodore Boutrous, a partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
The chapter will also recognize Don Barrett, who chronicled the personalities behind Los Angeles radio news for nearly 20 years on LARadio.com, and longtime journalism instructor Kathleen Neumeyer, a former reporter with United Press International and a freelance writer.
Tickets for the event are:
- $100 for SPJ/LA members
- $140 for non-members
- $80 for students
- Tables of 10 are available for $1,000
To make a reservation, please contact Alice Walton at AliceMWalton@gmail.com or (310) 595-5612.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available, as are program ads to congratulate this year’s honorees.
SPJ/LA presents the Distinguished Journalist awards to members of the profession who demonstrate good news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and a passion for getting the story right. Honorees are journalists who have achieved a record of career accomplishments. For four decades, the chapter has recognized reporters, editors and photographers in print and broadcast journalism. Since 1997, the chapter has honored journalists in four categories: television, radio, newspapers with a circulation of less than 90,000 and newspapers with a circulation of 90,000 or more.
The Distinguished Work in New Media award, now simply the Distinguished Journalist award in the digital category, was created in 2008 and is given to a journalist who uses digital media’s unique characteristics and capabilities while striving to uphold traditional journalism’s highest standards of honesty, accuracy, responsibility and accountability.
The Freedom of Information award honors a non-journalist who has helped promote First Amendment issues. Previous winners have worked in the legal profession, academia, government and nonprofit organizations.
Platinum ($5,000): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, event signage, logo included on banquet website and in emails, one complimentary table at the event.
Gold ($2,500): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, five complimentary tickets to the event.
Silver ($1,500): Acknowledgement in the banquet program, logo included on banquet website and in emails, two complimentary tickets to the event.
Here are other ways to support SPJ/LA:
Purchase an ad in the banquet program
This is a great way to recognize the achievements of this year’s honorees:
Full page ad on back of program: $500
Full page inside program: $350
Half-page ad inside program: $250
Quarter-page ad inside program: $150
Sponsor a student
For $80, your donation will cover a journalism student’s attendance at the event.
Donate directly to SPJ/LA to help fund scholarships or other programs.
Please contact Banquet Chair Alice Walton if you are interested in supporting SPJ/LA’s 2016 Distinguished Journalists Awards Banquet.