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Dundalk Eagle, Washington Post win national SDX awards

By T.C. Cameron

Two MDDC members, the weekly Dundalk (Md.) Eagle and The Washington Post, took top honors recently in the Society of Professional Journalists’ annual Sigma Delta Chi awards for 2012.

The Eagle’s Steve Matrazzo was the winner for general column writing, only the fifth time in SDX history in which a non-daily newspaper has won an award in a category that includes daily publications. The Post won three awards.

The general column writing category represented newspapers with daily circulation of up to 100,000 as well as non-daily publications. The category covers over 1,200 of the more than 1,300 daily newspapers in the U.S. and more than 6,200 non-dailies.

Matrazzo was honored for columns offering commentary on economic issues, criticizing government secrecy and defending facts in the face of falsehoods.

"It's a huge honor," Matrazzo said a statement distributed by the Eagle. “It's especially gratifying that a distinguished panel of journalists chose to give this kind of recognition to a community weekly. It's also an important affirmation for The Eagle, and for the many community papers that aspire to provide quality journalism to their readers."

Matrazzo has previously won awards from MDDC, the National Newspaper Association and the Maryland chapter of the SPJ. He and the other Sigma Delta Chi honorees will receive their awards at a banquet at the National Press Club in Washington June 21.

"The Eagle is fortunate to have an editor of his caliber,” said Eagle publisher Deborah Cornely. “His columns are always well-informed, well-reasoned and well-written. I learn a lot from them and enjoy reading them even when I disagree with his point of view. We are heartily celebrating his achievement."

The Post competed in the daily newspaper division for papers with circulation of more than 100,000. Its winners included Robert O’Harrow Jr., in the Non-Deadline Reporting category for “Zero Day;” David S. Fallis, Scott Higham, Kimberly Kindy and Dan Keating in Washington Correspondence for “Capital Assets;” and Spencer S. Hsu for Public Service for “Forensic Science.”

The Sigma Delta Chi awards were first given in 1939. SPJ is a 103-year-old professional organization headquartered in Indianapolis with more than 9,000 members nationwide.

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