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Times Writer Wins Award for Magazine Story

April 24, 2001

Los Angeles Times science writer Robert Lee Hotz has won the 2000 magazine writing award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a story titled "Searching for Lost Honor."

In the piece, which ran last year in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Hotz recounted his quest to find out what happened to his uncle, William Archibald Willison, who died in the World War II battle of Dunkirk as the Germans pushed the British to the sea.

The 2000 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for Excellence in Journalism were announced Monday in Indianapolis. The contest drew 1,542 entries in 45 categories.

"The journalism recognized by these awards sets both the pace and standard for working journalists across the nation,' said Paul K. McMasters, president of the SDX Awards Foundation board of directors.

Other winners included:

Deadline Reporting (circulation 100,000 or greater): Stephanie Desmon and Antigone Barton of the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post for their coverage of the Lake Worth Middle School shooting.

Non-Deadline Reporting (circulation 100,000 or greater): Judy L. Thomas of the Kansas City (Mo.) Star for "AIDS in the Priesthood," a comprehensive study on the Catholic priesthood and its AIDS epidemic.

Investigative Reporting (circulation 100,000 or greater): Joe A. Stephens, Mary Pat Flaherty, Deborah Nelson, Karen Deyoung, John Pomfret, Sharon LaFraniere and Doug Struck of the Washington Post for "The Body Hunters," an international investigation of risky American medical human experiments in Third World countries.

Feature Reporting (circulation 100,000 or greater): Tom Hallman Jr. of the Oregonian for "Boy Behind the Mask," the compassionate story of a horribly deformed youngster who risked everything on a dangerous surgery he hoped would make him appear more normal.

Foreign Correspondence: Ian Johnson of the Wall Street Journal for "A Death in China," a report of China's repression of the Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa.

Public Service (circulation 100,000 or greater): Mark Katches, William Heisel, Ronald Campbell, Michael Goulding and Sharon Henry of the Orange County Register for "Body Brokers," a five-part series and follow-ups on tissue donation that changed laws, sparked a federal investigation and prompted widespread industry reform.

The awards will be presented Oct. 4-6 at the 2001 SPJ National Convention in Seattle.

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