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38th Annual Professional Recognition Awards and Scholarship Dinner

April 30, 2016, 6 PM cocktails, 7 PM dinner

at Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Road

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Poynter
  • Every Friday until the elections, the Washington Post will flood social media with fact checks
    Commentators may be waxing lyrical about the "post-fact" era, but readers — at least at The Washington Post — don't seem to be buying it. Back in July, National Digital Editor Terri Rupar noticed traffic to the Republican National Convention liveblog "really spiked" when the Post announced on social networks that it would include analysis […]
  • The New York Times is launching digital-first teams to cover gender, education and climate change
    The New York Times appears to be getting further away from its print roots in a bid to cover the news on a variety of platforms. That's the impression one comes away with after a close look at three new job ads from The New York Times posted Friday morning. The ads, which seek editors […]
  • How USA Today unraveled Ryan Lochte’s Rio drama
    Last Thursday, Taylor Barnes and other journalists crowded into a theater across the street from a police station in Rio de Janeiro. The police were there to talk about what happened with four U.S. Olympic swimmers at a gas station the previous Sunday. David Meeks, managing editor of USA Today Sports Media Group, was watching […]

Saundra Smokes

The Post-Standard

Herald-Journal

Herald American

"I see through the eyes of a Christian, an African-American, a woman, a journalist, an aunt, a daughter. Someone who feels at ease with all kinds of people. I try to bring that varied perspective to my columns," says Saundra Smokes.

"Sandy," as she is known to friends and colleagues, became the first person of color in the history of the Syracuse Newspapers to sit on the Herald-Journal's editorial board in 1985. She also is the first person of color to write a full-time opinion column for the newspapers.

She has won numerous honors and awards as her career climbed from reporter to local columnist, to the editorial board, to syndicated columnist, and then back to The Post Standard as an editorial writer, copy editor, and editorial board member.

Upon her return to the editorial board in 2003, she initiated the series, "Taxpayers Held Hostage," which won a first place community service award from the New York State Publishers Association. Sandy also received awards for commentary (editorials and columns) in 1993 and 1994 from the Associated Press.

A Syracuse native, Sandy started writing while in elementary school and continued with soap operas about her middle-school classmates. After graduation, she attended the University of Buffalo. In 1978, she joined the Herald-Journal as a "copy kid," an employee who does all sorts of odd jobs in the newsroom. Soon, however, she began writing feature stories. She was promoted to reporter covering city and county news, and later, she became a copy editor.

In November 1992, a column on the outcome of the first trial of Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King, was picked up by newspapers nationwide. The following year, Sandy began writing a regular opinion column for the Syracuse Newspapers.

Seven months after she began writing the local column, United Features Syndicate selected Sandy to write a column they would syndicate across the United States. Twenty-two newspapers picked up her work each week for eight years. In 2003, she returned to The Post-Standard to write editorials and work on the copy desk.

Her awards include the 1998 Urban League Harriet Tubman Award, the Ann Felton Memorial Award and Community Service Award from the Syracuse Chapter of the NAACP, Citizen of the Year from Omega Psi Phi fraternity at Syracuse University, the Great Leader Award from the Onondaga County Political Women?s Caucus, the Marjorie Dowdell Fortitude Award from Delta Sigma Theta fraternity at SU, and the Pit Bull Award from the Greater Syracuse Communications Group. She also received the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Stands Award.

Sandy also writes plays, including "A Tribute to Motown" and "In Our Own Backyard," and a video drama, "Daddy's Home," which won a Cable Ace award. --Joseph A. Porcello

 

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 August 2012 20:44 )
 
    "Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation’s heart, the excision of its memory."
--Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Wall of Distinction


Andy Brigham

WIXT

WTVH (WHEN-TV)

Club President: 1986

He was more than once likened to Mike Wallace of TV's "60 Minutes" and early in his career, the Syracuse New Times cited him as "the best investigative reporter in Syracuse."
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