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    Chris Ziegler, a former founding editor at The Verge, was employed at Apple this summer while he worked for the tech and culture website, Verge Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel announced in an open letter Friday. Being employed at a company your newsroom covers regularly represents a clear conflict of interest, but Patel says Verge parent company […]
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    The Daily Beast will publish Saturday the first major piece of writing by famed New York City columnist Jimmy Breslin in more than a decade. That news comes from John Avlon, the Beast’s editor in chief, who once included five Breslin columns in his anthology of great newspaper columns titled “Deadline Artists.” The Daily Beast […]
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    In further evidence of the growing importance of platforms like Facebook, Apple News, Twitter and Snapchat, CNN has added a director of mobile and off-platform to its growing programming team. Marcus Mabry, who ran Twitter Moments for U.S. and Canadian audiences, will oversee CNN's mobile and off-platform efforts, including those on Apple News and Amazon […]

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 )
 
"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."
--Thomas Jefferson

Wall of Distinction


Paul Ennis

WIXT

WSTM

Paul Ennis came to Syracuse as the first member of his family to enroll in college. Good teachers in the public schools of his hometown, Port Chester, New York, had given him encouragement and approval as a writer, so he entered Syracuse University knowing he would somehow work with language.
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