SPJ Winners’ Circle

notablogger.jpgWe stand aghast. SPJ, once again, will honor “journalists” who represent the best of “journalism” with “journalistic integrity,” a practice that by definition completely ignores bloggers.

Where’s the “Woke Up and Read the LAT Every Morning Better Than Anyone Else” award? Or the “Bloggers Who Put the Most Strain On Their Personal Relationships In Order To Get A 150-Word Scoop” recognition?

Whatever. We’re so despondent we couldn’t even finish reading the nice bios of Larry Altman, Dave Bryan and George Skelton that SPJ put in its press release (Mogadishu? Try getting a table at The Grill with no reservation and a toddler on your hip, buddy). But if you feel like reading them, here they are:


LOS ANGELES – The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will honor four local journalists at its 31st annual awards banquet this spring. The honorees are Larry Altman of The Daily Breeze, Dave Bryan of CBS 2-KCAL 9, Eric Leonard of KFI-AM (640) and George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times.

“We are privileged to be honoring four journalists with an exceptionally broad range of experiences and accomplishments,” said SPJ-LA President David Dow. “They have excelled in national stories and the big stories next door. They represent the best in journalistic talents and instincts.”

SPJ-LA presents 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 accomplishments over the course of several years. Over the past two decades, the chapter has recognized reporters, editors and photographers in print and broadcast journalism. In 1997, the chapter began honoring journalists in four categories: television, radio, newspapers with a circulation of less than 100,000 and newspapers with a circulation of 100,000 or more.

Details about the date and location of the banquet soon will be announced and posted at: www.spj.org/losangeles

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to promoting high standards of ethical behavior and encouraging the free practice of journalism. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.



DAVE BRYAN joined KCAL-TV (Ch. 9) as a political reporter in March 1994 and became part of the combined CBS 2-KCAL 9 news team in January 2003. Throughout his career, Bryan has been on the front line of many breaking stories both locally and abroad. In 2003, he filed reports from Iraq, where he was the only Southern California television journalist embedded with the U.S. Marines. He traveled to Mogadishu in December 1992, where he covered Marines’ efforts to ease tension among the local warlords and relieve the famine that was ravaging Somalia. Bryan has also covered presidential campaigns and elections for more than 25 years. For most of the past two decades, Bryan’s beat has been California politics. He has received numerous awards, including the UPI Maurice Williams Award and the Columbia-Dupont Award for enterprise reporting.


ERIC LEONARD has been obsessed with news since birth, or sometime shortly thereafter. He became a reporter at KFI-AM (640) when he was only 18-years-old. Leonard has spent the last 11 years covering wildfires, wild trials, and wily politicians. He won a Golden Mike award in 2003 for best investigative reporting for uncovering political arm-twisting and illegal fundraising inside the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. In 2005, Leonard broke the story about radicals plotting to attack local synagogues and military recruiting stations. He also spent weeks living outdoors in New Orleans covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This year, Leonard busted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for riding a motorcycle without a license.


GEORGE SKELTON has been writing about government and politics for more than 45 years, mostly from Sacramento for the Los Angeles Times. He has covered seven governors, starting with Pat Brown. For the past 14 years, Skelton has written the twice-weekly Capitol Journal column. In his 33 years at the Times, Skelton has served as a White House correspondent (covering President Reagan), Sacramento bureau chief, political editor and a political writer. Before joining the Times, he was Sacramento bureau chief and state political writer for United Press International. Skelton began his career as a sports writer.