The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has picked six journalists to honor at its banquet next April. The winners of SPJ's Distinguished Journalist Award:
Beth Barrett, Daily News
Bob Banfield, KABC-TV
John Rabe, KPCC and "Off-Ramp"
Tom Tugend, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
Scott Glover and Matt Lait, L.A. Times (Freedom of Information Award)
Bios from the release after the jump:
Barrett has been a leading investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Daily News since 1986. She was the first to report on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's affair with former Telemundo newscaster Mirthala Salinas. Barrett's stories have included disclosing U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston's acceptance of nearly $1 million from businessman Charles Keating, radioactive and chemical pollution at Rockwell International's Southern California nuclear research laboratory and the LAPD's record of excessive force prior to Rodney King.
Banfield, a broadcaster with 52 years of radio and television experience, joined KABC-TV in 1967 as a field reporter. Working in the "Eyewitness News" Inland Empire bureau, Banfield has covered the sprawling Riverside and San Bernardino counties for more than a quarter of a century.
Rabe, a creative and skilled storyteller, landed his first job in radio before graduating from high school. His first public radio job was covering city and county government for WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan. (He crashed the station car during his first month on the job.) He eventually tired of the cold and moved to California to join KPCC. After hosting All Things Considered and reporting on health care and housing issues, Rabe now hosts his own show, "Off-Ramp," a weekly program about news, arts and life in Southern California.
Tugend has come a long way since his days as a copyboy at the San Francisco Chronicle. The award-winning journalist is now a contributing editor for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and West Coast correspondent for The Jerusalem Post in Israel, Jewish Chronicle in Britain, and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in New York. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Hadassah Magazine, Lifestyles Magazine and other publications. He has contributed to a number of books, including a profile of Steven Spielberg in “Jewish Family & Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values."
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AWARD
Glover has been at the Los Angeles Times for 10 years, covering the LAPD, working on the paper’s investigative team and most recently, serving as an investigative reporter in the city-county bureau. Before going to the Times, Glover worked at daily newspapers in Oregon, New Jersey and Florida. He has won numerous local, state and national awards for investigative reporting, including the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. He received the Heywood Broun Award in Washington, D.C., for stories undermining the 20-year-old murder case against a San Fernando Valley man imprisoned for killing his mother. Glover was also a key contributor to the Times’ coverage of the 2003 California wildfires, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.
Lait has been a reporter with the Los Angeles Times for 17 years. Prior to joining the Times, he worked as an editorial assistant and reporter for two years at the Washington Post. He has won more than a dozen local and state awards for his reporting. Lait played roles in two staff efforts that resulted in Pulitzer Prizes for the Times, one for coverage of the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, the other for coverage of the 2003 California wildfires. He received the Heywood Broun Award in Washington, D.C. for stories undermining the 20-year-old murder case against a San Fernando Valley man imprisoned for killing his mother. Lait was recently promoted and is now a legal affairs editor overseeing coverage of courts and police.