SPJ's 5 'Distinguished Journalist' winners for the year

The Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will honor ABC7 investigative producer Lisa Bartley, "Marketplace" senior business correspondent, L.A. Times staff writer Bob Pool, L.A. Business Journal reporter Howard Fine and Jesus Sanchez, founder, editor and publisher of The Eastsider LA. All will get their honors at a banquet in the spring. The group also plans to give its Freedom of Information Award to Donald L. Zachary, attorney and counsel for the Radio-Television News Association. Bios via SPJ after the jump.


Lisa Bartley is an investigative producer at ABC7, Eyewitness News. She’s a graduate of UCLA and has been with ABC7 since 2000. Bartley began her first paid job in journalism at KCAL. From there she started line producing on the overnight shift at KESQ, after which she landed at KNTV in Las Vegas. At ABC7, Bartley has been a writer, field producer, line producer, she learned to shoot and edit, and has even been on-air. Most meaningful to her has been her investigative work on a series about the MTA that looked at the disparities and treatment of disabled people who depend on the MTA to get around. That series resulted in the Board of Supervisors ordering a full-scaled review of the agency and a Department of Justice investigation looking into ADA violations. Bartley’s ongoing series on serial plaintiffs has also had an impact. A California state senator who is fighting to get legislation passed that would cut down on frivolous lawsuits is using her stories. Bartley has also worked as a field producer during the trials of Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson. She received an Emmy nomination for investigative reporting in the MTA series and a Genesis award for a piece on greyhounds who were rescued from racetracks.


Bob Moon is senior business correspondent for American Public Media’s Peabody Award-winning Marketplace. His prior assignments include covering the White House, the U.S. space program, and five years as Marketplace’s New York bureau chief. Moon’s career spans nearly four decades. He has reported on stories from all 50 states and far-reaching international datelines. Before joining Marketplace in 2001, he served for two decades at The Associated Press. As White House correspondent for The AP’s broadcast division, Moon witnessed President Ronald Reagan’s famous “Tear down this wall” speech in what was then West Berlin. For more than 10 years, Moon covered the U.S. space program, describing firsthand more than 50 shuttle launches and landings, and even logging a session in NASA’s shuttle flight simulator at Mission Control. Moon won several national awards while heading radio news departments in Salt Lake City and was lead evening anchor and news director at WLEX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Lexington, KY.

Print (circulation over 90,000)

Bob Pool is a general assignment reporter on the metro staff of the Los Angeles Times. He joined the newspaper in 1983 after spending a dozen years as a reporter-photographer at the Thousand Oaks News Chronicle. At the Times, Pool has primarily written news features. Among his more than 3,600 Times stories was a 12-part series in 1990 that detailed the month he spent in a Santa Claus suit at shopping malls across Los Angeles – including his Christmas Eve appearance at the wrong mall. When it turned out the Glendale Galleria already had another Santa on duty, the Galleria’s manager saved the Times’ Santa’s padded behind by letting him fill in during their guy’s lunch hour. He’s been sued (the case was thrown out), shot at (the shooter told authorities it was “a warning shot”) and assaulted (a firefighter pulled the attacker off). All three incidents occurred at the News Chronicle. A Los Angeles-area resident since 1958, Pool has a journalism degree from San Fernando Valley State College, now California State University, Northridge.

Print (circulation under 90,000)

Howard Fine joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 1997 as staff reporter covering state and local government and politics and their impact on local businesses. He has also covered energy, transportation and banking and finance for the Business Journal. Fine has won several awards, including the top individual prize from the Association of Area Business Publications for best overall body of work. He also won AABP awards for his coverage of California’s recall election and energy crisis. Recently, he won a Los Angeles Press Club award for Best Business Story for a package on the revitalization of South L.A.’s Crenshaw corridor. Prior to joining the Los Angeles Business Journal, Fine spent seven years as the government and environment reporter for the Orange County Business Journal. He also covered utilities, engineering, transportation, economic development and professions. At the OC Business Journal, Fine won the top award for Best News Story and two second-place awards for environmental beat reporting from the Orange County Press Club. He was also named in an Orange County chamber member survey as the most credible business reporter. Prior to the OC Business Journal, Fine was Orange County Bureau Chief for City News Service. A Los Angeles native, Fine graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Bates College, a liberal arts school in Lewiston, Maine. He obtained a Master of Science degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Distinguished Work in New Media

Jesus Sanchez, editor and publisher of a community-based news blog, The Eastsider LA, has worked as a newspaper journalist and a blogger for nearly 25 years. Sanchez has primarily reported on business news for such publications as USA Today and the Los Angeles Times. After covering a variety of beats for the Times Business section, Sanchez served as one of the newsroom's first online reporters. Sanchez studied journalism at East Los Angeles College and received his bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach, where he majored in business. The Los Angeles native lives in Echo Park.

Freedom of Information Award

Donald L. Zachary, attorney and counsel for RTNA, practices intellectual property, transactional business and litigation in Los Angeles. His battle for First Amendment rights has included fighting for cameras in the courtroom, provisions for the news media to interview jurors, even media parking issues. Zachary has extensive experience in copyrights and trademarks, constructing business relationships and negotiating agreements and in litigation. With more than 30 years of experience in state and federal courts and as a former vice president, law, west coast for NBC, Zachary has extensive experience in entertainment and communications law in television, feature films and publishing. Zachary was listed three times in ALM Magazine as one of Southern California’s Best Lawyers in the area of intellectual property law. Zachary graduated from University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a law degree.

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