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Pulliam award 2014

Article and photos ($75,000 for study of Boston busing fallout)

This page is related to the package of Masthead coverage of AOJ Symposium 2014.

(Video link added 9/26/14) (reposted 1/5/2016)

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Pulliam award finances study of race
in U.S., with look back to Boston busing

The 34th Pulliam award goes to Farah Stockman of the Boston Globe, to study race relations since the city's school busing crisis and to seek solutions to lingering pains there and elsewhere.

 She received the award and jumbo check friom Robert Leger, opinions editor of the Arizona Republic and president of the SDX Foundation, at the Association of Opinion Journalists 2014 Symposium in Mobile. (And yes, he had tips for how to get it home in today's jammed air travel system.)

The Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing is presented by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the educational arm of the Society of Professional Journalists. It awards $75,000 each year to an outstanding editorial writer or columnist to help broaden his or her journalistic horizons and knowledge of the world.

The award can be used to cover the cost of study, research and travel. The fellowship results in editorials and other writings, including books. The SDX announcement detailed it:

Stockman, a columnist and editorial writer for the Boston Globe, will use the fellowship to explore race relations in her city and beyond. Using Boston’s wrenching experience with school busing as a starting point, she plans to look closely at the myriad impacts 40 years later. She hopes to spark a national conversation about race relations in America today through stories, columns and a website created to invite ideas on how to navigate the currents.

“I believe the lessons of the past need to be explored, so we can chart a better future,” Stockman wrote in her fellowship application.

 (At the AOJ event, her remarks indicated a need to revisit the history, not to reopen old wounds or do belated finger-pointing, but rather to open a dialog about dealing constructively with lingering social sores in the present. -JM)

(video 34 secs on how she got started

Leger said the award was named for Pulliam, an Indiana newspaperman who helped start SDX in Indiana in 1909, and was established by his wife, Nina "to help support mid-career opinion writers by letting them escape the daily grind." 

Of Stockman's plans, he said, "Recent events in Ferguson, Mo., occurred after we had chosen Farah for the fellowship, but they reminded us how much this conversation is needed."

The judges included chairman Todd Gillman, former Sigma Delta Chi president and Washington Bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News; Fred Brown, a former SPJ president and longtime Denver Post columnist; Sandra Shea, the editorial page editor for the Philadelphia Daily News and 2012 Pulliam Fellow; and Hugh Bailey, a Connecticut Post columnist and 2013 Pulliam Fellow.

The judges agreed that Stockman was the best choice out of the 46 entries. Bailey said Stockman was “a clear choice” in a strong field of contenders.

“She's brilliant – a stellar writer and reporter with a deep curiosity,” said Gillman. “Her energy is apparent. We have no doubt that Farah will use this opportunity to offer valuable insights into race relations.”

Apart from the look at Boston’s experience with busing, Stockman plans to examine the way other communities handled school integration, and to offer recommendations for healing old communal wounds.

Brown said: "Farah has the potential to turn out something quite stunning. Two things particularly impressed me about her proposal: Her stunning writing ability, and that she wants to propose solutions, not just say what's wrong.”

More about the award and a list of previous winners.
Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ ( promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

Founded in 1947 as the National Conference of Editorial Writers and renamed in 2012, AOJ promotes the craft of professional opinion writing and the related editorial responsibilities in all media.

(top of this story) (back to AOJ Symposium 2014 coverage)

(posted 9/25/14 12:15 cdt JM updated video 9/26 12:30) (reposted 1/5/2016)

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