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Contact Awards Coordinator Abbi Martzall via email or by phone 317/927-8000, ext. 210.

Awards & Honors Committee Chair

Andy Schotz
City editor
The Frederick News-Post
Frederick, Md.
Bio (click to expand) picture Andy Schotz is a city editor for the Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Md.

He has been an SPJ member since 2002 and has held various positions on the Washington, D.C., Pro chapter board, including three consecutive one-year terms as president.

He served on the SPJ Ethics Committee from 2004 to 2011, including three years as chairman.

Schotz ran unsuccessfully for at-large director on the national SPJ board in 2012. The following year, he ran unopposed for Region 2 director.

He is a perennial SPJ contest judge (D.C. Pro Dateline Awards, SDX, Mark of Excellence, Green Eyeshade, high school essay) and has twice coordinated Region 2's Mark of Excellence contest.

He joined the SPJ Awards & Honors Committee in 2013 and helped work on a national survey seeking feedback about the MOE contest.

Before joining The Gazette in January 2013, Schotz worked for eight years as a reporter and editor at The Altamont Enterprise, a weekly paper in upstate New York, then for 13 years as a reporter for The Herald-Mail, a daily paper in Hagerstown, Md. He has worked at The Frederick News-Post since September 2015.

He is on the board of directors of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

Sarah Bauer, vice chair
Program Director
Minnesota Newspaper Association
Bio (click to expand) Sarah Bauer is the Program Director for the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA). MNA is the trade association all Minnesota Newspapers, and represents the interests of more than 360 daily and weekly publications. Bauer plans all educational and outreach programs for the Association, including hands-on training for journalists, public forums on media issues, an annual excellence in journalism contest, and its annual convention.

Bauer speaks regularly about media ethics issues, community journalism, social media, and issues like the intersection of journalism and politics. Bauer graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in journalism and philosophy. She has been involved with the Society of Professional Journalists as member and chapter leader since she joined the University of Minnesota’s chapter. Since 2006, Bauer has served on the MN Pro chapter board of directors, currently serving as the chapter president and chair of its annual journalism award contest and banquet. She is also the chairwoman of the Society’s national membership committee.

SDX 2002 Awards Gallery

Journalism Research

Narrowing the academic gap

By Marilyn Greenwald

The relationship between journalists and mass communication researchers has historically been a tenuous one. To journalists, communication research is frequently esoteric, takes a long time to do, and seems to provide few if any answers to practical questions. To communication researchers, the done-in-a-day nature of journalism is anecdotal and can be a quick snapshot that sheds little light on bigger-picture issues.

As times goes on, however, mass-communication researchers and reporters and editors may find that their jobs have more in common. As culture, society and technology rapidly change, both researchers and journalists find themselves faced with many new and pressing questions – questions such as how to ensure that news consumers are sophisticated enough to identify subtly biased “news”; how to get younger people interested in the news; and how to sort out coverage in an industry dominated by fewer and fewer mega-corporations.

In the last decade or so, researchers and journalists have managed to live harmoniously. While reporters must concern themselves with what has happened, researchers, overall, try to discover why it has happened, and the roles are complementary. Covering the “what” is certainly a difficult job – one that requires the collection and interpretation of hundreds of facts that usually must be distilled and described in several hours or less. It is often impossible for reporters and editors to worry about the “why.” Discovering the “why” is much more time-consuming and usually takes extensive study of a topic, sometimes over several months or years. That is the job of researchers, who have the luxury of time.

Certainly the changing complexion of news over the past few years also has forced researchers and news gatherers to work together. With the recent explosion of health and science coverage, some reporters have become “researchers” in their own right and have been forced to understand the seemingly complicated numbers and research techniques they once scorned. And, as the 2000 presidential election proved so dramatically, most journalists cannot be content to leave it all to the experts – covering polling and having the ability to identify reliable survey techniques and methods may now be part of reporters’ jobs.

As most seasoned reporters and researchers know, their jobs are very much related – both have the burden of interpreting complicated concepts and explaining them in understandable ways. And both realize that as technology advances during this century, their jobs will not get any easier.

Marilyn Greenwald teaches at Ohio University and won the 2000 SDX Award for research about journalism.