BALCO Journalists to Speak at 2008 Sunshine State Awards Banquet

Williams and WadaFORT LAUDERDALE — Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru Wada, the San Francisco Chronicle investigative team that exposed the explosive BALCO steroid scandal, are slated to speak at the 14th annual Sunshine State Awards banquet sponsored by the South Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Williams and Fainaru-Wada are co-authors of Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports. The New York Times bestseller led to a vigorous investigation into steroid use in major league baseball. When in May 2006 the reporters were called before a grand jury to reveal their sources or face an 18 months prison sentence, they opted for prison. Williams and Fainaru-Wada, however, appealed and the government dropped the subpoena in February.

Williams and Fainaru-Wada, the recipients of several awards including the George Polk, Edgar A. Poe and Dick Schaap Excellence in Journalism awards, will be the keynote speakers at the awards dinner hosted by the South Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The winners of this year’s competition will be announced on Saturday, May 31st at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel.

The Sunshine State Awards honors the best online, print and television journalism in the state of Florida and is the largest journalism contest in the state. Journalists from throughout the state come to the banquet every year.

Founded in 1909, SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

SPJ’s 9,000 members work to promote the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; inspires and educates the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

For more information about the awards banquet or to reserve a seat, contact Julie Kay at (954) 303-3384.

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