Multimedia Journalist Germany Kent Honored as first African American Woman to receive prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Online Independent Deadline Reporting

Germany Kent is an American print and television journalist, radio personality, author, and producer. Her 2018 coverage of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California won the Sigma Delta Chi in Online Independent Deadline Reporting; Kent is the first African American woman to achieve this honor in this category from the Society of Professional Journalists.


Multifaceted journalist Germany Kent was chosen as one of 77 recipients nationwide to receive the preeminent Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism


WASHINGTON – Germany Kent, a multimedia journalist and radio personality based out of Los Angeles, has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists for her exceptional work with Online Reporting: Deadline Reporting (Independent). The veteran journalist was honored recently in style in our nation's capital at the annual Sigma Delta Chi Awards, some of the most prestigious and coveted awards given to journalists, becoming the first African American woman to be awarded in this category. 


Kent joined an elite crowd of media professionals from across the nation to receive the honor. The award commemorates an impressive rise for Kent. This year, there were 77 winners determined from nearly 1,300 submissions, according to SPJ. The banquet, hosted by NBC News chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson, was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. 


The Sigma Delta Chi Awards are open to any work published or broadcast by a U.S. or international media outlet. Contest judges are journalists from across the country, each of whom has established a reputation for journalistic excellence in his or her own right. 


In describing its criteria for the award SPJ said, “Each award recognizes resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”


Kent's work, titled "Tragedy in Thousand Oaks," focused on the mass shooting that happened northwest of Los Angeles last fall at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California where a former Marine opened fire on a packed bar, killing 12, including college students and a veteran sheriffs sergeant. 

The project, which includes exclusive footage and exclusive interviews, features survivors, parents of the victims, law enforcement and detailed coverage of the funeral for the slain officer. Through careful reporting with digital video, incisive writing and palpable concern for victims, the work portrays insight with great detail about the impact of violence, crime, disaster, and other trauma.

The "Tragedy in Thousand Oaks" national story became the 307th mass murder of 2018. Kent's work is dedicated to victims worldwide and advancing the knowledge of mass shootings with additional resources provided. The aspects of value to the reader or viewer is showcased through the content, design, writing, editing, and compact piece of work that covered a lot of ground from all sides of the issue through in-depth reporting over a period of time. The work, comprised of compelling journalistic content, and technical visual quality, was shot, edited, produced, and published by Kent.


"I am deeply humbled and grateful to receive such a prestigious award from one of the most respected journalism organizations in the country. To be recognized by my peers is an incredible honor and that makes this award very special," said Kent.  


A recipient of many prestigious awards, Kent’s work has been published in INC. Magazine, Fast Company, Bloomberg, AOL, Yahoo News, MSN, and Forbes. The prominent Mississippi native is a voice for digital media ethics and her tireless commitment and unwavering perseverance in the areas of bullying and cyberbullying prevention. She has been instrumental in bringing national attention to social media etiquette. Kent is widely respected as a role model, change agent, and for providing visionary leadership and has been noted for her strategic insights where she has been influential in the areas of community activism, entrepreneurship, in academia, and as a former executive in corporate America. 


Kent was previously recognized by media giant Onalytica being named on its Top 100 Social Media Influencers and Brands list. In 2017, Soledad O’Brien selected Kent to sit on a branding panel for the National PowHERful conference in Atlanta, co-sponsored by billionaire businesswoman Sara Blakely. As a Scholar and practitioner, Kent is committed to advancing the field of media and has served as a guide to many aspiring journalists. She has forged paths created to help advance others in arts and entertainment and helped countless others Segway into the entertainment industry. 


While Kent is renowned as a media personality, content creator, and producer, she is also a celebrated national bestselling award-winning author and multiple international award-winning humanitarian who has used her success as a media entrepreneur to promote literacy, civic engagement, and charitable works. Kent continues to be a woman of prominence through her personal achievements and excellence in media; commitment to human rights and social justice issues; and contributions to the betterment of society. 


The Sigma Delta Chi Awards date back to 1932 when the Society of Professional Journalists first honored six individuals for contributions to journalism. The current program began in 1939 when the organization awarded the first Distinguished Service Awards. These awards later became the Sigma Delta Chi Awards. 


Each year, the Society recognizes the best in professional journalism in categories covering print, radio, television, newsletters, art/graphics, online and research. Other honorees this year include Reuters, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, PRI's The World, PBS NewsHour, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, Newsy, Nieman Reports, NPR, Fortune, and The New York Times.


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