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Post and Courier's special report on Santee Delta receives top national journalism award

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Santee tributaries.JPG (copy)

You can still see traces of old rice fields amid the tributaries of the Santee Delta near the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center. File/Lauren Petracca/Staff

The Society of Professional Journalists on Friday awarded a prestigious national Sigma Delta Chi Award to The Post and Courier for the special report Our Secret Delta.

Written by Tony Bartelme and Glenn Smith with photography by Lauren Petracca, "Our Secret Delta" detailed the history and increasing vulnerability of South Carolina's storied Santee Delta watershed.

The story published Sept. 15, 2019, brought new scrutiny to a state lawmaker's effort to open the area to hunting, a legislative effort that failed, along with a plan to string power lines through the fragile area. It also exposed a dilapidated but historically important plantation home owned by the University of South Carolina.

The Sigma Delta Chi Awards highlight "exceptional professional journalism" and are among the oldest and most coveted honors in American journalism. The Post and Courier won first-place honors in the feature category for a newspaper with a circulation less than 100,000.

The Boston Globe won the large newspaper category for its climate report "At the edge of a warming world."

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