L.A. Times Earns Three Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the SPJ

Solar panels sprawled out in the Mojave Desert.
Times staff received the Sigma Delta Chi award for science, environmental and climate reporting for a series of ‘Repowering the West’ stories, including a look at the solar sprawl tearing up the Mojave Desert.
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)
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The Los Angeles Times has received three Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. The awards, which recognize outstanding work published or broadcast in 2023, were presented in a virtual ceremony on July 9.

Times Foreign Correspondent Max Kim received the award for feature reporting (circulation 40,000+), while Times staff were recognized in the categories of deadline reporting and science, environmental and climate reporting.

Kim won for his Column One piece, For 40 years he blamed himself for a girl’s murder. Then came a shocking discovery, which relays the compelling story of Choi Byung-moon, who was a private first class in 1980 in the Chun Doo-hwan military junta in South Korea. The junta had just seized power in a coup d’etat and declared martial law when Byung-moon was ordered to count the number of bodies in a minibus after a brigade opened fire on it. As he counted, a girl on the bus stood up, leading to a situation that haunted him for decades.


Staff of The Times were honored for deadline reporting for a series of stories around the Monterey Park mass shooting. Among the winning body of work was a report on how the massacre unfolded, a reflection on how the incident shattered the hope and joy of Lunar New Year and an editorial on the familiarity of mass shootings.

Lastly, Times staff received the science, environmental and climate reporting award for several stories within the Repowering the West series. The winning stories included a feature on the conflict between agriculture, renewable power and water supply in the Imperial Valley, a look at the solar sprawl tearing up the Mojave Desert, and an investigation into hydropower with a focus at Idaho’s Brownlee Dam.

Visit to see the complete list of winners and watch the ceremony.