Sandy Close, executive editor and director of Pacific News Service (PNS), was presented with the 2012 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence on Dec. 6, 2012. She spoke about the importance of telling the stories of the voiceless in society and joined a panel discussion on the future on independent journalism with Lisa Chedekel, senior writer and co-founder of the Connecticut Health Investigative Team; Xujun Eberlein, a Chinese-American writer; and Margaret Engel, executive director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation. The discussion was moderated by Laura Amico, founder and editor of HomicideWatch D.C. and a 2012 Nieman-Berkman Fellow.

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