Two Reporters Win Tobenkin Honors for Investigations

Reporter Julie Lyons of the Dallas Observer has won the 1995 Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award of the Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism for articles exposing racial discrimination in two small Texas towns.

And Margaret A. Jacobs of The Wall Street Journal has won a special Tobenkin citation for her article "Men's Club," which showed how women who charge sexual harassment in the securities industry are required to take part in a secret arbitration process that lets abuse go unpunished.

The Tobenkin awards were presented by Dean Joan Konner of the Journalism School at a ceremony yesterday at the school.

They recognize "outstanding achievement in newspaper writing in the fight against racial and religious intolerance and discrimination, reflecting the spirit of Tobenkin," a reporter for 25 years with The New York Herald Tribune before he died in 1959.

Lyons was honored for a five-month investigation, "Bred into Hatred," focusing on the death of Craig Thomas, 29, a black man who was hog-tied and beaten unconscious by white police officers in Corsicana, Texas, and died in their custody.

Wall Street Journal reporter Margaret Jacobs spent 10 months finding ways to get inside the security industry's mandatory arbitration process, in which hearings are confidential written opinions nearly unheard-of, damages tiny, and appeals almost always futile.

Columbia University Record -- May 17, 1995 -- Vol. 20, No. 29