Leader series on SIST wins first place in national contest
A series of stories written by Tim Ryan of the Shawano Leader received a first place award from the Suburban Newspapers of America.
Ryan’s series — “Sorting Fact, Fiction & Faith: An in-depth look at Dr. R.C. Samanta Roy,” received the top honor among all daily newspapers entering the “Best In-depth Reporting” category in the annual competition. Entries for newspapers under 25,000 and over 25,000 circulation were judged together in this category.
The seven-day series, totaling 20 stories and more than 20,000 words, was published in October 2004. Ryan had spent much of the previous several months gathering and reviewing records, conducting interviews and piecing together other details and information about Samanta Roy and the not-for-profit organization he heads, SIST.
“These series of stories helped address the concerns and questions of many area residents about Samanta Roy and the growing number of property purchases and businesses SIST and its subsidiaries operate in Shawano,” said Leader editor Kent Tempus. “This award is an acknowledgment by journalism professionals of the outstanding effort by Tim to fully explain Samanta Roy’s and SIST’s background, as well as their relationship to the community and local government agencies.”
At the time the series was published, SIST had purchased more than $8 million of businesses and property in and around Shawano (now more than $12 million). Representatives of SIST have said that their intent was to establish an international boarding school in Shawano.