Sandi Soendker, editor-in-chief of Land Line Magazine, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA) at the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show. Soendker, who has been covering the trucking industry for 26 years, is the latest recipient of this award celebrating a person who exhibits the highest standard of journalism or communications within the trucking industry over a career.
“This is the highest award bestowed by TWNA, and we are pleased to be presenting it to Sandi this year,” said TWNA Executive Director Tom Kelley. “Her dedication to our industry is unparalleled.”
Based in Grain Valley, MO, Land Line Magazine’s editorial policy encompasses informing truckers, the trucking industry and various government agencies about issues related to the industry.
A reporter/editor for more than 40 years, Soendker has worked for daily newspapers, small town weeklies and horse magazines. But it is at Land Line where she developed her passion for the industry and discovered the role that advocacy journalism plays in trucking.
When interviewed for an article on What it Takes to Be a Good Reporter Soendker explained, “I am a cause-oriented person. I always have to have a cause, be fighting for the little dog, to right wrongs, expose bad people, to shine a light in dark places. Trucking is full of wrongs, unjust rules and regulations, overworked drivers and in general ugliness.”
“Advocacy journalism in this industry is a niche that is custom-made for a person like me,” Soendker continued. “Covering this industry from my unique corner office at OOIDA headquarters is like riding with the James Gang. You need a fast horse and the ability to get in close, but not get shot.”
In addition to serving on the board of directors of OOIDA and the board of directors of the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Research Fund, Soendker is also a member of Truck Writers of North America, Women In Trucking, Kansas City Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists, Missouri Quarter Horse Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association.
Sandi has interviewed countless subjects over her career. Her favorite, however, was in 1978 at Claiborne Farm in Paris, KY, with a 16-2 hands race champion – Secretariat. And he never said a single word.
Previous winners of the TWNA Lifetime Achievement Award include Rolf Lockwood, Don Alles, David A. Kolman, Tom Berg, Mike Pennington, Jim Winsor, Paul Abelson, RJ Taylor and Bob Deierlein.