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Longtime AP correspondent to receive SDNA Distinguished Service Award

Chet Brokaw, who for more than three decades covered state government and most every major news event in South Dakota as a reporter and correspondent for The Associated Press, will receive South Dakota Newspaper Association's Distinguished Service Award during the group's upcoming convention.

Brokaw will be honored Friday during SDNA's 132nd annual convention in Pierre.

Brokaw retired last month at the end of main portion of the 2014 legislative session. He was recognized in both legislative chambers during his last day. Gov. Dennis Daugaard declared March 14 Chet Brokaw Day. During his career, Brokaw reported on 33 legislative sessions in South Dakota for the AP.

Brokaw graduated from Iowa State University in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He was an economist focusing on urban renewal and expansion projects in Botswana for four years, two of those as a Peace Corps volunteer. After his time in Africa, he earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He joined the AP in 1981, working in Jefferson City, Mo., for six months before moving to Pierre in June 1981.

During his tenure with the AP in South Dakota, he covered major statewide elections, Black Hills forest fires and the 1993 death of Gov. George Mickelson in a plane crash.

"Chet Brokaw's work as an Associated Press reporter and correspondent in South Dakota since 1981 cut a wide swath," said SDNA President Steve Baker, publisher of the Pierre Capital Journal. "He has filed thousands of stories from here in Pierre that have been published and broadcast by news media across South Dakota and beyond. It is an honor to recognize him for his work and contributions to journalism in South Dakota."

The SDNA Distinguished Service Award is given to someone who has demonstrated outstanding service to the newspaper profession in South Dakota.

South Dakota Newspaper Association, founded in 1882 and based in Brookings, represents the state's 130 weekly and daily newspapers with total readership of more than 600,000.

-Source: South Dakota Newspaper Association