PWPA Announces 2016 Excellence in Journalism Awardees

The Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association is proud to announce the winners of its 2016 Excellence in Journalism Awards.  The entries were a stellar representation of the best of journalism coverage in Pennsylvania.

PWPA will recognize winners at an awards luncheon May 21 at the Hilton Harrisburg during the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s 2016 Pennsylvania Press Conference weekend. 

“This year, we saw a lot of strong work in our contest, both from old and new members.  It’s exciting to see how our members embrace new ways of telling stories, whether it’s through animations and visualizations, video or fresh takes on important topics,” PWPA President Daveen Rae Kurutz said.

“It’s always exciting to see the fantastic entries submitted by the women and men from across the state who are striving to ensure we’re all on equal ground in the newsroom,” she said.

At the luncheon, the winner of PWPA’s top prize, the Journalist of the Year Award, will be named.  The Journalist of the Year is the man or woman who accumulates the most points from category wins. 

PWPA’s Excellence in Journalism Awards contest does not have divisions based on circulation or publication frequency – all newspapers and news websites compete against one another. All of the contest entries were judged by out-of-state media professionals. 

Congratulations to all of the 2016 Excellence in Journalism winners!

2016 Excellence in Journalism Winners

Class 1.  General News

First Place: Megan Guza, Tribune-Review, “System Couldn’t Save Girlfriend, Grandmother”

Second Place: Betsy Hiel, Tribune-Review, “Egypt Terrorism Law Rattles Journalists”

Third Place: Kari Andren, Tribune-Review, “Inmate’s Requests Swamp Pa. Open Records office”

Honorable Mention: Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times, “Many Beaver County Districts Haven’t Kept Copies of Immunization Reports”

Class 2. Sports

First Place: Madasyn Czebiniak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Bigger Than Basketball”

Second Place: Christine Haines, Herald Standard, “Beating the Heat”

Third Place: Katie Bambi Kohler, The Times Herald, “Khalif Wyatt Returns to Hometown to Host Norristown Appreciation Day”

Class 3.  Lifestyles

First Place: Lini S. Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer, “Life Unearthed”

Second Place: Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times, “Let’s Talk Turkey”

Third Place: Patrice Wilding, The Times Tribune, “Top Hair Trends You Need to Know About Now”

Honorable Mention: Betsy Hiel, Tribune-Review, “Egyptian Needlework at Risk of Disappearing”

Class 4.  Features

First Place: Jenny Wagner, The Beaver County Times, “A day of devastation: Emergency Response After 1985 Tornado Became a Model for Present-day Disasters”

Second Place: Kristen Doerschner, Beaver County Times, “Who Was She?”

Third Place: Christine Haines, Herald-Standard, “Family Feeling Pervades Cardale”

Class 5.  Opinions

First Place: Christine Haines, Herald Standard

Second Place: Lisa Micco, The Beaver County Times

Third Place: Cheryl Hatch, The Meadville Tribune

Class 6.  Business/Consumer

First Place: Daveen Rae Kurutz, The Beaver County Times, “Drive to Succeed”

Second Place: Debra Erdley, Tribune-Review, “Kennametal Offered $1M to Stay in Pa.”

Third Place: Romy Varghese, Bloomberg, “Philadelphia Pays Retirees Bonus amid Pension Gap”

Class 7.  Series

First Place: Halle Stockton, PublicSource, “Troubled Kids, Powerful Drugs”

Second Place: Brandy Hadden, The Beaver County Times, “Animal Matters”

Third Place: Kristen Doerschner, The Beaver County Times, “Cold Case: Beaver County”

Class 8.  Profiles

First Place: JoAnne Klimovich Harrop, Tribune-Review, “Cleaner to the Stars”

Second Place: Gia Mazur, The Times Tribune, “Cut from the Heart”

Third Place: Patrice Wilding, The Times Tribune, “To Hell and Not Going Back”

Class 9.  Page Design

First Place: Mary Beth Eastman, The Beaver County Times

Second Place: Colleen Pendergrast, Bucks County Courier Times

Third Place: Kristin O’Malley, The Times Tribune

Class 10.  Enterprise

First Place: Daveen Rae Kurutz, The Beaver County Times, “A Billion Dollar Bite”

Second Place:  Kristen Doerschner, The Beaver County Times, “No Such Records Exist”

Third Place: Romy Varghese, Bloomberg News, “Lifeguards Get Pensions?”

Honorable Mention: Natasha Khan, PublicSource, “Two Men. One Coal-ash Dump. No Answers”

Class 11.  Health/Science

First Place: Daveen Rae Kurutz, The Beaver County Times, “Snap Shot”

Second Place: Dana Massing, Erie Times-News, “Tick Battle”

Third Place: Jenny Wagner, The Beaver County Times, “The Tip of The Iceberg”

Honorable Mention: Lini S. Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer, “Raising Awareness of a Rare Disease”

Joanne Klimovich Harrop, Tribune-Review, “Tattoos and Love Eternal”

Class 12.  Education

First Place: Daveen Rae Kurutz, The Beaver County Times, “No Easy Answers”

Second Place: Sarah Hofius Hall, The Times-Tribune, “Teachers Wanted”

Third Place: Lini S. Kadaba, The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Taking Prison at Its Roots”

Honorable Mention: Jo Ciavaglia and James McGinnis, Bucks County Courier Times, “How Safe Are School Meals?”

Class 13.  Travel/A&E

First Place: Lini Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer, “On Safari After”

Second Place: Jenelle Janci, LNP, “Dead Ahead”

Third Place: Jennie Geisler, Erie Times-News, “Wine to the West”

Class 14.  Headline Writing

First Place: Brian Yermal, Altoona Mirror

Second Place: Mary Beth Eastman, The Beaver County Times

Third Place: Patricia Sheridan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Class 15A.  News/Feature Photography

First Place: Stephanie Strasburg, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Second Place: Justin Merriman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Third Place: Steph Chambers, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Class 15B.  Sports Photography

First Place: Stephanie Strasburg, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Second Place: Steph Chambers, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Third Place: Justin Merriman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

 

Class 16.  Video

First Place: Sarah Stemen, Erie Times-News, “Our Fight: Erie in World War II”

Second Place: Stephanie Strasburg, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “2015 Pittsburgh Marathon”

Third Place: Guy Wathen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Snapshots of Poverty: Linda Davis”

Honorable Mention: Gwen Titley, The Beaver County Times, “Mysterious Case of Embalmed Head Found in Economy Woods Weighs on Investigators”

 

Class 17.  Multimedia

First Place: Guy Wathen, Tribune-Review, “A World of Color and Sound”

Second Place: Stephanie Strasburg, Tribune-Review, “Pope in America”

Third Place: Lini S. Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer, “Vocal Training”

 

Class 18.  Religion

First Place: Stacey Federoff, Tribune-Review, “Jewish Congregations Dwindling”

Second Place: Debra Erdley, Tribune-Review, “Point Marion Embraces Fiji Immigrants, Their Traditions”

Third Place: Jenelle Janci, LNP, “Pastor Learns to Play and Pray with Guitar”

Honorable Mention: Betsy Hiel, Tribune-Review, “Egypt’s Churches Charred to Shells”

 

Class 19.  Outdoor/Environmental

First Place: Kelly Cernetich, Altoona Mirror, “Taking up Residence: Bald Eagles Continue to Nest Around Region, Delighting Conservationists, Birdwatchers”

Second Place: Sarah Stemen, Erie Times-News, “Conewango Creek Earns Its Place as Pennsylvania River of Year”

 

Class 20.  Rookie Reporting

First Place: Megan Guza, Tribune-Review

Second Place: Madasyn Czebiniak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

Class 21.  Student Reporting

First Place: Ashley Kolumban, Point Park News Service

Second Place: Gina DiGiorgio, Point Park News Service

Third Place: Madison Taylor, Point Park News Service

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