Post-Gazette leads way in contest for Pa. papers

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The Post-Gazette won more awards than any other large-circulation newspaper in the state in the 2014 Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors News Excellence Competition.

It captured eight first places and six seconds for stories, visuals and digital content across a range of categories, from investigative reporting, blogging and column writing to video, photography and sports deadline reporting.

The Philadelphia Daily News had the second-highest tally of awards with six firsts and three seconds. The Philadelphia Inquirer had three firsts, the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News had two firsts and the Tribune-Review took one first place.

Awards will be presented at PAPME's annual convention and banquet in State College on May 30.

The PG's first-place winners:

Investigative Reporting: Joe Smydo, Andrew Rush, Julia Rendleman and James Hilston for "After Mayview: A System Under Siege" (five-part series, started Sept. 22, 2013).

Column Writing: Tony Norman for "Someday, Today's Gun Laws Will Be Absurd" (April 19, 2013).

Blogging: James O'Toole, Tim McNulty, Karen Langley and Andrew McGill for Early Returns, the PG's politics blog.

News Use of Video: Steve Mellon for "Alzheimer's Tightens Its Grip on Former Pilot" (Nov. 30, 2013).

Online Coverage of Breaking News: PG staff for "Shooting Outside Brashear High School" (Nov. 13, 2013).

Sports Deadline Reporting: Brady McCollough for "That Winning Season / Eat It Up, Pirates Fans: Your Team Is Officially a Winner Again" (Sept. 10, 2013).

Photo Story: Julia Rendleman for "A Family Gripped by Grief" (June 16, 2013).

Sports Photo: Matt Freed for "New York's Casey Cizikas Just Misses Serious Injury" (May 12, 2013).

Second-place winners

Blogging: Bob Batz, Melissa McCart and Gretchen McKay for PG Plate food blog

Business Writing: Mark Belko for "Why Did It Fail?" about the fate of the produce terminal in the Strip District compared with those in other cities (Sept. 8, 2013).

Feature Writing: Michael Fuoco, Rebecca Droke, Andrew McGill and Laura Schneiderman for "After Suicide: When All That's Left Is 'Why?' " (May 5, 2013).

Spot News Reporting: Jon Schmitz, Paula Ward and Kaitlyn Riely for "Flash Flooding Leaves Widespread Damage," "Heavy Rain Inundates Area Roads," "Rain Came Down" (July 2013).

General News Reporting: Rich Lord and Robert Zullo for a collection of stories on issues surrounding Pittsburgh's Housing Authority (November 2013).

Photo Story: Julia Rendleman for "The Worlds of Autism" (four-part series starting Oct. 6, 2013).

In other contest news, a series of stories done by Liz Navratil and Jon Silver following the murder of Ka'Sandra Wade ("A 911 Call's Deadly Aftermath") has been named a finalist in the prestigious Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, which honors investigative and watchdog journalism produced by news organizations around the globe. The PG stories were recognized in the category "Investigations Triggered by Breaking News."

More than 500 stories were entered across all platforms in the contest. Awards will be presented at the annual IRE Conference in San Francisco in late June.

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