Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sweeps Keystone Press Awards contest with 23 awards

Takes sweepstakes honors in Division I

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The Post-Gazette won more honors than any large-circulation newspaper in the state in the Keystone Press Awards contest, making it the sweepstakes champion in Division I of the annual competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.

In total, the PG took 23 awards across a range of categories -- news, business, features, sports, photography, videography, design, online and in a specialty best-of-show category honoring distinguished visual work.

Other newspapers competing with the PG in Division 1 of the competition include The Philadelphia Inquirer, which won 15 awards; the Philadelphia Daily News (15 awards); The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News (10); Lancaster Newspapers (7); The (Allentown) Morning Call (6); and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (3).

The Post-Gazette placed first in 10 categories, second in seven and received an honorable mention in five more.

First-place winners, Keystone

Spot News: coverage of the release of the Freeh Report on the investigation into the Sandusky scandal at Penn State University (reporters Jon Schmitz, Paula Ward, Mark Dent, Moriah Balingit).

Ongoing News Coverage: multiple stories surrounding the shooting at Western Psychiatric Institute (staff award, lead reporters were Sean Hamill, Jonathan Silver and Michael Fuoco).

Special Project: 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic (staff award, lead reporters were Maria Sciullo and David Templeton).

Series: "Locked and Dammed," a multiday look at the perilous condition of the region's, and nation's, waterway control system (Len Boselovic).

Sports story: narrative feature on a Penn State recruit dealing with a violent family tragedy (Brady McCollough).

News Beat Reporting: portfolio of higher education stories covering news and issues on campuses across Pennsylvania and in West Virginia (Bill Schackner).

News Photo: rescue of an abducted baby (Michael Henninger).

Feature Photo: a woman living with tainted water showers outside during a rainstorm (Julia Rendleman).

Page Design: a portfolio of Weekend and Suburban section front designs (Ben Howard).

Video Storytelling: water problems at the Woodlands (Julia Rendleman).

2nd-place winners, Keystone

Series: "The Luckiest Man Alive," an occasional series in The Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette on Neil Alexander as he and his family cope with his ALS diagnosis (Kaitlynn Riely).

News Feature Story: how gunshot survivors heal and move on (Mark Roth).

Online Special Project: Pipeline, the PG's niche website on Marcellus Shale development (Erich Schwartzel).

Sports Beat Reporting: a portfolio of high school sports stories, from features to analysis to an obituary (Mike White).

Feature Photo: student dancers in silhouette at Point State Park (Lake Fong).

Photo Story: portraits of the Tom and Mary Ellen Clark clan of McKeesport (Michael Henninger).

Video Storytelling: "A Life Hijacked," the latest chapter in a story about an ex-pilot's battle with Alzheimer's (Steve Mellon).

Honorable mentions, Keystone

Sports event coverage: NCAA tournament coverage (staff award).

Online Special Project: "Heroin's Siren Song" (Michael Fuoco, Rebecca Droke, Andrew McGill).

News Photo: family reacts to death of Odell Brown (Darrell Sapp).

Feature Photo: Tea Party kicks off in Cranberry (Michael Henninger).

Graphic/Photo Illustration: portfolio of illustrations from artist Daniel Marsula.

Mr. Marsula also was recognized in a best-of-show category, Distinguished Visual Work, for a portfolio of illustrations that ran in the PG's Sunday Forum section. Mr. Marsula has won this prestigious award in three of the last four years.

The awards will be presented at a banquet in Harrisburg in May.

Other contests and honors

Pipeline received the Digital Innovation Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

SABEW names three winners in every category. The other Digital Innovation recipients were the Financial Times for its coverage of the Libor scandal and USA Today for its "Ghost Factories" investigation of smelting pollution.

Mr. Schwartzel, business writer, heads up the Pipeline team of staff and community contributors. The awards will be given at a ceremony in Washington in early April.

Mr. Schwartzel also will be recognized in the April edition of Editor & Publisher as one of "25 Under 35" young leaders in journalism today. According to E&P, he was selected for the annual honor for his comprehensive niche coverage of the natural gas drilling boom and its effects on the community in and around Pittsburgh. Mr. Schwartzel, 26, has been with the Post-Gazette for 3 1/2 years and has won numerous awards for his work on Pipeline and for his business reporting.

PG staffers also won three awards of excellence in the annual Society of Newspaper Design international competition:

• Mr. Howard, designer, was recognized in two of those categories for a Sports section front design that carried the headline "Upgraaade" and for a suburban section front titled "The Marcellus Impact."

• Graphic artist Ed Yozwick, who provided the illustration for the Marcellus package, shared in that honor with Mr. Howard.

• Photographer Bill Wade was recognized in the sports photo category for a picture of an airborne wrestler participating in a Keystone State Wrestling Alliance program.

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