Post-Gazette leads way with 15 top prizes in Golden Quills

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette won 15 Golden Quills, or first-place finishes, in the annual awards contest sponsored by the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania.

In addition, it took the prestigious Ray Sprigle Memorial Award, named in honor of a legendary Pulitzer-Prize-winning Post-Gazette reporter, for its coverage of ex-Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper’s downfall; and two of its veteran writers — Gary Rotstein and Christopher Rawson — were honored with the Service to Journalism Award for co-founding the annual fundraising show “Off the Record.”

The awards were presented Thursday night at a banquet at the Sheraton Station Square. Golden Quill winners are announced the night of the banquet and are drawn from a list of finalists in wide-ranging categories of work entered by the region’s print, radio, television and magazine outlets. Besides its first-place finishes, the PG had 50 finalists. Its nearest large-circulation print competitor, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, had five first-place finishes and 13 finalists.

The Post-Gazette Golden Quill winners were:

Spot/Breaking News (for daily newspapers and wire services, circulation 45,000 and over): Staff award for print and online coverage of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s decision to withdraw from his race for re-election.

Editorial Cartoon: Rob Rogers, “Independence Day.”

Feature Article or Series: Tracie Mauriello, Rebecca Droke and Andrew McGill, “Newtown, Conn., One Year Later.

Community Engagement News, Online: Staff, on Tumblr.

Education: Eleanor Chute and Mary Niederberger, “Missing Class” series on the problems of absenteeism in classrooms across the region.

Videography: Andrew Rush, “Bridges of the Allegheny.”

Health/Science/Environment — Online: Staff, “After Suicide,” stories, videos and an interactive on the incidences and impact of suicide.

Health/Science/Environment — Article or Series: Mark Roth, Julia Rendleman and Laura Schneiderman, “Mysteries of the Mind,” an occasional series on how patients and their doctors cope with and treat specific mental health issues.

History/Culture: Staff, “30 Years/30 Changes,” a four-part look at Pittsburgh’s transition from its Steel City roots to today.

Arts & Entertainment: Mackenzie Carpenter, “Does America’s First Book Rate a $30 Million Price Tag?

Food Feature: Bob Batz Jr., “Trees to Table: Penn’s Woods Shares Some Sap.”

Sports Photography: Peter Diana, “Sidney Crosby Scores His First Goal of the Series.”

Sports Article or Series: Brady McCollough, “This Is No Game,” a series on the Pressley Ridge school and its basketball program.

Editorials: Reg Henry.

Enterprise/Investigative Story: Rich Lord, Jon Silver and Liz Navratil, “Police Chief’s Outside Businesses Questioned.”

Best-of-Show Ray Sprigle Memorial Award: Rich Lord, Jon Silver and Liz Navratil, “Police Chief’s Outside Businesses Questioned.”

Service to Journalism Award: Gary Rotstein and Chris Rawson founded “Off the Record” in 2001. The musical satire of Pittsburgh news and newsmakers, co-sponsored by the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh and SAG-AFTRA Pittsburgh, has raised $300,000 for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The Post-Gazette finalists were:

Spot News Photography — Bob Donaldson (“Explosion Levels Moon Home”), Larry Roberts (“A Family Gripped By Grief”)

Spot/Breaking News Online — Nate Guidry (“Residents Recall Evacuation from Burning Building”)

Spot/Breaking News, Daily Newspapers — Kaitlyn Riely, Teresa Lindeman and Len Boselovic (“Heinz Sold”); and Staff (Pope Francis).

News Illustration — Daniel Marsula (“Green Energy Fantasies”)

Feature Illustration — Daniel Marsula (“Cheeeww on This”), Daniel Marsula (“Les Moz”)

Editorial Cartoon — Rob Rogers (“Medieval Care”)

Page Design — Holly Artz and Daniel Marsula (“Cheeeww on This”), Ben Howard (“Gettysburg: Hinge of History”); Steve Ziants and James Hilston (“The Talent Drain”).

Photo Essay — Michael Henninger (“Defense of Marriage Act”)

Feature Photography — Michael Henninger (“Extreme Pogo”)

Personality Portrait — Michael Henninger (“The Macks, United in Marriage”); Larry Roberts (“Vita Opulence with Full Plumage”).

Online Feature — Tracie Mauriello, Rebecca Droke and Andrew McGill (“Newtown: One Year Later”)

Feature Article or Series — Gary Rotstein and Steve Mellon (“A Life Hijacked: Alzheimer’s Insidious Slide”)

Community Engagement News, Online — Staff, on Storify.

Education — Mary Niederberger (“Corbett’s Pension Proposal Drawing Concerns”); Mary Niederberger (“Wilkinsburg Schools Spent $500,000 on Consultants Over Three Years”); Bill Schackner (“For Onliners, Graduation Is First Day on Campus”).

Business/Technology/Consumer — Deborah Todd (“Haiti’s Digital World”)

Videography — Steve Mellon (“Alzheimer’s Tightens Its Grip on Former Pilot”); Julia Rendleman (“Family Left to Cope With Loss of Three Boys to Gun Violence”); Andrew Rush (“Living Without Arms”).

Health/Science/Environment Online — Julia Rendleman (“Current of Autism Runs through Family”)

Health/Science/Environment Article or Series — Sean Hamill (“VA Lapses Cited in Fatal Outbreak”); Gary Rotstein and Steve Mellon (“A Life Hijacked: Alzheimer’s Insidious Slide”)

History/Culture — Marylynne Pitz, Kevin Kirkland and Laura Schneiderman (“Bridges of Pittsburgh”).

Arts & Entertainment Online — Doug Oster (“Artist Eunsuh Choi Works Magic with Glass”)

Arts & Entertainment Article or Series — Maria Sciullo and Adrian McCoy (“Radio Days”); Robert Zullo (“Frights Burgh”)

Food — Melissa McCart (“Greens & Beans”); Melissa McCart (“Servers for Life”); Hal B. Klein (“Meet the Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Second in Command”).

Sports Photography — Peter Diana (“Champagne Toast for the Winning Pirates Coach”); Matt Freed (“New York’s Casey Cizikas Just Misses Serious Injury”); Michael Henninger (“Rally Cry”)

Sports Reporting Online — Michael Henninger (“Surf Pittsburgh Takes on the Three Rivers”); Andrew Rush and Gerry Dulac (“The Best Par 3 Golf Holes in W. Pa.”)

Sports Article or Series — Mark Dent (“The Well-Kept Secret That Is the Multiyear Scholarship in NCAA”).

Editorials — Susan Mannella; Tom Waseleski

Columns — Reg Henry; Tony Norman

Continuing Blog — Seth Rorabaugh (Empty Netters); Mila Sanina, Steve Mellon and Marylynne Pitz (The Digs).

Enterprise/Investigative Article or Series — Staff (“Ex-Bodyguard: Mayor Knew of Credit Union Debit Cards”).

First Published May 22, 2014 10:01 PM

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