Congratulations to Winners of the 2019 Golden Quill Awards, Especially The Pittsburgh Current and PublicSource – Yay!

I was pleased to see so many familiar names (and media pieces) among the winners of the 2019 Golden Quill awards. The Golden Quills recognizes professional and student excellence in print, broadcast, photography, videography and digital journalism in Western PA and nearby counties in Ohio and West Virginia.

A very special shout-out to my colleagues at the Pittsburgh Current for their awards. Not too shabby for a publication not even a year old that is building a solid presence in Pittsburgh media worlds. Now that the City Paper is officially a daily publication, the Current is one of the few local alt-weeklies in the region. That’s all-around good news. The City Paper can’t replace the no-longer daily Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but it is certainly a strong competitor with the legacy necessary to step up.

The PublicSource team also matters to me as I’ve worked with several of them as both a contributing essayist and for multiple local stories as a source. I feel their important work very deeply and I feel honored to get to work with so many different folks in various capacities. They have outstanding editorial staff working with community folks like me to craft our stories via written word.

Very, very big shout-outs to Tereneh Idia, and Jessie Sage for their awards in Excellence in Written Journalism, Daily – Columns/Blogs. Tereneh took the win in the category and Jessie is a finalist. We’ve been honored to work with both of them here at this blog and they inspire and inform me on a regular basis. I’m a columnist for what is deemed a rival media outlet, but among the columnists – there’s no rivalry or competition or pettiness. We share one another’s work with our own audiences, we compliment one another, we lift one another up. That’s not bullshit (I wouldn’t be eligible in this category) and I’ve got receipts to prove how media can cooperate together.

And I want to give a shout-out to the WESA Politics & Government team, headed by Chris Potter, for their multiple awards. This investment by public radio has been critically important for this region. And I believe Chris Potter is among the best, if not the best, journalist in Western Pennsylvania (perhaps beyond.) If NPR tries to snatch him away from WESA, we need to resist!

A complete list of winners and finalists is available here.

A few awards that resonated with me:

Excellence in Audio Journalism – Spot/Breaking News
Winner: “Protests of Police Shooting Continue for Fourth Night, This Time on South Side,”
Chris Potter and Kathleen Davis, WESA

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – Spot/Breaking News
Winner: “We’re Still Squirrel Hill,” Ann Belser, Print
Finalists:
“The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting,” Haley Frederick, Jake Mysliwczyk and Amanda Reed,
Pittsburgh Current

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – Traditional Feature
Winner: “The Fix: The Men Who Didn’t Disappear,” Brittany Hailer, PublicSource

Excellence in Video Journalism – Traditional Feature
Winner: “Your Television Friend, Mister Rogers,” Beth Dolinar and Zak Boyle, WQED-TV
Finalists:
“The Squirrel Hill Florist Working Tirelessly to Memorialize the Victims From Tree of Life,
Her Synagogue,” Katrina Procyk, PublicSource

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – Profile
Winner: “It’s Morning Again in Beaver County: A New Day for Jim Christiana,” April
Johnston, BeaverCountian.com
Finalists: “Hip-Hop Artist Choo Jackson on Life, Loss and Paying It Forward,” Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current
“The Fix: The Men Who Didn’t Disappear,” Brittany Hailer, PublicSource

Excellence in Audio Journalism – Public Affairs/Politics/Government
Winner: “Decades After Landmark Lawsuit, Are Allegheny County Public Defenders Still
Overworked?” An-Li Herring, WESA
Finalists:
“Young Pittsburgh Progressives Challenge Traditional Democrats,” Chris Potter, WESA
“Pennsy

“Pennsylvania Won’t Say What’s in Its Amazon Bid, But There Are Clues,” Margaret J. Krauss,
WESA

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – Public Affairs/Politics/Government
Winner: “A Casino Navigates Secret Local Waters, Banned Founder in Tow,” Lori Boone and
John Vranesevich, BeaverCountian.com
Finalist:
“Leon Ford’s National Name Recognition Could Give Him an Edge in Next Year’s City Council
Race,” Rebecca Addison, Pittsburgh Current

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – Business/Technology/Consumer
Winner: “New Institute Aims for Global Leadership in Computer Modeling and Simulation,”
Deborah Todd, Pittwire
Finalists:
“Legislation Helps Blighted Buildings in Northside Neighborhood,” Ashlee Green, The
Northside Chronicle

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – Medical/Health
Winner: “Beaver County Patients Say Medical Marijuana Is Making a Difference in Their
Lives,” April Johnston, BeaverCountian.com
Finalist: “Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers Have a Record of Lying to Women, So Why
Do They Keep Getting State Funding?” Rebecca Addison, Pittsburgh Current

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – History/Culture
Winner: “Let’s Talk About RACE,” PublicSource staff and community contributors,
PublicSource

Excellence in Video Journalism – History/Culture
Winner: “Service and Sacrifice,” Nathalie Berry, Paul Ruggieri and Dave Forstate, WQED-TV
Finalists:
“What Is Civil Disobedience, and What Role Does It Play in Pittsburgh?” Ryan Loew and
Jourdan Hicks, PublicSource

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – Arts/Entertainment
Winner: “Four Seasoned Pittsburgh Musicians Come Together for Something Brand New,”
Margaret Welsh, Pittsburgh Current

Excellence in Written Journalism, Non-daily – Columns/Blogs
Winner: “On Media,” Andrew Conte, NEXTpittsburgh
Finalist: “This Tastes Funny,” Haley Frederick, Pittsburgh Current

Excellence in Written Journalism, Daily – Columns/Blogs
Winner: “Voices” Column, Tereneh Idia, Pittsburgh City Paper
Finalists:
“Our Region’s Rich in Poetry’s Rewards,” etc., Pat Bywater, Erie Times-News
“Peculiar Pittsburgh,” Staff, The Incline
“Peepshow: A Sex and Social Justice Column,” Jessie Sage, Pittsburgh City Paper

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners. Thank you for giving us a strong media community and upholding the role of the Fourth Estate.