Pennsylvania Women's Press Association

Excellence in Journalism awards

The Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association Excellence in Journalism awards recognizes the outstanding work of the organization’s members in 21 categories, including general news and feature reporting, photography, page design and online projects.

First-, second-, third-place and honorable mention awards are given in each category by out-of-state judges. A point system determines the top winner among those who garner 10 or more points. The top award carries a $250 prize; other winners receive certificates.

The award entry form is below. For contest categories and rules, click here. See a list of past winners here.

Winners of the 2018 Excellence in Journalism Contest will be honored at the annual luncheon, held during the Pennsylvania Press Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association on June 2 in Gettysburg.

2018 winners will be announced by the end of April.

The 2017 winners were announced May 1, 2017. Here’s the full list:

Class 1.  General News

First: Kara Newhouse and Susan Baldridge, LNP and, “Leaked audio: Manheim Township school board conspired to deliberate privately on superintendent search”

Second: Dana Di Filippo, WHYY(, “Prison death shows system ill-equipped to handle mentally ill, East Oak Lane family says”

Third: Madasyn Czebiniak, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Quadruplets settle in for 4 years at Duquesne University”

Class 2. Sports

First: Daveen Rae Kurutz and Andrew Chiapazzi, Beaver County Times, “Despite ongoing budget issues area schools don’t want sports to be cut”

Class 3.  Lifestyles

First: Lini Kadaba, Philadelphia Inquirer, “Illuminating search”

Second: Doug Oster, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Prison garden”

Class 4.  Features

First: Dana DiFilippo, WHYY(, “Begging for mercy: Philly panhandlers say citations are pointless”

Second: Megan Guza, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Yinzers celebrate: Pittsburgh term ‘jagoff’ added to           dictionary”

Third: Joanne Harrop, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Deaf cheerleaders sign team spirit”

Honorable mention: Sarah Rafacz, Centre Daily Times, “Nonagenarians reflect on possibility of first woman president”

Class 5.  Opinions

First: Lisa Micco, Beaver County Times

Second: Cheryl Hatch, Meadville Tribune

Third: Dana Massing, Erie Times-News

Honorable mention: Jenelle Janci, LNP

Honorable mention: Tamara Dunn, Standard-Speaker

Class 6.  Business/Consumer

First: Dana DiFilippo, WHYY(, “Injury-causing ‘pole stumps’ represent costly stumbling block for Philadelphia”

Second: Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times, “Financial impact of cancer adds additional burdens to patients, families”

Honorable mention: Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Times-Tribune, “Room to wag”

Honorable mention: Sarah Hofius Hall, The Times-Tribune, “Say cheese”

Class 7.  Series

First: Brian Bowling and Andrew Conte, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Justice for some”

Second: Marion Callahan, Jo Ciavaglia and Jenny Wagner, Bucks County Courier Times, “Recovery road”

Third: Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times, “Changing face of Beaver County”

Class 8.  Profiles

First: Chris Togneri, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Just a photographer”

Second: Stacey Federoff, Beaver County Times, “Stories of survival – She’s harnessing her sense of humor”

Third: Jo Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times, “Catching up with Christina”

Class 9.  Page Design

First: Cecelia Baress, The Times-Tribune

Second: Mary Beth Eastman, Beaver County Times

Third: Kristin O’Malley, The Times-Tribune

Class 10.  Enterprise/Investigative

First: Jo Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times, “Three deaths, one house, zero answers”

Second: Kara Newhouse and Susan Baldridge, LNP and, “After tax hikes and school cuts…”

Third: Dana DiFilippo, WHYY(, “Police reexamine Reading woman’s death”

Honorable mention: Terrie Morgan-Besecker, The Times-Tribune, “Stalking horse taints cases”

Class 11.  Health/Science

First: Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times, “Conquering the scars”

Second:  Ben Schmitt, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Transplant Tragedy. Ohio family opens up about daughter’s heart procedure, UPMC’s mold crisis”

Third:  Jenny Wagner, Bucks County Courier Times, “Polio: Pain and progress. A century after the first major U.S. epidemic, worldwide eradication is eyed this year.”

Honorable mention: Jo Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times, “A familiar physician. Some millennials reluctant to outgrow their pediatricians”

Honorable mention:  Stacey Federoff, Beaver County Times, “Genetic tests can help with predicting some cancers”

Class 12.  Education

First: Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times, “Women earning higher ed degrees in increasing numbers”

Class 13.  Travel/A&E

First: Sarah Rafacz, Centre Daily Times, “’Visionary’ printmaker celebrated with Palmer exhibition”

Second: Gia Mazur, Times-Tribune, “Learning the ropes”

Third: Daveen Rae Kurutz, Beaver County Times, “Lucky Beaver County”

Class 14.  Headline Writing

First: Cecilia Baress, The Times-Tribune

Second: Caitlin Heaney West, The Times-Tribune

Class 15.  Photography

First: Christopher Horner, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Second: Nate Smallwood, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Third: Sean Stipp, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Honorable mention: Ellen O’Connell, Standard-Speaker

Class 16.  Video

First: Gwen Titley, Beaver County Times, “Hopewell pottery studio transforms more than clay”

Second: Madasyn Czebiniak, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Silence of lambs: Pittsburgh’s fix on fear”

Class 17.  Multimedia

First: Laura Malt Schneiderman and Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Silent sanctuaries”

Second: Caitlin Heaney, Times Tribune, Regional national parks package

Class 18.  Religion

First: Jo Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times, “Sale of Drexel Shrine wake-up call for church”

Second: Dana Massing, Erie Times-News, “Erie’s Sikhs find home for worship”

Class 19.  Outdoor/Environmental

First: Kyle Bagenstose and Jenny Wagner, Bucks County Courier Times, “Finding safe PFOA level is an uncertain science”

Second: Sarah Rafacz, Centre Daily-Times, “Climate change in Pennsylvania: Energy transition provides opportunity for job growth, innovation”

Third: Dana Massing, Erie Times-News, “Presque Isle draws endangered piping plovers”

Class 20.  Rookie Reporting

First: Gia Mazur, The Times-Tribune

Second: Madeleine O’Neill, Erie Times-News

Class 21.  Student Reporting

First: Christine Manganas, Point Park News Service

Second: Alicia Green, Point Park News Service

Third: Mia Rupani, Point Park News Service



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