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PPNS reporters win top statewide honors

Point Park News Service reporters Megan Guza and Emily Balser with News Service Director Andrew Conte at the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association awards luncheon in State College, Pa.

The Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association has recognized Point Park News Service reporters with three of its top statewide journalism awards for student reporters.

Graduate student Emily Balser received a first-place award for a collection of stories. She wrote about a blogger who encourages women to go without makeup, how the bald eagle may no longer be endangered in the state and a Blawnox business owner who raises money for needy kids. Her stories appeared on the News Service website and were published by The Allegheny Front and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Balser is interning at the Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum. 

IMAG1130Megan Guza, a former graduate student, received a second-place award for a series of stories about domestic violence in rural communities: “Rural setting increases danger for domestic violence,” “Small-town life complicates domestic violence enforcement” and “Budget cuts hit rural shelters hardest.” The stories were published by the News Service and the Observer-Reporter in Washington. Guza works for Trib Total Media, covering Carnegie, Collier, Carlynton and Pittsburgh’s western suburbs.

Brian Reed, another former graduate student, received an honorable mention for a series of stories about Pennsylvania charter schools: “Charter schools raise question of cost,” “Quality of education becomes sticking point in charter debate” and “Districts have options to compete with charter schools.” The News Service published his stories.

“It is heartening to see our graduate students perform so well on the state-wide stage in journalistic work ranging from long-form enterprise pieces to environmental and feature stories,” said Steve Hallock, director of the School of Communication’s graduate program. “The recognition of work produced for and published by the Point Park News Service in collaboration with its publishing partners is a welcome development in the growth of the news service as an independent source of news in the region. The bottom line is a strong portfolio of published reporting for our students.”

The Association also recognized Amy Walker of Penn State University’s Collegian with a third-place award. Information about all of the award-winners is here.

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