Daily American writers receive 14 state honors

April 12, 2019 GMT

The Daily American earned 14 awards in two state journalism contests.

The newspaper won 10 awards in the Professional Keystone Press Awards for newspapers under 15,000 circulation.

Rick Kazmer and Bruce Siwy received honorable mention for their weekly debate columns “Should SNAP recipients be able to use benefits to buy pet food?” “Should fur bans be banned?” and “Is free‐range parenting a bad idea?”

Matthew Toth, Judy D.J. Ellich, Dylan Johnson and Michelle Ganassi received second place for ongoing coverage of the Cherry Lane Estates arson fires.

Ellich earned first place for her series “Victim Services fills void” and honorable mention for her “It came out of the sky in Kecksburg” series.

Brian Whipkey received first place in the outdoor/sports column category for “What to expect this fall,” “It’s time to let the fun begin” and “Plenty of deer on the move.”

Johnson received honorable mention for his feature story “‘Where’s the emergency?’ A day in the life of a 911 dispatcher.”

Cody McDevitt received first place for his business story “Trade War.”

Ganassi received second place in news beat reporting for “The search for a new member of Congress.” She also received second place in the graphic/photo illustration category for “Primary 2018.”

Toth received second place for his photo essay “Were you at the zoo?”

The awards will be presented May 18 at the Pennsylvania Press Conference in Harrisburg.

In the Pennsylvania Associated Press Media Editors contest, the Daily American has four finalists in the division for newspapers under 10,000 circulation.

The following awards in actual order of finish — first or second place — will be announced at the PAPME awards banquet May 17 in Harrisburg:

Cody McDevitt, Best Investigative Reporting, for his “Corrections Crisis” series.

Rick Kazmer and Bruce Siwy, Best Column, for their weekly debate feature.

Beth Ann Miller, Best Feature Writing, for her story “Adopters Oversee American Graves Overseas.”

Toth earned both nominations in Best Long Video with “Berlin Students Talk About Parkland” and “Game of the Week: Conemaugh Township vs. Windber.”

“The awards are a nice reflection on the commitment of the newsroom,” Brian Whipkey, editor, said. “The writers work with local news editor Brian Schrock as well as editorial assistants Tammy Morgart and Ruth Temple to produce quality content on a daily basis.

“It’s great to see these stories, photos and videos being recognized by their industry peers across the state.”