The team at PublicSource takes great pride in our journalism and community impact. Our greatest rewards come from reader feedback and support, and we don’t measure our success in awards or accolades. However, we appreciate when the work of our dedicated staff is recognized locally and internationally, as it has been consistently over the past several years. Here we will keep you updated with new announcements of our journalism being celebrated. We’re grateful for the honors but we owe our biggest thanks to the people who have entrusted us with their stories. You make stories for a better Pittsburgh possible.
Dec. 31, 2021
Robert L. Vann Media Awards
PublicSource was recognized with two awards in the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s 33rd annual Vann Media Awards contest. Juliette Rihl’s “The True Cost of Court Debt” series was named the top enterprise/investigative entry for non-daily written journalism. Jourdan Hicks and Andy Kubis won for excellence in audio presentation for “How Pittsburgh shapes and cages the lives of Black women. For real.” from Season 2 of our From the Source podcast.
Oct. 18, 2021
The Online News Association Online Journalism Awards
PublicSource won the prestigious Online Journalism Award for General Excellence by a Micro Newsroom during the Online News Association awards banquet on Oct. 15.
PublicSource was honored for charting a path for American journalism on the local level through its 2020-2021 reporting, including coverage of the 2020 election, the impact of COVID-19 in the community and the creation of Board Explorer, a tool to understand Pittsburgh’s unelected power structure.
“Judges noted the winning newsroom demonstrated an impressive breadth of content serving the people of Pittsburgh including news analyses, first-person essays, a limited-series podcast and audience-driven public-service products,” said SmartNews Managing Editor Christopher as he announced PublicSource the winner. “The ADA series, which analyzed how the city is performing in terms of accessibility, was a smart and well executed package that brought in underrepresented voices from the community.”
PublicSource won the same award in 2020 for its 2019-2020 work and has been nominated four times for the international honor.
Sept. 29, 2021
The Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards
PublicSource was awarded two 2021 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards during the virtual awards show on Sept. 25.
Artist Shyheim Banks and PublicSource visual storyteller Ryan Loew won the Emmy for Arts/Entertainment – News (Single Story) for “‘Don’t Clip Our Tails,’ A Pittsburgh Poet’s Reflection on Racial Justice.”
Freelance journalist Nick Childers and Loew won the Emmy for Societal Concerns – News (Single Story) for “In a Summer of Protest, Members of the Skateboard Community Join the Push for Racial Justice.”
The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania Golden Quill Awards
The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania announced the winners of the 57th Golden Quill Awards on Sept. 28 at the Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh. The Golden Quills competition honors professional and student excellence in print, broadcast, photography, videography and digital journalism in Western Pennsylvania and nearby counties in Ohio and West Virginia.
The PublicSource team was awarded a best-of-show award, the Ed Romano Memorial Award for Photography in Divisions 1-6 for 2020: The Year in Photos.
A full list of PublicSource awards are as follows:
- Excellence in Journalistic Craft Achievement, Photo Essay — Divisions 1-6 Winner: “2020: The Year in Photos,” Staff, PublicSource
- Excellence in Audio Journalism, Traditional Feature — Divisions 1-6 Winner: “From the Source: Season 1 Episodes,” Jourdan Hicks and Andy Kubis, PublicSource
- Excellence in Written Journalism, Profile — Division 2 Winner: “My Neighbor’s Sole Business Is ‘Closed Until Further Notice,’” Francesca Dabecco, PublicSource
- Excellence in Audio Journalism, History/Culture — Divisions 1-6 Winner: “From the Source Episode 13: The Student and Her Grandma, an Intergenerational View on Civil Rights,” Jourdan Hicks and Andy Kubis, PublicSource
- Excellence in Written Journalism, Enterprise/Investigative — Division 2 Winner: “The True Cost of Court Debt,” Juliette Rihl, PublicSource
- Ed Romano Memorial Award: Photography — Divisions 1-6: “2020: The Year in Photos,” Staff, PublicSource
May 17, 2021
The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania Golden Quill Awards
The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania announced finalists for the 2021 Golden Quill Awards. PublicSource staff members, freelance contributors and community members who worked with PublicSource to share their stories were nominated for 19 awards, across categories that include excellence in written journalism, audio journalism, video/broadcast journalism and journalist craft achievement.
The complete list of finalists is available here. Winners will be announced at the Golden Quills awards dinner in September.
April 30, 2021
Doris O’Donnell Innovations in Investigative Journalism Fellowship
The Point Park Center for Media Innovation announced winners of the The Doris O’Donnell Innovations in Investigative Journalism Fellowship. This national fellowship is awarded to three journalists to pursue investigative projects in the coming year. PublicSource’s Rich Lord was the third-place recipient, receiving an award of $2,500 to continue his reporting on regional landlord/tenant issues.
Professional Keystone Media Awards
The Keystone Media Awards recognize journalism that consistently provides relevance, integrity, and initiative in serving readers and audiences, and faithfully fulfills its First Amendment rights/responsibilities in Pennsylvania. PublicSource received honors in four categories, including the prestigious Lenfest Institute Emerging Journalist Award that goes to Juliette Rihl for her work investigating facial recognition, court fines and fees and the Allegheny County Jail. The award, which comes with a $500 cash prize, honors a talented young journalist for overall excellence in writing, reporting and use of storytelling platforms.
In Division I, Ryan Loew received a second-place award for feature videos for Dear Coronavirus, Jourdan Hicks and Andy Kubis brought home a second-place award amongst Podcasts for From the Source and Rich Lord received an honorable mention for his policing work.
April 13, 2021
Society for Professional Journalists Keystone Awards
PublicSource took 11 awards in the 2020 Keystone Awards contest, including the prestigious Spotlight Award for non-daily reporting. The Spotlight Award is given to the journalist or journalists whose published investigative story or series scooped other media and placed the right to know in the public spotlight.
The Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter Spotlight Contest annually recognizes the best in journalism. The contest is open to all journalists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey whose work appeared in a publication in one of the two states.
A full list of PublicSource awards:
- Spotlight Award for Non-Daily Reporting: Rich Lord and Juliette Rihl for their 2020 policing coverage
- Non-Daily Enterprise Reporting: First place for The True Cost of Court Debt by Juliette Rihl; Third place for reporting that exposed previously unknown uses of facial recognition technology by Juliette Rihl
- Non-Daily Environmental Reporting: First place for Fighting for Mussels by Carrie Blackmore Smith; Second place for reporting on greenhouse gas emissions from Pittsburgh buildings by Oliver Morrison
- Feature Story, non-daily: Third Place for “A big elephant in the room: A McKeesport mother’s months-long battle to save her house has her home for the holidays with a deadline looming” by Rich Lord
- News Photography, non-daily: First place for Kahlil Darden, CEO of Black Motivated Kings and Queens, before a billboard commemorating Antwon Rose II by Jay Manning
- Photo story, non-daily: First place for Pittsburgh in Protest by Ryan Loew
- Graphic Photo Illustration, non-daily: First place for You Are Not Alone by the PublicSource staff
- Podcasts, daily and non-daily: Second place for “From the Source: Authentic voices and stories of Pittsburgh region” by Jourdan Hicks and Andy Kubis
- Education writing, non-daily: Third place for “After years of restrictions and fear, international students seek stability from the new administration” by Naomi Harris
Society for News Design Awards of Excellence
PublicSource was awarded two Awards of Excellence in the Society for News Design’s 2020 Best of Digital Design contest. Ryan Loew, visual producer, and Natasha Vicens, creative director, received the Award of Excellence for use of video in Pittsburgh in Protest, a slow-motion time capsule of a critical moment in the fight for racial justice.
Reporter Juliette Rihl, visuals producer Jay Manning and Vicens received the Award of Excellence for a long-form series with The True Cost of Court Debt, a four-part explanation of the issues and solutions surrounding court fines and fees.
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