A statewide press association on Tuesday honored two
Indiana University of Pennsylvania journalism students for their reporting in
two categories—public service/enterprise and ongoing news coverage.
Ethan Brogan, a senior from Pittsburgh, and Logan
Hullinger, a junior from Clarion, won first prize from the Pennsylvania
NewsMedia Association in its annual student Keystone Awards competition for
their investigative story about Indiana County’s coldest homicide case,
the 1985 murder of drug informant David John “Dave” Alexander. The 5,000-word story,
based in part on confidential state police documents released by a whistleblower,
implicated authorities in the highest echelons of the county courthouse.
The story was published in the
online newspaper the HawkEye as part of the
Civic Project, a decade-long, community-focused,
watchdog-journalism initiative rooted in News Reporting classes taught by David
Loomis, PhD, in the IUP Department of Journalism and Public
Relations. It ranks as the most-viewed story in the HawkEye’s
Brogan and Hullinger teamed up again on a year-long
series of stories that chronicled the university community grappling with
issues of racism, inclusion, and diversity. The ongoing coverage won honorable
mention in the Keystone competition.
Brogan reacted on Wednesday.
“I’m speechless,” he said.
Hullinger expressed thanks for the Keystone
that good journalism, even at the college level, plays a vital role in the
community and has the potential to make an impact,” Hullinger wrote in a
Wednesday e-mail. “Recognition like this is an aspect of reporting that makes it
all worth it. It only encourages us, and other student newspapers, to continue
our coverage of local issues and further pursue our careers in the field.”
The HawkEye’s latest awards continue
a string of honors dating to 2005 that have flowed from the statewide press
association to the digital online newspaper and the IUP journalism program. Eight
times student stories published by the HawkEye have been submitted to the
Keystone competition. Each time they have brought home awards.
The annual Keystone competition pits IUP’s journalism
program against similar programs at far larger Pennsylvania universities,
including Temple, Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University
Since January 2016, the HawkEye has
been supported by a grant from the office of the dean of the IUP College of
Humanities and Social Sciences. Since August 2016, the HawkEye has received
sustaining external funding from the Falcon Fund, a nonprofit philanthropic
group within the Pittsburgh Foundation.