HawkEye Wins Keystone Awards

Posted on 3/9/2017 10:22:08 AM

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 BroganEthan 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 history.

Logan HullingerBrogan 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 recognition.

“It shows 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 of Pennsylvania.

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.