Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Journalism students win state reporting award

by IUP News Service on March 16, 2013 11:00 AM

Three Indiana University of Pennsylvania journalism students won an award March 4 from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association for an investigative report written in a fall News Reporting class.

Aleda K. Johnson, of East Stroudsburg; Abbey M. Zelko, of Harrisburg; and Charlene S. Adams, of Tyrone, won a second-place collegiate Keystone Press Award for public service/enterprise reporting.

The students investigated a local debate over municipal regulations surrounding transient vendors in Indiana Borough for a project in a class taught by journalism professor David Loomis. Published Dec. 21 in the journalism department’s online newspaper, The HawkEye, the report examined business-community complaints that sidewalk vendors were harming Indiana’s restaurant industry.

“They helped make sense of this perennial transient-vendor conflict,” Loomis said.

“The students researched tax-revenue data, among other things, to add context and meaning for citizens.”

“This story took a lot of time, effort and research to put together, and we were excited when it was finally published in The HawkEye at the end of last semester,” Zelko said. “But it’s even more of an honor to be recognized with a Keystone award.”

IUP journalism students’ investigative reports have won first or second place in the Keystone awards four times over the past nine years.

The HawkEye publishes these investigative news reports as part of a community-focused watchdog journalism initiative born out of the News Reporting class.

The students will be honored April 10 at a Pennsylvania Newspaper Association luncheon in Hershey.

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