GateHouse Media publications were recently honored in several statewide award competitions in Pennsylvania for reporting excellence.
The Bucks County Courier Times in Levittown was named as the Division III winner of the Newspaper of the Year General Excellence Award in the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Awards and also earned first-place awards in the News Excellence and Community Service categories. The Beaver County Times in Beaver earned honorable mentions in the Community Service and Special Sections categories for Division III. Central Penn Business Journal in Harrisburg earned first-place awards in the Best Use of Photography, Best Use of Video and Promotion categories; second-place awards in the News Excellence, Special Section and Diversity categories; and an honorable mention in the News Presentation Excellence category for Division V.
Individual awards in statewide competitions were earned by Courier Times reporters Jo Ciavaglia and Crissa Shoemaker.
ZipRecruiter and GateHouse Media recently announced a partnership that makes ZipRecruiter the exclusive recruitment advertising partner for GateHouse Media. The partnership, which will launch Oct. 1 in more than 550 markets across the U.S., will power GateHouse recruitment pages — online and in print — that reach more than 21 million readers every week.
Local businesses in GateHouse Media markets will be able to leverage the power of ZipRecruiter’s candidate matching algorithm and email job alert program, all while maintaining their relationship with their local GateHouse newspaper and account manager.
GateHouse Media readers who are in the job search process will also benefit from this partnership and can now search and apply to jobs through their trusted, local newspaper — in print and online — faster and easier than ever before. Jobs posted through GateHouse Media will also be available to search and apply to in ZipRecruiter’s mobile job search apps.
“We’re excited to team with GateHouse Media to power their recruitment pages,” said Ian Siegel, CEO and co-founder of ZipRecruiter. “Our core mission is to quickly connect employers to great candidates, and this partnership will put our sophisticated matching technology to work in doing just that for millions of GateHouse Media readers nationwide.”
“We’re always looking for the best tools and most-valuable services to offer our 225,000 local business partners,” said Kirk Davis, CEO of GateHouse Media. “Working with ZipRecruiter will allow us to provide the business community in all our markets with the easiest and most cost-effective way to manage their hiring needs. And we’ll provide a quicker, streamlined way for job seekers in all our markets to find the best job for them.”
This is ZipRecruiter’s largest partnership with a national media company and represents an expansion of their publishing partnership program, which spans 1,000 partners across North America and the United Kingdom. For GateHouse, this is a unique, first-of-its-kind national partnership that will bring a consistent recruitment platform to digital and print properties.
The Bucks County Courier Times in Levittown, Pennsylvania, was recently announced as the recipient of the 2017 Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation’s G. Richard Dew Award for its “Unwell Water” series.
The award is the foundation’s highest honor and is given in recognition of outstanding reporting that improves the quality of community life and furthers the public’s understanding of the role of the news media and how it relates to matters of public interest.
The paper’s “Unwell Water” series was an extensive, two-year investigative project that detailed chemicals at area military bases that were leaking into an underground aquifer and exposing residents to unsafe drinking water.
The series, led by reporters Kyle Bagenstose and Jenny Wagner, led to the closure of at least 22 public drinking fountains and sparked action by local and national politicians and advocates.
A judge wrote:
“This sprawling series took two seemingly tiny facts from two seemingly disparate spreadsheets and produced hundreds of stories over several years. All a result of old-fashioned reporting and modern data-sifting by Bagenstose and Wagner. I am in awe of the quality of the reporting, writing and editing; its evenhandedness, lack of sensationalism and fairness, along with its insistence on cutting through the resistance to find truths; the commitment of the newspaper to provide the times and resources required; and the responsiveness both of the newspaper to its community and of the community to its newspaper.”
Houston residents have returned to their hurricane-ravaged homes, ready to rip out drywall, tear up carpets and sift through the destruction for surviving valuables.
Robin Good, director of business development with GateHouse Media, was among those homeowners. As devastating as her situation is, it could have been worse.
Good and her elderly dog were nearly stranded in their home in Katy, Texas, while the flood waters rose. But a connection with another GateHouse employee resulted in a timely rescue.
The Thursday before the storm really hit, Aug. 27, Good was returning home from a business trip. Officials were urging residents to shelter in place, so Good stocked up on supplies, made sure all her devices were charged and prepared to hunker down.
“It didn’t seem so bad that night and of course there was no flooding. It was overcast the next day but the sun came out,” Good said. “Then we got 48 inches in 48 hours. Houston floods, but I’ve never had a problem before.”
Still, Good’s home hadn’t lost power, and her backyard only had a little flooding. Saturday and Sunday go by, and the roadways leaving Good’s neighborhood were unpassable. She was stranded — but still safe. The water hadn’t risen.
That changed on Monday, when the water swiftly began flooding her yard, then her home.
Good retreated to her attic but didn’t have an ax in case she needed to break through. She began posting increasingly distressed status updates on Facebook, where they were seen by a friend.
Aimee Thomas, a multimedia account executive with the StarBanner in Ocala, Florida, met Good for just a week when Good was in Florida on a work trip. The two hit it off and friended each other on Facebook.
Thomas happened to have a friend who lived in Sugar Land, Texas — about 20 miles from Houston — who had a Jeep prepared for rescues. Thomas put the two in contact, and Good was whisked to safety as the waters closed in around her.
The water was too high for the Jeep to make it to her house, so Good waded through waist-deep water to make it out. Her 13-year-old dog, Bonnie, swam “for the first time in her life,” Good said.
As the storm raged, Good made it to Dallas, where her niece met her. The two drove 22 hours to North Carolina. After an agonizing wait, Good was finally able to get back into her house late last week.
The house, she said, is a complete loss.
“I put some things up on shelves, but at that point you just get out. You get out with your life,” Good said. “About 80 percent of people in Houston don’t have flood insurance and I’m one of those people.”
Now, she’s facing the monstrous task of cleanup.
“We’re tearing every bit of drywall out now. All the floors. All the furniture,” she said. “It looks like a war zone.”
Lundblade is a Wichita native and has more than 20 years of experience in the journalism industry. He has previously held positions at the Wichita Eagle, the Kansas City Sar and at the magazine division of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Lundblade will oversee day-to-day operations for both publications, as well as revenue, circulation and news budgeting.
The Intelligencer’s “Unwell Water” series, by reporters Kyle Bagenstose and Jenny Wagner, was named as the second-place winner of the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting in the small market category by the Society of Environmental Journalists.
The SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment winners will be recognized at a celebratory luncheon in October.
Of the entry, judges said:
This series shows what’s possible when a small, local paper pursues a story and doesn’t let go. Reporters at the Intelligencer spent years covering how the chemicals PFOS and PFOA had contaminated residential drinking water, publishing 12 investigative reports and more than 100 stories. They clearly explained the complex science of chemical exposure and potential cancer clusters and showed how public officials had done little to protect residents from harm. The series triggered lawsuits, public pressure and political action at every level.
For more information, including a complete list of winners, visit the SEJ’s awards page.
The Florida Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recently recognized journalists from the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune at its annual Sunshine State Awards, which recognizes quality journalism from across Florida.
Josh Salman, Emily Le Coz and Elizabeth Johnson earned the both Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting and the First Amendment Foundation Freedom of Information Award for the Herald-Tribune’s Bias on the Bench project.
Former Herald-Tribune reporter Maggie Clark was a finalist for the James Batten Award for Public Service for her Medicaid coverage, Herald-Tribune’s Lee Williams was a finalist for the Integrity Florida Award for Public Corruption Reporting for his Prosecutor Pub Crawl piece and the Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Lola Gomez was a finalist for the Diversity Award for her Living in the Shadows work.
Other awards in individual categories include:
Feature Reporting (Small) First-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Chris Anderson for Mason
Series First-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Josh Salman, Emily Le Coz, and Elizabeth Johnson for Bias on the Bench Second-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Maggie Clark for Medicaid
Commentary & Criticism – General Second-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Maggie Menderski
Commentary & Criticism – Arts Third-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Carrie Seidman
Profile Reporting First-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Chris Anderson for Mason Third-place: The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Suzanne Hirt
State and Local Election Reporting Third-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Zac Anderson
Presidential Election Reporting First-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Zac Anderson
Data Reporting Second-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Shelby Webb for Expulsions Third-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Josh Salman, Emily Le Coz and Elizabeth Johnson for Bias on the Bench
Editorial Writing Third-place: The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Scott Kent
Beat Reporting – Arts First-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Jay Handelman
Beat Reporting – Community Third-place: Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Zach Murdock
Mike Murphy was recently named as GateHouse Media’s vice president of operations for the state of Missouri.
Murphy has served as senior group publisher in north central Missouri since 2014, where he has been responsible for newspapers in Boonville, Brookfield, Chillicothe, Hannibal, Kirksville, Mexico and Moberly.
As VP of operations, Murphy will retain the responsibilities of his former position and take on the day-to-day operations of several other publications in Missouri, including the Columbia Daily Tribune, and oversee Tribune Publishing Co. operations.
Ellis Smith was recently named as the new general manager of The Hawk Eye in Burlington, Iowa.
He most recently served as digital editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, where his work garnered several industry awards and he was also part of the paper’s “The Poverty Puzzle” reporting project, which earned the Free Press a finalist position for the Pulitzer Prize.
He is a graduate of the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia, where he was editor-in-chief of the college’s newspaper, the West Georgian, and also produced a daily live newscast UTV-13.
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