By Amelia Kibbe
Julian Routh, the winner of the Emerging Journalist award in the Pennsylvania Keystone competition, knew he wanted to be a journalist at age 10.
After serving as the editor of his high school paper, Routh, 22, studied multiplatform journalism at Duquesne University, where he worked at editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper before graduating in 2016. After reporting for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Wall Street Journal, he landed a full-time job in September 2016 as a digital reporter for the Post-Gazette.
His election-centered entries— “Voter Voices,” “The Trump Tightrope,” “From Scaife to Trump — The Foundation of the Transition and Dispatches from Trump Country” — focused on telling stories through text, video and interactive data components, Routh said.
“(Using various digital platforms) is still very brand new to me,” he said, adding he is grateful for a team of developer editors who helped him create the story packages. “There’s still a lot of evidence that with digital interactivity, long-form storytelling will be successful.”
For some of his winning pieces, he asked two simple questions: What were people scared of and what gave them hope about the 2016 presidential election?
He learned to listen to voters’ perspectives.
“You never know what you are going to find unless you talk to the voters yourself,” he said.
The Edith Hughes Emerging Journalist Award, created in 2011, recognizes journalists with less than two years of professional experience.
Ben Howard, Routh’s digital design editor, said Routh’s go-getter approach to storytelling directly led to his early success at the paper.
“Julian doesn’t stop,” said Howard, who has overseen all of Routh’s projects. “He’s innovative.”
Howard said that the winning entries began as Routh’s ideas, which he also developed and pitched.
“(Routh) makes my job so much easier,” Howard said. “It’s been awesome having him here.”