All posts by Albert Stumm

Words of wisdom from open records guru Terry Mutchler

Terry Mutchler, the former chief of Pennsylvania’s open records office, says freedom of information laws have the power to effect major change — but only if journalists know how to use them.

Speaking at the PAPME awards banquet Friday night, Mutchler said there is a direct relationship between lack of transparecny and government corruption, especially in Pennsylvania and Illinois, where she previously covered state government.

Afterward, she told young journalists that relying on open records laws can promote the public good as well further their own careers.

Interview by Gabriella Santoliquito. Video by Stephanie Kulikowski.

Tip sheet: What your readers are really telling you

See where your online traffic is coming from. Page views aren’t the only thing that matters. Try new things. Pay attention to trends.

Three panelists offered those suggestions and over a dozen more Saturday at the PSNE’s breakout session on using analytics to understand your online audience and inform how to engage with readers.

Most importantly, the message was that data and analytics are your friend. Here’s a look at all the suggestions mentioned during the seminar:

Continue reading Tip sheet: What your readers are really telling you

Meet the staff of the 2015 Online Reporter Project

Stephanie Kulikowski

Stephanie Kulikowski-1Kulikowski grew up in Lower Burrell, about 35 minutes north of Pittsburgh, and graduated from Burrell High School in 2013. Kulikowski attends Clarion University majoring in communication with a concentration in journalism and strategic communication and minoring in political science, history and dance. During summers, she performs as an actress at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival and is a sales associate at a local shoe store.

Kulikowski is a news reporter for the Clarion Call, public relations chair of the University Activities Board CampusFest committee and the Clarion Young Democrats. She is also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and the Clarion University Dance Team.
She plans to graduate in 2017 and hope to either attend graduate school at Penn State or go straight into the work force.

Rachel Aliya Makansi

Rachel Aliya Makansi-1Makansi joined the newspaper at Octorara Outlook High School in 10th grade and especially enjoyed writing provocative pieces about controversial issues, such as sexual harassment and fracking.

The following summer, she participated in the WHYY Young Journalists Summercamp on a scholarship, spending two weeks working alongside professional radio hosts. The product of that seminar, a video broadcast on sex education, was awarded third place in news reporting during the WHYY Youth Media Awards. She then participated in the Acel Moore Career Development Workshop with The Philadelphia Inquirer during the next two winters. She also has been the Cochranville correspondent for a blog, Parkesburg Today, writing about the history of her home town.

A sophomore at Juniata College, Makansi continued to pursue her interest in journalism by writing for the campus paper, The Juniatian. She began studying toward a degree in environmental journalism but has since decided to major in physics to prepare for graduate school in astrobiology. She intends to return to the Juniatian in the fall to help the staff integrate digital journalism into its work. Aside from her studies, Makansi is a member of the Irish Elks, the name for Juniata’s Ultimate Disc club, and the school’s Environmental Coalition.

Gabriella Santoliquito

Gabriella Santoliquito-1Santoliquito is originally from Gilbertsville, where she attended Boyertown Area Senior High School and graduated in 2013. She is a sophomore at Penn State in State College pursuing a double major in broadcast journalism and criminology and working as a staff member of The Daily Collegian.

Santoliquito is a crime and courts reporter and was previously a copy editor who has also reported on the university’s 46-hour dance marathon, THON, for two consecutive semesters and held the position of a diversity beat reporter. She recently was on a Rules and Regulations Committee for THON 2015 and now serves as a peer mentor for the College of Communications.
In her spare time, she enjoys performing with the largest on-campus dance organization, Volé, the Penn State Ballet Club.


Liz Allen, Administrative Editor at Erie Times-News. On Twitter @ETNallen

Albert Stumm, East Region editor/state government team leader at Associated Press and Founder/Publisher of On Twitter @albertstumm

Welcome to Gettysburg

Hundreds of outstanding writers, editors, photographers and broadcasters are descending on Gettysburg in May to share what they’ve learned and recognize the outstanding work of their colleagues over the past year.

The 2015 Pennsylvania Press Conference will include various awards presentations, including the prestigious Keystone Press Awards, the PAPME News Excellence and Newsphoto Contest Awards, PAPBA Awards, PWPA Awards and the SPJ Awards.

The Online Reporter Project is a project of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation with the support of the Pennsylvania Society of News Editors. The project offers a unique internship for college sophomores, juniors and seniors enrolled in journalism or communications programs in Pennsylvania.

For two days, student interns cover the annual Pennsylvania Press Conference and Keystone Press Awards for a comprehensive online operation. Throughout the weekend conference, students have a chance to work one on one with industry professionals to produce a live website, conduct interviews, report on industry issues, cover convention speeches and the awards programs, and network with editors from all over the state.