Category Archives: News

How ‘Eat This!’ is changing the industry

By Michael McCarrick
Online Reporter Project

It’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” meets Doylestown.

The Bucks County Courier Times and its sister newspapers in the Philadelphia suburbs have turned the Food Network concept of a foodie scouring the globe for tasty treats into a popular online feature, “Eat This! With Chuck Thomas.” Continue reading How ‘Eat This!’ is changing the industry

Seeing is believing: Newspapers turn to video for readers, revenue

By Blaine Grisak
Online Reporter Project

HARRISBURG — The digital age is ushering a new era in journalism: the visual age.

News organizations that once traded primarily in text and photographs are now turning to video to tell stories and capture readers — and followers. Continue reading Seeing is believing: Newspapers turn to video for readers, revenue

Heroin runs rampant in places you may not expect

Philadelphia, Erie and Pittsburgh may be the usual suspects for places with heavy heroin use, but as Susan Baldrige showed, that’s not always the case.

Baldrige, an investigative reporter for LNP in Lancaster, won first place for ongoing news coverage at the PAPME awards Friday for her series on heroin’s affect on families, communities and users in the largely rural county.

Baldrige said the idea for the series came to her as she was walking by a homeless man who asked her for money. When she asked what the money was for, he mentioned his unemployment, but that’s when she noticed the needle marks in his arm. Baldrige took him out to dinner.

Continue reading Heroin runs rampant in places you may not expect

Fire alarm frustrates hundreds of guests, puzzles hotel

Hundreds of guests streamed out of the Gettysburg Wyndham about 3:15 a.m. Saturday as a fire alarm blared, but hours later the reason the alarm was tripped was still unclear and many people were wondering why it took so long for emergency personnel to respond.

Guests who lingered outside for close to an hour described the early-morning disturbance as shocking and said they were exasperated by the lack of information from hotel employees since there was no fire.

Photos by Stephanie Kulkowski
Photos by Stephanie Kulkowski

“No emergency vehicles came and we just stood there and waited and waited and waited,” said Mary Singleton, a guest at the hotel. Eventually, she quit waiting and returned to her room, even though the alarm was still sounding.

Continue reading Fire alarm frustrates hundreds of guests, puzzles hotel

Sweepstakes winners to share videos, not speeches

When the winners of the Sweepstakes Awards are honored at tonight’s Keystone Banquet, the audience will see something different — videos from six of the seven honored newspapers.

“We wanted to embrace the changing industry,” said Melinda Condon, executive director of the Pennsylvania News Media Association Foundation.

In the past, editors from the sweepstakes-winning newspapers gave speeches.

Melinda Condon prepares awards that will be handed out at the Keystone Awards banquet Saturday night at the Wyndham Gettysburg/
Melinda Condon prepares awards that will be handed out at the Keystone Awards banquet Saturday night at the Wyndham Gettysburg/

Continue reading Sweepstakes winners to share videos, not speeches

Temple University student wins PAPME Scholarship

Avery Maehrer may currently be in Florida as a Walt Disney World intern, but he was honored Friday night in his home state of Pennsylvania.

As a recent Temple University graduate, Maehrer was awarded The Ralph Flamminio Memorial Scholarship presented by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors during the 2015 Pennsylvania Press Conference in Gettysburg.

Maehrer said in a video acceptance speech played at the awards banquet that he couldn’t attend because he had just moved to Orlando to begin a post-graduate internship.
“I grew up in Allentown, and the Morning Call is delivered every day to our front door,” Maehrer said. “It was the first paper I ever knew, so to receive an award named after on of its former editors is very meaningful to me. And the scholarship is a huge help, as my student loan payments are quickly approaching.”

Continue reading Temple University student wins PAPME Scholarship

Silent auction benefits Online Reporter Project internship

Game day suites for the Pirates,  an autographed Eagles helmet and chocolate and wine baskets are ready to be auctioned to benefit the Online Reporter Project. This silent auction held annually at the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Press Conference raises money that goes toward bringing interns in to work the conference. The Online Reporter Project provides great opportunities for college students to work alongside the experts in the field of journalism. This auction helps pay for the hotel stay and food for the interns. Continue reading Silent auction benefits Online Reporter Project internship

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.