Monday, April 16, 2012

Sara Ganim Wins Pulitzer for Penn State Stories

Congratulations to ace reporter Sara Ganim of The Patriot News in State College, Pennsylvania. She has won a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting thanks to her brilliant coverage of the Sandusky child-abuse scandal and subsequent cover-up at Penn State University. As a direct consequence of her reporting, legendary Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno was fired, Jerry Sandusky is is now facing multiple child rape charges from several victims along with an investigation of the charity for boys that founded, Second Mile. Several Penn State employees have been charged with covering up the scandal and perjuring themselves to a Grand Jury.
Recently the scandal deepened when MSNBC reported allegations from as early as 1998 when a psychologist warned police that Sandusky was a pedophile. Despite a series of Grand Juries looking into the case, nothing happened with the investigation into Sandusky until last year when Ganim broke her stories.

Pulitzer Prize Citation
For a distinguished example of reporting on significant issues of local concern, demonstrating originality and community expertise, using any available journalistic tool, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Awarded to Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News Staff, Harrisburg, Penn., for courageously revealing and adeptly covering the explosive Penn State sex scandal involving former football coach Jerry Sandusky.

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The night Paterno was fired, Ganim captured scenes and interviews on her cell phone and emailed them directly to the newsroom. “The copy desk watched them and translated quotes,” she told WOUB. “If I had gone with a notebook and pen, we would have never made deadline by the time I got them.”
Several news organizations have recognized Ganim’s watchdog reporting. The Baltimore Sun said it’s “every bit comparable to the guts and drive of The Washington Post in breaking the Watergate scandal.” Jason Fry and Kelly McBride, who serve as ESPN’s ombuds through the Poynter Review Project, wrote: “With the biggest staff of sports journalists in the world, ESPN should have been leading the charge to ask tough questions and shed light on this scandal. Instead, it was the tiny Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., out in front of the journalism pack.”

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