June 22, 2024

The staff of The Allegheny Front picked up three Golden Quill awards Tuesday night for Excellence in Audio Journalism at the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania’s 60th Golden Quill Awards at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.

The competition honors professional and student excellence in print, broadcast, photography, videography and digital journalism in Western Pennsylvania and nearby counties in Ohio and West Virginia. Congratulations to all of the winners!




Science/Environment




Sarah Hall Louise Hartman in a field

Sarah Hall, National Director of Forestry for the Family Forest Carbon Program, and landowner Louise Hartman, who enrolled her Northumberland County forest in the program in the fall of 2020. Credit: Kara Holsopple/The Allegheny Front.





“Forest owners look to the carbon market to help manage their trees” by Kara Holsopple won a Golden Quill for Excellence in Audio Journalism in the category of Science/Environment.




Kara visited Louise Hartman, who, with her two sisters, inherited a 254-acre property in Northumberland County. After making what they said were big mistakes managing the mostly forested site, they signed up for the Family Forest Carbon Program to help them manage their land more sustainably manage their land and provide a little income to do so.




Kara’s story examines the program developed by the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy to provide landowners with resources to create more carbon storage on their land through growing healthy trees. She talks with fans of the program, like REI, and a critic who is skeptical of how carbon is being measured.

Medical/Health

Pete Adams and Noe Woods stand arm in arm in an operating room wearing scrubs

Pete Adams, director of operations and surgical services at Magee Women’s Hospital, and Noe Woods, Ob-gyn at Magee Women’s Hospital, are both members of Clinicians for Climate Action. Photo: Reid Frazier / The Allegheny Front

Last year, Reid Frazier spent some time with UPMC doctors who are trying to lower the hospital system’s carbon footprint. His story, “Health care has a massive carbon footprint. These UPMC doctors are trying to change that” won a Golden Quill for Excellence in Audio Journalism in the category of Medical/Health. 

Fantastic work! Deserved first place! (Judges’ comments)

The judges called this story “great audio journalism reporting” and “fantastic work! Deserved first place!” They said that “listeners are not left disappointed because this medical professional [featured in the story] not only creates a 500+ Climate Action group in her hospital, but a center for sustainability is actually physically created within the hospital doors.” 

Public Affairs/Politics/Government

A woman in white and black outfit shouts at protestors standing feet away holding a sign and shouting back, in a beige conference room.

Protestors and Commission chair Ryan Richardson argue at the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission meeting on November 15, 2023. Photo: Julie Grant/ The Allegheny Front

Julie Grant’s year-long coverage of an Ohio law meant to accelerate oil and gas drilling in state parks and on other state-owned land won a Golden Quill for excellence in audio journalism in the category of Public Affairs/Politics/Government.

The reporter did an excellent job following this issue throughout the year so that the thousands that were impacted by these policies could stay informed. (Judges’ comments)

Julie has been following the story ever since Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature slipped the measure into another unrelated bill during the 2022 lame-duck session. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law in January 2023.

This ignited citizens and environmental activists in twists and turns throughout the year, including fraudulent public comments, protests, and raucous public meetings. 

Judges said Julie “did an excellent job following this issue throughout the year so that the thousands that were impacted by these policies could stay informed.” 

In 2024, Julie continues to report on this story as the commission approved plans to frack Ohio’s largest state park and other properties, including wildlife areas.

You can find all of Julie’s reporting on natural gas development in Ohio here or listen to her award-winning entry.

Finalists

We had five other finalists in various categories:

“Community attends ‘Calling Hours,’ a memorial for its deceased coal plant” by Julie Grant, News Feature

Considering saying ‘I Do’ to a green wedding” by Elaina King-Bryce, Lifestyle 

“Could stricter rules make hazardous materials transport safer?” by Reid Frazier, Business/Technology/Consumer

Hydrogen is coming to Pennsylvania” by Reid Frazier, Enterprise/Investigative 

The modest heat pump could be a climate solution” by Reid Frazier, Business/Technology/Consumer


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