Pipeline, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's interactive website on news and issues surrounding development of the Marcellus Shale, has won the top award for environmental reporting in the Scripps Howard Foundation's National Journalism Awards contest.
The Pipeline team, led by Erich Schwartzel and Elisabeth Ponsot and comprising reporters in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Web editors, data specialists and videographers, will receive $10,000 in prize money and be honored at a dinner in Detroit in late April.
The environmental reporting category is one of 15 in the contest that honor outstanding work from professional news organizations across the country. Other winners announced Friday in this year's competition include Danny Hakim and Russell Buettner of The New York Times for investigative reporting for a year-long probe of problems in state-run homes for the developmentally disabled; the Arizona Republic for breaking news coverage of the shooting that killed six and injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others; the Boston Globe and columnist Brian McGrory for commentary; and The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News and reporter Sara Ganim for community journalism for coverage of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State. Two other contest categories honor college journalism and mass communication educators.
The Post-Gazette launched Pipeline in February 2011 as a specialty news website that employs multimedia, social media and interactive maps and that curates daily coverage from the PG and other news organizations to provide an authoritative resource for Marcellus Shale news and information. With funds provided through a grant to the J-Lab at American University, Pipeline has been innovative in using online tools to help tell the shale story.
It has been recognized in other contests, most notably as winner in a category of the prestigious Online News Association's annual competition.
Besides Mr. Schwartzel, a business writer, and Ms. Ponsot, a multimedia producer, other key members of the Pipleline team are Harrisburg bureau chief Laura Olson, interactive producer Laura Schneiderman, videographer Steve Mellon and Matt Kennedy, assistant managing editor for online content.
For a complete list of winners in the competition, go to www.shawards.org/winners.