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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2021 at 2:25 PM

click to enlarge A volunteer puts on gloves before handing out Iftar boxes at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh during Ramadan in May 2020, part of Alex Gordon's award-winning story on Pittsburgh's Muslim community celebrating Ramadan during the pandemic. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
A volunteer puts on gloves before handing out Iftar boxes at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh during Ramadan in May 2020, part of Alex Gordon's award-winning story on Pittsburgh's Muslim community celebrating Ramadan during the pandemic.
As an editor, it’s often difficult to know which stories to submit for yearly awards. No publication really knows what judges are looking for, and sometimes, you don’t even know what kind of competition you’ll be facing.

But this year, there was one story I immediately knew I was submitting to the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania's 2021 Golden Quill Awards: Managing Editor Alex Gordon's feature on How Pittsburgh's Muslim community is celebrating Ramadan during coronavirus, a beautiful story on a group of local people who had to shut down everything during their holiest months of the year. It was a story that not only our staff was proud of, but Alex told me he was honored to write.

This week, Alex's story was awarded first place in Excellence in Written Journalism, Traditional Feature during the Golden Quills award ceremony, honoring the best journalism in Western Pennsylvania and surrounding counties in Ohio and West Virginia.

After the story was published, Alex shared with me how touched he was that one of the subjects in his story invited him and his fiance to his home for dinner after the pandemic was over. That sadly never happened. Alex died by suicide in October 2020.

While Pittsburgh City Paper always appreciates being honored for our writing, hearing that our stories resonated with our readers, and from the people we write about, is more important than any award we've ever received. But this one really means a lot to us, and all of us thank you on Alex's behalf.

City Paper also took home several other first-place awards in Division 3, including a Best of Show, as well as multiple finalists. The full list is below:

Excellence in Written Journalism, Traditional Feature

Excellence in Written Journalism, News Feature

Excellence in Written Journalism, Public Affairs/Politics/Government

Excellence in Written Journalism, Columns/Blogs
Views by Tereneh Idia,” Tereneh Idia

Excellence in Written Journalism, Enterprise/Investigative
Ray Sprigle Memorial Award
"America the Unprotected,” Cody McDevitt

Pittsburgh City Paper was also a finalist in the following categories:

Excellence in Written Journalism, Spot/Breaking News
FINALIST: Police Escalate Protest Outside Peduto’s House With Pepper Spray, Projectiles and Apparent Kettling,” Hannah Lynn

Excellence in Written Journalism, Profile
FINALIST: Pittsburgh Stylist Chi Ilochi Uses Her Company to Heal, Help, and Inspire Through Clothing,” Jordan Snowden

Excellence in Written Journalism, Business/Technology/Consumer
FINALIST: Pittsburgh Artist Creates Black Lives Matter T-Shirt to Help Fight Systemic Racism, Ends up in Fight Against Big Business Ripping Off His Design,” Lisa Cunningham

Excellence in Written Journalism, Medical/Health
FINALIST:
America the Unprotected,” Cody McDevitt

Excellence in Written Journalism, History/Culture
FINALIST:
Preserving Pittsburgh: How Pittsburgh’s 3-Year-Old Archive Department Is Working to Make the City’s History More Accessible,” Hannah Lynn

Excellence in Journalistic Craft Achievement, Sports Photo
FINALIST:
Pittsburgh Riverhounds Host First Professional Sporting Event During Pandemic,” Jared Wickerham

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