SPJ Keystone Chapter’s Excellence in Journalism Contest (Affiliated Awards)

SPJ Keystone Chapter’s Excellence in Journalism Contest (Affiliated Awards)


Harrisburg, Pa.


Pat Trosky






The winners of the 2020-21 SPJ Keystone Chapter’s Excellence in Journalism contest have been completed. The judges, who were from the SPJ Washington DC chapter, noted how much they enjoyed judging the submissions from our region. View the winners’ list or visit the SPJ website.

The Society of Professional Journalist’s Keystone Pro Chapter Spotlight Contest annually recognizes the best in journalism. The contest, which is not based on circulation but on the quality of the profession and what it stands for, is open to all journalists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey whose work appeared in a publication in one of the two states.

The Society of Professional Journalists’ Keystone Pro and New Jersey chapters have had a long and proud history. Over the past decade, the chapters have attracted college students, media professionals, and community members to various lectures and have provided speakers to these entities along with businesses and organizations.

With the rapid and continued growth of technology, SPJ Keystone, along with the New Jersey chapter, has expanded to assist professionals, educators, and students with training, programs, ethical concerns, research, and FOI questions.

The chapters’ goals continue to be training, programming, supporting all media, informing the public of the journalism profession, diversity, and membership improvement.

The chapters actively support Freedom of Information efforts and welcome those who want to learn more about journalism and its importance to everyone. Colleges, universities, and high schools are invited to form student chapters by affiliating with the Keystone Pro and New Jersey chapters.

Proceeds from the contest go toward training, defending the First Amendment and open government, the legal defense of journalists, student scholarships, and other activities designed to improve journalism and its standing in society.

For further information about this contest, contact Pat Trosky at pattrosky@gmail.com.

For more details about SPJ, visit the SPJ website.

Gerritt wins national award for editorials on COVID-19 testing in Texas prisons

Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffery Gerritt, editor of The Herald in Sharon and New Castle News, has won yet another national honor — this year’s Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial writing from the Society of Professional journalists.

The award, in the circulation category of up to 100,000, honored editorials that focused on the lack of COVID-19 safeguards for prisoners and employees in the Texas prison system. The prison epidemic helped spread COVID-19 throughout rural East Texas.

With independent reporting, Gerritt not only exposed the scope of the problem, but also prescribed  ways to manage and control the outbreak of COVID-19 in Texas prisons.

This is Gerritt’s fourth Sigma Delta Chi Award. He also won in 2017 at the Palestine Herald-Press, 2010 at the Detroit Free Press, and 2014 at The Toledo Blade.

Gerritt, a Detroit Free Press columnist and editorial writer for 17 years, was named editor of The Herald and New Castle News in August. From 2017 to 2020, Gerritt served as editor of the Palestine Herald-Press.

While editor of the Herald-Press, Gerritt, competing against the nation’s largest newspapers, won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing, the National Headliner’s Award, and the Walker Stone Award from the Scripps-Howard Foundation.

Judges in the annual SPJ contest chose winners from entries in categories covering print, radio, television, and digital. The awards recognize outstanding work published or broadcast in 2020.

About SPJ:

The statewide chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) annually conducts a contest recognizing excellence in journalism in 20 categories. The Keystone State SPJ Chapter’s most prestigious category, the Spotlight Award, is given to the journalist(s) whose published investigative story or series scooped other media and placed the public’s right to know in the public spotlight.

The PNA Foundation works in cooperation with SPJ leaders to allow the presentation of these awards during the Keystone Media Awards Celebration; however, the PNA Foundation has no other involvement in these awards.

For further information about this contest, contact Pat Trosky at pattrosky@gmail.com.