Ganim Wins Pulitzer for Sandusky Coverage

April 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm 1 comment

If you’ve been following the Sandusky scandal, I’m sure you’ve noticed the tenacious reporting of Sara Ganim ’08, whose March story first alerted the public that Jerry Sandusky ’66, ’71 MEd H&HD was being investigated by a grand jury, and who was at the forefront of the coverage when the scandal became national news in November. She was honored Monday afternoon with journalism’s highest prize, the Pulitzer.

The citation, for local reporting, reads like this: “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.”

“This is definitely a win for the whole newsroom,” Ganim says in this video, which is upside-down. “For everybody standing here. And more important, I think it’s important for everyone in every newsroom just like ours for every newsroom across the country. because better than any award., the most rewarding thing in this whole process is people telling me this story and our coverage has changed their minds about local reporting.”

Ganim, who’s 24 years old and one of the youngest Pulitzer winners, is one of a very small group of Penn Staters who have been so honored:

Norman C. Miller ’56 of the Wall Street Journal won the 1964 prize for local, general, or spot news reporting for a “comprehensive account of a multi-million dollar vegetable oil swindle in New Jersey.”

Rod Nordland ’72 was part of a team from The Philadelphia Inquirer that won the 1983 prize for local, general, or spot news for coverage of the Three Mile Island accident.

Janet Day ’82 was part of a team at The Denver Post that won the 2000 prize for breaking news for coverage of the Columbine shootings.

Novelist Richard Russo, who taught at Penn State Altoona, won the 2002 prize in fiction for Empire Falls, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke taught at Penn State from 1936–1943. Additionally, archivist Paul Dzyak ’92 tells us, Donald Bartlett, half of a dynamic investigative duo with James Steele, briefly attended Penn State. Bartlett and Steele won the 1989 Pulitzer for national reporting for an investigation into the 1986 Tax Reform Act. And Mark E. Neely Jr., McCabe-Greer Professor of American Civil War History, won the 1992 prize for history for The Fate of Liberty.

Thanks to Dzyak and Vicki Fong ’81, manager of public relations for the College of the Liberal Arts, for helping to compile this list. If you know of anyone we missed, please let us know in the comments or at our Facebook page.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

P.S. Additionally, Diane Ackerman ’70 was a finalist for the Pulitzer in non-fiction for One Hundred Names for Love, which we excerpted in our July/August issue.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. pennstate81  |  April 25, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Ms.Ganim has shown more adulthood, independence, integrity and courage, than any other (fellow) Penn State alum I know of. She is a talented inspiration and leader everyone should applaud.

    mvm B.S. MKTG ’81
    Former US Naval Officer / Aviator

    Separately, I have been reading a book which I consider to be thorough, objective and thoughtful. It puts The Children FIRST.

    TONS of alumni are also parents. Chapter 16: Penn State’s Reputation,quoting distinguished alumni deserves a close read, in particular

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