Department News

Journalism grad reports from Syrian warzone

Jad Sleiman didn’t wait long to make his degree work for him.

Sleiman, 25, graduated May 15 with a journalism degree from Temple’s School of Media and Communication and the following week, he was in the heart of the Syrian warzone for three days. And the week after that, The Washington Times ran his story on Harakat Hazm, a new conglomerate of two dozen rebel groups.

The trip to Syria was Sleiman’s first time in reporting from a war zone. He wouldn’t speak about how he got into Syria and made connections with the rebels. Those are facts that he had to keep close to his chest to be able to go back.

But there’s more to the story than how Sleiman wrangled his way into the country.

Generally, in the coverage of wars around the world, Sleiman said the fighters always seem “so foreign.”

“I wanted people to see people like their friends and neighbors,” he said. Much of the coverage of Syria he has seen “was focused on extremism, the destruction of everything and not making the people seem like real relatable human beings.”

Sleiman set off for Syria with the intent to tell the story of another organization, but he was cut off from that group by a government offensive. Still, he’s happy with where he landed.

The people behind the fight
The four-minute video focuses on the Aleppo suburb of Daret Ezzah, which has become a more frequent target of bombings. He interviewed rebel fighters who have been forced into a new way of life.

“The group was very open to filming,” he said. “I just explained that I was an American journalist, talked a bit about they project and asked them one-by-one to join me in another room for short interviews.”

These interviews unveiled the reasons these everyday people have chosen to risk their lives and fight for what they believe is right.

A 21-year-old fighter told Sleiman that, “The first day I held a rifle, I was here in Daret Ezzah.” He had seen women and children dying as a result of the war and said, “I decided to pick up a weapon before the same thing happens here.”

The fighters in his story are wearing civilian clothes and aren’t brandishing weapons, which Sleiman said counters how much of the coverage he’s seen portrays the rebels.

In many news stories, “often, they speak the way they’re supposed to sound.” With Sleiman’s small camera and ability to speak Arabic fluently, “my hope was that I would be able to get a more intimate picture of these people,” he said.

Future plans
Sleiman plans to return to Syria to expand his story into a feature-length documentary about how living in a war zone changes everyday people into soldiers. He thinks it’s an important story to tell because, “I think America plays a huge role in global affairs, so Americans need to be informed.”

He starts graduate school this fall at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, where he will focus on international reporting. Since he hopes to continue doing multimedia journalism on foreign conflicts, he is off to a good start.

By Jeff Cronin
SMC Communications

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Research shows the hipster prototype evolved from cultural disconnection

Victoria Marchiony stands in front of four members of the millennial generation.

During her senior year, Victoria Marchiony (center) has researched why hipsters become hipsters. (photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University)

A senior journalism major’s research project is sure to spark a dialogue about the true nature of the millennial generation’s lover of all-things-obscure.

Victoria Marchiony, 22, devoted her final semester at the Temple University School of Media and Communication to researching what makes “hipsters” tick. She started by looking at how the hipster, defined by Urban Dictionary as “a subculture of men and women typically in their 20s and 30s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence and witty banter,” is generally portrayed in media.

She found that this character is most frequently described in media as a white male aged between 20 and 35 from an affluent suburb, who now lives in one of the city’s gentrified neighborhoods. He is middle class and college educated, though he looks a little dirty. He surrounds himself with consumer goods that are symbols of his individualism, even items that come from other ethnic cultures. This hipster prototype rejects being called a hipster. But, Marchiony contends, his individualistic behavior is so predictable, it negates his uniqueness.

Through interviews of a dozen millennials in Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore, and combing through previous academic work on the topic, she wanted to discover why the hipster prototype is white.

“What is it about whiteness that is so conducive to the essential spirit of hipsterdom?” she asked.

Ethnic ties
She contends many white Americans have maintained a sense of connection to their ethnic origins, but also a significant population who haven’t.

“The trend tends to be that several generations removed from the immigrant experience [common in the millennial generation], it’s white kids who don’t end up with the same sense of cultural authenticity as minorities,” she said. It is “partly because, due to their successful assimilation into the mainstream, they are not forced to confront the meaning of their ‘whiteness’ as minorities may be forced to confront their own racial identities.”

The sentiment is supported in prior research.

“Tim Wise points out in his book ‘White Like Me’ that the first thing to be sacrificed on the alter of assimilation to the American mainstream was ethnic identity. To shed the marginalized culture of origin was to become functionally white in society,” she said.

It’s this group that has become the breeding ground for the hipster culture. Hipsters, she said, see their whiteness as lacking in “a cool, oppositional cultural backing.” Instead, she said the hipster fills the void with “sounds, symbols, styles, slang (and) cultural artifacts – powered by the Internet and egged on by consumer culture.”

One of us
Marchiony, who grew up in suburban Ardmore, described herself as falling under the hipster umbrella. “The rhetoric of color blindness in this country is very confusing for white people,” she said. “I say that from a self-reflective place. I grew up yelling at my parents that I had no culture, and then I’m looking around my room and realizing the symbolic consumptive appropriation going on. I’m looking for myself in objects.”

A portrait of Victoria Marchiony.

Victoria Marchiony

She recalled a moment of self-realization when she took a good look at a Mexican sugar skull in her room. It’s a strong cultural symbol to which she has no genuine connection. She liked it – and, more importantly, purchased it – because it was different. “I started to like it less as I saw it other places,” she explained. “That’s my most hipster object. I got it because I liked it and I thought that the fact that I liked it meant something was cool about it. Once other people got on board, it made it less cool. It was that whole ugly process.”

Marchiony believes it’s important to analyze the actions of the hipster to encourage a change and allow them to discover their true selves.

“One of my interview subjects pointed out that his friends who had stronger ties to their ethnic heritage exhibited less culturally appropriating behavior because they had been instilled with a strong sense of their own intrinsic cultural identity and as such were able to respect that of others,” she said.

Assistant Professor Brooke Duffy, who worked with Marchiony on her research, said her project, “makes a compelling argument about narratives of identity and individualism at a time when many traditional understandings of the self are in flux.”

Through her journalism and poetry, Marchiony hopes to spark a dialogue about the true nature of hipsterdom. “Hopefully, what can come from this is that real subcultures could form, instead of being attached to the self-denial and the defensive irony, and not wanting to commit to a group identity and not knowing how.”

Media contact
Jeff Cronin

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The Temple News named best paper in region

The Temple News was named the best all-around non-daily student newspaper in the Northeast region by the Society of Professional Journalists.

In addition, Grace Holleran, a junior music therapy major from Norwalk, Connecticut, was named the winner in the general column writing category for colleges with more than 10,000 students. Senior advertising major Jerry Iannelli from Marlton, New Jersey, was a finalist in the same category.

Katie Kalupson, a junior graphic and interactive design major from New Providence, Pennsylvania, was named a finalist in the photo illustration category for the newspaper’s “Lunchies” insert.

The Mark of Excellence Award winners were announced April 25 at the SPJ’s Region 1 Spring Conference in Boston. The newspaper and Holleran now move on to the national level to face winners from the 11 other SPJ regions. National winners will be recognized at Excellence in Journalism 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee, in September.

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KYW news director returns for annual journalism lecture

Click to view slideshow.

You might call Dee Patel a news nutritionist.

The news director for KYW NewsRadio, Patel, JOUR ’99, was the featured speaker April 30 at the annual Dorothy I. Kirsch Lecture in Morgan Hall.

“It’s a big monster to feed and it’s my job to feed it,” Patel told the room full of journalism majors from the Temple University School of Media and Communication about to receive departmental awards.

She lauded the students for their ability to process all of the information that the internet and social media throws at them on a continual basis.

“All of this is very second nature to you guys,” she said. “This is information overload for us.”

But because the 22-year-olds about the enter professional journalism excel and thrive in this media landscape, Patel is excited about where this next generation will take the industry.

“That’s how you are changing the face of journalism,” she said.

Patel encouraged the students to remember to be accurate, cautious and curious as they work as journalists to create a fulfilling career.

“It will take a lot out of you, but it will give you a lot back,” she said.

The annual lecture is named after Dorothy Italie Kirsch, JOUR ’36. She and her husband created the lecture series in 1993 because, “hearing the insight and perspectives of leading communication specialists offers a unique chance for students to see the breadth of opportunity that awaits them.”

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SMC professors earn Provost merit awards

Thirty-nine faculty members from the School of Media and Communication have received awards for meritorious activity from the Temple University Office of the Provost.

Each year, Temple University recognizes faculty for outstanding performance in teaching and instruction, research, scholarship, creative activity and/or service to the university or their individual professions or disciplines. The selection process began in fall 2013, through either nominations by the provost, deans, department chairs and colleagues or self-nominations.

“A merit award reflects our faculty’s continued dedication and commitment to scholarship and students, and highlights the exceptional drive for excellence in teaching, innovation and performance,” Provost Dai said. “Our deans, college and department committees, and department chairs were committed to ensuring that these deserving and distinguished individuals received recognition. I want to thank everyone for their time and diligence in this important process.”

SMC’s recipients are:


Brooke Duffy
Jennifer Lovrinic Freeman
Joseph Glennon
Stacey Harpster
Sheryl Kantrowitz
Michael Maynard
Katherine Mueller
Dana Saewitz


Fabienne Darling-Wolf
Christopher Harper
Carolyn Kitch
Andrew Mendelson
George Miller
Maida Odom
Larry Stains
Lori Tharps
Edward Trayes
Karen M. Turner
Linn Washington

Media Studies and Production

Amy Caples
Sherri Hope Culver
Jan Fernback
Matthew Fine
Paul Gluck
Peter Jaroff
Jack Klotz
Matthew Lombard
Nancy Morris
Adrienne Shaw
Barry Vacker
Kristine Trever Weatherston
Laura Zaylea

Strategic Communication

Gregg Feistman
Scott Gratson
Donnalyn Pompper
Cornelius Pratt
Tracey Weiss
Thomas Wright
Kaibin Xu

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Journalism alumna enters Philly PR Association Hall of Fame

Danielle Cohn, JOUR ’95, vice president of marketing and communications for the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be inducted into the Philadelphia Public Relations Association’s Hall of Fame May 8 at a ceremony at Top of the Tower.

A portrait of Danielle Cohn, JOUR '95.

Danielle Cohn, JOUR ’95.

For nearly a decade, Cohn has been responsible for positioning the City of Brotherly Love and the Pennsylvania Convention Center as a destination for conventions, meetings and tourists.

In 2012, she led the bureau’s strategic and global messaging project, which markets Philadelphia, or PHL, as a modern renaissance city.

“Philadelphia is one of the best brands in the world to promote, and I’m lucky to be a part of a very talented and passionate team of people who love this city and work every day to tell its stories around the globe,” she said. “I hope that through our work, visitors and citizens alike have come to know our city a whole lot better because of our commitment. My love for communications and the City of Philadelphia were certainly fostered during my time at Temple University.”

The hall of fame ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m.


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How Temple is helping ensure the future of data journalism

Assistant Professor Meredith Broussard works with junior journalism major Greg Pinto as other students look on.

Assistant Professor Meredith Broussard works with junior journalism major Greg Pinto as other students look on. (Photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University)

A data journalism class at the School of Media and Communication places Temple University at the forefront of a new wave of programs teaching aspiring reporters how to crunch numbers and find new ways to tell stories hidden in data.

Assistant Professor Meredith Broussard, a computer scientist-turned-reporter, said she created her class to teach “the practice of finding stories in numbers and using numbers to tell stories.”

David Herzog, RTF ’84, the academic adviser for the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR), sees a growing trend at the nation’s top universities of classes that target the needs of the changing journalism job market.

“A lot of the classes that had been in place for several years are traditional [computer-assisted reporting] classes” that focused on the number analysis, he said. “What’s happening how is we’re seeing more and more schools who are realizing the value of offering classes that go beyond that. Temple’s class … is in the first wave of those trying to do that.”

Throughout the semester, students have learned how to use databases, spreadsheets and visualization tools and are developing the ability to find and clean data for investigative stories. Students will end the semester by creating an interactive piece of data journalism.

Finding truth in numbers
Marcus McCarthy, 21, a junior journalism major from Charlestown, R.I., said data journalism is one of the best things to come out of the media’s shifting identity.

“Although I appreciate the place for anecdotal evidence, many times it isn’t enough to tell a story since the sample size is typically too small. However, accounting for the bias data can bring, statistical evidence can more accurately portray the larger issues facing our society,” he said. “This means that we can now take on the issues that we were previously unable to accurately report on. That prospect is very exciting to me and I see it making a big difference in bettering our society.”

It seems McCarthy has learned one of the key points of Broussard’s class: the existence of data doesn’t always equal truth.

“We tend to think of data as this immutable object that exists outside of any kind of human intervention – because there’s data, that means it’s true,” Broussard explained. “But the thing is, data are created by people. It’s socially constructed by people who ask certain types of questions and who have certain agendas. Understanding that dimension of data helps us understand the numbers and the social context of the numbers.”

Broussard, 39, brings to students her own history of practical experience in data journalism. As a journalist, she has worked on a variety of data-driven projects that provide insight on the reporting methods students will need to be successful in today’s competitive job market.

Professor Broussard lectures from the front of the class.

The spring 2014 semester marks the first time a data journalism class has been taught at Temple. (Photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University)

Using her creative and technical skills, Broussard last year created, a site that showcases an algorithm that mines Philadelphia School District data to determine if schools have enough of the right books to equip students with the knowledge to succeed on standardized tests. The articles she wrote based on her analysis prompted the district to reallocate books to schools with the most need, as well as make some staff changes and financial reforms.

Data leads to a Pulitzer
Dylan Purcell, JOUR ’00, a data journalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer for the past eight years, knows the impact this type of work can have. He was part of the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning team that worked on a series of stories about violence in the city’s schools. Purcell dove deep into the school district’s crime statistics during the investigation.

“No one had ever looked at the district’s crime patterns,” he said. “They were touting a big drop in crime, but they weren’t accounting for the enrollment dropping drastically.”

Without hard numbers to support their reporting, “I don’t know if we would have been able to change as much as we did. The data can reinforce your traditional storytelling.”

Purcell has seen his work evolve over the past decade in the way he tells his part of a story. Much of his work includes interactive online graphics and maps – an encouraging welcome mat for the next generation of reporters now learning how to use this technology.

“There is a either a requirement or a strong recommendation to have at least some basic data skills,” Herzog said of the current job market. “Employers are seeing the value of having journalists who know how to do this kind of work, so there is a premium being placed on these skills. This class is very strong in that regard.”

Media Contact:
Jeff Cronin

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New book edition updates history of black hair in America

Over the past decade, the internet has impacted the way to do just about everything – right down to how we talk about hair.

A headshot of Lori TharpsWith such a game-changing phenomenon, Lori Tharps, an assistant professor of journalism at Temple’s School of Media and Communication, released a new edition of a book she co-authored, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, which chronicles how the conversation about black hair has evolved since the 15th century.

Hair Story is still the only book that does that,” she said. “No other book talks about black hair so comprehensively.”

Tharps said it’s much more than a book about hair. It’s about history.

“Black hair represents the black experience is this country,” she said. “As a people we were enslaved and systematically told that our physical features were inferior. We have to unpack those ideals of beauty and respectability when it comes to our hair. Until we as a complete society have done that, it’s never going to be ‘just hair’.”

Tharps, who co-wrote the first edition in 2001 with journalist Ayana Byrd, realized that black hair was going through an undocumented renaissance and warranted an update to their text.

A busy decade
“We committed to telling the history of black hair in America from the past to the present,” said Tharps. “The book ended in 2000 and we [caught up] in 2013. A lot of things have happened in the world of black hair since the beginning of the 21st century.”

Leading the list of what’s affected hair the most in the last decade? The internet.

With the rise of YouTube and social media, the conversation about black hair has opened up to the non-black demographic. Hashtags like #TeamNatural, terms like “co-wash,” (the process of washing with conditioner and not shampoo because of the adverse effects of sulfates) and “protective styling” are branching out to the general public. The internet has also encouraged a new wave of entrepreneurship.

“You see the rise of a lot of female entrepreneurs who have launched businesses that they would’ve never made it had the internet not given them a distribution model,” said Tharps. “These are really big changes in the world of black hair that we felt had to be documented.”

Now, hair care blogs, consultants and manufacturers have found a way to build a business and a brand online.

In two new chapters, Tharps and Byrd bring to light the cultural and political questions many now face within the black community. Is she trying to “look white” with her straight hair? Is her natural hair a political statement? They examine how the opinions of black people, when it comes to their hair, are changing and being vocalized.

“The problem has been that black people have always compared their hair to white hair as if white hair was the standard and we’re always trying to emulate that, which makes sense because they’re in the majority and they told us that’s what we should be trying to do. But if you’re always comparing it, it’s never going to meet up to the standards,” said Tharps.

A window into a culture
Tharps said the book’s topic is vital to cultural understanding in America and is often overlooked in race-related dialogue.

“It’s very easy to not know what’s going on in the world of black hair and yet you come in contact with black hair through friends, colleagues, employees or celebrities,” she said. “If you don’t understand the background you’re missing a large part of our culture and you’re creating the potential for ethnic miscommunication.”

Tharps hopes in the future people will read her book with the same level of interest they have in other cultural phenomonon that has shaped American history . She wants them to be in awe of the past generations’ triumphs.

“I would hope that we get to place where we can just celebrate our hair and not have to justify, explain or apologize for it,” said Tharps. “What I hope, is that we will finally make it to a point where black people’s hair is just hair.”

On the web:

-By Sofiya Ballin
SMC Communications

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When an Owl becomes a watchdog: Senior exposes alleged spy activities in U.S. Senate

A senior journalism major has broken a major national story for McClatchy she believes exposes an example of federal government officials operating under a veil of secrecy away from the accountability of the public eye.

Ali Watkins stands in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Ali Watkins on “the Hill.”

Ali Watkins, 22, of Fleetwood, Pa., co-wrote a March 4 article (“Probe: Did the CIA spy on the U.S. Senate?”) that details an apparent feud between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee over a congressional report on the CIA’s “secret detention and interrogation program.” The article cites sources who say the CIA monitored computers Senate aides used to prepare the report.

The story (and several more yet to come) was the direct result of tips Watkins received through unnamed sources with whom she has developed trusting relationships since she began reporting for McClatchy’s Washington bureau as an intern in May 2013. Since December, Watkins has stayed on with McClatchy as a stringer and hopes to work as a reporter in the nation’s capital after graduating from Temple University’s School of Media and Communication in May.

“This opportunity wouldn’t have come about if my professors hadn’t invested in me first,” said Watkins, who has maintained a full course load and a spot on Temple’s rowing team during her time at McClatchy.

A journalist’s duty
Through her education at Temple, Watkins has come to believe that journalism is an important part of American society.

“To me, this story stands as a testament to watchdog journalism,” Watkins said. “It was made very clear to us right from the beginning that if we didn’t dig into this story and chase every lead, the most important elements of the narrative would unfold behind closed doors, and very likely never be exposed in the public forum. This lead was one of those stories that came with a responsibility; we needed to find the facts and report them clearly in order to hold the powerful accountable. And that’s pretty powerful stuff.”

Andrew Mendelson, chair of the Journalism Department, said a “small, but dedicated” group of students pursue investigative journalism at Temple.

“They are among the most driven and inquisitive of our students, relishing in their role as aggressive watchdogs for the public,” he said. “Ali is one of those amazing students who has both the passion and the talent to pursue complicated, hard-to-access stories and bring them out for the public. She has done this at The Temple News, in classes and now for McClatchy. She shows no fear in tracking down reticent public officials or obscure records or data sets.”

Watkins first landed the McClatchy internship through the connections she forged interning at Philadelphia media outlets, including the Philadelphia Daily News.

“Philadelphia is an awesome place for journalism and making journalism connections,” Watkins said.

As one of five McClatchy interns last year, Watkins was immediately thrust into its coverage of Edward Snowden, a story that broke just a week after she started.

“It was a trial-by-fire learning experience,” she said.

Key to journalism: Show up
The most important thing she learned – to which she credits landing the CIA story – is the importance of being a constant presence on Capitol Hill and around the intelligence community. She would wait outside of locked doors and elevators for government officials to pass by.

“Some people call it stalking. I call it the relentless pursuit of truth,” Watkins said.

But it was her constant presence that built the trust between her and her sources that led these people  to offer key tips that kicked off a two-month McClatchy investigation, resulting in the March 4 story. McClatchy was the first to break the story, leaving renowned media outlets like The New York Times scrambling to catch up.

“In my experience, it’s being genuine,” she said when asked about the key to building these kind of relationships. She noted, however, that there’s “a really challenging line to walk. Where do you draw this line between personal and professional? They need to be able to trust you. You need to show a genuine interest in people and that you’re not going out just to promote yourself. If you just get to know them, people can have really interesting things to say.”

Concrete details
Watkins immediately went to her editor when she received the tip to say, “I have this and I need help because this is going to be huge.” After two weeks of additional reporting, Watkins and the team of reporters with whom she worked were certain they had a solid piece of news. They worked hard to ensure every detail of the story was confirmed.

“Even after we had it watertight, we wanted to make it more watertight,” she said.

Amid classes, studying and rowing practice, Watkins will head down to D.C. every time she has a spare 12 hours to continue working the story; her editors promised to keep her in the mix as it develops.

“Stay tuned,” she said. “It’s going to keep moving.”

- By Jeff Cronin, SMC Communications


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Temple journalists win 22 statewide student Keystone Awards

Arts and Entertainment editor Patricia Madej and Managing Editor Jenelle Janci make some final edits on a recent production night.

Arts and Entertainment editor Patricia Madej and Managing Editor Jenelle Janci make some final edits on a recent production night at The Temple News. (photo courtesy The Temple News/Andrew Thayer)

By Jeff Cronin
SMC Communications

Temple University’s student journalists dominated the 2014 Student Keystone Press Awards.

Submissions from The Temple News and earned a total of 22 awards, marking the most ever in the history of the awards, which are presented annually by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

Among the highlights are a first-place win for best website by and two first-place awards in general news and ongoing news coverage for senior journalism major and Editor in Chief Joey Cranney and the staff of The Temple News for coverage of the elimination of seven intercollegiate sports at Temple. Additionally, Max Pulcini, JOUR ’13, won three top prizes (for feature story, public service/enterprise package and sports story) for Rise of the Tigers, a piece he and Matthew Albasi, JOUR ’13, created for on the Kensington football team.

While Andrew Mendelson, chair of the Journalism Department at Temple’s School of Media and Communication, wasn’t there assigning stories or helping with copy editing, he feels this program’s curriculum provides his students the tools to dive deep into the stories of Temple’s campus and its city.

“I am so proud of our students. The number of Keystone Student Press Awards for The Temple News and shows that our approach to journalism is rich and diverse,” says Andrew Mendelson, chair of the Journalism Department at Temple’s School of Media and Communication. “Every day, we try to inspire our students to tell stories that reflect Philadelphia’s complexity through excellent writing, photography, multimedia, illustration and design.”

‘Noteworthy’ year for news
The Temple News
newsroom was buzzing with pride after the announcement of this year’s winners. Its 17 awards eclipse the newspaper’s previous record of nine Keystones in 2007.

The Temple News staff obviously had a lot of newsworthy stuff to cover, including the elimination of seven sports and a standoff at an off-campus residence,” says Student Media Program Director John DiCarlo, JOUR ’98, BTMM ’06. “What I’m most proud of is the staff’s continued commitment to outstanding and thorough reporting. They take a great deal of pride in what they do and it shows.”

Don’t expect The Temple News staff to become complacent as a result their success.

“With recognition comes more responsibility, and I think we now have even more of an obligation to keep delivering top-notch content every week,” says Managing Editor Jenelle Janci, a junior journalism major. “I think our staff can continue the rest of the year with an added confidence without losing an ounce of work ethic. I hope that we keep outdoing ourselves week after week.”

Strong leadership
Janci says a lot of the credit for this year’s showing at the Keystones should go to Cranney and his leadership of the newsroom.

“I’ve never seen anyone more dedicated about the paper in my time working there. Joey was in the office almost every day over the summer, working with our design editor on a layout overhaul, and implemented more structured beat reporting,” Janci says. “Under Joey’s leadership, we also added a new weekly meeting to discuss what content goes on the front page, allowing content other than general news to be on the front page for the first time since my time here. There’s been an added scrutiny on content with Joey at the head, but that’s only made our content better – and I think our performance at the Keystones proves that.”

Cranney said it was as simple as committing to what he calls “true journalism.”

“The first thing I did as editor was to bring back our mission statement and put it in its old spot underneath our flag on the front page,” he says. “Now, next to The Temple News at the top, it reads, ‘A watchdog for the Temple University community since 1921.’ I made it clear to our staff that being a watchdog to the community was our primary mission and they’ve responded.”

Janci says the devotion to excellence runs throughout the staff, calling her section editors, “the best of the best. I’m consistently impressed with the content that everyone is generating. You can tell your staff members a million times that they’ve done a great job, but it’s always nice to have that outside recognition.”

Five more for journalism capstone course
Down at Temple University Center City and the newsroom, another five Keystones were collected by the online news site, which is the capstone course for all journalism majors.

Students gather around a computer in the newsroom.

Students gather in the newsroom. (Photo by Neil Ortiz)

Professor Chris Harper, who co-directed the program with Associate Professor Linn Washington until this year (when Assistant Professor George Miller took the helm) says the website stands out from other collegiate news sites because it covers communities outside of campus.

“That’s what sets it apart,” Harper says. “It doesn’t just focus on college students and works as a bridge between the university and the neighborhoods.”

The site was redesigned this past year by Neil Ortiz, the department’s technical support specialist, and Todd Broadbent, SMC’s senior web developer.

Harper wasn’t surprised to see Rise of the Tigers receive accolades in three different categories.

Rise of the Tigers takes place in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city. It is so uplifting to see what can be done when residents come together. People in places like Kensington want what everyone wants–a safe neighborhood and a better future for their kids. That is what makes the story of the football team resonate on so many levels,” Harper says.

To Washington, the awards reveal the importance of the hands-on learning that takes place in the Journalism Department.

“The real-world experience that students receive in provides tangible skills and intangible insights that aid them in life whether they pursue journalism or another career,” he says.

Full list of Temple’s winning entries

  • Website First Place –
  • Website Honorable Mention – The Temple News
  • General News, First Place, Joey Cranney (JOUR) – University to eliminate seven intercollegiate sports. The Temple News
  • General News, Honorable Mention, John Moritz (JOUR) – Student recovered alive from Willington after 17 hours. The Temple News
  • Ongoing News Coverage,  First Place, Staff of The Temple News – Temple eliminates seven Division I sports.
  • Ongoing News Coverage, Second Place, Staff of – Philadelphia School Closings: A Special Report
  • Public Service/Enterprise Package, First Place, Max Pulcini (JOUR) – Rise of the Tigers.
  • Feature Story, First Place, Max Pulcini (JOUR) – Rise of the Tigers.
  • Personality Profile First Place. Erin Edinger‐Turoff (JOUR) - Her sister’s keeper. The Temple News
  • Personality Profile Second Place. Claire Sasko (JOUR) – Eight-year vet returns to classroom. The Temple News
  • Personality Profile Honorable Mention. Luis Fernando Rodriguez (JOUR) – Traditional methods breeds contemporary topics. The Temple News
  • Sports Story, First Place, Max Pulcini (JOUR) – Rise of the Tigers.
  • Editorial Second Place. The editorial board of The Temple News
  • Column First Place. Grace Holleran (BYR). The Temple News
  • Column Second Place. Jenelle Janci (JOUR). The Temple News
  • Column Honorable Mention. Jerry Iannelli (ADV). The Temple News
  • Review Second Place. Brendan Menapace (JOUR) – Fans and family. The Temple News
  • Review Honorable Mention. Dave Zisser (JOUR) - Aussie band adapts to U.S. scene. The Temple News
  • Cartoon/Graphic Illustration Honorable Mention. Katie Kalupson (Community/Regional Planning). The Temple News
  • Sports Photo Honorable Mention. Hua Zong (JOUR) – Hurdle. The Temple News
  • Photo Story Second Place. Kara Milstein (FOX) – Rowing practice. The Temple News
  • Layout and Design Honorable Mention. Staff of The Temple News – 2013 Temple basketball preview



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