Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Winning Ways: See which stories, photos, designs garnered awards for TheBurg this year

Award-winning photograph by Elena Jasic

Springtime brings us warmer weather, flowers galore and, if you’re a journalist in Pennsylvania, the year’s most anticipated press awards.

On Thursday, we learned that TheBurg received 17 individual and group Keystone Media Awards, a peer-reviewed contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation. According to PNA, it received more than 2,500 entries from 110 news organizations, with entries judged by working journalists in Virginia.

Our awards cover a wide range of areas, including reporting, writing, photography, illustration and design and include the prestigious “Sweepstakes” award for the best performance statewide in our category.

Of special note, our contributor, Diane McCormick, received the first-ever, “Freelance Journalist of the Year,” a specialty prize awarded to just one journalist throughout the entire commonwealth. So, be sure to click on her submission to read some of the highest-quality freelance writing work in Pennsylvania.

But let us delay no further. As I have in recent years, I have all the winners listed below, with links so you can see what the judges deemed to be some of the best work done statewide in 2021.



Freelance Journalist of the Year: M. Diane McCormick (a single, statewide award) 

Diane McCormick Freelance Journalist of the Year



News Beat Reporting: First Place, Maddie Gittens (Harrisburg government beat, 5 stories)

Harrisburg mayor proposes using federal funds on new pools; council members ask to be included in planning

Hop, Skip and Runoff: Harrisburg park is renovated to include to include stormwater management features, new playground

Harrisburg cleans up blighted properties, works to address illegal dumping

CARES Act funding under fire, Harrisburg School District loses students to cyber charters

Dauphin County to release rent relief money, could relieve large amount of tenant debt


News Feature Story: First Place, Maddie Gittens


News Feature Story: Honorable Mention, Maddie Gittens


Sports Feature: Second Place, Jeff Falk


Sports Feature, Honorable Mention, Maddie Gittens


Personality Profile: Second Place, Karen Hendricks


Lifestyle/Entertainment Beat: Second Place, Maddie Gittens (6 stories)

Lifestyle Arts Beat


Lifestyle/Entertainment Beat: Honorable Mention, Stephanie Kalina-Metzger (6 stories)

Lifestyle Entertainment Beat SKM


Headline Writing: First Place, Lawrance Binda (3 headlines)

Burg Headline 4


Headline Writing: Second Place, Lawrance Binda and Maddie Gittens (3 headlines)

Burg Headline 1


Podcast: Second Place, Karen Hendricks (3 podcasts)

A Warm Welcome to 2021
Drama and Adventure
An Ice-Skater, Violinist and Illustrator


Diversity: Second Place: Susan Ryder, M. Diane McCormick, Maddie Gittens (3 stories)

Diversity 2



Feature Photo: Second Place, Elena Jasic
















Photo/Essay Story: First Place, Meg Caruso


Feature Page Design: Second Place, Meg Caruso (3 designs)


Graphic/Photo Illustration: First Place, Rich Hauck


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