‘Campus’ faculty adviser, alumna, earn Keystone Media Awards


Two of Allegheny’s own journalists snagged awards.
The annual professional Keystone Media Awards are meant to identify “journalism that consistently provides relevance, integrity, and initiative in serving readers and audiences, and faithfully fulfills its First Amendment rights/responsibilities,” its website states.
Categories range from ongoing news coverage to personality profile, and publications are split into divisions by circulation.
Michael Crowley, assistant professor of English and faculty adviser for The Campus, won an honorable mention in the News Beat Reporting category and first place in the Feature Story category for Division IV.
His article “Dixon reflects on life of educational leadership” took home the Feature award, while his article “COVID one year later: Crawford County residents reflect on effects of shutdown,” earned him the News Beat award.
Crowley was excited to be a winner.
“Sometimes, when you’re writing stories, it feels a little isolated,” he said, “but that kind of recognition makes you feel like somebody noticed.”
Crowley is not a stranger to receiving Keystone Media Awards.
Just last year, he earned two first place prizes, one for News Beat Reporting and the other for Business or Consumer Story.
This year, he was optimistic about his odds and felt good about the work he had done, but he added, “I didn’t necessarily think that I was going to win.”
Crowley elaborated on the submission process for the Professional Keystone Media Awards. His editor announced that he was looking for submissions, and Crowley compiled a list of what he thought were his best articles and to what category they belonged.
“I assume he forwarded at least two of them,” Crowley said with a chuckle.
Beating out Crowley for first place in the News Beat Reporting category was Marley Parish, ’19, of the “Pennsylvania Capital-Star” for multiple pieces covering the Pennsylvania State Senate’s attempts to investigate the 2020 election. Parish served as Editor-in-Chief of The Campus from 2017-2019 and got to know Crowley as a result.
“He also was a resource to me when I was doing my senior comprehensive project, and we have stayed in touch since I graduated … he has been an incredible mentor to me,” Parish said.
Parish felt that she was “in good company” alongside said mentor in the News Beat Reporting category.
“I’ve stayed up-to-date in his reporting with ‘The Meadville Tribune,’” Parish added. “I thought his story on Armendia Dixon was phenomenal.”
Parish expressed her congratulations in regards to Crowley’s win, as well as her gratitude in being able to learn from him. If Parish needs advice, or if she just wants to catch up, she knows he is only a phone call away.
“I know Allegheny is lucky to have him as a professor,” Parish said. “The Meadville community is lucky to have him as a reporter and telling such important stories.”
As for her own award, Parish was both humbled and surprised to win. She explained that although the point of journalism is not to expect awards and that it is not about the journalists themselves, to have her work recognized nevertheless felt good.
Ethan Woodfill, ’22, co-Editor-in-Chief of The Campus, has a Keystone Media Award under his belt himself. Last year, he won an honorable mention prize in the “Column” category, which requires applicants to submit a trio of editorial pieces.
Woodfill explained that Crowley encourages staff members to not only apply for awards but to do the best journalistic work that they can.
“He is a very respectable journalist and I look up to him very much,” Woodfill said.
According to Woodfill, Crowley’s wins were well deserved, especially considering the fact that his work was evaluated alongside that of journalists for Pittsburgh publications.
“He’s always running from our meetings out into Meadville and the surrounding area, picking up just the craziest stories,” Woodfill added. “I’m really happy to see that his work is recognized among a pretty competitive group.”
Earning these awards felt validating for Crowley in terms of his journalism moving forward.
“I think it gives me some confidence that I’m going about this work the right way, and that helps make the next story a little bit easier,” Crowley said.
In addition to these accolades, Crowley has been named a finalist in three Golden Quill Categories, “News Feature,” “Science/Environment” and “Traditional Feature.” He rose to prominence in this last category with his Dixon article.
Winners for the Keystone Media Awards will be honored at a brunch, starting at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Sheraton Hershey Harrisburg Hotel.