York Daily Record/Sunday News wins Public Service Award

The York Daily Record/Sunday News has been awarded the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation’s Public Service Award for leading the way in its community, in Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast with its pioneering trauma journalism program.

In partnership with the Dart Center, the newspaper created a peer support initiative for journalists within its own newsroom, and then expanded it to other then-Digital First Media properties (now Gannett properties.)

Led by Scott Blanchard, enterprise editor of YDR's Sunday News and a 2013 Dart Ochberg Fellow, the training initiative has helped reporters and editors deal more sensitively and effectively with the people they cover. In addition, YDR has taken its message outside of the newsroom and into the community with visits in classrooms and to first-responders groups, sharing how the reporting of traumatic events is handled and how stories can help with healing.

“This is the unequivocal choice for the Public Service Award,” judges wrote. “By linking the oftoverlooked emotional wellbeing of journalists to more sensitive reporting about people and communities in distress, the newspaper has created a program that connects reporters to the people they are covering. Traditionally, in this business, we have stressed the need for journalists to cultivate detachment and to practice objectivity, and these values remain an integral part of the profession. But the YDR has taken things a giant step further by nurturing a bond between reporter and subject that has usually been considered taboo, but that will, we believe, provide great benefit to journalists, the stories they write and the communities their newspaper serves."

The Public Service Award will be presented on November 13 during the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Annual Convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania.