Outlet: Delaware County Times
Journalist: Danielle Lynch
Tags: editorial, multimedia
Reporter Danielle Lynch and Editor Phil Heron of the Delaware County Times won the January DFMie for the Pennsylvania/New Jersey/West Virginia cluster for reporting and editorials about the local gun-control issue. Heron explains in his nomination:
For January, we decided to focus on the gun conversation sweeping the country in the wake of the deadly shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn. Reporter Danielle Lynch set the tone with an enterprise story tracking spikes in both gun sales and permits to carry in the county. We then decided to engage the public in our conversation. I offered a blog, print column and editorial on this key issue.
Judges praised the dual approach of reporting and commentary:
Lynch did a very comprehensive job of tracking down data (re: gun sales, concealed/carry permits and background checks) in Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Bucks counties. She was also thorough in including impact on the business community (gun shops, etc.) and perspective from the weapons-control community group. Most useful: on-the-record responses by U.S. senators, congressmen and state representatives — revealing where they stand on the issue, and how Newtown had triggered a shift in position for two of them. Congrats on extracting official statements from them on a volatile issue — not easy! Videos added another dimension. The editorial offered a nice summary of points, pro/con, and the “Letter From The Editor” was an engaging personal essay, which invited conversation. The tremendous response from the community — hundreds of comments — is proof of successful reader engagement. Congrats on tackling a timely and important issue in a way that reflected community values, and triggered a deeper debate.
The video from a gun shop/indoor range, Target Master, was well done — capturing a growing sense of popularity of guns accompanied by well-shot B-rolls and interviews with the store manager and a customer.
Other finalists in the cluster were Karol Gress and Andrea Gillhooley of the Lebanon Daily News for their Where the Jobs Are digital project and Jenny DeHuff of the Times Herald in Norristown, Pa., for coverage the parole (and reversal of parole) for killer Rafael Robb.