One year ago, absolutely nobody would think a 24 year old crime reporter from Harrisburg, PA would be doing the best sports-related journalism in the country. Sara Ganim, the reporter from Harrisburg, PA’s Patriot-News, is apparently receiving consideration for a Pulitzer Prize for her work in breaking and reporting on the Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal. Buried in this story from Philly.com about Ganim is a brief tidbit that Ganim’s work was submitted by the Patriot-News to the Pulitzer committee for consideration.
The story itself is quite interesting, detailing Ganim’s background (born in Detroit, grew up in Florida, graduated from Penn State), her history with the case (broke the story last March, which didn’t get mainstream media attention until the fall, after two years of work on researching the case), and future plans (Ganim has stated that she has a lot left to do, and isn’t thining about any future jobs). It’s also a testament to the work still done in local papers in a world becoming increasingly dominated by 24/7 cable news. Ganim herself referred to her own work as a “testament to local journalism.”
As a resident of Harrisburg, and an occasional reader of the Patriot-News, you got a sense from reading Ganim’s work in the paper that she would receive national recognition for her work early on. My father, a Patriot reader for 30 years, immediately began the cries for a Pulitzer from the beginning of her reporting on the case. The case has been largely manhandled by many of the major news outlets, and public perception is decidedly skewed in this situation. Ganim has done a great job in keeping everything level, and focusing attention on Sandusky, the real monster in the case.