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Jon Schmitz, Transportation Writer, Honored with Excellence in Journalism Award

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Media Contact(s):
Tracy Withrow, 703-295-6326, twithrow@asce.org

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reston, Va.—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette transportation writer, Jon Schmitz, was recently honored with the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2012 Excellence in Journalism Award for his outstanding depiction of the state of Pittsburgh’s infrastructure and its impact on individuals and communities.

Schmitz will accept this national award at ASCE’s Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala on March 22, 2012. The black tie event will be held at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va.

“Jon has done the best job I’ve ever seen of reporting on the topic of public civil infrastructure,” said ASCE Pittsburgh Section President Karl Sieg. “His coverage of the current statewide and local crisis in transportation funding has helped his readers understand the importance of our transportation infrastructure to Pennsylvania’s economic health.”

Schmitz has been a reporter and editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Press for more than 30 years, and has covered transportation for the Post-Gazette since 2009. He also authors the Post-Gazette traffic blog, The Roundabout. Articles submitted for the 2012 Excellence in Journalism award include: “Panel discusses transportation funding crisis” (April 26, 2011), “Deteriorating bridges sign of the times in state” (July 25, 2011) and “Lock shutdown shows age of river system” (Aug. 30, 2011).

Within ASCE, Schmitz provided excellent coverage of the 2010 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure, and he has continued to encourage members of the Pittsburgh Section to contact him with their expertise on transportation infrastructure-related issues. He has educated the citizens of Pittsburgh about local roads and bridges in crisis, and has also reported about the critically suffering lock and dam system—a failure that would cripple the economy of Southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Schmitz has been honored twice with the ASCE Pittsburgh Section’s Journalism Award, and last year he received a journalism award from the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association. In addition, he participated in the Post-Gazette’s award-winning coverage of the Bonusgate scandal in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and the catastrophic flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

He is a graduate of the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University and resides in Washington County, Penn.

Established in 1999, the OPAL awards recognize outstanding civil engineering leaders. The ASCE Excellence in Journalism Award was instituted in 1994 to honor journalists for outstanding coverage of issues involving clean water, transportation, the environment and other public works projects, and to enhance the public’s understanding of the role and impact of civil engineering. For more information on the Excellence in Journalism Award, visit www.asce.org/leadership-and-management/awards/excellence-in-journalism-award or contact Tracy Withrow, 703-295-6326.

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.

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