Wausau Pilot & Review

Shereen Siewert, founder and publisher of Wausau Pilot & Review, is one of 10 finalists for the Doris O’Donnell Innovations in Investigative Journalism Fellowship from the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University.

Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation received dozens of applications from across the United States focused on diverse topics. Siewert proposed a series of stories delving into the history of environmental contamination in Wausau neighborhoods and its widespread implications on residential health.

“We are grateful to be named a finalist and believe strongly in the value of local reporting,” Siewert said. “We also applaud the Center’s ongoing support of innovative, investigative journalism.”

The annual fellowship is made possible through a three-year grant from the Allegheny Foundation. With the number of underserved markets – known as news deserts – growing throughout the United States, the fellowship is just the latest effort from the Center designed to spotlight and take on the problem.

A panel of distinguished judges with credentials in innovative and investigative journalism evaluated applicants based on value, innovation, engagement, diversity and ability. That panel includes:

  • Penny Abernathy, a former executive at The Wall Street Journal and New York Times who is now a visiting professor at Northwestern University, collaborating with colleagues at the Medill School on the Local News Initiative. She is the author of “The Expanding News Deserts,” a major report that documents the decline and loss of local news organizations in the U.S.
  • David Folkenflik, a media correspondent for NPR News, and host and editor of On Point from NPR and WBUR, Boston’s NPR station. His stories and analyses are broadcast throughout NPR’s newsmagazines, including All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now.
  • Andrew Fraser, senior publishing editor at The Wall Street Journal. He spent time as editor of the Valley News Dispatch newspaper in suburban Pittsburgh and as business editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Fraser also worked nearly two decades at The Associated Press in newsroom management roles and as a reporter and editor.
  • Amber Hunt, an investigative reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer. She is part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team at the Enquirer, where she also hosts the podcast “Accused,” an award-winning true crime serial that reached No. 1 on iTunes and has 20 million downloads to date. She’s written six books, including the New York Times bestseller “The Kennedy Wives.
  • Brentin Mock, a Pittsburgh-based staff writer for CityLab, a standalone website from Bloomberg Media that explores trends shaping our country’s urban future, and captures the creativity and vibrancy of our increasingly urbanized world.
  • Carl Prine, former editor of the Navy Times, who covered the invasion of Iraq for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and was later deployed to Iraq as an Army guardsman. Prior to the Navy Times, he covered the military beat and breaking national news at the San Diego Union-Tribune. In 2012, Prine won an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for “Rules of Engagement,” a report on a 2007 incident in which U.S. soldiers shot three unarmed deaf Iraqi boys.
  • Salena Zito is a contributor to The Wall Street Journal and RealClearPolitics, Washington Examiner reporter and New York Post columnist, as well as coauthor of “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics.”