Sara Ganim, a 24-year-old crime reporter with the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., won the December Sidney award for her series of investigations exposing the Penn State sex abuse scandal.
The monthly award by the Sidney Hillman Foundation recognizes an outstanding piece of socially conscious journalism. The foundation’s programs honor the legacy and vision of Hillman, a union pioneer who was the founding president of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union of America and New Deal architect.
In March, Ganim broke the news that a grand jury was investigating former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky for allegedly sexually abusing a high school football player. She has since interviewed several young men who say that Sandusky abused them. In November, Ganim revealed that allegations of abuse by Sandusky first surfaced in 1995, but authorities botched investigations. Her stories brought to light an institutional cover up.
Hillman Judge Lindsay Beyerstein says:
This reporter from a small newspaper took on one of the most powerful institutions in her area and brought down some of the most powerful names in sports, local police, community leaders, and Sandusky’s charity. For years, everyone put prestige and power ahead of vulnerable children.
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The Hillman Foundation also awards an annual Journalism prize.