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Mirror staff honored by state news organizations

Eight members of the Altoona Mirror staff have been recognized by several news organizations.

Sports Writer Michael Boytim led the way with four awards in the annual Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association contest, and he’s also a finalist in the Western Pennsylvania’s Press Club’s annual Golden Quill contest for writing excellence.

Competing in PMA’s Division II (20,000 circulation and higher), Boytim earned first place in sports beat reporting along with honorable mentions in sports event/breaking news, and sports enterprise.

Boytim also teamed with fellow sports writer Scott Franco and page designer Sarah Vasile to win first place in the sports video category for their weekly high school football preview show.

Graphic artist Nick Anna won second place in the graphic-photo illustration category.

Photographer Patrick Waksmunski earned an honorable mention for sports photo.

Reporter Kay Stephens won three awards from the Pennsylvania Press Club that advances her to the national contest organized by the National Federation of Press Women.

Boytim, Stephens and Reporter Ike Fredregill have each been named finalists in two categories by the Western Pennsylvania Press Club.

Stephens was recognized in the spot/breaking news and feature categories. Fredregill and Boytim were both recognized in the feature and profile categories.

The Golden Quills will be presented at a banquet in Pittsburgh in September. PMA’s banquet was canceled due to the pandemic but sends recognition plaques to its award winners.

The Mirror sports department, led by Sports Editor Buck Frank, was awarded Top 10 recognition in the daily section category by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and contributing photographer Chuck Meyers won an award for sports photo.

The Mirror has now won at least one APSE award for 19 straight years.

“It’s obviously been a tough year for all of us, our readers and our staff, but these awards further underscore the kind of work the Mirror does, day after day, to serve the community with information,” Managing Editor Neil Rudel said. “We appreciate our staff’s efforts and by the feedback we receive daily, we know our readers do, too.”

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