NEXTpittsburgh took home three Robert L. Vann Media Awards, which celebrate excellence in journalism coverage of African American and African diaspora communities, individuals and issues. The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation hosted the event on Wednesday night at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Downtown.

The 2021 NEXTpittsburgh winners for Excellence in Written Journalism Non-Daily Newspapers/News Services are:


Sally Quinn: Black Lives in Focus at Pitt showcases and amplifies Black experiences and voices


Brian Hyslop: YWCA Greater Pittsburgh gains momentum in mission to fight racism and empower women

Public Affairs/Politics/Government

Ann Belser: Democratic nominee for mayor Ed Gainey opens up about his agenda and his family’s tragedy

In addition, NEXTpittsburgh’s new columnist Tony Norman was recognized for his work as a columnist with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and frequent NEXT contributor Joyce Gannon won for her PG article on former Steeler Ryan Shazier’s charity.

“For more than three decades, the federation has been able to encourage and honor journalism that does so much to support diverse reporting and storytelling,” said Pittsburgh Black Media Federation President Brian Cook Sr. 

The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation contest is open to journalists and news organizations from western Pennsylvania and central Ohio, and the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) Region I territory: the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The finalists and winners were selected by journalism and media professionals and professors from Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas.

The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation also presented four special awards to Jonas Chaney, former public affairs director and sports anchor at WPXI-TV; The Advanced Leadership Institute, an executive development program for African Americans; The International Free Expression Project, which supports the marketplace of ideas and artists; and Marimba Milliones, president and CEO of the Hill Community Development Corp.

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.