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People of Point Park: Professor Andrew Conte; Good reporting takes love

Friday, November 13, 2015

Conte 2Faculty Spotlight

Position at Point Park: Adjunct Professor in School of Communication, Founder/Director of Point Park News Service
Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in American Studies from Dickinson College
Graduate Degree: M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Other Position: Investigative Reporter for Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Current Hometown: Mt. Lebanon, PA

You Have to Love Investigative Reporting

When Point Park University faculty member Andrew Conte first went to Dickinson College, he was planning to study pre-law in the hopes of one day becoming an attorney. However, after working on the school newspaper for a semester, he began to take an interest in what we can do with words. He later spent a semester at American University in Washington, D.C., where he was mentored by legendary writer and political columnist Jack Anderson. From that point on, his love for journalism and reporting took hold.

Throughout his career as an investigative reporter, Andrew has covered many ground-breaking stories, including a notable story that uncovered doctors who were performing unnecessary liver transplant surgeries. According to Andrew, investigative reporting is harder than people realize and requires a lot of hard work and patience in order to be successful. “It’s important work but it’s challenging. That’s what I love about it,” he said.  

Inspiration behind the News Service

This year, the Point Park News Service is celebrating its 10th anniversary at the University. Andrew said that he when he started teaching at Point Park, he would receive papers from students that were newspaper quality but would never go anywhere. This was the inspiration for the PPNS — a platform to showcase the students’ best work as well as encourage other great student work in the future.

Andrew recognizes that his students at Point Park have a hunger for knowledge and opportunity and are eager to go out and learn the craft. He loves how the setting of Point Park allows student to be engaged in the city of Pittsburgh and tell real stories about people with real issues.

“They graduate with experience (and) understanding of what it takes to do professional quality work,” he said. “It’s great for media outlets as well because they end up gaining a perspective they otherwise would never get.”

“The Color of Sundays”

Andrew’s second book, "The Color of Sundays," is based on the true story of Bill Nunn Jr., who was a pioneering African-American football player and later a historic scout for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nunn was key in helping the Steelers find many of the great players of the 1970s that other teams did not value because of the color of their skin. Andrew was excited to share Nunn’s story in an effort to celebrate and remember his impact on the community.

“I was really pleased I was able to get these guys and their stories for today’s generation and future generations of athletes, fans, and people who appreciate sports.” 

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