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"This was the greatest honor of my life ... While no story could heal the wounds from that day, I hope that our coverage helped our community cope, honored the beautiful lives lost and shed a little light on darkness."

Andrew Goldstein

Point Park University School of Communication graduates Ashley Murray, M.A., and Andrew Goldstein are part of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette team honored with a 2019 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

The Post-Gazette was recognized April 15 for its coverage of the shooting deaths of 11 people and wounding of seven others Oct. 27, 2018, at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

"This was the greatest honor of my life," said Goldstein, a 2014 B.A. in journalism alumnus and graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pa.

He added: "My heart broke Oct. 27, and it remains in pieces. I worked on so many of these stories with tears rolling down my cheeks and falling on my keyboard. I hope that our coverage helped our community cope, honored the beautiful lives lost and shed a little light on darkness."

Murray, who earned a B.A. in broadcast reporting in 2009 and an M.A. in media communication in 2018, said being a part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team so early in her career feels unreal.

"While, of course, you are never expecting a Pulitzer, it doesn’t surprise me that the heartfelt work of Post-Gazette journalists after a community tragedy was recognized at such a high level," Murray said. "The editors, the reporters, people on the desk that morning, the art department – just everybody was all hands on deck.”

Helen Fallon, M.A., professor of journalism and a part-time copy editor at the Post-Gazette, taught both Goldstein and Murray, beginning with Introduction to Journalistic Writing.

“They had the instincts and the curiosity from the very beginning of that first course,” Fallon said. “The work they do, they are so serious about. They immerse themselves in it.”

Andrew Conte, M.S., director of the Center for Media Innovation, said both stand out as memorable students from his nearly 15 years of teaching at Point Park.

“Andrew has always been a hard-charging, serious journalist. He was that way in class, and he brings that same ethic to his work at the Post-Gazette,” Conte said. “Ashley works harder at the details than any journalist I have ever met.”

Fallon said both Murray and Goldstein benefited from supplementing their class work by committing to being part of The Globe, Point Park’s student-run newspaper.

“I think it shows that learning for both of them was inside and outside of the classroom,” she said.

Conte noted that, in addition to The Globe, Murray and Goldstein were able to secure work as interns while still students at Point Park. Both did internships at the Post-Gazette, while Goldstein also interned at The Jewish Chronicle. Both were hired full-time by the Post-Gazette after graduating.

Since hearing the news of the award, Murray has been reaching out to her professors to thank them.

“I can think of each one and remember specific pep talks and lessons on interviewing, editing and writing that they gave me,” she said. “I carry those with me always while on the job.”

Photos by Hannah Johnston, English major

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