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Barbara Laker, left, and Wendy Ruderman celebrate their Pulitzer by drinking champagne from their sneakers, in honor of the "shoe-leather journalism" that carried their award-winning investigative journalism. The Philadelphia Daily News reporters were featured speakers at Saturday's Professional Keystone Press Awards Banqueet. (Photo by Alexandria Antonacci, Robert Morris University)
Award winners take on new challenge by writing book
It's been a little more than a year since Philadelphia Daily News reporters Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, and a book detailing the women's journey to completing the award-winning Tainted Justice series is already in the works.

"The book will be suspenseful and funny," Ruderman said. "Hopefully the reader will get a sense of how crazy we are."

"Crazy" may be the most appropriate term to describe the methods Ruderman and Laker employed to obtain information that led to a major FBI probe of scandalous criminal cases, exposing corrupt narcotics officers in Philadelphia.

Now, Ruderman and Laker have departed their desks at the Daily News for a three-month leave, during which they will focus on completing their book.

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The 2011 Online Reporter staff: from left, Sandra Long, vice president of editorial product development for Philadelphia Media Network; David Merrell, mobile producer, Philly.com; Sabine Cherenfant, Robert Morris University; Harry Funk, online editor, The Observer-Reporter; Sybile Cherenfant, Robert Morris University; Alexandria Antonacci, Robert Morris University; and Queen Muse, La Salle University.
Bringing a digital focus to newspapers
In a world of journalism where almost everything has gone high-tech, Sandra Long is helping both seasoned and up-and-coming journalists prepare for the digital shift.

"I think (journalism) is evolving, so for those who are entering the business now, you need to know how to produce credible news that can be used on all platforms," said Long, vice president of editorial product development for Philadelphia Media Network.

For that reason, Long worked with the board of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors to create the Online Reporter Project, a mini-internship that provides student journalists with the opportunity to produce a range of multimedia news stories while networking with top journalists and editors at the annual Pennsylvania Press Conference and Keystone Press Awards.

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