Pittsburgh City Paper wins 2021 Pittsburgh Black Media Federation awards


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Cover photos by Jared Wickerham

City of Pittsburgh 2020 Paper Covers

When Pittsburgh City Paper Photographer Jared Wickerham found out writer Jordan Snowden was interviewing a local social media influencer Martayla Poellinitz, he knew he wanted to involve his makeup art in his cover photo shoot.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed, Martayla, who had reached over 25,000 subscribers on his TikTok account @momentmarty at the time of our article, was using her makeup art to broadcast political statements such as “Defund the Police” and “Arrest the Cops who Killed Breonna Taylor” to her supporters.

for her City paper cover story, Jared invited Martayla to write an expression of his choice on her face with makeup on. She chose “Black Lives Matter,” and the two got the picture (courtesy organizers) at a Civil Saturdays protest.

Their work, along with Abbie Adams’ graphic design, earned them the Best Cover Design (Magazines) in the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s
Robert L. Vann Media Award 2021.

The awards recognize excellence in journalistic coverage of African American and African communities, individuals and diaspora issues, ”read a press release announcing the awards on January 8, which were delayed due to COVID and “other challenges”.

Founded in 1973, PBMF is a non-profit organization made up of professional black journalists, public relations specialists, journalism professors, and students. The Journalism Awards competition was started by PBMF in 1988 to honor Robert L. Vann, the Pittsburgh Courier publisher engaged in journalism and creating a voice for the black community.


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