Expansive transportation story by Katherine Blunt ’15 receives Editor & Publisher award

The Houston Chronicle retail reporter, formerly a transportation reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, authored an in-depth article on a failed toll road plan, bringing to light “the pitfalls of privatized infrastructure.”   

Katherine Blunt’s exhaustive coverage of a failed toll road plan in southern Texas continues to compile accolades.

While working as a transportation reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, the Elon alumna and Houston Chronicle retail reporter published “End of the Road: Texas Highway 150 leaves taxpayers in limbo," a 6,000-word article supplemented by an extensive multimedia package in September 2016. The long-form narrative details the troubles surrounding the southern section of Texas 130, the Lone Star State’s first public-private toll road, which has failed to meet traffic projections, among other financial and environmental concerns.

In October, the “End of the Road” article was honored in a national Editor & Publisher competition, capturing an EPPY Award for best business reporting. The EPPY Awards recognize the best media-affiliated websites across 30 diverse categories. Following the award announcement, the Express News published an Oct. 30 release commending Blunt’s in-depth report that “showed the pitfalls of privatized infrastructure.” The online article was accompanied by several video and audio elements, interactive graphics and embedded documents.

The EPPY Award comes on the heels of a first-place finish in the 2016 journalism awards presented by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors (TAPME). “End of the Road” placed first in the competition’s business reporting category.

In the contest’s comments session, judge Ben van der Meer, a Sacramento Business Journal reporter, praised Blunt’s article explaining, “Terrific use of graphics, and timely considering discussion of how to pay for needed infrastructure nationwide.”

Interested in the article’s print presentation? Find it on the TAPME awards website.

Following a distinguished undergraduate career at Elon, the journalism and history double major was awarded a Hearst Journalism Fellowship, a prestigious two-year program that includes two 12-month rotations at top Hearst newspapers. Blunt completed her Fellowship in the summer and was hired by the Houston Chronicle, site of her second rotation.