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10 Things You Need To Know About 24-Year-Old Pulitzer Prize Winner Sara Ganim

Ganim just won for local reporting on the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Here’s the lowdown on this journalistic wunderkind.

Christine Baker / AP

Ganim celebrates her win.

1. She broke the news that Sandusky was under investigation for allegedly molesting boys.

Here’s her very first story on the now-disgraced Penn State coach, published on March 31, 2011 in the Harrisburg, PA “Patriot-News.” This would become one of the biggest stories of the year.

She told MarketWatch last fall that working at a local paper helped her break the Sandusky story: “You can credit the Patriot-News with giving me the time a reporter needs to cover this kind of story. You don’t have that kind of flexibility any more.”

PAT LITTLE / Reuters

Jerry Sandusky

2. She’s eschewed blogging — which many writers her age turn to — in favor of working at local papers.

Not only did Ganim break the Sandusky story for the local “Patriot-News,” she also did award-winning work for the “Centre Daily Times,” based in State College, PA.

3. Her less-serious stories include coverage of crock pots owned by crack pots.

As a crime reporter for the “Patriot-News,” Ganim reported on a wide variety of topics. One 2011 headline: “Woman turns in friend for keeping crock pot too long after Super Bowl party.” Here’s the entirety of that story:

A Middletown woman reported to Lower Swatara Township police Thursday that she still hasn’t been able to pick up a $150 crock pot she left at a friend’s house after a Super Bowl party.

The woman told police the friend is refusing to return the slow-cooker.

4. She’s been reporting since she was 15.

Ganim worked at Florida’s “Sun Sentinel” while still in high school, majored in journalism at Penn State, graduated in three years, and was working at the “Centre Daily Times” by 2007. She started covering the Sandusky story at 22. At age 24, she’s already on her third reporting gig.

Christine Baker / AP

Ganim and the “Patriot-News” staff celebrate.

5. She’s not the youngest Pulitzer winner ever, but she is the second-youngest.

The youngest ever was apparently 23-year-old Jackie Crosby, who won in 1985.

6. She was the youngest ever to win the Sidney Award for socially-conscious journalism.

The Sidney Hillman Foundation conferred that award on her in December. Said one of the judges, “Sara Ganim had the guts to take on the most powerful institutions in her community. And she won.”

7. A lot of people are jealous of her.

Here are just a few:

8. She and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham are almost the same age — Dunham is 25.

Some people find this interesting:

Others less so:

AP / AP

Sara Ganim

9. In addition to reporting for the “Patriot-News,” she’s now a CNN contributor.

Here she is discussing witness Mike McQueary’s conflicting statements about the Sandusky case:

10. She’s still hard at work — reporting!

Her latest story, dated yesterday, examines the life of “missing DA” Ray Gricar, who declined to press charges against Jerry Sandusky, then disappeared. Ganim doesn’t appear to have a byline today — maybe she got the day off to, oh, win a Pulitzer.

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