Scott LaMar Honored with National Excellence in Journalism Award

WITF announced that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has named Smart Talk Host and Executive Producer Scott LaMar the recipient of 2020 Excellence in Journalism Award.

Founded in 1994, the ASCE Excellence in Journalism Award honors journalists for outstanding work that enhances public understanding of the role and impact of civil engineering in designing solutions for clean water, transportation, the environment, and other public works projects.

Smart Talk is a lively and thoughtful conversation on a wide range of issues relevant to central Pennsylvanians that airs weekdays at 9am on WITF 89.5 & 93.3. As host, LaMar asks a panel of experts questions to provide context and deeper understanding for listeners. When Pennsylvania received a C‐  average grade in the ASCE’s “2018 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure,” LaMar sought to address the troubling state of affairs in an episode titled Pennsylvania Infrastructure Not Making The Grade.

The American Society of Civil Engineer Excellence in Journalism Award for outstanding work to enhance public understanding of civil engineering

In a video at the award ceremony, the ASCE explained, “What made Scott LaMar’s approach so impactful for an issue that’s duplicated from state to state is in describing how solutions from the Report Card should be implemented and explaining the key legislation that can impact raising the state’s grades while improving the infrastructure…  Mr. LaMar’s ability to weave in all these facets and cover them in an hour brilliantly is owed to his years of experience producing the show…”

“Scott has a sincere dedication to providing a platform for civil discourse on topics that truly impact central Pennsylvanians,” said WITF’s Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer Cara Williams Fry. “I’m excited that his efforts to keep our community engaged have been recognized on a national level.”

LaMar has worked in both radio and television for more than four decades. He has won more than a dozen Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcast Awards since 2000 and has been nominated for five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards. LaMar and Smart Talk have been recognized throughout the Central Pennsylvania community including ADVOZ Lancaster’s first “Dignity in Dialogue Award”, the South Central Assembly’s “Regional Citizen Award” and was named a “Humanitarian Hero” by The Humane Society of the United States/Pennsylvania.


About WITF:

WITF is a trusted provider of public media news and programming for approximately 2.3 million citizens in 19 counties of Central Pennsylvania, encouraging children and adults to Live Inspired®.  A member station of PBS and NPR, WITF’s media services include public television (WITF TV and WITFK PBS KIDS 24/7), public radio (WITF 89.5 & 93.3), websites (including,,,, and, and a production services division (Media Solutions). WITF’s mission is to strengthen our communities by connecting us to each other and to opportunities for lifelong learning. WITF engages minds and enriches lives. For more information, visit