Following word last week that the news department at KVNF Mountain Grown Public Radio was recognized by the Colorado Broadcasters Association with four awards, the station learned it notched 12 stories on the list of 2021 Top of the Rockies winners.
The contest sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists pits print, TV, radio, and online news organizations from four states (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming) depending on newsroom size. The nonprofit KVNF fits the definition of a small newsroom.
KVNF earned two first place prizes:
• Kori Stanton’s Talkin Music program featuring The Reminders won for Best Arts & Entertainment Feature
• Gavin Dahl’s interview with Secretary of State Jena Griswold in which she accused President Donald Trump of voter suppression won for Best Legal Feature
KVNF earned six second place prizes:
• Laura Palmisano’s story on one way Montrose County helps homeless families pursue self-sufficiency was honored for Best Solutions Journalism
• Kori Stanton’s Talkin Music program featuring Rob Miller of Pickin’ Productions was honored for Best Arts & Entertainment News Feature
• Jodi Peterson’s Local Motion program about Western Slope towns betting on outdoor recreation was honored for Best Business Feature
• Gavin Dahl’s story on the Center for Mental Health partnering with Montrose Police was honored for Best Mental Health News
• Gavin Dahl’s Local Motion program on rural broadband was honored for Best Science and Technology Feature
• Gavin Dahl’s interview of then-candidate Lauren Boebert, the first to air on public radio within Congressional District 3 during the campaign, was honored for Best Politics Feature
KVNF earned three third place prizes:
• Eric Goold’s Local Motion on veterans with PTSD skiing off the war earned recognition for Best Mental Health Feature
• Gavin Dahl’s story on how Hotchkiss inspired Sen. Michael Bennet’s rural infrastructure bill earned recognition for Best Politics News
• Gavin Dahl’s story on the City of Montrose teaming with Colorado Yurt Company to “tipi the town” in support of restaurants earned recognition for Best Business News
Meanwhile, KVNF freelancer Chad Reich was one of seven reporters from stations in the Rocky Mountain Community Radio coalition sharing a win. The stories in RMCR’s Fossil Fuel Reporting Collaboration aired during 2020 earned second place for Public Service. Other named reporters were Robyn Vincent (KHOL), Julia Caulfield (KOTO), Lucas Turner (KDNK), Justin Higginbottom (KZMU), Daniel Rayzel (KSJD), and Maeve Conran (KGNU).
KVNF is a nonprofit public media organization supported by members of local communities and listeners worldwide. Based out of Paonia for more than 41 years, KVNF now has a new additional studio called Studio M, which is located at 19 N. Cascade Ave. in Montrose. The station broadcasts across 10,000 square miles serving Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Mesa, Hinsdale, San Juan, Dolores, and Gunnison counties on seven FM frequencies, and serves a growing digital audience on its website KVNF.org.
For more than 100 years the Society of Professional Journalists has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior and perpetuating a free press. The other Top of the Rockies award-winning newsrooms in KVNF’s coverage area this year are the Ouray County Plaindealer and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.