Five for five

Most of you who read this blog know me as a political reporter.  I'm also the news director of Radio Iowa.  In my role as newsroom manager, I'm going to take a little space here to congratulate the entire team at Radio Iowa.

Each year the StateNets organization — comprised of our peers in the state radio network business — holds an awards competition.  This year Radio Iowa submitted five entries in the following categories: Story of the Year; Best Newscast; Best Feature; Best Spot News & Best Political Coverage.  We were just notified that we won in all five categories.

Best Spot News: this was a compilation of Radio Iowa's coverage of the tornado which struck Parkersburg & the surrounding area on Memorial Day weekend as well as the tornado which struck the Boy Scout camp in western Iowa in June.  Radio Iowa's Dar Danielson was on the news desk Memorial Day weekend and coordinated our coverage with two talented reporters in the field:  Bob Fisher from KRIB in Mason City and Elwin Huffman from KOEL in Oelwein.  The June tornado at the Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp struck in the evening hours and Radio Iowa covered an 10 p.m. news conference which featured the governor and public safety officials, then Radio Iowa's Matt Kelley was on the anchor desk the next morning, telling the story to listeners and working with reporters on the scene to add to our coverage.

Story of the Year:  this was a compilation of Radio Iowa's coverage of the floods and storms (the tornadoes mentioned above) which struck Iowa this spring. You may listen to the 15 minute entry here..

Best Newscast:  Radio Iowa newscast anchored by Matt Kelley  was submitted and was judged the winning entry.  It featured as the lede story that day's news on the flooding which rolled through Iowa this past spring (we journalists refer to the top story as a lede — pronounced LEED).  Matt has been Radio Iowa's morning anchor for just over a decade. You may also hear Matt anchoring early morning newscasts on the Nebraska Radio Network, another Learfield property. 

Best Feature:  Radio Iowa's Pat Curtis won this category for his creative story about novelty lighters.  Read and listen to it here.  Pat's creative talents aren't limited to the newsroom.  Read more about his band, North of Grand, and listen to some tracks.

Best Political Coverage:  this was a compilation of political stories by you know who.  Listen to it here.  The submission included this profile which ran in the January 1, 2008 edition of the Chicago Tribune.

Thanks to my colleagues — Matt, Dar, Pat & Radio Iowa sports director Todd Kimm – for their hard work this past year. The president of our company once said: "If it's not fun, why are we doing it?" and I can report that working in the Radio Iowa newsroom is still (mostly) fun after 21 and a half years — and these men are four of the reasons why.   

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.