City News Editor
When KRCC News Director, Andrea Chalfin, submitted her report titled, “A Weekend of Flooding and Community in Mantiou Springs,” she had little expectations of winning.
“I entered my story on a whim really. Talk to any journalist, and they don’t expect to win any of these awards,” said Chalfin.
So when Chalfin received word on April 22 that the Radio Television Digital News Association awarded her the “Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism in the Breaking News” category, she was all the more surprised.
“These are other journalists that are judging these things, so it’s peer validation that I am doing something right,” said Calfin. “I take more stock, though, when someone in the community comes up to me and says that my story was really great. It’s really industry versus community validation.”
The award recognizes the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world. This year, RTDNA received more than 4,000 entries, making 2014 the most competitive Edward R. Murrow Awards seasons in RTDNA history.
Chalfin explained that the decision to report on the subject wasn’t a decision at all. She knew it was her responsibility to inform and connect the community as soon as possible about the devastating floods in Manitou Springs last August.
“It was necessary on so many levels in terms of the community, public safety, natural disasters, etc.” said Calfin. “I went out Saturday and Sunday for the clean-up efforts, and did on the spot interviews with volunteers and collected some really powerful sounds.”
According to Calfin, one of the more inspiring moments was witnessing the collaborative efforts and engagement of the community to help restore Manitou Springs.
“It was interesting because it was so devastating to see all the people in distress,” Calfin said. “At the same time, though, it was such a swelling and outpour of community support. I don’t want to say it was surprising how the community came out, but it really shows the spirit of this place.”
Chalfin and the other regional award winners will advance to the national competition. The RTDNA will announce the national winners in June.
“I don’t think I’m going to win on the national level; the regional was great enough,” said Chalfin. “It lets me know that I do good work that serves the community, and is a reminder of why I do what I do as a journalist.”