Thursday, March 12, 2009

Newspaper's story of coal country health care project wins video journalism award

A Washington Post report about Southwest Virginia has won an international video journalism award. Titled "The Healing Fields," the story by Alexandra Garcia took first place in the Concentra Award competition, which concluded last week at the DNA2009 conference in Brussels.

Garcia told the story of the Remote Area Medical volunteer corps, which brings more than 800 doctors, dentists, nurses and other health-care workers to Wise County Fairgrounds in July to offer free treatment to those who cannot afford it -- treating more than 2,600 patients in three days.

The two-part video originally accompanied Hidden Hurt, a Washington Post Magazine story by Mary Otto, subtitled "Desperate for medical care, the uninsured flock by the hundreds to a remote corner of Virginia for the chance to see a doctor."

The Concentra Award is sponsored by Avid and Panasonic. Its stated goal is to promote healthy competition in television news, and "to stimulate journalists to film and edit their own pieces, so they master the entire production process themselves." The Concentra Web site includes videos of winners and nominees for this year and the three preceding years.

In addition to Garcia's winning entry, two more of this year's eight finalists were from the Post, the work of Emmy award-winning video journalist Travis Fox. The competition is international, with entries from the BBC, Al Jazeera, and producers in Canada, Belgium, Germany, Norway and more -- all provided in English or with subtitles.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Radford University makes the Times, the Post & more

The folks in the RU public relations office have two reasons to celebrate -- not only did the school's basketball team score its way into the NCAA tournament, the university's RU Facts Web page scored a link at Well, a sports blog, at least:

Little Ol’ Radford’s Big Man - The Quad Blog -
"Radford students skipped spring break to hang around campus for the weekend. With good reason. The Highlanders clinched an N.C.A.A. tournament bid on Saturday by wiping out a 13-0 deficit and coming back to defeat Virginia Military Institute, 108-94, for the Big South Conference title."
RU's President Penelope Kyle didn't make the New York Times, but she was the lead of Aaron McFarling's story in the Roanoke Times: What a reward for those who stuck around. Let's Dance!
RADFORD--The university president held out her right arm and swept her hand across the front of her body -- past the student revelers on the court, past the team in its championship T-shirts and hats, past the second-year coach engulfed by well-wishers, past the fans still in the stands applauding and reluctant to go.
"Look at those students," Radford University President Penelope Kyle said. "They did not go on spring break. Some of these students have been out of class since Thursday. We asked them to stay and support the team.
"And look at them. They did."
Senior guard Kenny Thomas won the most-quotable lottery, though, with everyone using his line, "Finally, Radford isn't little ol' Radford for once."

There's nothing like March Madness to shine a spotlight on a college. USA Today used the AP wire right after the game, but came back on March 12 with a comprehensive story of its own, headlined Season of wonder at Radford, along with two good photos and an info box about the school. ("Radford is the first men's or women's team in Big South history to improve from seventh place one year to regular-season champ the next.")

In case any of my news writing students missed the stories (Hah!), I'll save them a few links here. Among other things, they'll see how the AP story was used:
Coincidentally, the game wasn't the only thing that put Radford in the Washington Post over the weekend. Sunday's paper carried a column headed "Second Class Citizens in Virginia," which had nothing to do with the game -- it was a wrapup on the legislature's decision not to solve the confusion over student voting rights, with Radford as a key example.