Flood coverage results in five DFMie winners

Dan Hull, center, is assisted by Brian Marquedt, left, and Scott Johnson after rescuing Hull's two cats and gathering some items from his flooded home on Hygiene Road in Hygiene, Colorado. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
Dan Hull, center, is assisted by Brian Marquedt, left, and Scott Johnson after rescuing Hull's two cats and gathering some items from his flooded home on Hygiene Road in Hygiene, Colorado. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)

Flood coverage dominated the September DFMies, with five newsrooms winning awards for their coverage of local disasters.

For the first time the September DFMies had a separate class for the metro newsrooms of Digital First Media. The Denver Post photo staff won the first Metro DFMie for its coverage of the Colorado floods. Post photojournalists discuss their work in one of the videos below.

Three other Colorado newsrooms — the Daily Camera in Boulder, Times-Call in Longmont and Reporter-Herald in Loveland — won DFMies in the Colorado/Utah cluster. In the initial judging, the three newsrooms each won a vote from the three judges considering the cluster’s finalists. In previous DFMies, we’ve asked another judge to break ties, but Jim Brady and I decided the extraordinary circumstances and outstanding coverage warranted giving full awards to each newsroom.

The same weather system brought flooding in New Mexico, too, and the Carlsbad Current-Argus staff won the DFMie for the Texas/New Mexico cluster for its flood coverage. (See the video below about the Current-Argus coverage.)

In another first, the ToutBout awards have been combined with the DFMies. The ToutBout winners are Frankie Frost of the Marin Independent Journal and Anda Chu of the Bay Area News Group.

Local watchdog reporting produced two DFMies for September:

  • Michael Price and Kristina Scala of the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pa., won in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey/West Virginia cluster for breaking and repeatedly advancing the story of Coatesville school officials exchanging racist text messages.
  • Sandy Mazza of the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif., won the Los Angeles News Group DFMie for reporting that forced the resignation of the Carson city manager who was hired despite lacking qualifications.

Sports coverage was also big in the September DFMies, producing three awards:

Nels Johnson gave the Marin Independent Journal two winners for the month, taking the DFMie for the Northern California cluster for his story about Marin County firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

Tout Bout awards
Frost won his ToutBout for the best video shot in the Tout app, capturing a spontaneous song led by local musician before a meeting to discuss a controversial issue in Marin County, plans to build affordable, high-density housing:

Chu won his ToutBout for the best video shot and edited outside the Tout app and imported, a video on motorists crossing the Bay Bridge on the day a new span opened:

For links to all the winners’ work, winners’ explanation of their winning stories and judges’ comments, see the Google map at the bottom of this story. Some of the winners’ videos are embedded below because they didn’t work in the map.

Denver Post photojournalists discuss flood coverage:

Julia Prodis Sulek and Darryl Matsuda discuss their America’s Cup coverage:

Editor Brandon Bowers and his Current-Argus colleagues discuss the coverage of the Carlsbad flood:

Click icons on the map below to read more about each winner and to read the judges’ comments:


View September 2013 DFMie and ToutBout winners in a larger map

Steve Buttry

By Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry is Digital Transformation Editor for Digital First Media. He oversees our efforts to transform newsroom operations and culture to more effectively pursue our digital goals. His duties include responsibility for social media and community engagement. He has visited most DFM newsrooms personally, leading workshops and coaching editors and other journalists in following the Digital First approach.

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