December DFMies show strong sports coverage, engagement

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Sports and community engagement were strong themes among December’s DFMies and ToutBout winners. Strong breaking news coverage and enterprise reporting also delivered multiple winners.

The sports and engagement themes came together in Sean Bowley‘s DFMie win for the Northeast cluster. He involved the community in choosing and providing videos for the plays of the year for GametimeCT.

Two other winners involved sports coverage:

  • Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News won the DFMie for the Los Angeles News Group for his coverage of the football coaching change at the University of Southern California.
  • Tony Ciniglio of the Daily Breeze won the ToutBout for videos shot in the Tout app for capturing the on-court fracas following a girls basketball game between heated rivals.

Two other winners were community engagement projects:

  • The Delaware County Daily Times won the DFMie for the Pennsylvania/New Jersey/West Virginia cluster with its “Collecting Memories” holiday project.
  • Four Colorado newsrooms collaborated on a regional holiday lights map, taking the win for the Utah/Colorado cluster.

Breaking news coverage produced three winners:

  • The Monterey Herald won in the Northern California cluster for its coverage of a fire in Big Sur.
  • The Salt Lake Tribune won in the Metro division for its coverage of a judge’s ruling overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
  • Almendra Carpizo of the Chico Enterprise-Record won a ToutBout award for coverage of an armed robbery.

The other three DFMies honored very different types of enterprise journalism:

  • Noel Lyn Smith of the Daily Times in Farmington, N.M., won the Texas/New Mexico DFMie for reporting on a bribery and conspiracy case involving members of the Navajo Nation Council.
  • David S. Glasier and Michael Allen Blair of the News-Herald in Willoughby, Ohio, won the Midwest DFMie for their examination of heroin addiction in the Cleveland suburbs.
  • The Bay Area News Group DFMie honored a project examining what makes content go viral, featuring a clever “iChicken” video that, alas, didn’t go viral.

The judges for this month were November DFMie and ToutBout winners:  Toni Sciaacqua, Brian Sumers, Larry Altman, JJ Fiddler, Mike Guardabascio, Lanz Banes, Chris Riley, Cheryl Sadler, Dai Sugano, David Wilson, Aaron Kinney, John Green, Adriana Chavez, Ruben Ramirez, Esteban L. Hernandez, Isaac Avilucea, Brandie Kessler, Jason Plotkin and Janis Mara.

Congratulations to all the winners! We will publish more details on these DFMie winners in the coming days, featuring behind the scenes info, links, advice and comments from the judges. Be sure to subscribe on the right side for Inside Thunderdome blog updates or follow us on Twitter (@DFMThunderdome).

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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