Laura Amato of the Troy Record wins Sports Journalism DFMie

Laura Amato of The Record in Troy, N.Y., won the 2014 Sports Journalism DFMie for small newsrooms for her high school football coverage.

The nomination explains:

Here’s how Laura goes above and beyond game stories for high school football:

  • Wrote much of and quarterbacked all content for a 72-page season preview (below), and posted the video.
  • Shot video “commercials” with team members at high school football media day, promoting the season and the preview section.
  • Hosted a pre-season chat with players, coaches, parents and fans, bringing 271 unique views, 314 page views and 1,700 engagement minutes.
  • Hosted weekly game day preview chats.
  • Used online polls for kids, parents and fans to help select Athlete of the Week, using social media (including 2,100-plus Twitter followers) to drive interest.

Judges’ comments:

Reporter Laura Amato of Troy Record wins the DFMie for best Sports Journalism, Small Newsroom for cross-format coverage of high school football.  Laura exemplifies what a digital journalist is. Beyond text reporting, Laura shoots videos, hosts online chats and uses social engagement tools such as polls to drive coverage. In short, Laura uses all available tools to cover her beat to reach various types of audience across all formats.

About Laura Amato


Laura Amato

Laura Amato

Amato has been working at The Record in Troy, New York for the past two and half years, covering everything from high school sports to New York Giants training camp. A 2011 graduate of St. Johns University with a degree in journalism, Amato has spent her time at The Record building an audience both in print and online.

Over the past two years, Amato has found the benefits of digital journalism and how building a social media presence can help create an audience. She is now the new college sports reporter at The Record and while the beat has changed she hopes to continue working in the digital field.

Other finalists

Other small-newsroom finalists in sports were:

Last year the DFMies did not have separate categories for large and small newsrooms. Christopher James, then of the Berkshire Eagle, won the 2013 Sports Journalism DFMie.

HS Tab by eppelmannr

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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