York Daily Record team wins Sports Journalism DFMie

(Clockwise, from top) Penn State football beat reporter Frank Bodani, visuals assistant manager Brad Jennings, sports reporter Jim Seip and photographer Chris Dunn show the tools they use to conduct award-winning coverage of Penn State football games. Taken Thursday, March 13, 2014, in the York Daily Record/Sunday News photo studio.
(Clockwise, from top) Penn State football beat reporter Frank Bodani, visuals assistant manager Brad Jennings, sports reporter Jim Seip and photographer Chris Dunn show the tools they use to conduct award-winning coverage of Penn State football games. Taken Thursday, March 13, 2014, in the York Daily Record/Sunday News photo studio.

Frank Bodani, Chris Dunn, Brad Jennings and Jim Seip of the York Daily Record won the 2014 Sports Journalism DFMie for large newsrooms.

The foursome collaborated on coverage of Penn State’s home football game against Nebraska. The nomination explains:

Penn State football has long been one of our most popular beats, so we throw everything we can at our gameday coverage — senior day in this case. Our team of multiplatform journalists engages our audience on social media hours before the game, provides photo and video glimpses behind the scenes and helps satisfy avid fans looking for that second-screen experience. We share photos nearly in real-time from the sidelines, Tout player interviews after the game, and wrap up a 12-hour experience with in-depth stories and a postgame highlights and analysis video. And we show a little personality along the way.

The nomination included a Storify to showcase the staff’s video, photo and social media coverage of the game.

Judges’ comments:

The York Daily Record’s game day coverage was the ideal combination of innovation and breadth in using different media to tell the same story. The reporters’ use of social media to provide updates, color, images and video while engaging with readers and players was a great complement for those watching the game or casually looking for an update.

The same group was also a finalist for the Live Coverage DFMie. This is one of four DFMies for the York Daily Record and one of seven for the Pennsylvania newsrooms.

About Frank Bodani

Bodani covers Penn State for the York Daily Record and gives this account of his career:

I never would have imagined I would cover Penn State football for a living, certainly not for 20 seasons. I didn’t attend Penn State (Duquesne University, class of ’91), didn’t root for the Nittany Lions (all-Pittsburgh sports fan), didn’t begin my career in the sports department (general assignment, York Dispatch). But the beat grew on me quickly, especially the challenge of capturing the feel of each game day. I moved to the York Daily Record in 2004 in the same beat, which also included feature- and column-writing, and enterprise projects.

I always figured I had it pretty good. Where else can you can get paid to hike the Appalachian Trail? Or cover a New Year’s bowl game in sunny Florida?

About Chris Dunn

Although she aspired to be a television news anchor at age 10, Dunn later realized she does not enunciate well and scrapped TV for a print journalism path. A hippie in New Mexico taught her photojournalism, and she was hooked.

A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Dunn interned as a visual journalist at Washington Post Digital and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before beginning her career in 2011 at the York Daily Record.

About Brad Jennings

In his 14 years at the York Daily Record, Jennings weaved his way through positions in the news, sports and visual departments. He is Assistant Managing Editor for Presentation and Digital Innovation, leading an Emmy- and EPPY-winning multimedia staff.

A proud University of Delaware graduate, he occasionally gets to escape the dungeon of managerial meetings by telling video stories at Penn State games.

About Jim Seip

Seip has survived working alongside Bodani on the York Daily Record’s Penn State football beat since 2005, and has been a sportswriter in York since 2002.

A Bloomsburg University graduate, Seip also made stops at the The Post-Star (Glens Falls, N.Y.), Potomac News (Woodbridge, Va.), Gazette Newspapers (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Pottsville Republican (Pottsville, Pa.).

Other finalists

Other large-newsrooms 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.

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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