Paul Kirby’s breaking news coverage with an iPad wins DFMie

Headline: Town of Ulster convenience store destroyed by fire
Outlet: Daily Freeman
Journalist: Paul Kirby

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Paul Kirby wins the February DFMie for the Northeast cluster for a story that illustrates the Digital First approach to breaking news.

Editor Tony Adamis explained in his nomination:

This story was covered with use of company-issued iPad. It included video and photos sent from scene through Twitter and emailed copy,  all in time to meet deadline for print, and all immediately posted to Freeman website in Twitter feed and on page.  Also, reporter was able to do all of this while car was blocked in by fire trucks and hoses and would have been unable to get back to office. With iPad, was able to send all video, photo, and copy through.

Judges applauded the hustle:

Paul Kirby, in his story about a humdrum fire at a convenience store and deli, excels in following the journalism motto of down and dirty. He cranked out his deadline conflagration story on a difficult-to-use iPad, then fired off photos and an edited video of the blaze. Good work, done with speed, urgency and multiple media including Twitter. It had all the elements of who-what-where-when and why.  And while none of it was poetry, it was good clean journalism.

Another judge:

I vote for Kingston because of reporter Paul Kirby’s tenacity in getting the story to his readers and his adept use of his iPad in producing a compelling package. His work exemplifies how we could and should be using technology to elevate the quality of our work.

This is Kirby’s second DFMie. He and Ivan Lajara shared the Northeast DFMie in September.

Other Northeast finalists were Neal Goswami of the Bennington Banner for his interview with a suspect in a prostitution ring (who named a local business leader and advertiser as a customer) and Susan Misur of the New Haven Register for her reporting on a pyramid scheme, culminating in a February trial.

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