When you are forced to cover a story like the Sandy Hook shooting, your only goal is to get the correct information out to the viewing public as quickly as possible. You try to be accurate, dependable, credible and reliable. I believe we did our absolute best that day and the weeks that followed as a TV station. You never, ever have the chance to think, hey you know what, this is award-winning material we got going on here.
As it turns out, that’s just what it was. Our station, NBC Connecticut has been awarded the very prestigious Peabody Award for Breaking News.
The Peabody is an award that is given out annually to honor the best of the best in television both traditional broadcasting and on cable. The winners are picked by a panel of TV professionals, critics and certain academia. It is an award given out by fellow broadcasting professionals to others in the same field. It is very similar to the Pulitzer Prize for writing.
While I am immensely proud of everyone here at NBC Connecticut, I thinks it’s safe to say we would give this award back in a heartbeat if it meant we could get back just one, if not all of those 26 lives lost that horrible day.
That was the worst day of my professional career. I hope I never have to go through something like that again. I feel even worse for the reporters and the videographers who were on the scene seeing this tragedy unfold in front of them. Of course none of this compares to the hurt and anger those families had to live through and continue to, to this day.
In light of all that, this is a major achievement and I am honored and humbled to be a part of it. This is a testament to the kind of hard work and dedication that my co-workers show on a daily basis. After that day I hated my job for a while. Today, I am proud as a *ahem* peacock. This helps validate what we all went through those early hours and days of this horrific and it is something I can look back on and feel proud of the work that we all did.
Finally, I just want to thank all my co-workers for all the hard work and literally the blood, sweat and tears in covering this tragedy. Two of the three in particular, morning reporter Liz Dahlam and her photog John Senecal, were absolutely awesome. To put it simply they were the best of the best that day and it was such a comfort that I had two people out in the field that I could trust fully and thought along the same lines that I did. Having John on the other end made our broadcast do much better. The third was producer Chris Ayotte. the two of us joke that we are each other’s “work spouse.” We fight sometimes like a married couple but no matter what, we know what the other is thinking in the booth. I don’t think there is anyone besides her that I would want in the booth during a story like this.
With all that said, today some more details will be released about the shootings. I just hope that the people of Sandy Hook continue to be strong and the employees of NBC Connecticut share in your pain, anger and continued recovery.
- Newtown TV coverage, ‘Girls’ win Peabody Awards (newsday.com)
- Peabody winners include Newtown and Sandy coverage (salon.com)