Spring Awards for KNOM

Kristin, Matthew, and David, holding AK Press Club awards

This spring has been an exceptionally award-winning season for our small radio mission.

In the past month, we’ve been humbled with awards for excellence in broadcasting and online content from two different respected media organizations.

In late April, the annual gathering of the Alaska Press Club saw KNOM staff and even a few KNOM alumni take home awards. Our weekday newscast, KNOM Update News — a mixture of local and regional stories — won for Best Daily News Program (led by news director Matthew Smith). KNOM’s monthly storytelling show, Story49, won for Best Ongoing Public Affairs (program), with nods both to KNOM volunteer alumna Emily Bieniek, who created the show in 2013, and current volunteer producer Kristin Leffler, who’s stewarded the show since her arrival at KNOM last year. Web director David Dodman won third place for Best News Photo for an image of a Nome apartment fire in September 2014, an event which some Static readers may recall from our November 2014 issue. Kristin, Matt, and David are pictured above; David’s award-winning photo from the September fire is below.

Watching the Nome apartment fire

Nome children watch volunteer firefighters combat a September 2014 apartment fire. This image — “Watching the Firefighters” — won a third place prize from the Alaska Press Club for Best News Photo. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

In the wake of our Press Club nods, we were excited last month, too, with the news that the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts had bestowed another of its Communicator Awards upon our mission: this time, for the annual “Christmas play” radio drama that our volunteers create each year. Our 2014 production, Scout and the Unlikely Sled Team, earned a Communicator for current volunteers Courtney Cousins and Caitlin Whyte, as the play’s writer and producer, respectively. They’re pictured below.

Courtney and Caitlin hold Communicator Awards

Volunteers Courtney Cousins and Caitlin Whyte worked together (as writer and producer, respectively) on the Communicator-Award-winning 2014 Christmas play Scout and the Unlikely Sled Team. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

As always, we share these exciting awards with you, the people who ultimately make all of our work possible. While the end goal of our daily efforts isn’t to win awards, we’re glad to receive nods such as these that put KNOM’s work into a broader context — and that, ultimately, allow stories and perspectives from Western Alaska to reach an even wider audience. So again, thank you — and congratulations!

Elsewhere on this website, we encourage you to explore examples of KNOM’s award-winning news reporting and its Story49 episodes.


  1. Gertrude Kugler on May 29, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I will be very happy to receive the Newsletter by E-mail. It will certainly save you on stamp costs.

    • David Dodman on May 29, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks for letting us know, Gertrude! Much appreciated. It does, indeed, help us with costs!

  2. Sue Steinacher on June 3, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Congratulations! You all ROCK – and make Nome a great place to call home!

    • David Dodman on June 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks so much, Sue!