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KVNF Wins 12 Awards from Society of Professional Journalists

KVNF notched 12 stories on the list of 2021 Top of the Rockies winners. The contest sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists pits print, TV, radio, and online news organizations from four states (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming) depending on newsroom size. The nonprofit KVNF fits the definition of a small newsroom.

KVNF earned two First Place prizes:

  • Kori Stanton’s Talkin Music program featuring The Reminders won for Best Arts & Entertainment Feature

  • Gavin Dahl’s interview with Secretary of State Jena Griswold in which she accused President Donald Trump of voter suppression won for Best Legal Feature

KVNF earned six Second Place prizes: 

  • Laura Palmisano’s story on one way homeless families in Montrose County can pursue self-sufficiency was honored for Best Solutions Journalism

  • Kori Stanton’s Talkin Music program featuring Rob Miller of Pickin’ Productions was honored for Best Arts & Entertainment News Feature

  • Jodi Peterson’s Local Motion program about Western Slope towns betting on outdoor recreation was honored for Best Business Feature

  • Gavin Dahl’s story on the Center for Mental Health partnering with Montrose Police was honored for Best Mental Health News

  • Gavin Dahl’s Local Motion program on rural broadband was honored for Best Science and Technology Feature

  • Gavin Dahl’s interview of then-candidate Lauren Boebert, the first to air on public radio within CD3 during the campaign was honored for Best Politics Feature

KVNF earned three Third Place prizes:

  • Eric Goold’s Local Motion show on veterans with PTSD skiing off the war earned recognition for Best Mental Health Feature

  • Gavin Dahl’s story on how Hotchkiss inspired Sen. Michael Bennet’s rural infrastructure bill earned recognition for Best Politics News

  • Gavin Dahl’s story on the City of Montrose teaming with Colorado Yurt Company to ‘tipi the town’ in support of restaurants earned recognition for Best Business News 

Meanwhile, KVNF freelancer Chad Reich was one of seven reporters from stations in the Rocky Mountain Community Radio coalition sharing a win. The stories in RMCR’s Fossil Fuel Reporting Collaboration aired during 2020 earned Second Place for Public Service. Other named reporters were Robyn Vincent (KHOL), Julia Caulfield (KOTO), Lucas Turner (KDNK), Justin Higginbottom (KZMU), Daniel Rayzel (KSJD), and Maeve Conran (KGNU). 

KVNF is a nonprofit public media organization supported by members of local communities and listeners worldwide. Based out of Paonia for over 41 years, KVNF now has a new additional studio called Studio M, which is located at 19 N. Cascade in Montrose. The station broadcasts across 10,000 square miles serving Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Mesa, Hinsdale, San Juan, Dolores, and Gunnison counties on 7 FM frequencies, and serves a growing digital audience on its website KVNF.org.

For more than 100 years the Society of Professional Journalists has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior and perpetuating a free press. The other Top of the Rockies award-winning newsrooms in KVNF’s coverage area this year are the Ouray County Plaindealer and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.



Gavin Dahl is a writer and producer with a passion for community media. He worked for KVNF from July 2020 to July 2022. He won awards and recognition for his KVNF reporting from the Colorado Broadcasters Association and Society of Professional Journalists. His writing has been published by The Montrose Press, The Sopris Sun, Boulder Weekly, Raw Story, Radio Survivor, Boise Weekly, and The Austin American-Statesman. He graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BA in media production and community organizing.
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