This year’s featured speaker is Network TV Correspondent Debra Alfarone, who has won Edward R. Murrow and Emmy awards for her work reporting from the White House and U.S Capitol for CBS News. A former high school dropout, her mission in life is to empower and inspire people to use their voices powerfully. Debra has worked as an anchor at WUSA9 in Washington, D.C., and as a reporter at PIX 11 News in New York City and NBC Connecticut in Hartford, Connecticut.
Convention and Luncheon details
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022
The Speedway Club, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
$40 per person ($20 discount for current students). Online registration and payment required by Tuesday, Nov. 1. Note: On-site registration and payments will not be accepted. Payments by check cannot be accepted.
Life in 2020, especially as it relates to COVID-19, forced many changes in how we go about our lives and our business of broadcast and digital journalism. The same was true for the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas’ annual award presentation. Normally held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, this year’s awards were presented during a digital conference on Nov. 14.
RTDNAC President Laurabree Monday welcomed participants saying, “We know this is a strange year. We still hope you enjoy this (digital) event. We very much hope to be back at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2021.”
The awards presentation started with keynote thoughts from CNN National Correspondent, Dianne Gallagher, who is now based in Charlotte. She welcomed participants, noting, “This has been one hell of a year and every single one of you deserves to celebrate your accomplishments.”
Gallagher talked about her journey from CN2 News in Rock Hill, to CNN. She had words of encouragement for the digital gathering, as both students and professionals grapple with the current pandemic. “COVID-19 elevated everything. It elevated the need for you, your diligent effort to get the truth to people. At the same time it made doing that so much more difficult.”
“You were often risking your own physical health and mental health to make sure the rest of your community knew what was really happening,” she added.
The awards presentation also featured Rachel Ellis, a reporter for ABC 4 News in Charleston, S.C. Her comments addressed college students in their last year of journalism school. “I was in your shoes a little over a year ago.” “No one could have predicted the curve ball of 2020, it became quickly apparent to me that our jobs have never been so important for the communities we serve.”
As much as things have changed in 2020, CNN’s Gallagher noted that much remained the same for broadcast and digital journalists. “My life has changed, but the basics of building relationships, demanding accountability, telling stories, that hasn’t.”
Concord, NC — More than 160 broadcast and digital news professionals gathered on Saturday, October 26th at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2019 convention of the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
Keynote speaker was Zackary Kiesch, a correspondent for ABC News, who told a personal story about his challenging journey into the broadcast news business. As for many broadcast veterans, his path to success was punctuated by challenges and setbacks. But focus and determination led to the opportunity to prove himself, eventually earning a place on network TV.
The convention featured a panel discussion on how to get the most out of your efforts on social media. The panelists were Molly Grantham, long time anchor and reporter for WBTV News in Charlotte and Trooper Bob Beres, traffic reporter for WCIV in Charleston and a 24 year veteran of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Molly has more than 100 thousand followers on Facebook and talked about her years-long path to success. Trooper Bob not only uses social media effectively now as a television news professional, but also had viral success in law enforcement, distributing safety information.
This convention was a bitter-sweet, as the association marked the loss of two important board members. Haney Howell, was a professor at Winthrop University and an emeritus member of the board. Before education, he had a notable career in television and radio news at the network level. Ken White, a television news director in many markets, including Charlotte NC, served the RTDNAC for many years and was particularly focused on student members and their advancement. The families of both men were presented with awards of appreciation. Ken’s wife, Jenny, and son, Mack, were on hand to accept the tribute and to present the “Student of the Year Award,” now named in White’s honor.
The highlight of the annual convention was the presentation of professional and student awards at the luncheon. Award winners can be found here.