KVMR wins U.S. impact desgnation | TheUnion.com

KVMR wins U.S. impact desgnation

John HartJoan Buffington (left) and Dawn Fischer collaborated on a KVMR series that won a national award.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

KVMR-FM, western Nevada County’s community station in Nevada City, will be honored at the annual Community Radio Conference today in Charlottesville, Va.

Joan Buffington, KVMR’s news director, will receive on behalf of the station the Community Impact Award, a recognition given annually to the nonprofit radio station that makes the most difference in its community. The station will be honored for its coverage of the January 2001 shooting rampage at the Nevada County Behavioral Health Department and Lyon’s Restaurant, and of mental health in Nevada County.

KVMR went on the air live throughout the day when the alleged killer was on the loose. Subsequently, the station, which had held a town hall meeting about mental health care issues a few weeks earlier, aired call-in forums and other town hall meetings to discuss mental health.

“It says ‘We’re doing the right job,'” Buffington said recently of the award. “What we did had an impact. We provide a forum through which anybody in the community can speak out.”

The awards will be given at the annual conference of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, a San Francisco-based organization of more than 200 community radio stations.

Buffington; Steve Baker, KVMR’s program director; and Brian Terhorst, general manager, are in Charlottesville to attend the conference.

The award puts KVMR in league with the biggest stations, Terhorst said Friday.

The station will also be honored for national news and public affairs programming for “Her Story,” a series of four-minute profiles of 20 women, including artist Georgia O’Keefe and Eleanor Roosevelt. The series, produced by Buffington and edited by Dawn Fischer, ran in March 2001.

KVMR will also be recognized for airing “Nevada City Remembers New York City” last fall. Baker was the producer, reader and commentator, and poet Molly Fisk was also a reader and commentator.

“Awards don’t change our mission, but they re-enfranchise our soul,” Baker said recently. “I know we’re not the best – far from it – yet awards give us an opportunity to say we mattered. And this station matters.”

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