November 11, 2009
A newspaper from San Mateo, Calif., a television crew from Seattle, Wash., and a radio team from Salt Lake City, Utah, have all been awarded the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's prestigious 2004 Max Karant Journalism Award.
Winners John Bowman and Eric Simons of the San Mateo County Times, reporter John Miller and photographer Tom Bishop of NBC Seattle affiliate KING-TV, and reporter Hal Cannon and producer Taki Telonidis of the Western Folklife Center in Salt Lake City reporting for National Public Radio were presented with their awards during the Opening Luncheon today at AOPA Expo 2004, the association's annual convention and trade show, held this year in Long Beach, California.
"Today we honor those members of the general news media who have made a real contribution to helping the general public understand what general aviation is and what it does," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "These are reporters and producers who speak to the non-flying public and show them the allure, the community benefit, and the excitement of general aviation."
As might be expected, many of the general news media entries for 2003, including some of the winners and honorable mentions, focused on the centennial of flight.
Watch videos of the Karant Award presentations and the winning entry in the TV category [broadband connection recommended]. Hear the winning entry in the radio category [broadband connection recommended].
San Mateo County Times Managing Editor John Bowman and Copy Editor Eric Simons put together a special pull-out session on the Centennial of Aviation that highlighted general aviation airports and aircraft. Using both archival and current photographs and a specially prepared timeline, the pull-out section chronicled local, national, and international milestones in aviation. The special section also included an article on learning to fly and profiles of renowned aviators and local airfields.
R.F. Sharp, a freelance writer, received honorable mention for articles in the Lexington Herald Leader and the Columbia State newspapers on different approaches to learning to fly.
In Restoring Planes, Rebuilding Dreams, Reporter John Miller and videographer Tom Bishop captured the joy of restoring old aircraft. At a rural airport outside Seattle, a group of young people help rebuild old aircraft in exchange for the chance to learn to fly. Some are honor students and Eagle scouts. But for at least one young man, the opportunity is a way out of trouble and to rekindle lost dreams. Miller and Bishop showed the care and dedication required to restore old aircraft, as well as the joy that learning to fly brings.
Jim Walker of Dallas television station KTVT received honorable mention for his report on suspicious activities at airports because it incorporated GA's efforts to improve GA airport security, including video from AOPA's Airport Watch training video.
First Flight, First Hand captured the thrill of December 7, 1903, and the exciting years immediately afterward. Using recordings of the Wright family, friends, and co-workers, reporter Hal Cannon and producer Taki Telonidis gave listeners an intimate portrayal of Orville and Wilbur Wright, two bicycle makers from Ohio who conquered the air. Among the recordings, the recollections of Orville and Wilbur's niece about her first flight over Huffman Prairie back in Dayton, Ohio, and one of the only know recordings of the brothers themselves.
Harriett Baskas of Reel Women Productions in Seattle, Wash., received an honorable mention for her work on a piece titled "Katherine Wright: The Third Wright Brother."
The Karant awards honor the best of "fair, accurate, and insightful" reporting on general aviation in the general (non-aviation) media. They include categories for print, TV or video, and radio, and carry an honorarium of $1,000 in each category. The awards are named for the late Max Karant, founder of AOPA Pilot magazine and the association's first senior vice president.
With more than 400,000 members, AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation organization. It is dedicated to defending the interests of general aviation and educating the public at large about the benefits GA offers, whether a person is a pilot or not. Some two thirds of all U.S. pilots are members of AOPA.
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