Deep Dive into the Resilience of Rural Communities Earns Koahnic Broadcast Corp. Journalistic Awards

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National Native News journalists gain recognition for collaborative work on rural issues in New Mexico

With an uncertain economic future facing many small towns across New Mexico, Koahnic Broadcast Corporation took the opportunity to dive deeper into the creative ways rural communities are working to rebuild their economies. Koahnic partnered with nine other newsrooms across New Mexico to uncover these stories in the series New Mexico: State of Change.

The work earned first place in the Business Enterprise Reporting category at the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter’s Top of the Rockies Awards. A collaboration with Solutions Journalism Network, the project brings to light not just the challenges facing rural communities, but their resilience.

Judges remarked that each piece in this series could have won a first-place designation on its own – each piece was told so beautifully, weaving interesting and important data throughout, showing the human side to issues many small towns across the U.S. are facing in the aftermath of industry, job and population loss.

Koahnic also received a first-place award in the Health Enterprise Reporting category for its collaborative work with New Mexico PBS on the series Reconnecting With a Healthy Lifestyle. The project is a multi-state look at health issues facing Native Americans and features stories of individuals working toward improving health in the minority community.

“We’re extremely proud of our National Native News staff whose important work is being recognized here,” said Jaclyn Sallee, president and CEO of Koahnic Broadcast Corporation. “Antonia Gonzales, Leah Todd, Sarah Gustavus and Jim Kent are all talented journalists doing incredible work every day.”

Other journalists recognized for their work on these two projects are Kate Schimel, Anthony Moreno, Fred Martino, Staci Matlock, Marisa Demarco, John Miller, Ed Williams, Elaine Baumgartel, Jessica Onsurez, Heath Haussamen, Kevin McDonald, Anthony Rodriguez, Kathy Wimmer and Gene Grant

The Society of Professional Journalists is a nonprofit organization with chapters nationwide dedicated to the production of ethical and accurate journalism.

Koahnic Broadcast Corporation (KBC) is a nonprofit, Alaska Native governed and operated media center located in Anchorage, Alaska. KBC’s national programming includes National Native News, Native America Calling, Earthsongs, Stories of Our People and Native Word of the Day.

For more information on Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, visit

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Emily McLaughlin
Thompson & Co. PR
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