When I set out to do a couple of stories on former Saint Steve Gleason’s battle with ALS, the ultimate goal was never about winning awards. I wanted to tell his story in a way it hadn’t been told before. I believe I accomplished that and, at the same time, helped increase ALS awareness.
During my career I’ve never been driven by awards. They’re nice, but the process is very subjective. In this case, I think the awards mean a lot because in some small way we’re helping to spread the word about ALS and put a spotlight on the dreadful disease. Steve’s story is amazing and it has been a privilege to tell it. The first stories aired almost a year ago, and those propelled us to the Sundance Film Festival in January for the release of Steve’s documentary.
In March, WDSU aired a 30-minute special that looked at Steve’s incredible path from Saint to Sundance.
In the past few weeks, last year’s stories have been recognized both nationally and regionally. Just this week, “Gleason’s Toughest Opponent” was honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow award. The awards go to recipients who “demonstrate the spirit and excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.” The national award winners will be announced in June.
WDSU was also honored this week with a national Gabriel Award for “Steve Gleason: Life Beyond ALS.” The Gabriel Awards, founded in 1965, honor outstanding artistic achievement in media that entertains and enriches with a true vision of humanity and a true vision of life.
A few weeks prior, “Steve Gleason: Life Beyond ALS,” was honored with a National Headliner Award, one of the nation’s oldest and largest annual contests recognizing journalistic merit.
In December, the same stories were honored with an Emmy award.
I can’t thank the Gleasons, Variscos and Team Gleason enough for what they’ve allowed us to do. We’ll continue to tell Steve’s story as new chapters are written. Stay tuned…