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Seattle Channel wins National Excellence in Government Programming Award

Municipal TV station recognized with 17 first-place awards in national competition

City of Seattle’s Director of Frontline Digital Services Jim Loter and Cable Franchise Analyst Alice Lawson at the 2019 NATOA Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla.

Seattle Channel was named among the best municipal television stations in the nation Thursday night when it received the prestigious Overall Excellence in Government Programming award at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) annual conference held in Tampa, Fla.

In addition to the prestigious top award, the city-operated TV station won 24 government programming awards, including 17 first-place wins.

“For years, Seattle Channel has helped City of Seattle residents better understand the issues facing our city, see inside our diverse communities, and get inspired by our City’s incredible creative community,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “We’re so fortunate to have an award-winning resource like Seattle Channel that offers residents a vibrant mix of programming and a platform for civic engagement. Congratulations to everyone at the channel for their hard work and dedication.”

Seattle Channel won first-place awards in a wide range of categories, including documentary and community-event coverage; use of humor; arts-and-entertainment and business profiles; as well as election, ethnic-experience, and sports programming. The station also took top spots in municipal channel promotion and use of social media and swept craft categories including editing, innovative use of video, video journalism, videography and visual arts.

“At a time when the broadcasting landscape is changing like never before, Seattle Channel provides a vital public service with its transparent and accessible coverage of local government,” said Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell, chair of the Governance, Equity & Technology Committee. “I am proud of what Seattle Channel does every day to produce informative programming with a diversity of perspectives.”

NATOA is a national association representing the needs and interests of local governments in the areas of communications, broadband and technology. Its annual Government Programming Awards honor excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies.  This year, NATOA received nearly 1,000 entries in 73 categories submitted by local governments across the country.   

“Our team works hard to produce programming that deepens understanding of local issues and reflects the diversity that surrounds us,” said Shannon Gee, Seattle Channel general manager. “I congratulate the staff on its dedication to the station’s continued excellence. It’s an honor to receive this recognition from our peers in the field.”

Over the past dozen years, Seattle Channel has been recognized nine times by NATOA for overall programming excellence. The station – which competes in a category with government-access cable TV stations in large U.S. cities – was previously recognized with the top government-programming award in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015,  2016 and 2017.

Here is a list of Seattle Channel’s 2019 NATOA awards:

Overall Excellence in Government Programming

First Place
Community Event Coverage (short form):
From Hiroshima to Hope
Sports Programming: CityStream: Special Olympics USA Games
Election Coverage: City Inside/Out: I-940 Police Accountability
Ethnic Experience: CityStream: Portraits of Courage
Arts and Entertainment: Art Zone with Nancy Guppy: National Record Store Day
Profile of a Person, Business or Organization: CityStream: Conscious Eatery
Documentary Event Coverage : CityStream: A Final Goodbye to the Viaduct
Public Education: Citizen University TV – Year in Review
Innovative Use of Video: Art Zone: Something Weird Video
Use of Humor: Art Zone: Art Break
Municipal Channel Promotion: Channeling Seattle
Event/Program Promotion: Art Zone: That’s Art!
Visual Arts: Art Zone with Nancy Guppy Calendar
Use of Social Media Platforms: Seattle Channel communications and digital media team
Videography: Seattle Channel production staff
Video Journalism: Seattle Channel production staff
Editing: Seattle Channel production staff

Awards of Distinction
Community Event Coverage: The Blue Angels
Profile of City/County Dept.: CityStream: Seattle Center Winterfest
Public Safety: City Stream: Ready to Retrofit
Municipal Channel Promotion: Clickdown 21
Seniors: Age-Friendly Seattle – Living Longer, Living Well
Documentary: Community Stories – Cyrus Habib: From Braille to Yale
Interview/Talk Show: City Inside/Out: Waterfront LID Debate

Awards of Honor
Sports Programming:
CityStream: Roller Derby Trainer
Children/Young Adults: Community Stories – Seattle All-City Band
Public Health: City Inside/Out: I-1631 Carbon Fee Debate
Profile of a Person, Business or Organization: CityStream: Refugee Artisan Initiative
Community Awareness: CityStream: Your Voice, Your Choice

Seattle Channel is a local TV station that reflects, informs and inspires the community it serves. Seattle Channel presents programs on cable television – channel 21 on Comcast (321 HD), Wave (721 HD) and 8003 on CenturyLink (8503 HD) – and via the internet to help residents connect with their city. Programming includes series and special features highlighting the diverse civic and cultural landscape.