ATSSA announces 2019 National Media Award
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ATSSA announces 2019 National Media Award

Association marks 7th year of recognizing outstanding reporting on transportation and roadway safety industry

ATSSA is now accepting nominations for the ATSSA National Media Award. The annual award is presented for fair, balanced, and informative reporting on the transportation and roadway safety industry. The year 2019 will mark the 7th ceremony that honors the winning candidate and provides national recognition of their efforts that highlighted the importance of roadway safety in the United States.

Initially, the media award was developed through ATSSA’s Safety and Public Awareness Committee. It provides state transportation departments the opportunity to publicly recognize and honor a reporter, news organization, blogger, or freelancer who has been fair, balanced, and informative in reporting transportation issues.

The media award is announced during the Opening General Session of ATSSA's Convention & Traffic Expo, which is the largest show of its kind for the roadway safety infrastructure industry in North America. The next convention & traffic expo will be held in Tampa, Florida, from Feb. 8-12, 2019.

“ATSSA is committed to highlighting the efforts of our members and all those within the roadway safety industry,” said ATSSA Associate Director of Communication and Creative Development Stephanie Tipple. “The reporters who are recognized for their outstanding coverage of people and events occurring within the industry play important roles in educating the public of the critical need of initiatives that will increase roadway safety and safety in work zones. We truly value the work they do to promote safety on our nation’s roadways and we are honored to nationally recognize these talented individuals.”

Last year’s winner Kara Kenney, who is an investigative reporter for WRTV, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, Indiana, began covering an incident in May 2014, near Indianapolis, where two highway construction employees, Coty Demoss and Kenneth Duerson, Jr., tragically lost their lives in a work zone accident. For more than three years, Kenney closely followed the story, from the day of the tragic accident to the ultimate criminal prosecution and appeals process of the driver charged in the accident, and the journey of the families impacted by the loss of loved ones. In part because of the increase in public awareness brought about by her reporting, a group of Rieth-Riley construction workers, with the support of the Demoss and Duerson families, was inspired to create Road Construction Awareness Corporation in 2014.

“I’m very excited and honored to be ATSSA’s National Media Award winner. It means so much to me that the traffic safety services industry appreciates my reporting and the information we uncovered,” Kenney said. “We dug into work zone safety following the deaths of two construction workers, and found courts rarely issue stiff penalties to drivers who drive recklessly. In fact, we found many drivers who have killed construction workers never served a day of prison time. We hope our reporting opened some eyes of drivers and state lawmakers. Thank you again for this recognition.”

Nominations are submitted by state departments of transportation. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 19. To nominate a reporter for the media award, download and complete the nomination form. Email nominations to

Previous recipients of the ATSSA National Media Award include:

  • 2017 – Kara Kenney, WRTV 6 Investigative Reporter (Award presented in San Antonio, Texas)
  • 2016 –Shannon Deskins, East Kentucky Television (Award presented in Phoenix, Arizona)
  • 2015 –Chuck Henson, Bay 9 News, Florida (Award presented in New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • 2014 – Jed Boal, KSL 5 News (Utah) (Award presented in Tampa, Florida)
  • 2013 – Matt Long, South Carolina Radio Network (Award presented in San Antonio, Texas)
  • 2012 – Bryan Painter, The Oklahoman newspaper (Award presented in San Diego, California)

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