Media Watch


KOLD Channel 13 anchor/reporter Barbara Grijalva was inducted into the Rocky Mountain Emmys Silver Circle during awards ceremonies earlier this month.

The Silver Circle recognizes individuals who have served in the industry in the Rocky Mountain region for 25 years or more. Grijalva, a UA grad, has been a mainstay at KOLD since 1983.

KOLD was among the local television outlets well-represented at the Rocky Mountain Emmys. Its 4 p.m. newscast garnered an honor for best daytime or evening effort in medium-size markets. Aaron Pickering received a Best Weather Anchor Emmy, and Dave Cooney was honored for his work on the sports desk.

Other Tucsonans taking home Emmys included KGUN Channel 9 meteorologist Erin Christiansen and KVOA Channel 4 sportscaster Ryan Recker. KGUN reporter Claire Doan and photographer Alfonso Sahagun received an award for general-assignment reporting for their "Honoring Forgotten Heroes" story.

PBS affiliate KUAT Channel 6 also did well, as usual. Mitch Riley received a producing and editing award for "The Zoppe Circus," and Cooper James was honored for his photography on the piece. Riley and reporter Tony Paniagua won in the environment/program feature segment category for "Sleeping Frog Farms." Tom Kleespie's work on the "Together We Heal" documentary was also recognized.


Former Tucson Citizen reporter Teya Vitu is familiar with the inner workings of downtown, having been given the beat in 2006 and holding it until the paper closed three years later.

When that happened, it seemed like a natural transition to move into a PR-style reporting opportunity with

"It's definitely the most comprehensive, focused downtown coverage there is," Vitu said. "Everybody else focuses on what's happening from a controversy standpoint, and not covering what the real story is. The media is so hung up on the controversy; they don't know what the story is. It's people doing things. That's what I shoot for. Occasionally, I like to come up with themes, like about the warehouse district. I've done extensive coverage on the context of the food trucks and how it fits into the national picture, and how we have a real bustling thing going on."

Vitu has enjoyed the transition from the traditional newspaper model to the niche coverage offered at a specific website.

"Papers are closing, downsizing and not caring. With the Internet, we have our own printing press," said Vitu, who notes his stories are reposted on KOLD Channel 13's website, and on the Facebook presence, which has about 2,700 likes.

"We want to get the stories into as many publications as possible, but we've decided that social media and the Internet is the best way to reach people. (At), you can plan your whole day there. Where do you want to eat? Where do you park? What to do? There's an extensive calendar there. We're the only downtown organization that has a dedicated news service, an in-house news source. Niche journalism is where we're going."

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