Update, Tue, Feb 7:
This Friday, Feb 10, is the award dinner for Stephanie. (Feb 8 - 5 pm—Reservations are now closed.)
The MC for the evening is the political junkie himself, Riley Sweeney. There will be several superb short speeches of 10 minutes each. Tip Johnson will speak about Paul deArmond and why we have this award named after him. George Dyson gives perspectives on the tweets, truths and fictions. Tim Johnson will speak about our local news media. Suzanne Blais will give the commendation speech for Stephanie. The evening starts at 5 p.m. at the Soy House with a no host bar followed by buffet-style Vietnam cuisine and then the speeches. A great evening for those who enjoy politics.
Update, Wed, Jan 25: Today’s Cascadia Weekly has a very nice and expanded story on Stephanie.
Originally posted on Jan 19:
Stephanie Kountouros, the Program Director and political talk show host on local KMRE community radio, has been chosen to receive the 4th annual citizen journalism award given in remembrance of Paul deArmond, a local citizen journalist who died in April 2013.
Stephanie’s approach to journalism reflects her commitment to community media. Whether working as a jazz host or news reporter or the local host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Stephanie wants her guest’s voices be heard and accurately represented. As producer of “Hour of the Wolf,” which ran in 2015 on local KVWV, a station she was instrumental in launching, she brought together elected officials, community advocates, and policy experts to discuss subjects ranging from law and justice enforcement, to mental health, to ways our culture handles death. Her broadcast experience also includes KISM FM, KVOS Television and the CBC Radio Drama Department.
Her current show, “Cascadia News Now,” airs on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at KMRE 102.3 FM and focuses on city, county and state political issues - often providing the only avenues for outside voices on issues like immigration, education policy and water regulation.
Beyond radio, Stephanie has been a vocal member of the community for almost a decade, including as a public policy coordinator at Mount Baker Planned Parenthood, a case manager at Womencare Domestic Violence Shelter, resident services coordinator at Sean Humphrey House, and the Safehome runaway programs at Northwest Youth Services.
The Paul deArmond Award is not a competition so much as recognition of outstanding work, meant to encourage citizen journalism by acknowledging a single individual each year, in Paul’s words, “… for informing our Whatcom Community on important public-good issues.” Stephanie’s brand of journalism exceeds those standards, reaching beyond pen and paper to provide an avenue for our community to, literally, speak out.
Paul deArmond was an astute political writer who, among other things, exposed much of the militia movement in the 1990s. He is perhaps best known for an in-depth report on the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization demonstrations and riots that the Rand Corporation deemed the best overall analysis. Paul died before his time at age 50.
The award dinner will be Friday evening, Feb 10, at the Soy House on West Holly in Bellingham. All are welcome to attend but a reservation is needed as there is limited seating. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive full information and reserve a seat.
The first Paul deArmond award was presented to Wendy Harris for her 2013 work on environment and wildlife issues in Whatcom County. Riley Sweeney was the 2014 recipient for his broad spectrum reporting on political issues, and Sandra Robson won for her 2015 coverage of the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. The deArmond committee consists of John Servais, Tip Johnson, Deb Gaber, George Dyson, Tim Johnson, Suzanne Blais and Ralph Schwartz.
Seating is limited at the award dinner, so we sent invitations first to those who attended in the past three years so they could reserve early. We can now accept RSVPs from others who wish to attend. Here is a pdf of the invite sent out, with full particulars. In brief, the dinner is on Friday, Feb 10, 5 to 8 pm, at the Soy House restaurant on West Holly. Dinner is $35, which includes tax and gratuity and is paid for at the door. There will be a buffet of Vietnamese cuisine, including vegetarian choices. To reserve, email email@example.com and I will respond confirming your reservation.