PMJA, Public Media Journalists Association, has named Kate Concannon it’s 2020 Editor of the Year. PMJA is a leading industry group for public media journalism.
Concannon has led the Mountain West News Bureau as its Managing Editor since its launch in 2018. This regional journalism collaboration is made up of reporters at different public radio stations across several Western states. The bureau’s journalism is shared daily with the station partners and affiliates across the region. The bureau was launched with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
An employee of Boise State Public Radio, Concannon has guided reporters at stations in Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Montana and New Mexico. The Mountain West News Bureau partners comprise of small-to-medium newsrooms, several in areas considered underserved by media outlets. As managing editor, she has helped these newsrooms provide greater primary service to their communities and to reach greater scale through the collaboration.
Across her 30-year career in public broadcasting, Concannon has excelled in helping to transform early-career reporters into national caliber, frequently heard on NPR and other national outlets. Previously she was NPR Western Bureau Chief, when she edited the early national reporting careers of Robert Smith, Rob Schmitz, Jeff Brady, Sarah Varney, Tamara Keith, Peter O’Dowd, Chana Joffe Walt and Kirk Siegler. She has also worked in journalism at the CBC in Canada, KPBS in San Diego and the Northwest News Network.
Tom Michael, general manager of Boise State Public Radio, is the managing director of the Mountain West News Bureau. He said, “This award is richly deserved. In the past two years, Kate has led the Mountain West News Bureau as a standout regional journalism collaboration.”
In addition to regular news spots and weekly features, Concannon’s team has created podcasts, documentaries and special series. These include a four-part science series on chronic wasting disease, Bent Out of Shape; a documentary on the changing nature of land ownership, The Next Yellowstone; and the podcast LOCKED, about a groundbreaking lawsuit from a transgender inmate.
Concannon was also instrumental in extending the Mountain West News Bureau's expansion into community partnerships, through its association with America Amplified, a nation-wide community engagement project for 2020, funded by CPB.
Concannon will be honored as PMJA Editor of the Year in a virtual ceremony on June 25.