Nelson-based CBC Radio reporter Bob Keating has won his second straight Jack Webster award for best radio news reporting of the year.
Keating was honoured last week at a ceremony in Vancouver for his coverage of the July 2012 landslide at Johnsons Landing that claimed four lives.
He was the first reporter on the scene, flying in by helicopter for the first two days.
“The CBC felt — and they were dead right — that it would take too long to drive and I would be limited in my access,” Keating said. “The reason this story sounded good is the fact I got there early. It was so fresh in the minds of people there. I spoke to people immediately and you could hear the drama and sadness and worry in their voices. That’s what made it so effective.”
Keating ended up spending a week in Johnsons Landing. He returned two months later, a year later, and when the government decided not to buy out affected property owners. His coverage began with the spot news story and finished with a documentary.
In his acceptance speech, Keating thanked the people of Johnsons Landing “whom I grew to like and admire very much,” but dedicated the award to his family, whose homes and businesses were ruined during flooding at High River, Alta., and in particular to his mother, who died last month.
Keating, who covers the Kootenays for CBC, won the same award last year for his coverage of the Kienan Hebert kidnapping in Sparwood. The previous year he was recognized for best legal reporting for his story about Mikael Arrak, whom a judge banished from Nelson for criminal harassment.
Also nominated in Keating’s category were Marcella Bernardo of CKNW News Talk 980 and a team from CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition.
The Jack Webster awards, named for the late radio and TV talk show host, recognize the best in reporting by BC print, radio, TV and online journalists.