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ATSSA now accepting nominations for the 2020 National Media Award
Erica Terrini
/ Categories: ATSSA, Media

ATSSA now accepting nominations for the 2020 National Media Award

Association to mark 8th year of honoring reporting on the transportation and roadway safety industry

ATSSA is now accepting nominations for the association’s National Media Award. The annual award is presented for informative and balanced reporting on the transportation and roadway safety industry. In 2020, ATSSA will mark its 8th year of honoring the winning candidate and nationally recognizing their efforts, which highlight the importance of roadway safety in the United States.

The National Media Award provides Departments of Transportation (DOTs) the opportunity to publicly recognize a reporter, news organization, blogger, or freelancer for outstanding and impactful reporting on transportation issues.

“Members of the transportation and roadway safety infrastructure industry work hard to save lives on our nation’s roadways and that along with the importance the industry in general is something that should be publicized,” said ATSSA Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer Mitzi Osterhout. “Since our Safety and Public Awareness Committee first began the media award, we have heard countless stories that show how our members and their products help save lives and we want to honor those who helped convey roadway safety to the public.

The media award is announced during the Opening General Session at ATSSA's Convention & Traffic Expo, which is the largest show in the roadway safety infrastructure industry in North America. The next convention & traffic expo will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from Jan. 24-28, 2020.

The winner of the 2018 award was David McGee, a senior reporter at the Bristol Herald Courier in Bristol, Virginia.

“Covering transportation issues isn’t atypically the most glamorous beat but it is among the most important because the issues impact people’s safety, convenience and well-being and fixes are typically expensive, which affects everyone’s wallet,” McGee said. “Fair, unbiased reporting is vital to cut through the political posturing and drill down to issues and solutions. There may be many sides to an issue, such as we experienced in Virginia in 2019 with the General Assembly trying to find a dedicated funding stream to address extensive safety concerns along the Interstate 81 corridor. It was important to our readers to touch all the bases and help them understand how changes like tolling, fuel tax hikes and other options being discussed could affect them.”

McGee also said he was appreciative to be recognized for his work.

“Winning the ATSSA award was a tremendous thrill and a real surprise. I’ll admit, I didn’t know there was an award for this type of reporting,” McGee said. “But I think the award further validates something I’ve always believed, that issues like transportation may appear mundane but are important because some aspect of the topic touches all of us, every day.”

The 2018 media award winner was Kara Kenney, who is an investigative reporter for WRTV, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“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

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