Flint, MI— Flint Beat has been nominated for three Emmys.
They were both shot by Flint Beat videographer Jamal Bransford and produced by Flint Beat’s Publisher Jiquanda Johnson.
Bransford was also nominated for an Emmy based on his collective work at Flint Beat. Over the course of his career, he’s received 14 nominations and one award for his piece, “Jerks Are Doing it Right,” a story about traffic merging.
“I’m excited. I think I’m beyond excited because it was an opportunity to tell stories in my hometown,” Bransford said.
For him, visual storytelling is a way to give people a voice and make an impact.
“I love that through visuals and sound and putting their words together where they’re able to express how they truly feel, that other people can connect to them by video. And it still gives me goosebumps sometimes,” he said.
Johnson founded Flint Beat in 2017 to fill a local news gap in Flint. She said she wanted to know how visual journalism would translate at a local level.
“For a few years now, I have wanted to do video. I wanted to see what it looks like on a really local platform. What does visual storytelling look like for Flint?” she said.
“I had a vision and a goal. I knew we needed to do it in our newsroom. I knew we could. I had the talent to support me and we carried it out. … Now, we’re nominated,” Johnson said.
Flint Beat’s success is also due in part to the support it receives from various organizations. The Facebook Journalism Project, Borealis Philanthropy’s Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, and the Google News Initiative have all played crucial roles in allowing Flint Beat to grow and reach its goals.
Emmys aren’t the only awards Flint Beat has won this year. In its first year entering the Michigan Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, Flint Beat also won three awards and one honorable mention for reporting and video, and one honorable mention from the Michigan Press Photographers Association for photography.
While Johnson is still unsure what the nomination means for Flint Beat or what her next moves are, it doesn’t change how proud she is of the team.
“I feel the same about the work and our quality of work that we produce. … If we never got nominated, I would feel the same about our work. I know what we do,” she said.