Flint, MI— Flint Beat has been nominated for three Emmys. 

The video stories entitled “Football Lives Matter” and “Everyday Is Different” received nominations in the categories of Sports Story News Feature and Education/School News, respectively. 

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.

Videographer Jamal Bransford holds the Emmy award he won for his piece “Jerks Are Doing It Right” (Courtesy of Jamal Bransford)

“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. 

Publisher and founder of Flint Beat Jiquanda Johnson. (Mark Felix | Flint Beat)

“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. 

Though Flint Beat is relatively young, the publication has garnered national attention and collaborated with national newsrooms like TheTrace.org, New York Times, and the Center for Public Integrity.  

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.

Carmen Nesbitt

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

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