The September Journalist of the Month, Staff Sgt. Joseph Labutka, shot video coverage of the Colorado National Guard's response to the catastrophic flooding in Colorado. His videos went viral, making him the second Journalist of the Month from the CONG in the past year and half. Labutka's videos were downloaded more than 170 times and viewed more than 3,120 times. His videos aired 2,357 times, which is more than any other video on DVIDS in September, including the national military...more
Labutka's videos were downloaded more than 170 times and viewed more than 3,120 times. His videos aired 2,357 times, which is more than any other video on DVIDS in September, including the national military newscasts. The videos of the next closest military broadcaster aired just 103 times. Some of the media that aired his videos include CNN, Weather Channel, Bayerisches Fernsehen in Germany, France 24, FOX News, RAI News 24 in Italy, Russia 1, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, WCBS-TV in New York and many more local and international outlets.
In addition to his videos airing on broadcast channels, they were also used on websites like Time, America's North Shore Journal and BlackAnthem.com.
"Staff Sgt. Joseph Labutka has contributed greatly to emergency responses on both fires and floods this summer. His skills and expertise have put footage of Colorado National Guard members' heroic actions on screens across the globe. Labutka's ability to adapt to adverse situations and produce fantastic products has been a great asset to the Colorado National Guard and U.S. Army," said Brig. Gen. Dana Capozzella, assistant adjutant general for Army, Colorado Army National Guard.
Labutka's videos documented the flooded Colorado roads from inside a vehicle and from the sky above. His videos also showed National Guard soldiers assisting with evacuations of residents including children, infants and dogs. One of his videos featured the Guard members filling and distributing sandbags along with interviews with guardsmen at the end.
The competition for the Journalist of the Month is normally very strong, but this month was a bit unique. Labutka was up against stiff competition from within his own unit. Media around the world used the photography of Sgt. Joseph Vonnida and Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares to keep the public updated on the flooding in Colorado. Combined the three CONG journalists' videos and photos were viewed more than 14,000 times. In addition to Labutka being awarded the Journalist of the Month for his videography, the CONG topped the monthly categories for image downloads, image views and the number of times their images ran in the media. So overall, Labutka not only added another Journalist of the Month award for the CONG, but combined with his photographer colleagues, he also helped the CONG stand out as the military public affairs unit of the month.
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