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WVPB's John Nakashima Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

John Nakashima

John Nakashima, a longtime senior television producer and director with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, has won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters Awards ceremony at The Greenbrier Resort today. The WVPB news team also won seven first and two second place awards.

“I’m honored to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award, but I’m certainly not finished,” Nakashima said. “What an experience for my body of work to be recognized up to this point and for the wonderfully warm congratulations I received from the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters. I’m now looking forward to making as many documentaries as I can as long as I can.”

Nakashima has produced, directed, shot, written, and edited documentaries and music programs for public television in the Mountain State since 1977. His work explores West Virginia culture in the widest sense — including visual and performing arts, traditional and modern culture, historical documentaries, and contemporary issues. This Lifetime Achievement Award joins other awards for Nakashima, including multiple Regional Emmys, a Citizen of the Year distinction, and West Virginia Filmmaker of the Year 2013, to name a few.

Butch Antolini, WVPB’s interim director, said Nakashima has much to be proud of. “John Nakashima’s filmmaking legacy is impressive, and all of us at West Virginia Public Broadcasting are glad he’s been recognized by such a prestigious group as the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters,” Antolini said. “We’re also quite proud of the many awards brought home by the news team.”

Members of WVPB’s news team won awards in categories from Best Spot News to Best Investigative Reporting. Andrea Billups serves as news director for the statewide public media outlet.

“From features to in-depth reporting, and spot news to editorials, these awards showcase the depth of strong journalism that occurs at West Virginia Public Broadcasting,” Billups said. “We are incredibly proud of our work, proud to be journalists in this era, and proud to have support from our many listeners and followers across the state and region. We are all invested in doing the kind of work that elevates and shines a light on issues facing our state.”

WVPB winners in the Radio I Metro division include:

Best Spot News
First Place, Dave Mistich for “There’s an Endpoint: First Group in West Virginia Vaccinated for COVID-19

Best Documentary or In-Depth
First Place, Roxy Todd, Mason Adams and Jessica Lilly for “Finding a Way Forward
Second Place, Trey Kay and Kyle Vass for “Us & Them: Without a Home Can You Be a Good Neighbor?

Best Light Feature
Second Place, Emily Allen for “Wrestlers and Fans Venture ‘Out of the Darkness’ With Drive-In Show

Best Editorial or Editorial Series
First Place, Trey Kay for “Us & Them: Let Us Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds.”

Best Specialty Reporting
First Place, Caitlin Tan for “Folktales and Music Bring to Life the West Virginia/Welsh Connection.”

Best Investigative Reporting
First Place, Dave Mistich and Brittany Patterson for “Coal Operator Who Fought Against Black Lung Regulations Files for Black Lung Benefits.”

Best Radio News Anchor
First Place, Jessica Lilly for “Appalachian Strength in the Face of a Pandemic.”

Best Mountain State Heritage
First Place, Zack Harold for “A Family Cultivates Tradition With a Nearly-Forgotten Tomato.”

During the organization’s annual meeting, Eric Douglas, WVPB’s assistant news director, was elected to the board of directors and will serve alongside Jessica Lilly.

WVPB’s former intern from West Virginia University, Duncan Slade, won a $1,500 scholarship.