Sunday, June 29, 2014

Raymond native receives two New England Emmy Awards - By Elizabeth Richards

Raymond native and Windham High School graduate Katie Eastman recently achieved what many broadcasters spend years striving for, just a few years into her career. Eastman was recently awarded two New England Emmy awards, outstanding video essay and outstanding video journalist, for compilations of stories she filmed as a multimedia journalist for the Boston Herald.
  “Winning an Emmy is something that I always wanted to do,” said Eastman. “I never thought I would get one so young. I was so excited that this was able to happen.”
 The accomplishment really starts with the stories, said Eastman. Both compilations included stories from the tragic bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. The first story in her video essay was filmed on the day of the marathon, a mile away from the finish line. Eastman had been running the marathon with a camera. “I was planning on telling a very different story than what I ended up telling,” she said.
 Because they were a mile out, she said, no one knew what was going on, but she captured the confusion and emotion of the crowd. “It was an incredibly personal story for me to tell. You’re not used to being the news when you are reporting the news, but I was the subject of that story,” said Eastman. “I think that’s why it came across so emotional. When I put that story together, I knew exactly what I was feeling, so I could convey that emotion into this piece.”
  The other two stories in the video essay were also related to the marathon bombings. One profiled Pete DiMartino, a survivor whose foot was severely injured, during the early part of his recovery at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The third piece showed Carlos Arredondo interacting with people who had come to say goodbye to the marathon memorial in Copley Square before it was archived.
  The compilation that won her the outstanding video journalist award featured a profile of Lee Ann Yanni, who was slated to run her first marathon in Chicago in October of 2013 when she was injured while watching the Boston Marathon. Eastman followed Yanni for six months as she learned first to walk, and then to run again. Eastman was in Chicago with Yanni when she completed 26.2 miles against all odds. “That was a really incredible moment,” said Eastman of watching Yanni finish. “It’s the most joy I’ve had in telling a story, because I was with her for such a long time, and watched her progress,” she said.

 The other stories in the video journalist compilation were not related to the bombings. One was a story about a blind stonemason, and the other an 11-year-old campaign manager for a school committee campaign in Cambridge.
 Both awards were for categories in which the reporter shoots, writes, and edits everything on their own, said Eastman. “It’s about people who are out with a camera by themselves, which is what I like to do because you get full control and ownership over your work,” she said.
 Winning two regional Emmys in the same year was completely unexpected, said Eastman, who was nominated last year, but did not win. She went into the evening thinking it was just great to be nominated, she said. When they announced her name the second time, she was shocked. “It was very nice, and gratifying just to know that all the hard work really did pay off,” she said.
 Eastman said she really appreciates that people have taken the time to share their stories with her. “It’s cool that I was able to get these awards, but when I think about it, all of these people are way cooler,” she said. Her job doesn’t really feel like work, she said, and she feels lucky to be doing what she loves.
 Eastman is proud of her accomplishments, knowing that she worked incredibly hard to tell the stories in the best way she could. She is also looking forward to the future and what is to come. “I’m excited, and I just can’t wait to see what the next step is, and what will happen next. Maybe I’ll try for the New York Emmys, although those might be tough,” she said.
 Eastman began her career at an ABC affiliate in Iowa after graduating from Emerson College in 2011. While in college, she had interned for the Boston Herald, and returned to work for them in 2012. Wanting to get back into television, Eastman recently moved to Albany, New York, to work for Time Warner Cable News.
 Eastman said she loved growing up in a small town, and she tells everyone she meets about Raymond. “I absolutely love Maine, and I’m incredibly proud of where I’m from,” she said.

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