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Santa Barbara mayoral debate video wins national award

Jerry Roberts / YouTube

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A video of a local Santa Barbara mayoral debate from August 2021 won a national award for Best Virtual Event video in the Hometown Media national contest.

The Aug. 27 Santa Barbara mayoral debate was hosted by renowned journalist and News Channel 3-12 political analyst Jerry Roberts and Noozhawk writer Josh Molina.

Roberts and Molina asked six mayoral candidates questions about how they would handle some of the city's biggest issues if elected: homelessness, diversity, a distant city council.

“We are proud of our ongoing contribution to civic dialogue on important local issues,” said Roberts. “And it’s great to be recognized and honored for best virtual programming in a period where so many were compelled to communicate and share information through Zoom and other similar platforms.”

The debate was produced by Roberts, Molina, and Hap Freund at the TVSB studios. JP Montalvo directed the cablecast.

Mayoral candidates Cathy Murillo, Randy Rowse, James Joyce III, Deborah Schwartz, Mark Whitehurst, and Matt Kilrain all joined Molina and Roberts via Zoom.

Roberts, Molina, and Freund found a way to give the mayoral candidates a platform in the midst of a COVID-19 surge when gatherings were discouraged.

The program was watched more than 2,000 times on Roberts' "Newsmakers" YouTube channel and Molina's "Santa Barbara Talks" YouTube channel. It aired 124 times on TVSB's channels 17 and 21.

The Hometown Media national contest was sponsored by the Alliance for Community Media and was established to honor and promote local cable programs distributed on Public, Educational, and Governmental cable access channels.

The debate will be recognized at an annual conference in Chicago at the end of June.

Click here to watch the debate.

Author Profile Photo

Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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