- Associated Press - Saturday, April 6, 2019

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) - Joe Dashiell, longtime reporter at WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, was named Saturday as the recipient of The Associated Press Robert Gallimore Distinguished Service Award.

Dashiell, who has worked at the station since 1980, was described as “The Virginia Gentleman.”

Joe’s commitment to journalism, this TV station, our community, and the Commonwealth where we live is unmatched,” said David Hughes, news director of the CBS affiliate. “I think we would all agree, there is no one out there more deserving of this award than Joe.”

The Gallimore Award, presented by the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters during the group’s annual meeting at The Greenbrier Resort, is named after the AP Chief of Bureau in Richmond between 1967 and 1985. The award honors a Virginia broadcaster for outstanding service in the public interest, who exemplifies a commitment to journalism and reflects honorably on the news profession.

“He’s our Walter Cronkite,” said Kelly Zuber, a former news director of WDBJ. “If Walter Cronkite is the most beloved journalist in America, Joe Dashiell is the most beloved journalist in Southwest Virginia. He has earned that.”

Except for a brief stint at radio station WREL in Lexington, Virginia, during college, Dashiell has spent his entire career at WDBJ. He graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in journalism, and walked into the newsroom of the Roanoke TV station as a summer intern. Since then, he has managed three WDBJ bureaus, including Lynchburg, the New River newsroom, and Richmond, where he covered the Virginia General Assembly, governor’s office and state politics. In 1990, he was elected president of the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association.

Dashiell returned to Roanoke as senior reporter in 1990, though he often can be seen in Richmond covering the General Assembly and other stories of statewide significance.

By his own admission, Dashiell has seen plenty of change over his nearly four decades in the news industry. “WDBJ was making the transition to videotape when I started in 1980, so some of my first stories were shot on film,” he said. “We used manual typewriters and six-part carbon paper to write our stories. We worked all day to produce a half-hour of news at 6 o’clock.”

He said the digital revolution has transformed the industry. “Today, we broadcast nine hours of news a day, and have constant deadlines on social media and the station’s website.”

“I’ve done more live shots than I can count, first with microwave transmitters, then with satellite trucks and more recently with bonded cell-phone backpacks,” Dashiell said. “It’s certainly a challenging time to be starting out, but also an exciting time for young people who will be blazing a trail in an evolving industry.”

The VAPB is comprised of more than 30 radio and television stations across Virginia and West Virginia.

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