Reviewing our documentary about the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, this journal calls it:
Our tallgrass prairie production premiered on public TV in Kansas City (KCPT) & Wichita (KPTS).
The broadcast premiere of our DOCUMENTARY
Tuesday, Nov. 29th, at 8pm on WIBW/Channel 13 in Topeka
K-State Collegian February 17, 2016 by Vince Lamas
Dave Kendall, interim news director of Channel 8 News and instructor of journalism and mass communications, poses in the Channel 8 studio, located in Dole Hall on the K-State campus.
From "Update" (Winter 2015-16) published by the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Feature article in Topeka Capital-Journal - Sunday, March 29, 2015 (p. 2A)
Commentary by Dave Kendall aired on Kansas Public Radio - May 27, 2015
KPR Intro: The host of a long-running public television program in Kansas is leaving his position. Dave Kendall, the host of Sunflower Journeys, is saying goodbye to KTWU, Channel 11 in Topeka. As we hear in this guest commentary, his departure from public broadcasting is bittersweet....
I’ve been associated with public broadcasting in Kansas for more than 30 years. I produced documentaries as an independent producer before landing a full-time job at KTWU -- the public television station in Topeka. When I started working there in the fall of 1987, they wanted to develop a series of programs about Kansas. It was my responsibility to design it and get it on the air. Working with two other staff producers, it fell to me to host the show … called “Sunflower Journeys.”
The series premiered in January of 1988. For the first story in our first show, we presented an excerpt from a 1954 promotional film about Kansas that depicted the state as a surprisingly attractive place. In that film, a young couple from the East Coast becomes so enchanted with the state they decide to move here. It’s a fanciful depiction that still resonates with some folks today.
When “Sunflower Journeys” began, the man who was then governor of Kansas, Mike Hayden, had just launched an educational initiative that called for greater emphasis on Kansas history in our middle schools. As teachers looked around to find a/v materials to use in their classrooms, they started to discover our programs … and we became more educational.
As the years went by, our producers have ventured all across the Sunflower State, exploring anything and everything related to Kansas. We’ve toured the physiographic regions of the state, its river basins, its historic sites, trails and tourist attractions, and travelled its blue highways. We’ve profiled a long list of famous Kansans as well as many who might just be called “Plains People.”
With the advent of new technology, we’ve been able to make our programs available online so that anyone anywhere with access to the internet could view them. People started “sharing” the videos with friends and family who live elsewhere, often saying … as they have for years: “This is what makes me proud to be a Kansan.”
The Journeys continue, but things are changing … with the series as well as with the state. It appears that many of the things that make people proud of the state are being undermined as budget cuts reduce the funding available to support them, whether it’s our schools, our state parks or our highways. Funding has also been reduced for public broadcasting – an on-going trend that’s jeopardizing the very existence of some stations and causing others to operate with reduced staffs.
In choosing to leave my position with KTWU at this point, I can only wish my colleagues well as they strive to continue providing good quality local programming in a changing media environment. As for me, I’m not retiring, but I am heading for the hills – the Flint Hills. Seems like there might be a documentary waiting for me out there. Guess we’ll just have to see about that.