By Juliana Nicholson (’11)
Only two years out of school, Chris Conte (COM ’09) won his first EMMY for a series of storm reports in Minnesota.
Conte’s compilation of stories titled “Eye of the Storm” was honored in the “Weather – Single Story/Series” Category by the Upper Midwest Regional EMMY Chapter. His stories for KTTC in Rochester, Minn., covered a series of deadly tornadoes that ripped across Minnesota in the summer of 2010 and historic flooding that devastated parts of the state in the fall of the same year.
Conte says he considers himself to be a storyteller above everything else, and he began to learn his craft while studying at COM.
“More than anything, COM taught me how to write, and if you can’t write in this crazy business we call television news, then you probably won’t make it very far,” Conte says.
In addition to his EMMY winning coverage, Conte has also reported many stories that caught the nation’s eye, including the roof collapse in the Metrodome (home of the Minnesota Viking’s NFL franchise), historic flooding in the fall of 2010 and a governor’s race that was too close to call. These efforts have earned Conte many honors, including recognition by the Minnesota Associated Press for his writing and investigative reporting.
Conte attributes his ability to dive right into his career to the fast pace of Boston life, and the lessons shared by the COM faculty.
“On top of everything I learned at COM, it was my professors who truly made the difference,” he says. “The real-world experience they brought to the table and shared with us on a daily basis was the best way to learn, hands down.”
Though his career has already taken him to multiple cities across the northern United States, Conte takes several core principles with him wherever he goes.
“I have a sticky note sitting on my computer at work with a quote from [the late] Prof. Jim Thistle” says Conte, “he said, ‘Content. Credibility and Integrity,’ and he was so right. Without those three things, you’re nothing as a journalist.”
Currently, Conte works as a reporter for 13WHAM News in Rochester, NY.
- Chris Conte’s professional website: chriscontereporter.com