IEMA Series 'Inland Unsolved' Wins Prestigious Clarion Award

 

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Video: "Inland Unsolved" runs on KVCR, with clips from the show also posted on YouTube (click above).

SAN BERNARDINO, CA (August 22, 2016) – By putting a spotlight on cold cases across the Inland Empire, "Inland Unsolved" aims to bring closure to the friends and loved ones of crime victims.

Reporter and producer Donna Trewhella of the Inland Empire Media Academy came up with the idea to highlight unsolved crimes plaguing local law enforcement after she spent three months in 2014 filming a documentary about a program for at-risk youth run by the Rialto Police Department. She spoke with a lieutenant about the lack of television coverage surrounding crime in the Inland Empire, and decided it was time to start a series that brings attention to cold cases, some decades old.

"For the Inland Empire, there's no show like that, no representation," Trewhella said. "A lot of businesses care about crime and want to do something about it, and this is a way for the community to get involved."

"Inland Unsolved" runs on KVCR, with each segment covering a different cold case; the segments can also be viewed at www.youtube.com/DonnaTrewhella. Through the Inland Empire Media Academy, Trewhella, a San Bernardino Valley College and California State University, San Bernardino, graduate, is able to work directly with media students looking to get real world experience filming a professional production.

"The educational component of 'Inland Unsolved' is terribly important," she said. "It's an unbelievable opportunity for students to get exposure to professional media production, and that's important to me because I am big on education. I hope that I'm a guinea pig as the first Inland Empire Media Academy producer to try something like this program, and can be an example for future students to know that you can succeed in the field you love."

Trewhella is a member of the Association for Women in Communications, and was invited to submit an entry for this year's Clarion Awards. Hundreds of entries were received from 24 states and three countries, and "Inland Unsolved," with Trewhella as reporter and producer and Nick Van Damme as cameraman, won a 2016 Clarion Award for Television Investigation Feature or Series - Local or Regional.

"To be chosen, honestly, I was gobsmacked," Trewhella said. "The Inland Empire gets no coverage, and I feel like we're passed over so much of the time. To win an award, for the college, for the Inland Empire Media Academy, for the community to get that recognition, it was just overwhelming."

Funding will end for "Inland Unsolved" at the end of August. To keep the series going, a GoFundMe page has been set up at www.gofundme.com/inlandunsolved. Businesses and community members can also donate through the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation website at www.sbvcfoundation.org — donors can specify that they want their money directed to the "Inland Unsolved" fund.