Mike Vasilinda received a Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Television Journalism in 2005 for his enterprising coverage of the controversial “Felons List” during the 2004 election cycle. Mike is the longest continuously-serving member of the Capitol Press Corps, although Bill Cottrell was here in 1969, left, and returned.
Mike Vasilinda began his career covering Florida Politics while still a student at Florida State University. In January 1974, he founded what is today Florida Public Radio�s �Capitol Report�, a thirty minute weekly wrap up of legislative news. Soon thereafter, Ray Wise hired Mike to do freelance radio reporting.
In 1975, Capitol News Service was founded. Back then news was shot on 16mm film and had to be shipped to Tampa, Miami, and Orlando on a noon flight to allow for processing in time for the evening news. Jacksonville�s film was shipped via a Greyhound Bus.
Mike purchased video equipment in 1978 and switched from receiving 20 dollars for each story that was used to receiving a monthly retainer. Satellite delivery arrived in 1982.
1983 brought the purchase of a Sony BetaCam, the 3rd such unit in Florida and still the industry workhorse.
Today, Capitol News Service can field four crews and has two satellite paths to clients and maintains a fiber transmission line from the state capitol to clients. Live coverage to the world is standard practice.
In addition to Capitol News Service, Mike is the president of Mike Vasilinda Productions (MVP), which is a full service video production company located in Tallahassee. The company produces award winning commercials, television shows, marketing and training video, and all things television.
Mike is married to Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a member of the Florida Bar and faculty member at
Tallahassee Community College. On November 4, 2008 Michelle was elected to the Florida House of
Representatives for District 9, which covers parts of Leon and Jefferson counties. Michelle was re-elected on November 2, 2010.
More information is available at: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/details.aspx?MemberId=4464&SessionId=61 OR votemichelle.com
Mike currently serves on the following Boards:
Board of Overseers, Emerson College, Boston
Florida Missing Children’s Information Clearing House Advisory Board
Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce
First Amendment Foundation
Council on Culture and Arts
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