SPJ Colorado Pro awards Kaufman Keeper of the Flame Award

The Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists board of directors sends their condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Kevin Kaufman, who died of cancer Feb. 10. 

Longtime Boulder Daily Camera editor Kevin Kaufman is 2019’s recipient of the Keeper of the Flame Award, bestowed by from the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for his lifetime contributions to the profession in Boulder and Colorado.

Kaufman, who joined the Camera as an assistant city editor in 1994, rose through the ranks at the paper and was named to the top newsroom job in 2006. Staff members say he was instrumental in maintaining the Camera’s role as Boulder County’s paper of record and as a tenacious watchdog over local governments.

“Kevin has made an immeasurable impact on journalism in Boulder County and Colorado since arriving at the Camera in the mid-‘90s … helping train and mold a generation of Colorado journalists,” said Matt Sebastian, former city editor at the Camera and now senior editor for enterprise at the Denver Post. “Kevin has been a fierce advocate for the public’s right to know, holding public servants accountable and, above all, doing the invaluable job of local journalism.”

Kaufman’s journalism career began as a youth in the south Denver suburbs delivering a Littleton newspaper, and his love of the profession never wavered. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and spent his early newsroom days as a reporter in northwest Colorado and in Illinois. He covered Coloradan Gary Hart’s campaign in Iowa during the caucuses there.

A graduate of Heritage High School, Kaufman also served as a medic in the Navy. He previously worked for the Pekin Daily Times in Illinois and the Northwest Colorado Daily Press in Craig. He was married, with two daughters and has six siblings.

As city editor, Kaufman led the Camera reporting staff in coverage of numerous national stories over the years, everything from the JonBenet Ramsey homicide to Ward Churchill to Frozen Dead Guy Days.

The Keeper of the Flame Award is given annually by the Colorado SPJ chapter to honor longtime journalists for their contributions to the profession and for leading and mentoring young journalists.

“Kevin loves his job, he loves journalism, writing, editing, newspapers, and the people involved,” said his brother Ken. “He loves working at the Daily Camera.”