BYU Broadcasting Students Win National Awards

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Seven BYU broadcasting students received national awards at this year’s Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts.

Chad Curtis, broadcast news manager for ElevenNEWS, said in a email, students from universities across the nation compete in this contest and BYU broadcast journalism majors have a consistent history of winning these awards.

Curtis said the work students submit to the contests comes from everyday work they do in the newsroom.

“The faculty and the lab staff help the students learn to be better reporters and producers by giving them responsibility over a weekday newscast on KBYU-TV called ElevenNEWS at Noon,” Curtis said. “[The students] are the reporters, the producers and the anchors of the newscast.”

Curtis keeps a list of the pieces he thinks stand out from others and then he selects the ones he feels are best to submit for the competition.

“These students have worked very hard, but [have] also been pushed to work at a professional level,’ Curtis said. “When their pieces go up head-to-head with those from other universities, they stand out because of the quality the lab demands. I couldn’t be more happy for our students. I see them working on a daily basis, but when their work is judged and found to be winning quality at the national level, it means just that much more.”

Jenné Anderson, a broadcasting journalism graduate, from Midland, Texas, was awarded a Best In Festival award for a package she did about preserving teachers’ jobs by cutting school costs. She also received third place in the television features category.

Anderson began preparing the pieces she entered during her last semester of BYU to hopefully gain recognition for herself and the school. She said, because of winning these awards, she feels she has succeeded in her tasks.

“I was in complete shock, just in awe,” Anderson said. “I felt like all of my hard work had finally paid off.”

Anderson attributes winning the awards to her professors.

“These are not the only awards that BYU has won,” Anderson said, “Our professors know what they are doing and [they] are creating high quality graduates.”

Mark Williams, a broadcast journalism graduate, from San Jose, Calif., was one of the six other students who also received BEA awards.

Williams had been working on the documentary he submitted since 2009, which is about Marius Dasianu, a Romanian boy who was severely burned in a fire that killed both of his parents. Williams was the main producer, writer, narrator, editor and compiler for his project. He also helped with filming and conducting interviews. The documentary won second place in the long documentary category of BEA awards.

“It was really really exciting,” Williams said. “I mean any time you receive an award, it’s an honor that somebody would recognize your work on that level. The fact that it is a national award and to be awarded second place is really an honor.”

Williams said he will be submitting his documentary to film festivals throughout the summer.

In addition to Anderson and Williams’ awards, five other broadcasting students also received awards including Briana Carr for Honorable Mention as TV Sports Host, Stephen Tanner for 3rd place in Radio Feature, Brian Grimmett for 3rd place in Radio Hard News, Sara Tourigny for Honorable Mention in her TV Feature and Anna Hayes for Honorable Mention in her TV Feature.

The seven students will be receiving their awards at the BEA convention in Las Vegas this April.

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