BYU Daily Universe, Universe Live gain national recognition

Students work in The Daily Universe newsroom. BYU news programs take some of the top spots in the new 2023 Broadcast Education Association school rankings. (Anna Hair)

BYU news programs take some of the top spots in the new 2023 Broadcast Education Association school rankings.

According to the report released on March 30, BYU took seventh in the nation for top winning news programs, 16th for sports programs and 20th overall.

“The BEA is the premiere international academic media organization, driving insight, excellence in media production and career advancement for educators, students and professionals,” the BEA press release said.

Each year, the BEA takes a unique approach to evaluating media programs from around the globe. They focus on the outcomes. “Those outcomes are the quality and consistency of student’s creative works from one participating institution as compared to other,” the press release said.

These annual rankings are based on student success over the past five years. Over the last five years, nearly 6,000 student creative works were submitted from more than 300 member institutions.

When asked what makes The Daily Universe an award-winning newsroom, Megan Zaugg, editor in chief for The Daily Universe, said the students are driven.

“I’ve just been impressed with all of the reporters and the editors that I’ve met,” Zaugg said. “They just all have this kind of affinity for news and events and searching for the stories that are important to be told.”

She also said the key to a successful newsroom is communicating often. This communication is important as there are many steps to getting a story published. A story first has to be pitched and assigned to a reporter. Once a draft is made they will work with a desk editor to make any edits before the draft gets passed along to copy editors who check for grammar and punctuation. As editor in chief, Zaugg does the final edits and read throughs before a story gets put on the web.

Working alongside The Daily Universe, Universe Live is a short newscast showcasing the work of students. Carly Wasserlein works as a technical director for Universe Live and spoke about her most valuable lessons learned within the newsroom.

“I can think on my feet, work quickly and act with confidence because of my time in the newsroom. Having the opportunity to work closely with such incredible professional mentors like Alan and Melissa has taught me how important journalism is, and that what a journalist does has a real impact on society,” Wasserlein said of working with faculty members Alan Neves and Melissa Gibbs.

She also described how the hard skills she has learned in the newsroom in regards to video editing and social media will help in her future career as those skills are in high demand right now. “I’m grateful for my time in the newsroom because I know that I’ll be able to find something to do that I love after I graduate,” Wasserlein said.

Students finding jobs after graduation is also very important to Dr. Miles Romney, one of the faculty members over the the sports program within the newsroom. “Our number one objective, our number one measurement tool for our program is job placement,” Romney said. He said he is most passionate about getting students into their first entry level job.

Romney said the sports program is continuing to work on creating local internship opportunities for students with sports teams like the Jazz, Bees and Real Salt Lake. “I want them (students) to come in here and feel like the program is really helping them get into the field and developing them in the field,” Romney said.

Mark Callister, director of the school of communications, also commented on the BEA awards.

“I am so pleased with the hard work of the journalism and sports media students, staff and faculty, and the wonderful efforts and mentoring that has led to these impressive awards and resulting rankings. The School of Communications is committed to helping develop students interested in careers in journalism and sports media, and these awards are a reflections of that commitment and the amazing students we are honored to teach,” Callister said.

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