Students from Northwestern State’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts have won five 2021 Telly Awards for a newscast and an awards show.
The Dec. 3, 2020 newscast won a Silver Telly Award in the General – Local TV category and two Bronze Tellys in the categories of General – Educational Institution and General Student. The JaM (Journalism and Media) Awards were honored in the categories of Online-General Education Institution and Online – General Education. The JaM Awards were an awards show for high school journalism students done instead of the annual Journalism and Media Day.
NSU won a Bronze Telly Award last year.
The Telly Awards is an international broadcast organization whose mission is to showcase, “… the best work created within television and across video, for all screens. Receiving over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.” Production organizations such as Disney, Netflix and major broadcasters from across the world enter work for judging in this annual, peer-reviewed competition.
The NSU News Service Newscast was awarded in a professional, not student, category. The newscast was judged against professional standards of multimedia excellence. NSU newscasts qualify for the award since they are aired on NSU-TV, channel 22 on Suddenlink Cable. The station is run under the direction of NSU-TV Chief Engineer/Director David Antilley.
According to Assistant Professor New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts Dr. Nick Taylor, the Newscasts produced during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters were written, organized and produced as class projects/assignments in Communications 3430 (news producing). Graphics and other production elements are created as assignments in Communication 4470 (TV producing and directing). The NSU News Service, which is housed in the department, creates the news packages. Select stories are contributed from students in Communication 3480 (Video Production II.)
“This approach allows students with a variety of talents/interests from across the department to participate in developing broadcast/multimedia news to professional standards,” said Taylor, who is faculty advisor for the newscasts. “I can’t express how proud I am of this crew. I would see them covering stories on weekends or late nights, then write or edit until 3 a.m., not going home until all story elements were completed to a professional level. Our students have a ton of talent and skill. But where they stand head-and-shoulders above students from other universities is, their loyalty to each other, dedication to professional news standards and never-quit spirit. This is a group of students with bright futures.”
Hannah Angel of Natchitoches and Sharissa Tanner of Lebeau were anchors for the newscast. Brianna Corley of Olla and Trinity Velazquez of New Orleans were lead producers. Sydney Bulot of Anchorage, Alaska, and Kori Levingston of Grand Prairie, Texas, were story producers. James Stanfield of Natchitoches was reporter, Madelyn Dupont of Washington was lead editor. Brian Gabrial was interim chair of the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts. Melody Gilbert was instructor for Communications 3480.
“When hard work is rewarded it motivates you to continue moving towards improving even more,” said Corley. “Being honored with a Telly Award has made me, in the same way I’m sure it has done for my peers, excited to begin trying to create an even better piece of work to put into the world. Working collaboratively with a team, meeting strict deadlines and being expected to create a product that matched industry standards has helped me grow and prepared me for what to expect in the work force.”
For the JaM Awards, Gabrial was executive producer and Taylor was producer with Antilley as director/editor. Nadia Johnson was graphics lead and show host with graphic creation by Ethan Lachney of Tioga. Bulot was a segment producer and host with Angell serving as a segment producer and host. Graphic design was by Morgan Etheredge of Campti and videography by Jaci Jones of New Iberia, James Stanford of Natchitoches and Velazquez. Colie Plaster of Benton was a show host. Gilbert was the alumni segment producer.