Students to be honored April 18 in Las Vegas
The BYU Daily News, Brigham Young University's student news broadcast, has been named the best student TV newscast in the nation by the Broadcast Education Association. BYU's team will be honored Friday at the Annual BEA Festival of Arts Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas.
"This is like winning the NCAA championship in basketball," said broadcast adviser Erin Goff. "It feels wonderful to be called No. 1. Although we have received some great individual reporting awards in the past, this award shows what we can accomplish as a team of journalists."
BYU's first-place winning broadcast team was led by student producer Kim Dalton, director Katie Luman, executive producer Alexis Wiseman and tape editor Katie Squires.
In other categories, BYU's entrants also tied for first with Arizona State for best news team, swept the top three news anchor awards, placed third in the radio newscast category and took the first two spots for radio feature reporting.
BEA officials judged more than 500 entries in this year's contest. BYU's news team was one of 15 "Best of Festival" winners out of those entrants, and, with that designation, the team's work will be showcased at the April 18 event.
"What made this newscast such an achievement was that it took everyone - reporters, producers, directors, designers and professors - working together to make the quality presentation we did," Dalton said. "It's this kind of teamwork we strive to have in the BYU newsroom every day."
In the individual categories, BYU students Marco Villarreal, Jennifer Borget and McKay Allen swept the top three spots in the news anchor division.
In the radio feature reporting category, BYU students Rob Sanders and Marco Villarreal tied for first for their stories "Christmas Literature" and "Freshman," while BYU placed third overall for radio newscast.
More than 20 judges from across the country assessed the submissions for this year's competition.
"We have put a lot of time and effort into producing a quality newscast that BYU administrators, the students, KBYU and the community would be proud of," Goff said.
Added Squires: "Working in the news industry takes the talents and expertise of many people. It really is a team accomplishment."
BEA is not the only group to recognize BYU's student journalists this year. The Society of Professional Journalists recently awarded seven first-place finishes to BYU students in its regional competition, including best television newscast. Marco Villarreal placed first in radio feature, television breaking news reporting and television feature. Elena Garcia (radio sports reporting), McKay Allen (television general news reporting) and Lindsey Erin Jurdana (in-depth television reporting) also placed first.