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Intellect

Three BYU students win top female broadcaster awards

BYU broadcasters take three of eight student awards

  • BYU students win three of the eight Gracies awarded to student broadcasters
  • Gracies honor women in broadcasting
  • National Gracie winners included Katie Couric, Barbara Walters & Martha Stewart

A trio of students from BYU’s communication department can call themselves some of the best college female broadcasters in the nation after winning 2010 Gracie Awards.

Recent graduates Sable Petersen, Kristine Pratt and Amy West won three of the eight student Gracies awarded at the recent Alliance for Women in Media Gracie Awards in Hollywood, an annual competition celebrating women in broadcasting.

“We have fantastic students across the board,” said Chad Curtis, lab manager for BYU’s broadcast news program, Daily News. “And these three students certainly added more proof to that claim.”

While in the company of national honorees such as Katie Couric and Barbara Walters, BYU’s Petersen was recognized as the Outstanding Producer in Entertainment/Sports, while Pratt achieved Outstanding Newscast Director and West won Outstanding Reporter or Correspondent.

The three BYU broadcasters were surprised to learn about the awards because Curtis entered them into the running secretly.

“Chad [Curtis] handed me a paper just after our noon newscast one day and asked that I read it out loud in the newsroom,” recalled Petersen, an Orem native. “The paper was the announcement that we had all won Gracies. I was completely surprised.”

Petersen won a Gracie for her work as the producer and host of BlueTube, a 30-minute sports show that focused on the then upcoming football game between BYU and the University of Utah.

Meanwhile, Pratt won for her work directing election coverage for the Daily News at Noon, the daily newscast of the BYU Department of Communications.

Pratt happened to be premiering her Senior Capstone project to her entire family and about 100 people from the community when she learned of her achievement.

“I was completely shocked,” said Pratt, now interning for NBC Sports at Wimbledon. “It was already a great night and that made it just so much better.”

West received her award for her three-part series “Snake Valley,” which highlighted the water war taking place between Utah’s west desert farmers and Las Vegas’ Southern Nevada Water Authority.

West, who is currently working for KHAS in Hastings, Neb., traveled more than 1,500 miles to interview people for the story.

The Gracie Awards is an annual competition that recognizes excellence in broadcast journalism for women, by women or about women. Some of the 2010 Gracie winners in the national categories were Suze Orman, Hannah Storm and Martha Stewart.

“It’s amazing to be recognized for your work as a student, and a great way to start a career,” Petersen said.

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