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ENN’s broadcast show presented with top prize at BEA conference

Nine communications faculty and staff members attended the Broadcast Education Association’s annual conference and Festival of Media Arts, where “Elon Local News” members accepted a “Best of Festival” King Foundation Award.

A contingent of faculty, staff and students in the School of Communications headed west last week to attend the 2017 Broadcast Education Association's annual convention and Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas.

ENN staff members celebrate their “Best of Festival” King Foundation Award at the Broadcast Education Association's 2017 Festival of Media Arts. Pictured (from left) are Ashley Bohle '17, Maya Eaglin ’19, Erik Webb '19, Daniel MacLaury '18, Andrew Feather ’17, Elizabeth Bilka '18 and Associate Professor Rich Landesberg. 

While Elon representatives often make a spring pilgrimage to the annual event, this year the group also celebrated “Elon Local News,” Elon News Network’s broadcast news show, which earned a top finish in the national showcase for student work.

The weekly newscast was one of just 17 faculty and student entries chosen to receive a BEA “Best of Festival” King Foundation Award, selected from a pool of more than 1,450 submissions. The news program was recognized in the Student News Competition’s Television Category on the strength of its Oct. 31, 2016, broadcast.

The award was presented to ENN staff members at a formal ceremony on April 24. In attendance were Erik Webb '19 (producer), Elizabeth Bilka '18 (executive producer), Daniel MacLaury '18 (director) and Ashley Bohle '17 (broadcast news director). Andrew Feather ’17, an ENN investigate reporter, and Maya Eaglin ’19, the show’s co-anchor, were also on hand.

For a complete listing of the Elon honorees in this year’s Festival of Media Arts, visit this February 2017 news release.

Accompanying the students to the Las Vegas conference were nine School of Communications faculty and staff members, several of whom participated as panelists and presenters. On hand were Associate Professors Vic Costello, Dan Haygood, Rich Landesberg, Julie Lellis and Amanda Sturgill; Assistant Professors Gerald Gibson and Max Negin; Associate Dean Don Grady and Bryan Baker, director of sound and video projects.

The following list highlights the faculty conference participants and their involvement:

  • Landesberg participated in two sessions as a speaker, including a panel discussion titled “What You Need to Know for That First Job,” which brought together individuals who have made the transition to academia in different areas. He also contributed to a lively presentation titled “Class or Club? What’s the best way to run your student news?” The session examined the growth of student newscasts and debated the best format for such shows: class, student club or hybrid.
  • Haygood participated in the scholar-to-scholar research presentations, with his paper titled “WUNC-TV’s Broadvision: The Story of One of the Nation’s First Public Television Station’s Pioneering Venture into Sports Broadcasting.”
  • Grady served as a speaker during the BEA Assessment Boot Camp, leading a discussion titled “Conforming Program Assessment Measures to ACEJMC Values & Competencies.” The session examined how direct and indirect measures may be used to assess learning outcomes as required by accreditation guidelines to improve curriculum and instruction.
  • Costello participated in BEA’s collective district meetings and newcomers welcome, greeting new members and sharing information regarding the association’s eight districts. Costello currently serves as the District 2 representative on BEA’s board of directors and led the annual District 2 business meeting as well as participated in the spring board meeting. The region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Sturgill and media analytics major Charlie Perschau ’17 also provided conference attendees with insights from their recent research on breaking news and traditional media outlets.

During a poster session, the research partners presented “Breaking News on Twitter: Is Local Different or Better?” For Sturgill, it is her third co-authored paper with an Elon undergraduate that examines how traditional media outlets use social media to break news, comparing local outlets with regional and national ones.

“We used a set of tweets surrounding the terrorist attack at Ohio State University last year, comparing the Columbus NBC affiliate with the network and found that the affiliate used the interactive features of Twitter much more than the network did,” Sturgill said. “This suggests that the affiliate is developing relationships, while the network is broadcasting an authoritative voice.” 

Not to be overlooked, Eaglin moderated a “Coffee and Conversation” session with Deborah Parenti, publisher of Radio Ink, and John Caracciolo, president/CEO of JVC Broadcasting. With Eaglin directing the discussion, the two radio professionals shared career stories and offered advice on what helped them succeed.

Elon alumna Neima Abdulahi ’13, a reporter at WXIA in Atlanta, also attended the BEA conference and led a multimedia journalism session.

In addition to attending the BEA conference, Landesberg participated in a panel discussion at the NAB Show, held in conjunction with BEA each spring. During the show, which is billed as the world's largest electronic media event, Landesberg joined a session called “Trust and the Media,” exploring a variety of perspectives inside and outside the news media.

Tommy Kopetskie,
5/1/2017 4:30 PM