Phoenix14News Named Best Newscast in Carolinas

Phoenix14News, Elon University's weekly student newscast, was named the best student newscast in North and South Carolina Saturday at the Radio-Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas annual awards luncheon. It's the first time Phoenix14News has been recognized with the award, and it comes on the heels of the show's recognition as best newscast in the nation by the Broadcast Education Association in April.

“To be recognized by professionals in the broadcasting business is a validation of all the hard work we do reporting news and information to the Elon community,” said news director Drew Smith, who accepted the award on behalf of the entire news team.

Phoenix14 won for its May 4 show, beating Winthrop University, which placed second.

“I am really proud of the work that the Phoenix 14 students have done,” said Rich Landesberg, and assistant professor in the School of Communications and adviser to Phoenix14. “They work very, very hard and it shows. It is great when folks outside Elon see that our students rank among the best broadcast journalist students in the country.”

Senior Communications Fellow Dannika Lewis was also awarded the John Bittner scholarship, a highly competitive award that goes to one outstanding student in North Carolina.

Lewis was chosen to receive the $1,000 scholarship because of her excellent academic achievements and her impressive experience, which includes being an anchor and a reporter for Phoenix14, vice president of the Elon student chapter of RTNDA and foreign correspondent for Phoenix14 while she studied abroad in Madrid.

“It was an incredible honor to receive this scholarship award,” Lewis said. “I know the talent that exists just in my university alone and I feel so fortunate to be recognized out of all of the collegiate journalists in the state of North Carolina.”

Ten other Phoenix14 staffers attended the luncheon along with alumna Leigh Lesniak ’09, who now works as a producer at the Fox affiliate in Charlotte, N.C.

The RTNDAC represents radio and television journalists in both Carolinas.

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