Phoenix14News, Elon University's weekly student-produced newscast, took home first place on April 9 in the College Television Awards newscast competition in Los Angeles, an event sponsored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation.
The award was presented to broadcast journalism senior Kirsten Bennett, who works as the executive producer of Phoenix14. Senior news director Drew Smith, senior investigative reporter Nick Ochsner, senior anchors Mallory Lane and Jasmine Spencer and faculty adviser Rich Landesberg attended the black-tie dinner and awards presentation.
“What a fantastic achievement for this talented team of aspiring broadcast journalists,” Landesberg said. “I always tell my students never to work for awards but to always do award-winning work. Once again, they have all shown just how good they can be.”
The College Television Award was the first for Phoenix14, which beat out Cronkite NewsWatch from Arizona State University and WEIU T.V. News Watch from Eastern Illinois University.
“It took a vision, hard work and dedication from our entire staff,” Smith said. “Every week we push ourselves to get a polished newscast on the air with the most up-to-date and accurate news and information. It’s an honor for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to recognize Elon on the same stage as other big communications schools.”
The award is just the latest honor that’s been presented to Phoenix14, which has been widely recognized this year by other journalism awards programs. In March, Smith and junior Sam Baranowski placed in the top 10 in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program Broadcast News Competition II competition. (Smith is now competing for a spot in the final competition in San Francisco.)
The show also finished third in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 2 competition April 9 and was named the Best Newscast in the Carolinas in October.
“Phoenix14 is about keeping people honest and telling great stories that have a direct impact on the Elon community, Bennett said. “It is incredibly validating to have members of the Television Academy Foundation recognize what we are doing at Elon. I could not be more proud of our entire team.”
Phoenix14News airs live on Mondays on campus channel 14.