September 13, 2016

‘alt.news 26:46’ earns regional Emmy nomination

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- “alt.news 26:46,” a long-running television magazine program produced by Southern Illinois University Carbondale students, continues to garner professional recognition. 

The program earned a professional regional Emmy nomination in the magazine program category from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-America Regional Chapter.  The 40th annual awards ceremony is Oct. 1 in Branson, Mo. The regional Emmy awards program honors outstanding achievement in television markets primarily in Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois and surrounding designated market areas, or DMAs. 

The eligibility period for programming was April 1, 2015, through March 31. 

The nomination is for an episode that deals with various aspects of sexuality. 

The program earned its 31st regional professional Emmy last year. It also has seven first-place College Television Awards. 

Securing another regional Emmy nomination is a “great honor,” Holden Jones, one of last season’s executive producers, said. 

“This year we were a bit worried about what the judges might think, as our episode could be seen as controversial. However, the judges seemed to have liked it, and we are thrilled,” he said. “The staff and crew worked so hard on this episode to shine light on some often ignored topics, and we're all very happy that this episode was able to receive the recognition that it has.” 

Emily Jelinek, a senior in cinema and photography from Rockford, said last season’s group was a good mixture of returning and new members, almost all of whom were in their first two years of college. It was a situation where they learned from each other, she said.

“Everyone in alt.news is extremely proud of our show,” said Jelinek, the daughter of Celeste and Bruck Jelinek. “There is something distinctly special to know that all the sleepless nights and hard work each of us put in, was recognized by professionals in television. We feel honored to be nominated for a regional Emmy.” 

Jones, from Jacksonville, graduated in May with a double major in cinema production and television production. The son of Marcy and Terry Jones, he participated in an eight-week internship in California this summer learning about commercials -- from conceptualization and pre-production to production and post-production. He was one of 50 students selected from 1,500 nationwide for an Emmy Foundation Internship, and chosen from among 21 applicants for the commercials category. 

Jones is living in Los Angeles. He worked as a production assistant on some commercials through the internship, and some of those producers have hired him back, after the internship, to keep working on their commercials, he said. 

Jones said a “great thing” about alt.news’ award-winning tradition is that “it’s a great motivator to focus on creating quality content.” 

“We are also extremely lucky that all the previous winning episodes and segments are all totally different from each other,” he said. “There's no one way to make an award-winning episode of alt.news, and that's truly freeing for our staff and crew. We're able to follow any idea we may have, such as creating an episode based solely on human sexuality, and be assured that as long as we put our hearts into it there's always a chance to be nominated. It's not a formula; it's a passionate and thorough creative process that's passed down over time.”

This season’s executive producers are Julie Johnson and Andy Philips.