November 05, 2004

WSIU-TV, student production, win Emmy awards

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - WSIU, the television station at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and a production by two SIUC students both brought home coveted Emmy awards in October.

WSIU television's two-hour documentary, "The Legend of Charlie Birger," took the award for lighting direction after receiving nominations in four categories - - documentary, editing, writing and lighting.

"Beacon of Hope: The Cross at the Crossroads," by SIUC students Brittany Dust, who graduated in May, and Cory Byers, won the prize in the student production category. Dust and Byers tied in the category with a production from Lindenwood University called "A New Frontier: The Sibley Story."

The honors came at a gala Oct. 16 at the Hyatt Regency in St. Louis presented by the National Television Academy Mid-America Chapter.

The Mid-America Regional Chapter is now in its 28th year of awarding Emmys in recognition of outstanding achievement. Chartered in 1962, the chapter now has more that 300 members and serves television professionals in all of Missouri and markets in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana.

Dust and Byers's documentary dealt with the history of a 198-foot cross erected in Effingham three years ago. Both are natives of Effingham.

"The Legend of Charlie Birger," produced by WSIU Public Television, examined the life and times of the charismatic gangster and bootlegger whose Prohibition-era exploits continue to capture regional attention to this day.

WSIU-TV staff David A. Kidd, Michael Vendl and Mark J. Wetstein, and students Grant Morrow and Matthew Kras were the recipients of the lighting direction honor.

Others nominated for their parts in the production are Kidd and Jak Tichenor, writing; Kidd, Morrow, Kras, Tichenor and Roger M. Suski, documentary; Kidd, Morrow, Suski, Benjamin Doyle and Dan Murrie, editing.

Leading in research, scholarly and creative activities is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.