March 10, 2005

WSIU captures national award

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- WSIU Public Broadcasting at Southern Illinois University Carbondale brought home a national award for its promotional campaign for the local historical documentary, "The Legend of Charlie Birger."

Candis S. Isberner, executive director of WSIU public broadcasting, and Monica J. Tichenor, promotions coordinator, accepted the award during the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) conference in January.

Other WSIU staff and students who contributed to the effort were Roger M. Suski, digital media systems specialist; Joshua Gumiela, a 2004 graduate in radio-television and currently a graduate student in mass communication and media arts from Burtrum, Minn.; and Sarah Bradish, a 2004 graduate in communication design from Jacksonville.

WSIU's promotion efforts for "The Legend of Charlie Birger" began in April 2003 with an open call to the general public for eyewitness testimonies, photos, period newspapers, clothing or weapons and other Prohibition-era artifacts to be used in the documentary. WSIU also released "Behind the Legend of Charlie Birger," a half-hour, behind-the-scenes program about the making of the documentary and launched a Birger Web site at

Other promotional activities included an entry in the annual Murphysboro Apple Festival Parade, numerous articles in WSIU's bimonthly television program guide, "Previews," press releases and media advisories to regional media, print ads in regional newspapers and state/national magazines, linked Web ads, a portable outdoor sign displayed at local businesses and regional events, radio interviews, targeted promotional kits and a world premiere screening of the documentary in Benton.

NETA is a professional association that serves public television licensees and educational entities in all 50 states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Leading in research, scholarly and creative activity 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.