October 15, 2014

River Region Evening Edition students earn awards

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Students and recent graduates in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media program earned top honors at the Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Student Awards. 

Rob Thies, a senior in radio-television from Ava, earned first place for Best TV Weathercast, and Alan Selph, a senior in radio-television from Chicago, was first in the Best TV Sports Package category. Krista Burris, a 2014 graduate from Springfield, earned two awards for Best TV News Package. In addition, the River Region Evening Edition earned second place for Best Student Newscast. 

Two recent graduates, Megan Larson and Landon Getz, earned second- and third-place honors for Best Sales Presentations. Larson, from Jasper, Ind., graduated in May 2014 with a dual specialization in media industries and video production; Getz, from Mt. Zion, is a May 2014 cinema and photography graduate. 

“These honors continue the tradition of excellence displayed by our program and our students who work on the live newscast in the newsroom, in the studio, and in the control room,” Greg Todd, River Region Evening Edition news director, said. The 2014 awards were presented Oct. 10 in Chicago. 

“This continued recognition of the student newscast’s excellence wouldn’t be possible without the hard work, skill and talent of the students we attract to SIU’s Radio-TV program year after year,” Todd said.  “Attracting quality students is a direct result of the high quality education provided by the RTD faculty and the hard work and commitment by the professionals who train the students with hands-on experience.” 

Todd said the Best Newscast honor is a team honor for the more than 100 students who work on the newscast in the newsroom and on the production crew. Evening Edition students won first place in this category in 2012. 

Students produce more than two hours of television newscasts weekly that air on WSIU-TV channel 8/16. Newscasts air at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday when school is in session during the fall and spring semesters. The student newscast is in its 45 th year of airing on WSIU-TV.

River Region Evening Edition began broadcasting this semester with a new state-of-the-art digital studio control room, and the facilities “are unlike anything that broadcast news students are able to train on elsewhere,” Todd said. There are also plans to build a new state-of-the-art newsroom with more than 5,000 square feet, Todd said. 

“It provides our students with a level of training that is hard to find at the university level, combining a quality education with a hands-on experience that helps our graduates rise to the top of the resume stack during job searches,” Todd said. 

Todd also recognized the contributions of faculty advisers Joey Helleny and Eileen Waldron, senior lecturers in the Department of Radio, Television and Digital Media; Darryl Moses, associate director for Television and Video Services with the SIU Broadcasting Service,  Abby Hargrave, a production specialist with the broadcasting service, and Mark St. George, a production specialist with the SIU Broadcasting Service.