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Cronkite students win 16 broadcast awards

March 19, 2013

For the fourth year in a row, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has won more awards in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition than any other school in the country.

The Cronkite School won a total of 16 awards in nine different television, radio and documentary categories. The second-place school, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was second with nine awards.

Cronkite’s honors include three first-place finishes as well as the association’s highest honor, the Best of Festival award, which went to recent Cronkite graduate Dan Neligh for a television feature news story he did on Arizonans traveling to Mexico to obtain dental work.

Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s student-produced, half-hour television newscast, was named the top student newscast in the country for the second time in four years. Cronkite NewsWatch is distributed four days a week during the academic year by Eight World, a digital channel of Eight-Arizona PBS that reaches 1.1 million homes across Arizona.

Cronkite faculty also received recognition from the BEA. Melanie Alvarez, Cronkite NewsWatch executive producer, and Jim Jacoby, Cronkite NewsWatch television production manager, won an Award of Excellence in the Promotional Video category for their tribute video to prominent sportscaster Bob Costas, which aired at the 2012 Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism Luncheon in Phoenix last fall.

“The breadth and depth of school’s success speaks to strength of our overall program,” said Mark Lodato, Cronkite School assistant dean and news director. “It’s not just about one class or a couple of students. This success is a result of the quality of our faculty, students and staff from freshmen introductory classes up through our capstone programs.”

Cronkite students recorded three first-place finishes in the categories of television hard news reporting, television newscast and radio sports reporting.

Other categories in which Cronkite students earned awards include television news anchor, long- and short-form documentary, television hard news reporting, television feature reporting, TV sports feature story and TV sports talent.

The winners will be honored at the BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas in April.

The complete list of Cronkite award winners:

Best of Festival: Student Television News (Television Feature News)

“More Arizonans Traveling to Mexico For Dental Work,” Dan Neligh

First Place: Television Hard News Reporting

“Navajo HIV,” Nathan O’Neal

First Place: Television Newscast (airing four or five days a week)

Cronkite NewsWatch, NewsWatch Staff

First Place: Radio Sports Reporting

“Halloween Baseball,” Hayden Packwood

Second Place: Television News Anchor

Ryan Haarer

Second Place: Long-Form Documentary

“Scholarslip,” Alex Lancial, Tara Molina and Jake Stein

Third Place: Television Hard News Reporting

“Scottsdale City Council Campaign Finance Reports Show Controversial Funding,” Bill Melugin

Third Place: Television Feature Reporting

“Old West Tradition Survives in Nogales Boot Shop,” Jack Highberger

Honorable Mention: Television Hard News Reporting

“Buffalo Invasion,” Ryan Haarer

Honorable Mention: Television Hard News Reporting

“For Crime Reporter on Streets of Ciudad Juarez, Change Comes Slowly,” Jack Highberger

Honorable Mention: TV Sports Story/Feature/Element

“The Price of Playing,” Justin Beatty, Amber Harding and Kim Pestalozzi

Honorable Mention: TV Sports Talent

Amber Harding

Honorable Mention: Long-Form Documentary

“Paying the Price,” Morgan Cox, Mary-Catherine Parent and Nicole Shumate

Honorable Mention: Short-Form Documentary

“The Incidents at Church Rock,” Dan Neligh

Award of Excellence: TV Sports Story/Feature/Element

Videography – “Sun Devils 101: Todd Graham All-Access Show,” Lisa Blanco

Award of Excellence: TV Sports Story/Feature/Element

Storytelling – “Annie Lockwood,” Fahim Rasul


Award of Excellence: Promotional Video

“Bob Costas,” Melanie Alvarez and Jim Jacoby