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Southeastern Channel students win SPJ 'Mark of Excellence' awards

Contact: Christina Chapple


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Corey Broman-Fulks, Chris Guagliardo, Chris Coleman, John Reis, Rick Settoon

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SOUTHEASTERN SPJ WINNERS-- Southeastern Channel student news and sports programs recently won first place awards at the Region 12 conference of the Society of Professional Journalists announced March 29 at Loyola University in New Orleans. Holding their Mark of Excellence awards, from left, Corey Broman-Fulks, supervisor of the first-place television newscast "Northshore News"; Chris Guagliardo, first and second place for "Television Sports Photography"; Chris Coleman, first and second place for "Television Sports Reporting"; John Reis, first place for "Television General News Reporting"; Rick Settoon, Southeastern Channel general manager.

Student news and sports programs airing on the Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University educational access channel, have won four first place “Mark of Excellence” awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

     The awards were presented March 29 at the SPJ Region 12 spring conference at Loyola University. First place regional winners will advance to national judging with awards to be announced in May.

     The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization and founder of the Sigma Delta Chi awards. Across the SPJ’s 12 regions, collegiate journalists submitted more than 3,400 entries in 39 categories. Region 12 includes universities from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

     The channel’s first place winners and categories include John Reis of Mandeville, “Television General News Reporting”; Chris Coleman of Denham Springs, “Television Sports Reporting”; Reis, Chris Guagliardo and Nick Brilleaux of Hammond, and Dustin Thomas of Franklinton, “Television Sports Photography”; and the Southeastern Channel staff, “Television Newscast.”

     “We’re very proud of these students,” said Southeastern Channel general manager Rick Settoon. “We believe they have a bright future in the television industry.

     “For our students to win top prizes against students from larger universities with greater resources is quite exceptional,” he said. “It’s a testament to the talent, hard work and high standards of our students along with outstanding training and mentoring provided by our national award-winning professional staff at the Southeastern Channel.”

     The staff’s win in the “Television Newscast” category came for “Northshore News,” the Southeastern Channel’s year-old student newscast. Reis is the producer of the 30-minute program supervised by Southeastern Channel news anchor and reporter Corey Broman-Fulks. Student anchors and reporters for the winning news episodes included Reis, Candace Banos of Amite and Norie Anderson of New Orleans.

     “Corey is an excellent news professional who’s done a great job of shaping ‘Northshore News’ to give students real-world television news experience,” Settoon said. “That’s an advantage when it comes to our graduates landing jobs and succeeding in the television news industry.”

     “Before Corey arrived, John actually pioneered the first couple of episodes himself, from anchoring and reporting to shooting and editing. He deserves great credit for starting ‘Northshore News’ off in the right direction,” Settoon said.

     “It’s wonderful to have dedicated students who are willing to do what’s necessary to produce the best product with information the north shore cares about,” said Broman-Fulks, who came to the Southeastern Channel from NBC affiliate WCBD in Charleston, S.C. “The SPJ is a very respected society in the journalism field, and being recognized by them is quite special.  Winning first place in the first year of development of the news show is amazing.”

     Reis said that an SPJ award recognizes that “Northshore News” is a high-quality, professional-looking news show.

     “Receiving an award from the SPJ represents one of the highest journalism honors a professional journalist can receive,” said Reis. “As the show’s producer I try to make each show better than the last.  We work hard to bring viewers compelling, meaningful and timely news. The SPJ award affirms that we are accomplishing those goals.”

     Reis’s story on the new laptop computer initiative in Tangipahoa Parish schools garnered his first place award in the “Television General News Reporting” category.

     “Every show is a new opportunity to entertain and inform our community, a goal I think we’ve met from our first show,” he said. “Finding unique, informative and entertaining stories that haven’t been covered or didn’t receive much coverage is our ultimate objective.”

     Coleman, a sports anchor and reporter for the student ESPN-style sports magazine “The Big Game,” won both first and second place awards in the “Television Sports Reporting” category.

     He won first place for his story on Southeastern softball pitcher Rachel Ray, who has overcome serious injury to become one of the top pitchers in Southeastern history. Coleman produced the story as a class assignment for Settoon’s television sports reporting course offered in the Southeastern Communication Department. 

     Coleman’s analysis of the New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers pro football game at the Superdome, which aired on the weekly “Big Game” show, took second place.

     “It feels great to have an idea for a story and then be able to make that idea come to life,” Coleman said. “And to have that idea recognized by professional journalists in the television business is a great honor.”

     The first place win by the camera crew of Reis, Guagliardo, Brilleaux and Thomas in the “Television Sports Photography” was for their work in the broadcast of last year’s Southeastern Lady Lions vs. Texas-San Antonio basketball game. Guagliardo also won second place in the same category for his single camera taping of the 2007 season Southeastern-Tulane football game in the Superdome.

     The Southeastern Channel has now won more than 50 regional, national and international awards in the past five years. The channel airs on Charter Cable Channel 18 in Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Tammany parishes and on Channel 17 in Washington Parish. The live 24-hour Web cast can be viewed at

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