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Southeastern Channel wins five Communicator Awards

Contact: Christina Chapple


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Staff and student winners of Communicator Awards

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SOUTHEASTERN CHANNEL WINS FIVE COMMUNICATOR AWARDS -- Southeastern Channel students and staff who recently won 2008 international Communicator Awards are, from left, front, students Christopher LeCoq of Morganza, Travis Connelley of Ponchatoula, staff telecourse producer Jamie Bass, student sports anchor Robbie Rhodes of Slidell, Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon; back, communication instructor Steve Bellas, Southeast Louisiana Business Center Director Bill Joubert, students Allen Waddell of Ponchatoula, Tim Tully of New Orleans, Chris Coleman of Denham Springs, and communication professor Joe Burns. 

     HAMMOND – Five programs created by the Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University’s educational cable access channel, have won 2008 international Communicator Awards.

     The Southeastern Channel won prestigious Awards of Distinction for the “Northshore Business” episode “Ten Years in One Day,” the telecourse “Career Planning 104,” the student sports show “The Big Game,” and the televised lectures “Paul is Dead” and “The Story of Louisiana Through Music and Literature.”

     The leading international creative awards program for communication professionals, the Communicator Awards honors the best in television, advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio. The 2008 awards received more than 8,500 entries.

     “It’s a great honor for our programs to win five prestigious Communicator Awards,” said Southeastern Channel general manager Rick Settoon. “It’s a tribute to the talents, creativity, hard work and high-quality standards of all who worked on the winning programs.”

     “Ten Years in One Day,” a one-hour news documentary about post-Katrina growth and the resulting challenges on the north shore, won an Award of Distinction in the Information category. Settoon was the executive producer while Southeastern communication instructor and former New Orleans television news and weather anchor Steve Bellas wrote, hosted and co-produced the program. Bill Joubert, director of the Southeast Louisiana Business Center, served as the primary consultant. Channel staff member Jamie Bass was a videographer, and staffer Josh Kapusinski served as editor and graphic artist.

     “Hopefully, viewers of the show are aware of how central they are to taking advantage of the new promise on the north shore so they can continue to reap the benefits,” Bellas said.

     “The Big Game,” an ESPN-style sports magazine produced totally by Southeastern students who have taken Settoon’s “TV Sports Producing and Reporting” communication class, won in the Student Production category. The winning episode was produced and edited by Allen Waddell of Ponchatoula and anchored by Waddell, Robbie Rhodes of Slidell, and Chris Coleman of Denham Springs. Coleman, Tim Tully of New Orleans and Travis Connelly of Ponchatoula produced and reported program segments.

     “Our student sports staff gets genuine joy out of covering Southeastern athletics,” Waddell said. “Being able to promote and cover the student-athletes on a weekly basis is something our whole staff takes pride in.”

     “Career Planning 104” was honored in the Education category. The telecourse features Southeastern general studies instructor Lorett Swank teaching from a studio set, using Powerpoint visuals and conducting studio interviews with local professionals in a variety of careers. The lecture was produced by Bass, the channel’s telecourse producer.

     “The course appeals to a broad range of viewers who may be uncertain as to what direction they want to steer their occupational focus,” Bass said. “Lorett Swank’s interviews with various industry professionals give viewers a candid and realistic look into a multitude of career paths.”

     “Paul is Dead” won in the Information category. The lecture presented at Fanfare 2007 by Southeastern communication professor Joe Burns, who describes special clues and myths which made the 1960s rumor of the death of the Beatles’ Paul McCartney so popular.

     “The idea that the Beatles would attempt to cover up the death of one of their members so they could continue unabated -- and leave clues about it -- seems so absurd that it has to be true,” Burns said. “The lecture was set up in such a way as to bombard the viewer with clue after clue so that even the most skeptical viewer had to at least consider the possibility of Paul’s death. Everybody likes a good mystery, and this is certainly a good one.”

     The program was shot and edited by communication student Christopher LeCoq of Morganza.

     “While editing the lecture I tried to be as detailed as possible in an attempt to match up all of the visual and audio clues pointed out in Dr. Burns’s presentation,” LeCoq said.

     “The Story of Louisiana Through Literature and Music” was Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne’s topic as Southeastern’s 2007 James H. Morrison Lecturer on Politics and Government. Dardenne outlined the top 10 books and popular songs he felt most accurately capture the flavor and history of Louisiana, including “The Confederacy of Dunces,” “All the King’s Men,” Gov. Jimmie Davis’s “You Are My Sunshine” and Leadbelly’s “Cotton Fields.” The lecture, edited by student Timothy Tregle of New Orleans, also won an Award of Distinction in the Information category. 

     Since going on air in 2003, the Southeastern Channel has won more than 60 national and international awards. The channel can be seen on Charter Cable Channel 18 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Livingston parishes, Channel 17 in Washington Parish and online around the clock at     

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