Southeastern students post successes at journalism conference

Friday, February 28, 2014
by: Tonya Lowentritt

HAMMOND – Recognition of the Best College TV Station, Best College Radio Station and other top awards went to Southeastern Louisiana University students in broadcast and print journalism at the Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC) held at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, Feb. 20-22.

Southeastern students also claimed awards in the overall onsite competition at the annual college journalism conference that hosts 35 universities at a different location in the South each year.

"The Southeast Journalism Conference offers our students the opportunity to challenge their skills against their peers from other universities. They also participate in workshops and discussions with professionals who enlighten them on current trends and expectations in the field of journalism," said Southeastern Communication Associate Professor Amber Narro.

"Southeastern consistently does well at this conference," she added. "We won last year and followed that up with a tie for second place this year in the onsite competition. Faculty nominate those who compete. These are our best and brightest, and they really have earned the respect they receive at SEJC."

The Southeastern Channel, the university's educational television station, claimed the Best College TV Station in the South award for the fourth time in six years and first place in the Best College Video News Program category for its program "Northshore News." This is the third year in a row they have won the award for Best College Video News Program.

"It's a tremendous honor for the Southeastern Channel and our television students to once again be recognized as the very best in the entire South," said Rick Settoon, Southeastern Channel general manager. "This shows that our television program has maintained an elite status throughout the region and country, and our talented students have worked very hard to maintain that high standard of excellence."

KSLU-90.9FM, the university's public radio station, was awarded first place for the Best College Radio Station in the South.

"I'm thrilled and honored that the SEJC named KSLU the Best College Radio Station of the year. This award speaks to the dedication and passion that our students have for creating great radio," said KSLU General Manager Todd Delaney. "Each day they take what they learn in the classroom, incorporate skills they develop at KSLU and put it all together on the air. You can tell they love what they do and their enthusiasm is infectious."

Top student award winners from Southeastern in Best of the South competition included:

-- Matthew Doyle of Mandeville, first place in Best Radio Hard News Reporter;

-- Valerie Ponseti of Hammond, first place, Best Television Journalist;

-- Erika Ferrando of Mandeville , second place, Best Television Hard News Reporter;

-- Catherine Monica of LaPlace, second place, Best Journalism Research Paper;

-- Christopher Martin of Albany, sixth place, Best News Page Layout Designer and eighth place, Best Press Photographer.

The onsite competition involved individuals or teams working in 11 different categories within specified time limits to produce a specific product. Southeastern students won or placed in three of the 11 categories to finish in a tie for second place for best overall college journalism.

Onsite Competition winners included:

-- Sara Patrick of Houma, first place, Entertainment Writing;

-- Santiago Rodriquez of Hammond, second place, Radio News Reporting;

-- Martin, second place, Sports Photography.

The SEJC is made up of universities, including the largest ones, in the eight-state southeast U.S. region, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. This year there were 440 entries from 35 different universities.

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