Southeastern Channel student honored with LAB scholarship


Monday, July 13, 2020 Raychelle Riley
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

STATE BROADCASTING SCHOLARSHIP - Southeastern Channel student news reporter Raychelle Riley of Denham Springs, a senior at Southeastern Louisiana University, was recently awarded the prestigious 2020 Student Broadcasting Scholarship given annually by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters. TV and radio professionals from throughout the state selected Riley from all college television and radio students in Louisiana. Riley was awarded the $2,000 scholarship at the LAB’s annual Prestige Awards ceremony. She becomes the fifth Southeastern student in the past seven years to win the scholarship.

     HAMMOND – A student news reporter at the Southeastern Channel has been named winner of the prestigious 2020 Louisiana Association of Broadcasters Student Scholarship.
     Raychelle Riley, a Southeastern Louisiana University senior from Denham Springs, was selected from all college television and radio students in Louisiana to receive the $2,000 scholarship at the LAB’s annual Prestige Awards luncheon. It marks the fifth time in the past seven years that a Southeastern student has won the LAB scholarship.
     “To receive such a prestigious scholarship from the LAB is quite an accomplishment,” Riley said. “Being selected among the top in the state is really uplifting, motivating, and quite humbling. LAB is the only statewide organization dedicated solely to promoting and protecting the interests of Louisiana’s broadcast industry. To be recognized by them is truly an honor.”
     The LAB, made up of all television and radio stations and professionals in Louisiana, established the scholarship program to support promising future broadcasters and aid them in seeking the best quality education in the field of broadcasting. By sponsoring the award, the LAB hopes to encourage students of the highest caliber to enter broadcasting as a career and guarantee the future quality of broadcasting in Louisiana.
     “We’re very happy that Raychelle has been honored with this distinguished scholarship,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “She’s an outstanding student and an excellent news reporter with an extremely bright future in broadcast journalism. We are thrilled that the LAB has recognized her academic success along with her strong focus to use a career in broadcast journalism to impact lives in the community. We appreciate the LAB’s investment in Raychelle’s future.”
     A 4.0 student majoring in communication with a focus in TV/video/film, Riley is also a hurdler for the Lady Lions track team. Her $2,000 scholarship will be applied during the upcoming fall semester.
     “I am so grateful that they saw something in me worth investing in,” Riley said. “Scholarships such as these help individuals grow toward their future career and provide hope. I am appreciative because it motivates me to continue to work and reach those lofty goals because I know nothing is impossible. It is a positive step towards my future and helps encourage my passion for broadcasting.”
     To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants had to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 and submit three letters of recommendation along with a written narrative about their vision for a career in broadcasting. In her scholarship application, Riley had to answer questions related to her choice of broadcasting as a career, along with questions on topics ranging from career goals and values to broadcast advertising and the role of the Federal Communications Commission.
     “In today’s ever-changing landscape, I want to deliver information by reporting unbiased and honest information to the general public,” Riley said. “I want to give back to my community and make a real difference. I have chosen this career because I love to tell stories, and I know that one day I will be able to give American citizens a clear voice.”
     As a news reporter for the Southeastern Channel’s student newscast, “Northshore News,” Riley has contributed stories to newscast episodes winning national awards given by College Broadcasters, Inc. and top regional honors given by the Society of Professional Journalists, Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press College Broadcasters, and the Southeast Journalism Conference.
     “Working for the Southeastern Channel on “Northshore News” has helped me accumulate all of the skills that I need in order to be prepared when transitioning into my career,” Riley said. “Northshore News operates as a real, local television station. The shows are live, giving me a real sense of how the professional news broadcast is conducted. Reporters are able to find good stories or receive assignments. We have deadlines to meet, must communicate with all parties efficiently and effectively, and are responsible for setting up our interview and filming it on our own.”
     Riley spent three months last summer as Southeastern’s first-ever personal intern for Southeastern graduate and Emmy-winning news anchor for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Robin Roberts. At GMA Riley worked closely on a daily basis with Roberts, contributing to each morning’s GMA production at the show’s studio in New York’s Times Square.
     She worked behind the scenes in a variety of studio positions and on various program segments while rubbing elbows with national celebrities daily and gaining an overview of television news production and broadcast journalism at the highest level. Riley documented her activities in her daily GMA blog, produced a video about GMA internships with her phone, and later appeared on “Good Morning America” during National Intern Day.
     In its 17 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international and regional awards, including 20 awards from the Emmys. The channel can be seen on Spectrum 199 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston and St. Helena parishes, and its live 24/7 webcast and video on demand are streamed at The Southeastern Channel is also streamed live on Roku and AppleTV and on Washington Parish’s Mt. Hermon WebTV. The channel is also accessible on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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