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WVU student newscast wins first place in national competition

February 21, 2017

Television viewers can now watch the number one college newscast in the country right here in the Mountain State.

This month, the Broadcast Education Association awarded  “WVU News” first place in the Television Newscast (airing three days per week or less) category in the 2017 Festival of Media Arts competition. “WVU News” won the top honor out of more than 1,500 entries.

The winning entry,  “Special Edition Heroin and Opioids: When Addiction Hits Home,” was produced by students at the  West Virginia University  Reed College of Media and focuses on the Mountain State’s rising heroin and opioid addiction.

WVU students involved with the award-winning project include Executive Producer Megan Saporito and Anchors Hannah Goetz and Kristen Tuell.

This is the second time “WVU News” has received the top award under the leadership of teaching associate professor  Gina Martino Dahlia. The newscast also won a national Emmy Award in 2015.

“I am extremely proud of the continued success of ‘WVU News,’” Dahlia said. “Winning these high caliber awards is a testament to the quality of our students, faculty and our program.”

In addition to the first-place win, the news team brought home an “Award of Excellence” in the Television News Magazine category for their entry  “WVU News-Special Edition: We Remember. Fifteen Years After 9/11.”

WVU graduates Shishira Sreenivas and Colleen Good were awarded second-place in the Educational Program category of the Student Audio competition for their entry,  “WVU Student-Journalists Use DIY Sensors to Investigate Water Quality.”

On the research side of the BEA conference, Associate Professor  Rita Colistra and alumna Chelsea Betts Johnson won a first-place award in the Gender and Sexuality Division’s debut category for their peer-reviewed paper, “News Framing of Marriage for Same-sex Couples: An Examination of Broadcast and Print News Coverage Surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Landmark Decision to Legalize Same-sex Marriage.”

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and a national showcase for student works sponsored by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation.

More than 175 colleges and universities are represented at the festival. Competition categories include audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting, sports, two-year/small colleges and video.

Award-winners will be recognized at the 15th Annual BEA Best of Festival King Foundation Awards Ceremony held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday, April 24, 2017, as part of BEA’s annual convention.

A full list of 2017 BEA Festival of Media Arts winners can be found at

WVU News makes history, wins national Emmy Award

April 30th, 2015 National Emmy

This month, the  West Virginia University  Reed College of Media’s student-produced television newscast, WVU News, won a first-place national Emmy Award for best college newscast in the country. The Television Academy Foundation presented the award last week the 36th Annual College Television Awards.

WVU News’ special edition episode,  All Things Social Media, was produced by Cory Sanchez of Sissonville, West Virginia, and focused on the Craigslist killer, cyber bullying, cyber stalking and Snapchat advertising. The show beat out newscasts from The University of Oklahoma and Northwestern University.

“A first-place college television award makes it known that WVU News can compete among the best,” said Sanchez. “This is an award that shows off our ability to be well-rounded, creative student journalists.”

Sanchez, who graduated in December 2014, won an all-expense-paid trip to the April 23 gala in Los Angeles, California, to accept the award on behalf of the College. Winners also were invited to attend a Nominee Summit the day before the gala, where they were introduced to top industry professionals and participated in a series of panels and workshops. Students also become part of the Television Academy Foundation alumni network, which provides access to year-round networking opportunities and events.

“It’s such an honor to have our newscast recognized on a national level by the Television Academy” said Teaching Associate Professor Gina Dahlia, who oversees production of the newscast. “I believe this award speak volumes to the high quality of our students, our facilities and our program.”

The College of Television Awards was established in 1978 by a partnership between Television Academy Foundation Board members, Lynne Gross and Frank O’Conner, and public relations executive Herbert Schmertz. Just as the Primetime Emmy Awards recognize excellence in professional television, the College Television Awards honor the talent and work of college students nationwide.

Submissions are judged by Television Academy members and go through a three-round judging process, culminating in a final judging that awards first, second and third place prizes.

'WVU News' students take top honors at national media arts festival

March 3rd, 2011 BEA Award

The Broadcast Education Association has recognized “WVU News” as the best student newscast in the country.

The weekly newscast produced by students of the West Virginia University’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism received two awards at the 2011 BEA Festival of Media Arts competition—first place in the student newscast competition and the BEA “Best of Festival King Foundation Award.”

The 16 student and faculty works chosen to win Best of Festival awards were selected from more than 900 entries in the following competition categories: audio, video, documentary, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting, sports and two-year and small colleges.

Journalism Teaching Assistant Professor and Television Journalism Program Chair Gina Martino Dahlia said winning this award is a huge achievement for the television journalism program and the students.

“Everyone sees the polished ‘end’ product – the newscast – but what they don’t see is how much work and team effort is put into a weekly newscast,” said Dahlia. “I’ve had students work on a story all night and still be here when I come in the next morning. That is dedication. My job is to inspire the students, but when I see how hard they all work to make ‘WVU News’ a quality production, they inspire me to be a better teacher.”

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and a national showcase for student works sponsored by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, Avid and Sony.

Best of Festival winners will be honored at the 9th Annual BEA Best of Festival King Foundation Award Ceremony in Las Vegas on Monday, April 11.

During the ceremony, recipients will be recognized with a high-definition screening of their winning project, a cash award of $1,000 from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, and a gift of Media Composer film and video editing software from Avid Technologies.

The ceremony will be held at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel during the BEA’s annual convention and exhibition.

For a complete list of winner for all of the Festival of Media Arts competition, see:

The BEA award is the third major award “WVU News” has won in recent months. This fall, the newscast won a gold Marcom for Best Broadcast TV Program and a Platinum Ava Award, which recognizes outstanding work by creative audio-visual professionals.