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Students Win Two ‘Student Emmy’ Awards

Program on climate change and racial injustice in New Orleans wins prestigious humanitarian award

Posted in: Arts, Homepage News

Steve McCarthy and group of students smiling for camera in New Orleans
News Producer Steve McCarthy, right, led a group of 14 intrepid student journalists on a field reporting trip to New Orleans.

UPDATE, April 6, 2023: Fourteen School of Communication and Media students were recently recognized by the College Television Awards, which emulate the Emmy® Awards, for their production of the New Orleans | Raging Storms program, winning both best in the news category and the Seymour Bricker Humanitarian Award.

The program was among one of two projects by Montclair students nominated and among 132 entries from teams at 35 universities nationwide, and the awards were given out in Los Angeles on April 1, 2023.

The Seymour Bricker Humanitarian Award comes with a $4,000 cash prize for the project that best highlights a humanitarian concern, in this case New Orleans | Raging Storms, which reported on climate change and racial injustice in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For more about the awards, visit the School of Communication and Media website. For more about the students’ experience in New Orleans, read Hard News in the Big Easy.

Congratulations to the students who collaborated on the New Orleans | Raging Storms program:
Solana Brol, director, producer, writer
Emily Dolan, director, producer, writer
Louis Biondolillo, producer, writer
Givonna Boggans, producer, writer
Michelle Coneo Fernandez, producer, writer
Ryan Breyta, producer, writer
Khan Hussain, producer, writer
Talon Lauriello, producer, writer
Drew Mumich, producer, writer
Bernice Ndegwa, producer, writer
Keyshawn Reese, producer, writer
Gabby Taylor, producer, writer
Carter Winner, producer, writer
Kaya Maciak, producer, writer

Original story, December 21, 2022: Two teams of Montclair State University School of Communication and Media (SCM) students have been nominated for the Television Academy’s prestigious 2023 College Television Awards, which emulate the Emmy® Awards.

The nominations for Focus: Disruption–Moving Forward and New Orleans | Raging Storms programs are both in the news category and are two of the three nominations in that category. Overall, there were 132 entries from teams at 35 universities nationwide with only 21 programs in seven categories receiving nominations.

For Focus: Disruption–Moving Forward, students from WSMC 90.3 FM, The Montclarion, Red Hawk Sports Network and the News Lab collaborated to produce content across various platforms that culminated in a one-hour news special. The program highlighted individuals who turned their lives around despite the pandemic and featured interviews with students, parents, and professors who shared their strategies for success – including laughter – in a post-Covid world. The program which originally aired on May 3, can be viewed on School’s streaming platform Hawk+.

The New Orleans | Raging Storms program was produced by a team of student journalists who traveled to New Orleans over spring break in 2022 to report on two issues important to their generation – climate change and racial injustice. The special report, which is also available to stream on Hawk+, included stories about how the New Orleans and surrounding areas dealt with increasingly violent storms, environmental racism, crime, music, the tourist economy and gentrification.

The project was part of a class led by SCM News Producer Steve McCarthy and Professor David Sanders. The students spent weeks in preproduction and had a full schedule of filming in Louisiana for one week. After overcoming many challenges during their trip, the students returned to campus and spent the rest of the semester screening, writing, and editing.

“Once again, our students have collaborated to produce incredible work that has received national recognition,” says News Lab Coordinator and SCM Clinical Specialist Mark Effron, who along with Professor Vernard Gantt, oversees the News Lab and advises students on the #Focus projects. “This nomination, to go along with the Cablefax award the students won earlier this year for another #Focus program, reflects the students’ drive and work ethic, and their ability to produce high-level, professional news programs.”

“The trip to New Orleans was memorable in many ways for the students, and Professor Sanders and I are incredibly proud of their ability to overcome adversity and produce a program worthy of a Student College Television Award,” McCarthy says.

Is this not the first time students have been nominated for the College Television Awards. In 2019, the News Lab’s: Hurricane Recovery Mission to Puerto Rico won the Best in News award, as well as the prestigious Seymour Bricker Humanitarian Award, which recognizes work that highlights global human issues.

The 42nd College Television Awards will be held in Los Angeles, California on April 1, 2023 and winners in the competition will be announced by celebrity presenters at the ceremony. Below are the teams that received nominations.

The original story, published December 21, 2022, by Keith Green, School of Communication and Media,

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Hard News in the Big Easy

This article was featured in the Winter 2024 edition of Montclair magazine.