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Student Project in Puerto Rico Wins More National Awards

Edward R. Murrow Award and Gracie Award are latest prestigious recognitions

Posted in: School of Communication and Media News

Students posing in front of wall in Puerto Rico

A series of reports produced by a team of Montclair State University School of Communication and Media students about hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico continues to win coveted national awards.

A television broadcast based on the trip –which aired as an episode of the weekly production Montclair News Lab –just won a national student RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video Reporting. In March, the broadcast won two national collegiate Emmy® awards including the prestigious Bricker Humanitarian Award at the Television Academy Foundation 39th College Television Awards.

Meanwhile, in April, the University’s long-running public affairs program Carpe Diem won a 2019 AWMF Gracie Award Local Television Award for its episode “Mission to Puerto Rico,” which utilized reporting from the same trip.

“The accolades and awards for the School of Communication and Media reporting on Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery efforts affirm not only the high caliber of work done by our talented students but also recognize the amazing guidance our faculty and staff provide in helping students reach their highest potential,” says School of Communication and Media Director Keith Strudler. “They also enhance our growing national reputation as a place at the cutting edge of the communication and media fields.”

Student film crew in Puerto Rico interviewing female

As one of the nation’s most prestigious broadcast and digital news awards, the RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards honor recipients whose outstanding achievements in electronic journalism embody the standard of excellence set by legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow.

The Edward R. Murrow student Excellence in Video Reporting award for Hurricane Recovery in Puerto Rico will be presented to Montclair State University at a black-tie awards gala on October 14 at Gotham Hall in New York City. The Gracie Award for “Carpe Diem: Mission to Puerto Rico News Magazine” will be presented at a Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 26 at Cipriani in New York City.

Students in Puerto Rico in grassy area

“It’s especially gratifying to see our students, faculty and staff recognized for their work in the Gracie Awards’ local market television news magazine category, where they competed against professionals, companies and PBS affiliates across the country,” says Executive Producer and Director of Production and Technology for Broadcast and Media Operations Patricia Piroh.

The Gracie Awards recognize exemplary media and entertainment programming created by women, for women and about women. Named for celebrated comedienne Gracie Allen, they recognize women influencers who are furthering the discussion of what a fulfilling career in media looks like.

Student film crew in Puerto Rico filming man

For 2018 graduate Laura Galarza and her colleagues, the trip was a transformative experience. “Being able to produce my story on Carpe Diem as a woman producer was a great experience as I felt I brought a different perspective,” she recalls. “It also showed me what I really want to be doing – sharing stories.”

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for our students to have a rich travel experience as well as a journalistic opportunity in a place where a big, prolonged news event was occurring,” explains Thomas Franklin, a School of Communication and Media professor. “The trip was a huge success in so many ways – like the awards and recognition we’ve received – but it was especially successful in terms of the students’ development and growth.”

Students in Puerto Rico standing on pier before beach