Student newscast named best in nation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A weekly newscast produced by College of Communications students earned the top honor and two students captured first-place in individual categories as Penn State crafted its best performance ever in the prestigious Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts, a nationwide competition honoring the best in faculty- and student-produced media.

An episode of “Centre County Report,” the half-hour news program produced each week during the academic year by communications students, was selected as Student Newscast Best of Festival -- the top honor in the competition. The honor comes with a $1,000 prize and a crystal award.

Judges praised the episode from November 2012, citing the anchors and the production values of the program. The judges’ comments included: “Anchors did an excellent job. Very professional and very well spoken. I felt like I was watching a professional newscast. Story selection and order were solid, and the team did a fine job.”

Along with the newscast, individual honorees were Cat Janisko, from Johnstown, Pa., who was named the top Television News Anchor, and Rachel Polansky, from Orangeburg, N.Y., who earned first place in Sports Show Feature as well as the Award for Excellence in Interviewing. Polansky’s segment focused on a power lifter and her interview was conducted with Special Olympian Austin Bowen.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these students. They worked so hard each week to produce a quality newscast,” said Steve Kraycik, director of student television in the College of Communications. “And that particular newscast featured coverage from a busy news week, including Hurricane Sandy, the upcoming election and (Jerry) Sandusky case developments. The fact their student newscast was named best in the nation is a wonderful honor for this group.”

Dean Doug Anderson praised the leadership of Kraycik and the work of the students.

“Winning the best of festival newscast award is a wonderful accomplishment,” Anderson said.  “This group has set a high mark for future Penn State students to equal.”

The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts, sponsored this year by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation and Future Media Concepts, has been honoring faculty and student work for more than a decade. More than 1,600 professors, students and media professionals are individual members of the BEA and some 275 college and university departments and schools are institutional members of the organization.

The BEA is the professional association for professors, industry professionals and graduate students who are interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises. The organization was established in 1955, initially as the Association for Professional Broadcast Education, with the current name being adopted in 1973. While the BEA organizational name reflects its historic roots in preparing college students to enter the radio and TV business, the members share a diversity of interests involving all aspects of telecommunications and electronic media.

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Last Updated April 29, 2013