News Release

Southeastern students win SPJ awards

Southeastern students win seven Mark of Excellence awards

Contact: Rene Abadie


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Southeastern Channel students who work on the station’s “Northshore News” program recently won a number of Mark of Excellence Awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 12 spring convention. From left are channel General Manager Rick Settoon, reporter Jessica Leblanc; John Reis, program supervisor; reporters Chrissy Carter and Anna de Tiege; and videographers Nick Elliot and Daron Short.

     HAMMOND – Students at Southeastern Louisiana University’s television station and student newspaper won seven 2010 Mark of Excellence awards at the annual Society of Professional Journalists Region 12 spring conference held recently in Nashville.
     Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) promotes the free flow of information and works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists. The SPJ presents the well-known Sigma Delta Chi awards annually to the nation’s top professional broadcast journalists.
     This year’s event received almost 4,000 entries from all universities in Region 12, comprised of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.
     Students at the Southeastern Channel, the university’s educational cable station, won more television awards than any other participating university. The awards included first place for “Best Overall Television Newscast,” for the channel’s student news show, “Northshore News.” Student news reporter Chrissy Carter of Laplace also won first place in “Television General News Reporting” for her “EBooks” story that aired on “Northshore News.”
     By virtue of winning first place regional awards, both “Northshore News” and Carter qualified for the national SPJ Mark of Excellence competition each as one of 12 finalists nationally in their respective categories. The national winners will be announced Sept. 25 at the “Excellence in Journalism 2011 National Convention” in New Orleans, a joint endeavor of the SPJ and the Radio Television Digital News Association.
     In addition to the television awards, Southeastern also had a winner in the SPJ print competition as “Lion’s Roar” student photographer Rande Robinson won third place for general news photography with “Zombies Invade.”
     Also receiving awards were:
-- Jessica Leblanc of New Orleans and Anna de Tiege of Mandeville, second and third place respectively, in the “television general news reporting category. Leblanc won for her story “Tracking Disease Trends with Twitter,” while de Tiege was honored story “New Levee Proposal.”
-- Videographer Nick Elliott of Mandeville, second place for television news photography and third place for television feature photography.
-- Daron Short of Hammond, second place for television feature photography..
     In only its fourth year of existence, “Northshore News” has won first place in the regional competition three times in the past four years. It finished second in its only other year of competition. The student news program is supervised by Southeastern Channel staff reporter John Reis, who produced and anchored the show’s original newscasts four years ago. The program provides both hard news segments about the North Shore and human interest feature stories.
     “We’re thrilled that our students continue to take home the top awards,” said Southeastern Channel general manager Rick Settoon. “It’s a testament to their excellent talent and exemplary work ethic along with the outstanding training they receive from Southeastern Channel staff members and television instructors in the Department of Languages and Communication.”
     The Southeastern Channel, the university’s educational access channel, has won over 100 national and regional awards in the past seven years. The channel, which has a potential viewing audience of 250,000, can be seen on Charter Cable Channel 18 in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes along with Channel 17 in Washington Parish. Its live 24-7 webcast is viewed in 46 states and 47 countries monthly.

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