AP Broadcasting Awards

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Winning in both the collegiate and professional categories for several years past Jacksonville University’s broadcast news station,The Dolphin Channel, has again earned nominations in the Associated Press Broadcasters College Contest. With four nominations for three students, the Dolphin Channel has more nominations than ever before. There are several categories that college news stations can enter their broadcast pieces in, including news, hard news, features and sports.

“It really shows we have a lot of depth in the program,” said Professor Annmarie Kent-Willette, an associate professor of communications. “We weren’t nominated for just one student or in one category.”

The students that were nominated for awards are senior Alicia Esteban, senior Alyssa Fernald and sophomore Ethan Wellhausen.

Alicia Esteban is nominated for best sports for her broadcast titled “Stay, Fight, Win Together.” This piece focuses on JU’s Division 1AA football team, following the team’s birth, challenges and growth as a program through archival and current footage and interviews with members of the team and their athletic coaches. This piece was Esteban’s senior project.

“Luckily it was football season so we were able to go to all the games,” Esteban said. “It’s always just been something that I’ve wanted to do. I knew it was going to be good but I didn’t know it would turn out the way it did.”

Esteban credits much of her success to the fact that the team gave her full access, and she was able to procure a lot of footage for her project.

Wellhausen was nominated for his photo essay titled “I Believe In Living Life to the Fullest.” In this piece Wellhausen discusses how he believes in “living life to the fullest” after he lost his mother when he was a teenager in a drunk driving accident.

When asked about his project Wellhausen reiterated his earlier statement he made in an earlier interview to the Times-Union.

“I was not expecting for it to have gone as far as it has. It is both an honor and makes me humble as I shared a belief of mine. I’m excited to see where it goes next.”

Fernald is nominated for her long light feature titled “Patients. Providers. Philanthropy.”

This short documentary showcases a non-profit called We Care that provides health care to the underprivileged or underinsured members of the Jacksonville community.

Fernald said that she learned a lot from the people she interviewed who benefitted from We Care and was surprised at how open they were.

“More than once I cried behind the camera,” Fernald said.

Fernald hopes that if her documentary wins, it will bring more attention to the non-profit and it’s cause of helping the less fortunate.

“That’s why I love documentaries,” said Fernald. “You get to go more in depth with peoples stories.”

Esteban and Fernald were both nominated for their short hard news feature titled “ROTC: Right or Wrong Place on Campus?”

In this broadcast they examined JU’s Reserve Office Training Corps and questioned whether the program should be on campus or not.

They originally put together this project for the Fox News Challenge. They did not re-edit the piece after it did not win, but re-entered it as the exact same project. Both Fernald and Esteban agree that the part of the broadcast that makes it a winner is towards the end when Captain Ryan Miller, a marine officer instructor, quotes Thucydides on the idea of war and scholars to highlight the benefits of the ROTC program.

Willette is very excited about her student’s nominations and individual successes.

“What this award does is it opens doors. It’s so much more than a line on a resume.”

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