MJ-school broadcast students, alumni land 9 RTDNAC awards at annual convention

UNC School of Media and Journalism students and alumni won nine awards at the 2018 Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas (RTDNAC) and The Associated Press (AP) annual convention held Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Winners were announced at the RTDNAC/AP convention and awards luncheon, recognizing the best of TV, radio, website and collegiate work from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. 

All of the UNC wins were for work reported or produced for Carolina Week or Carolina Connection — the MJ-school’s television and radio newscasts, respectively. 

Winners from UNC include:

Radio

Carolina Connection team, Jay Siebold '18
First place, Best Student Feature Reporting
Addiction, UNC Students Find a Place to Call Home

Carolina Connection, David Doochin '18
First place, Best Student News Reporting
Suspect in Custody After Campus Explosion

Carolina Connection
First place, Best Student Newscast
Carolina Connection (Oct. 14, 2017)

Carolina Connection, Kennedy Erdossy '19
First place, Best Student Sports Story
Sweep Sweep Victory: Giving Curling a Try

TV

Anne Marie Hagerty '18
First place, Best Student Feature Reporting
Apex to India – Carolina Week

Trevor Lenzmeier '18, Hannah Lee '18, Nicole Vandiford '18, Alex Gorry '18
Second place, Best Student Multimedia Report
Ocean Rise on Hatteras Island, 'We're Staying'

Anne Marie Hagerty '18
First place, Best Student News Reporting
Puerto Rico Search – Carolina Week

Carolina Week team
Second place, Best Student Newscast
Carolina Week (April 18, 2018)

Sports Xtra, Payton Walker '19
First place, Best Student Sports Story
Changing the Game, Sports Xtra 

“In the changing world of broadcasting, I’m pleased that our students’ work is recognized by the news directors in our region,” said Susan King, dean of the MJ-school. “Our students are showing leadership today and anticipating the needs of tomorrow’s broadcast news. Good storytelling will always serve the public regardless of the era.”

Recent graduate Anne Marie Hagerty '18 received two first place awards in the Best Student Feature Reporting and Best Student News Reporting categories for international projects she worked on during her time at UNC. 

"There are almost endless possibilities within the journalism school," Hagerty said. "My goal was to take advantage of as many of those as I could, and the stories that I produced are a result of seeking out those opportunities."

Hagerty said she credits Louise Spieler, senior associate dean for strategy and administration, and Charlie Tuggle, senior associate dean for undergraduate studies and John H. Stembler Jr. distinguished professor, for taking a chance on her and helping her receive funding for her work overseas.

The school provided funding from the Don and Barbara Curtis Excellence Fund for Extracurricular Activities to support her aspiration to travel and produce broadcast stories. That support paid off, Hagerty said, as she was able to travel to India and Puerto Rico and produce award-winning stories on cross-cultural romance and the effects of Hurricane Maria, respectively. 

"Find what you're passionate about, and what you really want to do, and (the school) will support you," she said.

Lynn Owens, lecturer of broadcast and electronic journalism in the school, said she wasn't surprised at the success Hagerty's work saw at the convention.

"Her broadcast stories are always so beautifully told and expertly shot and edited," Owens said. "Her work for Carolina Week and Media Hub not only impressed the RTDNAC judges, but also employers."

Owens said she and the students were excited to receive these awards as a recognition of their hard work, but also as a motivation to win even more. 

"The categories we didn't win, and there were only a few, push us to work even harder," she said.