UT:10 News was selected as one of two national finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) 2010 Mark of Excellence Awards in the category of Best All-Around Television Newscast — Four-Year College/University. Brooklyn College was the other national finalist; Arizona State was selected as the national winner.
Ashley Roth, a senior majoring in communication, who served as a student producer, said UT:10 News’ reputation for student journalism is strong because of the teachers and students involved.
“This program has only been around for seven years, and we’re going up against schools whose programs have invested millions of dollars in them and we’re beating them,” she said.
“It all starts and ends with teaching, and the students have grown with this program in both depth and abilities,” said Dr. Jackie Layng, professor of communication, who teaches and oversees UT:10 News. “It is this work that has resulted in all of these national awards.”
Roth explained that SPJ provides three dates and students must submit the three newscasts closest to those dates.
“You never know which shows will ultimately end up being judged, so you need to be excellent in all of them,” she said.
UT offers one class that teaches the students to research, write, shoot and edit the news as well as produce the newscast, Layng said.
“While programs at other schools have their students take seven to 10 classes before producing the news, UT:10 students are prepared to compete with this stiff competition and beat them from day one,” she said.
“I truly feel it is the tireless work of our production adviser, John Eidemiller, and my staff that has allowed us to create a nationally recognized newscast and a growing high-quality television journalism program at UT.”
Eidemiller credited Layng and the show’s student producers for constantly teaching, helping and mentoring the student reporters in the class. He also said the department’s commitment to ensuring students were learning on the most up-to-date equipment and software would pay dividends after graduation.
“Our students come out of our program already knowing how to use the exact same cameras and editing software they will be using in the real world, and I think that is demonstrated in the quality of the show we produce every week,” he said.
Last year, UT:10 News won Best Newscast in the national 2010 College Television Awards from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.