Aggie student broadcasters continue winning tradition in SPJ competition
tah State University’s Journalism and Communication broadcast students were recognized for their excellent reporting by the Society of Professional Journalists, continuing a tradition of award-winning work by student broadcasters in the Department of Journalism and Communication.
The national organization sponsors the annual Mark of Excellence Awards that draws in universities across the nation. USU competes in a region made up of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Competitors within Utah itself include the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. National awards will be announced later this spring.
Broadcast news and feature journalists’ work was especially strongly, sweeping the category of Television In-depth Reporting. The staff of Cache Rendezvous was top in Best All-Around Television News Magazine category, winning for the episode titled “The Last Spike.”
Among their proudest advocates is Brian Champagne, a JCOM associate professor of professional practice. “It's great to see the students getting recognition for their hard work,” he said. The students, he added, undertook “hours of research, planning, shooting, and editing.”
Broadcast students also rely on Christopher Garff, a professional practice assistant professor who teaches video and broadcast news, as well as multi-media courses. He advises A-TV News, the student-run weekly news report.
The young broadcaster who took many of the awards was Zachary Aedo. He graduated in 2019 and is now a news anchor and reporter for Colorado Springs’ KRDO TV station.
Unfortunately, this year’s awards came in the form of printed certificates sent via the U.S. Postal Service, unlike the awards ceremonies of past years.
Aggie award winners in television broadcasting were:
Television In-Depth Reporting
Winner: “Railroad’s Impact on Agriculture,” Corryn La Rue and Christy Achen
Finalist: “Railroad’s Impact on Archaeology,” Zachary Aedo
Finalist: “Railroad’s Impact on Utah,” Zachary Aedo
Television Breaking News Reporting
Winner: “Campus Gas Leak,” Zachary Aedo
Television General News Reporting
Finalist: “ROTC-AF 24-Hour Veterans Day Vigil,” by Brandon Dean and Kendall Douglass
Television Feature Reporting
Winner: “Bicycle Brent,” Zachary Aedo
Finalist: “Choosing a Christmas Tree,” Austin Elder
Best All-Around Television News Magazine
Winner: “The Last Spike,” staff of Cache Rendezvous
Broadcast News Videography
Winner: “Bike Park Opens,” Brandon Dean
Finalist: “Saving a Granary,” Shae Densley
Broadcast Feature Videography
Finalist: “Healing on Horseback,” Shae Densley
Television Sports Reporting
Winner: “Trash Car Racing,” Adam Larson
Finalist: “Street Snowboarding,” McKay Jensen
Finalist: “Putting Portugal Basketball on the Map,” by Sydney Kidd