Let’s air an on-air grievance.

On Monday, the general manager of a student TV station emailed me…

What’s the criterion used for judging entries from campus television stations, especially when the students have to work from home? Seems like the winners chosen have been predominantly those from print/online journalism.

I told him there’s no criterion. Each week, our rotating trio of judges choose the content they deem best. (Interestingly, two of last week’s judges have been pro broadcasters – for ESPN and CNN – yet they chose no broadcast winners.)

Still, our judges are keenly aware of the extra hardships broadcasters face. So they decided, and I wholeheartedly agreed, that we should bestow some monthly awards to plug the broadcast gaps we’ve left – today being The CCC Awards one-month anniversary. In their own words…

The judges were very much impressed with the ability of broadcast journalist to almost instantly remake what they do and how they do it. And they’ve done it in smart and resourceful ways. Many rely on anchors and reporters giving their reports from a room in their home. It’s different, but it’s worked.

…so they’ve chosen the following for special recognition.


What the judges said about the Northwestern News Network – “the staff has expertly adapted and puts together a strong, smooth newscast” – is almost identical to what they’ve said about The Southeastern Channel (Southeastern Louisiana University) and Cronkite News (Arizona State University).

“They’ve been consistently good every week,” they said about The Southeastern Channel. “Very consistently professional,” they said about Cronkite News. And we won’t even tell you who they were talking about here: “The stories, the story choices, the diversity, the mix — all were excellent.” Because really, it’s all three.

It’s a chore to assemble a 15-to-30-minute newscast in a studio under optimal conditions. These three student stations haven’t just figured out how to make it work during a pandemic, they’ve excelled at it.


F Newsmagazine, When this is over

This is a hard entry to describe, but the judges gave it a shot…

It’s like a radio piece, but it’s labeled “audio collage.” It an array of snippets of what people plan to do when the health crisis is over. They’re interesting and make for a good compilation. But the piece is even better because as the clips play, you can scroll through to read their words at the same time – with some lightly pulsing graphics.

My short take: It’s great audio that looks good.


Just to end where we began, here are three more newscasts worth watching. They refuse to let a shutdown shut them down. They’ve tossed out the old rules and written new ones. It can get rough at times, but they make no excuses and take no prisoners.

One weekly judge – a broadcaster for two decades – remarked she was humbled, wondering if she could’ve pulled together regular newscasts under these conditions back when she was a student. “I don’t know,” she said on one of our regular Sunday night phone calls. “I just don’t know.”

The next deadline for The CCC Awards is Friday at 11:59:59 p.m.



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