UMTV received three first place awards from the National Broadcasting Society’s honor society Alpha Epsilon Rho, three first place Region 3 Mark of Excellence awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and two second place awards from the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters.
The Mark of Excellence Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists honor the best in collegiate journalism reporting. SPJ’s Region 3 is comprised of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The winners from University of Miami School of Communication are Oliver Redsten for Grove Wall in the Television Feature Reporting category, Oliver Redsten for Guitars/Guns in the Television General News Reporting category, and Erika Orstad for Vets Football in the Television Sports Reporting category.
UMTV received two second place awards from the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters. FAPB’s College Awards honor the best in college journalism in the state with competitions in more than 15 categories. University of Miami School of Communication winners are Oliver Redsten for Grove Wall in the Short Hard News Feature category and Oliver Redsten for Guitars/Guns in the Short Light Feature category.
NBS awarded junior Oliver Redsten first place for Best Feature Package for his story Being Gay in Greek Life. Off The Wire won the other two first place awards for Best Comedy Program and for Hot Dog in the Best Comedy Segment category. The NBS awards are national awards given annually for excellence in college electronic media production.
Redsten’s motive for his feature was the negative press that Greek life has been getting in the media. He knows Sam Fein, the focus of the story, and saw how this supposedly hateful community accepted him and treated him so well. Redsten said that he wanted to show the other side of Greek life.
After the feature aired on NewsVision, Redsten sent it to Fein, who sent it to a few other people.
“Somehow it ended up on Total Sorority Move and after it hit Total Sorority Move it blew up,” Redsten said.
Redsten submitted the video to the NBS with the hopes of winning the award, but he said he never would have even considered doing so if he hadn’t gotten the amount of support that he did.
“It was unbelievable the reaction that we got and I don’t think any of us were expecting it,” Redsten said.
Danny New and Savannah Geary, the executive producers of Off The Wire last semester, received the NBS-AERho award for Best Comedy Program. They both also received the award for Best Comedy Segment along with Jake Dougherty, who wrote the sketch.
Dougherty got the idea for the skit, Hot Dog, last semester when a news story was released stating that a certain percentage of hot dogs contained human DNA. Dougherty said that he had to rewrite it a few times because he was told that the show would be sued for mentioning major chain restaurants, especially if they were presented in a bad light.
Dougherty recalls being extremely happy when he was told that his segment had won the award.
“I jumped up and down a lot,” Dougherty said. “And then I called my mom.”
New and Geary are both juniors who have been a part of Off The Wire since their freshman year. The episode they sent in for the award was the season finale and the clip was due the following day. New said that he and Geary stayed up until 5 a.m. editing it. According to the executive producer, there was a lot to edit, as they had put a lot into that episode to make it stand out.
“We just had a lot of great content and that comes from all of us,” New said.
New mentioned what a great feeling it was to have won not only because they stayed up all night perfecting the clip they sent in to NBS, but also because there are so many people on the show.
“I’m really glad we won [Best Comedy Segment], but I’m also glad we won [Best Comedy Program] because that kind of means everybody and I want everyone to feel like they won,” New said.
As someone who has been on the show for more than two years, Geary said that she has seen the show grow in terms of people and production value.
“We have a lot more people than we used to … and now we have multi-day shoots that happen pretty much every weekend,” Geary said.
New encourages everyone to join Off The Wire.
“Come be weird with us,” New said.