By: Karina Valdes

At the 70th Annual Student Media Awards, University of Miami’s student media outlets were recognized for achievements during the 2018-2019 academic year. The ceremony also acknowledged an exceptional alumnus of the School of Communication Department of Journalism and Media Management who has made an impact in the media profession. Javier Morgado, B.S.C. ’98, received the 2019 South Florida Communicator of the Year award for his contributions to the field.

Morgado is the executive producer of CNN’s morning show, New Dayand oversees editorial production and the strategic layout for the show. He was also a part of the CNN team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for their coverage of the devastation Hurricane Maria caused to Puerto Rico.

In his acceptance speech, Morgado dedicated his award to “journalists who are in harm’s way every day.”

“There are people in Venezuela trying to cover a really, really crazy unfolding story who at this minute are in harm’s way. I just want to dedicate this award to people like them who are doing the hard work of journalism and risking their lives to do it,” said Morgado.

Morgado shared with students how, just a short time before the ceremony, he was receiving notifications from CNN on the crisis in Venezuela. After CNN broadcast a live feed of military vehicles running over protestors, the network was taken off the air by Nicolás Maduro’s regime in an effort to suppress free speech.

“It’s not like here where you guys can take control of the air waves and put on whatever you want. It doesn’t work that way in a lot of places around the world especially where my parents are from in Cuba, and in Venezuela, in North Korea, in China. I could go on and on,” said Morgado.

Touching on the subject of transparency, Morgado relayed to students the importance of the press being able to ask questions of their government. In the United States, journalists who are a part of the White House press corps have access to the President and other high-ranking government officials during press briefings in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.

“That room means a lot to people like me. It’s the only checks and balances that we have in asking questions of the people who run our country,” said Morgado.

He shared the importance of the first amendment and encouraged the room full of student journalists to ask tough questions of their elected officials.

He also advised students to “focus on writing.”

“There will always be a demand for quality journalism. If you are a really good writer, it will open the door to every opportunity that you want. I can tell you that it’s worked for me,” said Morgado.

The 70th Annual Student Media Awards were held on April 30 at the University of Miami School of Communication. Below is a list of the student media award winners.

Student Award Winners

Senior Awards for Academic Excellence:
Outstanding Senior in Media Management: Alvaro Baez
Outstanding Senior in Electronic Media: Isabella Cendan
Outstanding Senior in Journalism: Jennifer York
Outstanding Senior in Broadcast Journalism: Breana Ross
Outstanding Graduate Student in JMM: Stephanie Bertini
Edward Pfister Award for Media Management:
Justin Stevens
Rex Pompadur Awards for Outstanding Service to UMTV
Tyler Walsh
NewsBreak Reporter, Anchor, Associate Producer
NewsVision Reporter, Anchor
Dave Downey
NewsBreak Reporter, Anchor
NewsVision Anchor, Reporter, Meteorologist
Gianna Sanchez
SportsDesk Server Operator, Package Producer
NewsBreak Executive Producer
Jenna Weiss
SportsDesk Technical Director
NewsVision Executive Video Producer
Justin Stevens
SportsDesk Director
NewsVision Executive Producer
Breana Ross
NewsVision Reporter, Anchor
UMTV Student Manager
Ben Ezzy
SportsDesk Audio Operator, Floor Manager
NewsVision Director
NewsBreak Executive Producer
UMTV Assistant Student Manager
Robert Corley Groves Awards for Producing
Amanda Fuentes, SportsDesk
Valerie Ferrante, SportsDesk
Luis Gonzalez, SportsDesk
Tommy Fletcher, NewsVision
Celine White, Pulse
Chelsea Lovell, Pulse
Andrew Glover, Off the Wire
Joseph George, Off the Wire
Rachel Smith, The Culture
Kristion Matas, The Culture
Sabrina Perez, UniMiami
Izabella Felpeto, UniMiami
The Miami Hurricane Awards
Most Improved Sports Writer: Maxwell Trink
Best Sports Profile: Josh White, Longtime usher gears up for another baseball season
Best Sports Photo: Hunter Crenian, Trayone Gray fights through four Savannah defensemen
Most Improved News Writer: Noor Khaled
Best News Profile: Parker Gimbel & Anna Timmons, Women’s History Month highlight: Congresswoman Donna Shalala
Best Investigative Report: The Miami Hurricane Staff, Can it happen here too? Cheating the system at UM
Most Improved Opinion Writer: Daniela Perez
Best Editorial: Kay-Ann Henry, Serbing shooting shows need for even stronger gun laws in Florida
Best Column: Alexandra Diaz, Fox News stole my dad
Most Improved Edge Writer: Veronica Lucchese
Best Edge Spread: Austin Lent, Best of UM
Best Review: Jordan Lewis, My first experience at Ultra Music Festival: I went sober
Best Cover Photo: Hunter Crenian, Trump at FIU
Best Cover Graphic: Austin Lent, Acceptance letter for sale
Best Web Design: Zachary Zytnick, Cheating the system at UM
Best Social Media Post: Jordan Lewis, NYC Conference Instagram story
NBS AERho Outstanding Seniors Awards
Madison Brown
Kayla Brown
Breana Ross
Marissa Vonesh
Isaiah Kim-Martinez
The Carolyn Cefalo Award
Breana Ross