By Esther Animalu
Each year the Society of Professional Journalists hosts the Mark of Excellence Awards (MOE), a national award ceremony that celebrates notable work within college journalism during the calendar cycle.
Throughout all of the SPJ’s 12 regions, national winners are selected from each category. Student journalists are assessed by distinguished professionals within the journalism industry who have at least three years of experience.
NewsVision, UMTV’s half-hour live campus news show, won Best All-Around Television News Magazine within the television category at the MOE awards. The award-winning show covers local, state, national and international news with materials produced by University of Miami students.
Tyler Walsh, a senior double majoring in broadcast journalism and psychology and co-executive producer of NewsVision, said that he joined the show during his freshman year at the University of Miami. Walsh said that through his participation in UMTV he has learned to dress more professionally, speak clearer, and convey stories more effectively.
In his role, he is responsible for assigning stories, handling administrative tasks, and stacking the rundown.
“My experience has taught me so much,” said Walsh. “I’m able to easily identify what works with stories and what doesn’t. I’m able to recognize the news value in good stories. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to be an effective leader and delegator who can assist properly with managing talent and crew.”
As a broadcast journalism major, Walsh said that he would be lost academically and professionally if he did not participate in UMTV.
“It’s one thing to learn the skills in the classroom, but getting to do the shows every week is the ultimate way to learn, especially in this industry,” said Walsh. “UMTV has allowed me to take big risks and either score big rewards or learn from the big fall.”
NewsVision is a student-run broadcast where students are able to produce packages, report live, work behind the scenes in production, as well as anchor.
“The purpose of NewsVision, in my eyes, is to give all of our cast and crew the opportunity to learn about a live newscast and to give them skills that they can take with them after college into their professional careers,” said Spencer Askinazy, a senior and co-executive producer of NewsVision.
Askinazy continued, “whether it’s learning how to make a package, how to present yourself on-air, or even how to organize the rundown of the show, NewsVision offers both our on-air talent, as well as the producers and editors behind the scenes, valuable experience similar to a professional production.”
“We want the stories that we tell to be impactful and compelling, and, as the executive producer, I stress that to my reporters all the time,” said Walsh.
Askinazy said that being an executive producer is a very important position. Askinazy, along with Walsh, are in charge of picking the anchors and reporters at the beginning of each semester, as well as assigning content that the cast has to turn in while making sure that deadlines are also being fulfilled.
“I’ve never been a truly creative person, but being a part of UMTV has allowed me to find that part of myself I didn’t even know existed,” said Askinazy. “UMTV has taught me to think outside the box and to find new and different ways to present the news to our audience.”
MOE Judges were instructed to select entries that they considered exceptional performances worthy of national recognition.
“Winning the award felt pretty awesome, not going to lie,” said Walsh. “It was one of the first major awards I’ve won in the industry, and I believe that it’s only the beginning for myself and the rest of the team. NewsVision each year constantly evolves. The new EPs that come in always work off what the last EPs did, and I think [in] the last three years, so much progress has been made in a technical sense.”
Askinazy said he was thrilled to learn that NewsVision was recognized by SPJ through the Mark of Excellence Awards, and that winning is a testament to the hard work that the cast of NewVision puts in every week.
“Winning this award from the Society of Professional Journalists is truly a great honor,” said Askinazy. “I am sure we went up against some other great college newscasts from around the country. I am so thankful to everyone who has contributed to our show for allowing us to create an award-winning broadcast week in and week out. My only hope for NewsVision going forward is that we continue to push out great content and to continue to push the limits of what we can do to create a great newscast.”