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WVU broadcast news students, faculty honored for excellence

Steve Butera

West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism’s broadcast news program has earned four national and international awards for student and faculty work.

Former broadcast news student Steve Butera of Bridgeport won ninth place in the television feature category of the annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

Butera, a 2008 journalism graduate and current master’s degree student, received a $500 cash prize and a matching grant for the School of Journalism. The selected package included two stories featuring a family’s approach to memorializing a fallen Marine and behind-the-scenes coverage of an ABC “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” episode featuring a Fairmont family. Both stories ran on “WVU News” and are available on WVU iTunesU at http://itunes.wvu.edu/.

The WVU School of Journalism also came in 10th place overall in the Intercollegiate Broadcast News Competition of the Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

“The Hearst competition is the premier competition for college journalism,” said School of Journalism Dean Maryanne Reed. “For the second year in a row, we’ve cracked the top 10 in the competition, which is a real testament to the quality of our students and our instruction.”

The student-produced newscast, “WVU News,” also captured a top award from MarCom, an international competition that recognizes outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals.

The “Virginia Tech Special” segment of “WVU News” was honored with a gold award in the television program category. Former broadcast news students Barclay (Fuellgraf) Bishop of Allison Park, Pa.; Sean Tinnelly of Morgantown; and Justin Van Slyke of Chadds Ford, Pa., traveled to the Virginia Tech campus following the April 16, 2007, shootings to cover the tragedy for “WVU News.”

Tinnelly (Bachelor of Science in journalism, 2007) is now a reporter/anchor for WDEL in Wilmington, Del.; Bishop (Bachelor of Science in journalism, 2007) is a television reporter for WJBF News in Augusta, Ga.; and Van Slyke (Bachelor of Science in journalism, 2007) is a technical writer for ProLogic in Uniontown, Pa.

Gina Martino Dahlia, a teaching assistant professor in the broadcast news program, also won a gold award from MarCom for her documentary, “Monongah Heroine.” The film focuses on the widows and children left behind from the Dec. 6, 1907, Monongah mine disaster. The documentary, which debuted on PBS in December 2007, depicts the historical events of the disaster that claimed at least 362 lives and its aftereffects on the community.