Student media win state and national awards

by Jess Hoogendoorn

Although a Finance Board funding issue threatened to keep Rider University Network (RUN) from attending the 67th Annual Electronic Media Competition last month, the students found a way to attend the conference and took home three first-place awards and three honorable mentions. Meanwhile, Rider’s student-run newspaper, The Rider News won awards in the 2008-2009 New Jersey College Newspaper Contest and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards.

RUN’s conference was held in New York City and seven students, with adviser Scott Alboum, were able to attend. Rider’s Chapter of  The National Broadcasting Society was nominated in six categories. RUN was nominated in the categories of Video Sports Program, Comedy Program, Movie Trailer, Magazine Program, Video Instructional/Industrial/Promotional Production and Video Sports Segment.

“At first when I found out that the Finance Board was out of money and couldn’t pay for us to go, I was disappointed because we had worked so hard; but we were able to make it there and it was worth it,” said senior Patty Wittenburg, who was part of the group that won first place in the Video Sports Program category.

In addition, the students also took first place awards in the Comedy Program and Movie Trailer categories. Honorable mentions were given in the Video Magazine Program, Video Instructional/Industrial/Promotional Production and Video Sports Segment. Multiple awards were given to seniors Sean Rainey, Meighan Hogate, Bryan Persons and junior Alex Corini.

“We were competing against schools like the University of North Carolina and the University of Miami, both of which have amazing broadcast programs, and just to be nominated in a category with them is amazing to me,” Wittenburg said.

Sophomore Gina Grosso was elected to serve as the national vice president for student services for The National Broadcasting Society and is the only student member of the board. Alboum was named the 2008-2009 National Broadcasting Professional Member of the Year.

The Rider News received several awards from the New Jersey Collegiate Press Association in this year’s competition. The newspaper competed against other four year New Jersey schools including Rutgers, Princeton, Seton Hall and Montclair State. The contest judges student articles and photographs that appeared in a college newspaper in the past calendar year.

Students took first place in News Writing and Editorial Cartoon/Artistic Story-Illustration categories. Second- and third-place awards were won in Enterprise/Investigative Reporting and Sports Writing category, respectively. Two students also received honorable mentions in the Sports Photography categories, respectively.

“This is the second year in a row that we’ve won more than one first place,” said executive editor Laura Mortkowitz, a senior. “The entire staff is very proud. We’ve worked hard all year, so it was nice to be rewarded.”

Photography editor Bryan Wentz, a senior, won a Society of Professional Journalists  regional award in the Photo Illustration category. Wentz’s standing will be announced at the awards ceremony in New York City later this month.

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