UNC Hussman students win digital news awards


Students from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media were recently recognized with awards from the Radio and Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas, which highlights outstanding work of professional and student journalists each year. 

UNC Hussman students took home 12 awards in the RTDNAC/AP student division, including first place wins for “Best Student Newscast,” “Best Student News Reporting” and “Best Student Sports Story.”

The awards showcase a world John H. Stembler Jr. Distinguished Professor Charlie Tuggle, UNC Hussman’s senior associate dean for undergraduate studies, knows well. Before academia, he enjoyed a 16-year career in broadcast journalism, most as a sports reporter, and has watched digital platforms push the multidimensional skills required by broadcast journalism throughout the field’s different forms

“Lots of folks are drawn to short, pithy visual content,” Tuggle said. “That’s exactly what radio and television news is.”

Tuggle also appreciates that the RTDNAC/AP awards highlight team projects as well as individual work. He called the ability to successfully work in teams crucial for any career.

An entire class of UNC Hussman students received a “Best Student Multimedia Report” award for their work documenting an archaeological dig in Israel by archaeologist Jodi Magness, who is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism in the UNC College of Arts & Sciences.

UNC Hussman senior Natasha Berrios Laguerre took part in the Israel project as a reporter/field producer and called the experience formative.

“The most exciting part was to be in another country learning their culture and understanding their culture,” Laguerre said. “Working for this project was something that I didn't want to take for granted, so I did the best I could in everything.”

Adrian Walker’s team took home a “Best Student Sportscast” win for the “Sports Xtra” show, produced by the MEJO 129 class. Walker serves as the UNC Hussman-produced show’s executive producer.

“I enjoy helping others learn and grow,” Walker, a senior, said of his leadership on the sports show, which broadcasts each Monday from Carroll Hall.

Though even more than a chance to win awards, Walker enjoys the real-world experience that the many hands-on learning opportunities throughout UNC Hussman provide.

See the full list of student award winners here.