Arizona State University took top honors in a new contest aimed at showing broadcasters how younger viewers want to see TV news presented, and will accept the award at BEA’s annual convention during the NAB Show.
Students at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism have won the first Disrupt the News contest presented by TVNewsCheck and the Broadcast Education Association (BEA). The contest aims to uncover new ideas to overhaul the TV news format and attract younger viewers with the best alternative news content and/or format.
ASU’s Full Circle entry showcased the process of newsgathering within the program itself with students documenting each stage from the initial story pitch to the final broadcast. Full Circle was a response to accusations of fake news that have become commonly hurled at journalists, and it looked to promote a renewed trust in news through greater transparency.
Judges praised that transparency, noting “ ‘pulling back the curtain’ is not just the ideal way to grow audience trust, it also makes cliché newscasts more interesting, and makes the audience part of the process.”
Student honorees are Hayley Brand, Alessandra Luckey, Kevyn Gessner, Courtney Mally, Keegan Kelly, Olivia Anderson, Azucena Martinez and Ann Marie Schlup. Frank Mungeam and Melanie Asp Alvarez are faculty advisers.
The winners will be showcased at BEA’s 2019 annual convention in Las Vegas (April 6-9), which overlaps with the NAB Show (April 8-11), and on TVNewsCheck.com.
The ASU team will receive a prize of $3,000 and up to three members of the student team will be awarded complimentary registrations, hotel rooms, $400 flight allowances and $100 gift cards to cover expenses during their trip to Las Vegas.
Second place was awarded to Syracuse University for NCC News and will receive $2,000, while third place with a $1,000 prize went to the University of Southern California’s entry, The Rundown.
A panel session with ASU, Syracuse and the University of Southern California student team leaders will explore the reasoning behind their approaches on Sunday, April 7, at 1:45 p.m. at the Las Vegas Westgate and Casino. A Technology Pitch Pit will enable providers to showcase new ideas, workflows and technologies at the 2019 BEA convention.
“Competition for the first Disrupt the News was both tough and encouraging,” said TVNewsCheck Co-Founder and Editor Harry A. Jessell, who will moderate the panel. “ASU’s entry was innovative and delivered on its goal of fostering trust with viewers by laying bare the newsgathering process.”
“This was one of the most exciting projects to develop and watch unfold,” said Heather Birks, BEA’s executive director. “BEA is about teaching and encouraging the next generation of media professionals so this type of challenge is exactly what helps us showcase our insightful and talented members. We are already looking forward to doing this again.”
Sponsors of Disrupt the News are Ross Video, ABC Owned Stations and BlackMagicDesign, which is donating a switcher to the top winner in addition to supporting the challenge monetarily.
More information on the Disrupt the News challenge is available here.