TVN, BEA Choose ‘Disrupt the News’ Winners

California State University Fullerton won TVNewsCheck's second annual 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 April's NAB Show.

Students at California State Fullerton have won the second annual Disrupt the News contest presented by TVNewsCheck and the Broadcast Education Association. The competition aims to uncover new ideas to overhaul the TV news format and attract younger viewers with the best alternative news content and/or format.

CSUF’s entry, Lo Que Esta Trending By Al Dia is a weekly round up of the week’s most important news from Al Dia, a bilingual, student-produced newscast compressed into a two-minute, vertical video format and delivered completely in “Spanglish.”

Judges praised the Spanglish approach as “a novel, well-executed idea” delivered by a host who is “breezy and confident and hits all the marks for her target audience” of bilingual younger viewers.

Student honorees were Sharon Cardona, Regina Yurrita, Leslie Cano, Nathan Jeffers, Cassie Chang and Jonathan Phan, led by their faculty adviser, Jesus Ayala.

The winners will be showcased at BEA’s 2020 annual convention in Las Vegas (April18-21), which overlaps with the NAB Show (April 17-22) and on

The CSUF team will receive a prize of $3,000 and a $1,000 stipend toward the team’s travel to Las Vegas along with complimentary registrations for the students who worked on the project.


Second place was awarded to Syracuse University for Hyperlink the News and it will receive $2,000, while third place with a $1,000 prize went to the University of North Florida for Inside Swoop.

Beginning on Sunday, April 19, at 8:30 a.m. at the Las Vegas Westgate and Casino, this year’s winners will be recognized during a “meet and greet” continental breakfast, which will be followed by a panel featuring the CSUF, Syracuse University and University of North Florida students. The team leaders will dive into how they conceived of and executed their work.

“Encouragingly, students brought fresh eyes and minds to what the future of broadcast news can look like,” said TVNewsCheck Editor Michael Depp, who will moderate the panel. “Cal State Fullerton’s winning entry was smart and well executed on multiple levels from its easy, natural transitions between Spanish and English to its polished production and unforced presentation.”

“The Disrupt the News Challenge continues to amaze me,” said Heather Birks, BEA’s executive director. “The content these students create is unique and engaging. I look forward to the session in Las Vegas to hear their behind-the-scenes thought process.”

More information on the Disrupt the News challenge is available here.

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