By Al Quartemont
NASHVILLE (LCNews) – The Louisiana College Department of Convergence Media completed another successful year at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention by winning several awards in the annual iNRB student competition.
Highlighting this year’s performance was a third straight first-place finish for LC’s 24-Hour Digital News Challenge team. The team consisted of Steven Maxwell (Fairview), Gracie Carson (Pineville), Addyson Baden (Pineville) and Todd Ryals (Pensacola, Fla.).
The team had 24 hours to create a seven-minute news block highlighting the news surrounding the NRB convention. Maxwell, a senior, was the lone returning member from the 2015 DNC team, and his leadership played a key role in the win, as Carson, Baden and Ryals were all making their first trips to Nashville to compete.
“I was really proud of our whole team,” Maxwell said. “They really stepped up and surprised me, considering they had never done this competition before. We’re just really proud and honored to carry on the tradition that Wildcats Media began three years ago here at NRB.”
Maxwell, along with junior Hannah Fleming (New Iberia, Louisiana), also took first place in the Television News – Studio Production category of the iNRB’s annual awards competition. Their production of “Wildcats Media News” scored the highest point total in any television category, thus earning Maxwell and Fleming the iNRB Excellence Award for 2016.
“It was such a big honor to win that award,” Fleming said. “It’s one thing to take first place, but to be recognized among your peers as being excellent, it’s just very humbling. We’re just really thankful to get this kind of recognition.”
LC earned third place finishes in two other categories. Carson was third in the Radio News Feature category for her story on “Ms. Ruth,” the portrayal of a Louisiana College alum. And Emily Lansing (Central, Louisiana) and Fleming also took third for their music video “Confessions” that featured recent LC grad Karen Wagley and current student Connor Chaffin.
“We just wanted to tell the story of Karen and Connor’s beautiful song through video,” Lansing said. “The NRB Convention has been one of my best experiences at Louisiana College. Every year, we grow closer as students in Convergence Media, and the competition, itself, does so much to help us get better every year.”
Also of note, Convergence Media Asst. Professor of Production, Jeff Young, ended his three-year term as the chairman of the iNRB committee, though he will continue to serve on the iNRB advisory board.
“The best part of our involvement in iNRB is that we get to see how it literally changes our students’ lives every year,” Young said. “Beyond the competitions, they get to hear from national speakers, meet with current industry professionals and just get a better standing of how the current broadcast world is changing.”