March 31, 2021
KKSU-TV reporters and JMC education abroad students honored at the KAB Awards
Highlighting their work during the COVID-19 pandemic, reporters from KKSU-TV’s student-led Channel 8 News and MHK All-Day and JMC education abroad students earned seven first-place awards among 12 total awards for undergraduate television news at the 2021 Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards. Wildcats brought home more than twice as many awards as any other school that entered. Awards included five for student reports gathered and created from JMC’s Education Abroad trip to London in March 2020, pictured above.
KKSU-TV reporters were awarded first place in three long-form broadcast categories, including top collegiate newscast in Kansas. One of those first-place awards, top public affairs program, was created entirely remotely during the lockdowns in May 2020. Individually, students won in the categories of hard news package, enterprise package, complete news feature, and sports feature, with a second-place showing in the sportscast category — links are included below.
Much of the reporting honored was done during pandemic lockdowns, as students continued to report from their isolated areas from around the state and country. For instance, JMC senior Bailey Mathews won first place in the Sports Feature category for a story on how exercise can help mental health, which was shot and edited in her apartment during lockdown.
"Our faculty and students produced excellent programming under some of the most makeshift methods I have ever seen," JMC Director Steven Smethers said. "I salute them for their resourcefulness and perseverance."
Education abroad students from JMC who were in London during the early days of the pandemic in March 2020 chronicled the events overseas at that time. JMC senior Macy Berning won first place in the Hard News category for her story on the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic in London. As the pandemic started to become an international incident, Berning changed her focus to find the story going on in the capital city.
"It means so much to be recognized for the hard work and time that was put into creating this story," Berning said. "It was worth all of the late nights and endless emails and phone calls making sure information was accurate and thoughtful. As a graduating senior, getting this award during a difficult time makes me very proud to be a part of this program at K-State."
Fellow education abroad participant senior Bailey Short took home the Enterprise Package first place for her piece on how the coronavirus was already affecting London tourism at the time. The program "London Calling" produced by the students took home first in the documentary category.
Andrew Smith, a professor of practice of journalism at JMC and news director for KKSU-TV, led the program to London, coming back as the first COVID-19 patient in the area.
"The students really worked well in some difficult conditions in London, as the pandemic was just starting," Smith said. "We didn’t know where it would end up, but we wanted to document it as best we could. The students’ dedication to journalism during tough times shows just how dedicated the upcoming set of Wildcat journalists are."
"Providing unique intercultural learning opportunities for our students is an important foundation of our program," Smethers said. "The fact that Professor Smith led our students to create award-winning reporting from London is an extra special honor and provided an opportunity that will greatly enhance their careers and their lives."
All the K-State KAB Undergraduate Television Award winners are below, with links to their work.
Public Affairs Program
First: Kansas State University – MHK All-Day: May 1, 2020 – Sarah Wallace, Kaylie McLaughlin, Anna Christianson, Dawson Wagner, Molly Hackett
Complete Newscast 3 DAYS/ WEEK OR LESS
First: Kansas State University – MHK All-Day March 6, 2020 – Sarah Wallace, Kaylie McLaughlin, Anna Christianson, Monica Diaz, Molly Hackett, Miriam Chamberlain
Hard News Package
First: Kansas State University – COVID-19 in London – Macy Berning, Adam Cook
Honorable mention: Kansas State University – Kansas State Prepares to Re-open – Katy Fink
Enterprise News Package
First: Kansas State University – London Tourism as a Pandemic Approaches – Bailey Short
Honorable mention: Kansas State University – London Calling: Food for Thought – Miriam Chamberlain, Katy Fink
Complete News Feature
First: Kansas State University – Pandora Ice Cream – Dawson Wagner
Honorable mention: Kansas State University – Wild in the Streets: The London Busking Scene – Katy Fink, Miriam Chamberlain
Complete Sports Feature
First: Kansas State University – Helping Mental Health Through Fitness – Bailey Mathews
Second: Kansas State University – Kansas State’s Lacrosse Culture – Logan Mantz
Second: Kansas State University – MHK All-Day Sportscast: Dacey Hagedorn – Bailey Mathews, Dacey Hagedorn
First: Kansas State University – London Calling: A Channel 8 News Special Report – Macy Berning, Miriam Chamberlain, Jacob Hall, Bailey, Short, Katy Fink, Luis Villarreal