BC Media Day By Angi Highlander | May 3, 2011 | RSS The Shott media legacy continued April 29 with Media Appreciation Day, hosted by Bluefield College. The 12th Annual Media Day Appreciation luncheon, attended by BC communications majors and media professionals from around the area, featured keynote speaker Brandy Campbell, a BC alum and former editor of The Rampage. Keynote speaker, Brandy Campbell “Media Appreciation Day gives students a chance to meet local journalists, talk with them, and ask them questions,” said Mimi Merritt, assistant professor of communications at Bluefield College. Merritt said the event, organized by Chris Shoemaker, BC’s director of public relations, is a way to show appreciation and recognition for the people who tell Bluefield College’s story during the year. Each year at the luncheon, the Shott Excellence-in-Media Awards Program recognizes a student from Bluefield College and a professional journalist. Lydia Freeman, a junior, was this year’s recipient of the award for students. She is known for her “passion for learning and writing,” as one of her professors said in nominating Freeman. Freeman received a $1,000 scholarship for this achievement. Humbled by the award, Freeman said she felt, “excited, blessed, loved, and appreciated.” The winner of the Excellence in Media Journalist award was Eric DiNovo, chief photographer for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. His peers, who nominated him and voted for him, said he consistently goes beyond the call of duty and performs a significant service that makes a difference in the community. Honorable Mention recognition included 14 other journalists from the area for their outstanding work in media. Campbell, a feature writer for Compassion International, shared her story in a conversational tone that was soft yet inspiring. She took the audience through laughter, yet brought them to silence as compassion sank through everyone in the room. Her motto is to do everything with excellence. She said she had too much respect for herself and writing not to do her best work. Campbell is a storyteller, and her passion began as a child. Before Campbell even understood prayer, she would write letters to God. “I would write on empty toilet paper cardboard tubes because I felt as if that was the only way to express myself,” said Campbell. “I fell in love with telling stories. I find comfort in the fact that story telling is a timeless art.” She believes that all humans share an innate desire to tell stories. Campbell spoke about stories that define people. The death of her step-father, the man who helped raise her, was a defining moment. She said that experience helped her have the capacity to have a tender heart and the strength to tell tragic stories. Her travel experiences have also defined who she is now. The opportunities for Campbell to visit economically poor or devastated countries such as Haiti and Togo have inspired her to feel the tragedy she is writing. “I believe having the capacity to feel makes us good writers and communicators,” said Campbell. Campbell left the stage with this last point for the journalists in the room. “We are telling stories that our experience makes us perfectly suited to tell,” said Campbell. “These stories are about real people.” Campbell’s challenge was for journalists to feel the story and write the story with excellence. Campbell’s speech was gentle and inspiring for journalists to take storytelling seriously and do it with feeling. A media and student roundtable discussion followed the luncheon in the library.