BC student & local journalist honored at Media Day
Journalists honored at Media Appreciation Day
April 26, 2012
A student and a local journalist were honored with awards at Bluefield College’s 13th annual Media Appreciation Day on April 19.
Bluefield College student Lydia Freeman and photographer Mark Hughes were chosen as the recipients of this year’s awards at the Shott Excellence-in-Media Awards Program held in Shott Hall.
Freeman, a junior English and communications student, was awarded the $1,000 Student Scholarship Award.
Students and Journalist at the Roundtable Discussion
“I feel very honored and grateful that people think so highly of me,” said Freeman.
This school year, she served as the managing editor for the campus newspaper, The Rampage, and she was a resident advisor and member of the Student Union Board, Alpha Delta sorority, and Phi Beta Lambda.
“I don’t know how I do it all,” said Freeman. “Sometimes I think I’m going to lose my mind, but I never do. I’m always fine and it always gets done.”
Freeman also won the award in 2011, becoming the second student to win the award in consecutive years.
“I was very surprised that I won twice in a row,” said Freeman. “I didn’t think it was fair to win twice.”
Hughes, 23-year veteran photographer at local NBC-affiliate, WVVA, was awarded the $1,000 Excellence-in-Media Award.
“(Hughes) outshined 15 other nominees in his field,” said Bluefield College director of public relations Chris Shoemaker, who presented the award.
Hughes said the award was a surprise.
“I’m very honored that a lot of the folks that work in the same business with me were the ones that had such nice things to say and nominated me,” said Hughes. “That’s what means more than anything.”
Hughes is no stranger to winning awards recently. On March 31, the West Virginia Broadcasters Association honored him with the Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Best Photojournalist.
“I think it’s just been a good run for me,” said Hughes. “It feels good, though. It’s nice vindication. It makes you realize you’re doing something right.”
Shoemaker read nominations of Hughes written by his peers, spotlighting his talents as a videographer and the popularity he has gained with his personality.
The ceremony was preceded by a banquet attended by Bluefield College students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of local and statewide media organizations, including WVVA, WVNS, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, The Princeton Times, and the Religious Herald.
Following the awards presentation, keynote speaker Spenser Wood addressed the room.
Wood, a Bluefield College alumnus, is a speaker, author, trainer, and sports psychologist. He is also the founder and president of Icebox Athlete. In his address, he directed his motivational techniques toward the students present to assist them in progressing in their careers.
“If elements of poise, focus, and confidence for big moments are not in place, it can cost us so many things,” Wood said in his address.
Wood also talked about the importance of eliminating disruptive triggers.
“Whether that is reporting on a certain thing, being in a certain forum, being on a certain stage or platform, one or two triggers can typically destroy your confidence,” said Wood. “It’s the identification of those triggers and working on those triggers that I think is one of the greatest keys to maintaining confidence.”
Also as part of Media Appreciation Day, a roundtable discussion was held in Bluefield College’s Easley Library. The discussion offered the opportunity for communications students to talk with members of the local media about their experiences.
The roundtable discussion was attended by Greg Carter, content manager and anchor at WVVA, Bluefield Daily Telegraph sports reporter Tom Bone, and Jim White, executive editor of the Religious Herald. Eight communications students and two members of the Bluefield College communications faculty joined the media representatives.
The seasoned members of the media offered advice to the aspiring journalists about the constantly changing world of journalism.
Bone talked about downsizing and cutbacks, which has especially affected the newspaper industry he is a part of.
“Stay flexible and be able to learn new ways of doing things,” Bone said to the students.
Carter talked about the importance of being able to write well in the television news industry and taking time to create a quality product. He said the quality of writing has diminished.
“We get so caught up on getting things done fast that the quality of writing has suffered,” said Carter. “I encourage our reporters to get deeper and make more of a personal impact.
“It is important to get engaged with the subject matter and find new ways to approach it. Always challenge yourself to find something unique.”
The guests also discussed tips for getting hired and moving up through the industry.