Southeastern Channels wins best in nation

The Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University’s educational cable television station, has been honored once again as best in the nation with three first-place national awards given by College Broadcasters, Inc. at its National Student Production Awards. The channel won for Best Video Hard News Story, Best Video Sportscast, and Best Video Public Service Announcement. It marks the 11th time that the Southeastern Channel has been honored as best in the nation by CBI. Pictured is Chris Rosato of Mandeville, who won first place in the nation for best hard news story for his package “Toxic Algae in Lake Pontchartrain,” produced for the student newscast “Northshore News.”

The Southeastern Channel has once again been recognized as best in the nation by College Broadcasters, Inc.

The channel was honored at CBI’s National Student Production Awards with first place in the nation for Best Video Hard News Reporting, Best Video Sportscast, and Best Video Public Service Announcement.

The Southeastern Channel won its three first-place awards out of over 1,000 entries submitted by the top broadcasting schools from throughout the nation. The channel’s three first-place selections were the most in television and video of any school in the country. It marks the 11th time that the Southeastern Channel has won first place in the nation honors in college television.

The channel also won third place national honors for Best Video News Feature Reporting and fourth place for Best Video Documentary.

“We’re thrilled that the Southeastern Channel continues to be recognized as the very best in the nation,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “Once again, the competition represents the best in college broadcasting throughout the country.”

“Credit goes to our students for making the most of their God-given talents to achieve the Southeastern Channel’s high standards of quality and excellence,” Settoon explained. “Credit must also be given to channel staff members and communication department television instructors for developing the skills and talents of these students.”

Southeastern Channel student news reporter Chris Rosato of Mandeville won the nation’s top honor for “Best Video Hard News Reporting,” while the channel also won for “Best Video Sportscast” with its Nov. 21, 2019 live, weekly sportscast “The Big Game.”

Cameron Pittman of Bogalusa won first in the country for “Best Video Public Service Announcement” with “Gunny McShoot,” a PSA for family gun safety.

The Southeastern Channel’s John Williams of Denham Springs won third in the nation for “Best Video News Feature” for his story “Fourth of July in Baton Rouge,” while Dylan Domangue of Houma won fourth place for “Best Video Documentary” for his personal documentary “12 Seconds at Birth.”

Rosato’s winning news story “Toxic Algae in Lake Pontchartrain,” was for the national award-winning student newscast “Northshore News.” The story covered the environmental hazard caused by toxins associated with the lake’s blue-green algal bloom, causing the death of Northshore fish and plant life, as well as gastrointestinal, skin, and breathing problems for residents.

Rosato researched, wrote, produced, reported, shot and edited the story. It was the third time in the last four years that the Southeastern Channel has won first in the nation for the best television hard news story.

“As a reporter, I feel that my strengths play a lot into how I can take a story with a lot of information or different angles and simplify it for the viewer so they can process it easier,” Rosato said.

“When putting together a story, I always try to think about who I can get as a strong interview subject and what kind of shots I could try and catch to really hold the viewer’s attention.”

At the Southeastern Channel, Rosato was also named Louisiana’s Student Broadcaster of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and won multiple top awards from the Associated Press College Broadcasters, Society of Professional Journalists, and Southeast Journalism Conference.

Rosato now works as a news reporter for WAFB-TV Channel 9 in Baton Rouge. He recently led the station’s coverage of Hurricane Ida with live reports from Houma, as the hurricane hit the city.

“The Southeastern Channel offered me exceptional one-on-one instruction and met all of my work with constructive criticism that I could apply to my next story or show,” Rosato said.

“Regarding the job market, working at the channel separated me from the competition by giving me the opportunity to cover real-world current event stories and not just restrict me to on-campus assignments. The Southeastern Channel prepared me to go out into the community and work with public officials and everyday people.”

The winning episode of “The Big Game” was produced and directed by Dylan Domangue of Houma and co-anchored by John Sartori of Mandeville and Gabrielle Cox of Hammond, with Richie Solares of New Orleans as guest anchor.

The show featured contributions from students Logan Graffia of Slidell, Ross Chauvin of Houma, Lauryn Jackson of Baton Rouge, Josh Hodgeson of New Orleans, and Taylor Tabb and Angela Imbraguglio of Destrehan.

“When it was announced that we had won first in the nation, my level of excitement was more than anyone else that had won an award that night,” Domangue said. “I know the hard work and preparation that we put into each of our broadcasts, and to have that come full circle and pay off with us winning first place is truly special.”

Domangue said “The Big Game” is just like ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and must hit the most important news that’s happening in sports in the local area that given week, “whether that’s the Saints games or college athletics.”

“After a game ends, you’re able to go on-camera, do your postgame analysis, report with interviews, with sound bites of players and coaches, and do your recap just like you see on the professional level, on ESPN SportsCenter,” Domangue said.

“When you talk to other professionals that are in this profession, when you come from Southeastern they can see that experience already built into you. Because of the training at the Southeastern Channel, you have those experiences already.”

Domangue produced, anchored, and reported for another “Big Game” episode which was honored by College Broadcasters, Inc. as best in the nation in 2017. His “Big Game” productions were named National Finalists as one of the top four in the nation for three straight years at the College Sports Media Awards sponsored by the Sports Video Group in Atlanta.

He is now sports director for KALB-TV NBC Ch. 5 in Alexandria.

In addition to his CBI award, Sartori was honored by the Broadcast Education Association with third place in the nation for TV Sports Play-By-Play. He was honored twice by the Suncoast Emmys in the “On-Camera Talent” category and also won awards as a sports reporter from the Associated Press College Broadcasters and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Sartori is now a sports reporter for KTAL-TV ABC Ch. 6 in Shreveport.

“The opportunities the Southeastern Channel gave me were amazing,” Sartori continued. “If you are a student interested in broadcast journalism, there is no better place for you in this country than in Hammond, La., at the Southeastern Channel.”

The Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international, and regional awards, including 22 awards from the Emmys, in the past 18 years. The channel can be seen on Spectrum 199 cable throughout the North Shore, and its 24/7 livestream can be seen on Roku, AppleTV, and at thesoutheasternchannel.com.

The Southeastern Channel is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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