For the 10th time, the University’s Southeastern Channel has been recognized as the “Best College Television Station in the South.”
The channel earned first place “Best of South” honors for the fourth year in a row and the seventh time in the past 10 years at the annual Southeast Journalism Conference. Its seven years of winning “Best College TV Station” since 2013 are the most by any university in the Southeast region of the U.S. During that time, when the Southeastern Channel didn’t win first place, it won second place.
The Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC) celebrates student journalism and offers an opportunity for participants to develop relationships with students from schools throughout the Southeast United States.
This year’s “Best of South” competition featured 348 entries from 30 universities throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. Winners were announced in a virtual ceremony from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. Current television professionals judged the television and broadcast categories.
The Southeastern Channel swept all of the television categories at the conference, winning first place in every overall and individual TV and broadcast category.
“It’s a terrific honor to once again be selected as the Best College Television Station in the South over all of those stations at universities much larger than ours,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “The fact that we swept first-place honors in all of the television and broadcast categories speaks volumes.”
“It reflects the quality of our on-air programs that provide impactful information and excellent educational, cultural, entertainment, community, and sports content for our Northshore viewers,” Settoon said. “It also shows that our students are very well-trained and ready for great careers in the television, video and film industries. We’re so proud of our students.”
In addition to “Best College Television Station,” the Southeastern Channel won first place for “Best College Video News Program” for the student newscast Northshore News. The newscast has won first place eight times now, including six times in the past 11 years, the most of any school in the region.
The Southeastern Channel’s individual winners included Jacqueline Doucet of Denham Springs, who was the SEJC’s top winner in television with first place for both “Best College Television Journalist in the South” and “Best College Television Feature Reporter in the South.”
Lauren Hawkins of Ponchatoula won first place for “Best College Television News Reporter in the South” and fourth place for “Best College Television Journalist in the South.” Joseph Trosclair of Baton Rouge brought home first place for “Best College Advertising Staff Member in the South.”
In selecting the Southeastern Channel as “Best College Television Station in the South,” judges stated that the channel exhibited not only the best quality of production, but also the greatest depth and breadth of its student-produced programming with shows like the Northshore News newscast, The Big Game student sportscast, and the Southeastern Times student newsmagazine.
The Southeastern Channel won “Best College Video News Program in the South” for its June 28, 2021 episode of Northshore News. The episode was produced by Hawkins and anchored by Hawkins and Trinity Brown of Baton Rouge.
“Northshore News focuses on all areas that you should know to be a great journalist,” Hawkins said. “Not just the reporting or anchoring, but the technical work that goes along with it—the writing, camera work, and use of a video camera. This is what puts this program ahead of others—making sure students are well rounded and properly equipped with the knowledge they need in all aspects of the industry.”
Also a reporter for the winning episode, Hawkins contributed the newscast’s top story about a doubled reward for the murderer in a double homicide case in Independence. In addition, Hawkins reported on the “Litter Gitter,” a unique invention of Tangipahoa Parish resident Don Bates designed to keep the waterways of Tangipahoa Parish clean.
The winning episode included a story by AnaClaire McKneely of Amite about Fentanyl variants, their widespread use and destructive impacts. McKneely also reported on the new K-12 curriculum at the Southeastern Laboratory School.
Kaylor Yates of Baton Rouge reported on the push for COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the Livingston Parish school system, while Joliette Vincent of Luling covered Tangipahoa’s proposal for a new half-cent sales tax to provide raises for parish school teachers.
Reporter Taylor Nettle of Slidell covered the Hammond groundbreaking for a new 600,000 square foot distribution center for the pharmaceutical supply giant Medline, while Jordan Kliebert of Mandeville produced a story on the new improvements to guard rails on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.
In the individual categories, Doucet won “Best College TV Journalist in the South” and “Best College Television Feature Reporter in the South” for a pair of feature stories that she produced for the Southeastern Channel’s newsmagazine show Southeastern Times.
“It feels amazing,” Doucet said. “I feel honored and humbled that my work has received such recognition. It shows that my hard work in developing my skills has paid off.”
One of her features, “A Quarantine with Stars,” was about Father Mike O’Rourke at the St. Albert’s Catholic Student Center on campus who traveled to a remote part of Texas to stargaze with his telescope during the COVID-19 quarantine. Her other winning feature story, “Our Daily Bread,” covered a local food pantry’s service to the needy during the pandemic.
“I think the uniqueness of the stories made them special and award worthy,” Doucet said. “Every person in each story had something special and personal to share that has made an impact in their lives, and that stuck out to me.”
Hawkins won “Best College News Reporter in the South” for her Northshore News stories “Double Homicide,” “Litter Gitter,” and “Hammond Airshow.”
“I feel very honored to have won this title,” Hawkins said. “It lets me know that the energy and efforts I have put into my passion have not gone unnoticed.”
A December 2021 graduate of Southeastern, Hawkins now works as a TV news and traffic reporter for WBRZ-TV Ch. 2 (ABC) in Baton Rouge.
“Working for the Southeastern Channel also gave me a very ‘hands-on’ experience with how a newsroom is run,” Hawkins said. “I was well rounded by the time I got offered my first job. From anchoring at a desk, to writing, to editing packages and doing all of my camera work, I received constructive criticism in each of these areas that prepared me for a real-world job in this profession.”
As a Southeastern Channel videographer-editor, Trosclair won “Best Advertising Staff Member in the South” for three spots he produced, directed, shot, and edited. These included the promo “Halloween at the Southeastern Channel,” along with the PSAs “Buzzed Driving” and “Group Assignment.”
In its 20 years of existence the Southeastern Channel has won over 500 national, international and regional awards, including 23 awards from the Emmys. The channel can be seen on Spectrum Channel 199 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston and St. Helena parishes and on mthermonwebtv.com in Washington Parish. The channel’s live 24-7 broadcast is streamed on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, the Spectrum App, and on thesoutheasternchannel.com, which also offers video on demand. The Southeastern Channel can also be accessed through its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts.