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Masked students in the TV studio

A group of nine Marietta College students recently placed first in a video competition conducted by the National Electronic Media Association, NBS-AERho.

The students — Austin Baumgartner ’23 (Stockport, Ohio), Bobby Cashaw ’21 (Aliquippa, Pennsylvania), Darius Hatch ’22 (Mesa, Arizona), Kail Hill ’23 (Marietta, Ohio), Alexis Pennell ’23 (Clearwater, Florida), Dale Randulic ’22 (Quaker City, Ohio), George Riffle ’22 (San Diego, California), Samantha Rubadue ’22 (Ironton, Ohio), and Reese Worship ’23 (Cleveland, Ohio) — were in the Media Production II class and won first place in the Video Public Affairs, Magazine, or Documentary Program category.

“We had topics ranging from sports teams, fraternities, student life, and specific community aspects,” Rubadue said. “We all individually produced these pieces and most of us had outside interviews within the pieces.”

The National Electronic Media Association, NBS-AERho, held a special in-between competition this past spring — The National Electronic Media Association - Special Spring 2021 National Undergraduate Student Electronic Media Competition.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, students in Media Production II could not do regular TV broadcasts, according to Professor of Communication Marilee Morrow. Instead, they each worked on individual production pieces.

“While there is plenty of room in our WCMO-TV studio, the way our control room is laid out, COVID restrictions kept us from being able to properly produce live TV news like we usually do,” said Professor Marilee Morrow. “We need a group of people in that space to perform certain jobs like directing and running the teleprompter, and we couldn’t have that number of people in the control room for the amount of time required and be safe.” 

While the students found ways to navigate through the semester and meet the requirements, they still faced some challenges.

“COVID also made it difficult to get some of the footage we needed, since sporting events had increased restrictions,” Rubadue said. “Every building on campus had a mask mandate and proximity boundaries, so we couldn’t be that close to the people we were working with.”

As a result, Morrow said the students came up with the idea for a news magazine-style television program.

“We were able to record some parts that didn’t require much together time live in the TV studio, like the segment introductions and the show open and close,” she said. “The students produced the rest of the segments individually outside of the TV station. Samantha Rubadue then edited all the pieces into one program. All the time and effort involved obviously paid off with three national production awards.”

In addition to the team award, Rubadue said she submitted two other pieces that both won their categories. She won in the Video Feature category and in the Podcast category. Both pieces were titled “Marietta’s Haunted History” and focused on local legends of Marietta.