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Friday, February 3, 2012

UNCP Department of Mass Communications wins video awards

Professor earns individual honor; students win for news program

A UNC Pembroke broadcasting professor and team of students won two top awards in a 2011 international competition, according to an announcement in January from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP).

News Desk – WNCP-TV News

News Desk – WNCP-TV News

Black Line

Dr. Jason Hutchens, assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communication, won a platinum Audio-Visual Arts Award for video production. Students working on the weekly newscast, Carolina News Today, and their adviser, Dr. Jamie Litty, won a gold award in the student category.

The Ava Awards is an international competition judged by AMCP to recognize outstanding work in media that are part of the evolution of digital communication.  Judges award platinum, gold and honorable mention in 12 main categories, including commercials, news and Web design.

Dr. Hutchens took top honors for his nine-minute, high-definition, promotional video for UNCP’s Department of Mass Communication. He earned platinum in the informational category and gold in both the “recruitment” and “educational institution” categories.

Winning news features, from the spring season of Carolina News Today, included coverage of Fort Bragg training exercises, disaster relief for the tornado-damaged region, loss of UNCP’s student activity period, a Students in Free Enterprise volunteer project to help the campus mailroom, a Public Relations Student Society of America golf tournament fundraiser and a concussion awareness feature for student-athletes. 

News Gathering - WNCP-TV News reporter in the field on Ft. Bragg.

News Gathering - WNCP-TV News reporter in the field on Ft. Bragg.

Black Line

The show was a product of many hands, including co-producer Catie Andrus, associate producer Yu Wang, reporters Alex Williams and Tiara Washington and anchors Daniel Shipp and Joshua Shipman. Now-graduated students who worked on the projects include co-producer Kristina Smith, associate producer Endira Morales, director Anthony Maerten, reporter Alaina Bowden and anchor Garrett Locklear.

“I remember we lost a few important seniors to December graduation,” said Dr. Litty, who is also chair of the department and director of broadcasting. “So the incoming student leadership in spring worked really hard to hone their writing, videography and post-production skills. 

“I’m proud of them and all the students who worked behind the scenes during the live mix in the TV studio on Wednesday mornings,” she said.

Engineering for Carolina News Today (and other studio or remote productions) is provided by George Johnson, assistant director of broadcasting.

Dr. Hutchens’ project was shot entirely on the department’s new Panasonic P2 camera which records true 1080i high-definition video and features solid-state recording technology and other state-of-the-art features. The project was authored on DVD, Blu-ray and online formats and is currently featured on the Department of Mass Communication website at

“Whenever possible, I enjoy shooting in a cinematic style with a shallow depth of field,” said Dr. Hutchens. “The P2 camera records absolutely gorgeous HD images, and I was simply amazed at how great that visual style was enhanced by the camera’s resolution.

“By incorporating the project into classroom experiences, I was able to utilize the help of students to produce it, which turned out to be a great learning experience for them,” he said.  “We ended up with a really solid, professional product, and the students learned a ton about the latest technological trends in the field of single-camera production.”

For more information on the Bachelor of Science in mass communication, and the minors offered in the department, visit

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