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News22 among top 12 national student newscasts recognized by Society of Professional Journalists

New Mexico State University's KRWG News22 program received two regional first-place Mark of Excellence awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, placing the student newscast among the top 12 student programs in the country honored by SPJ. The win now puts News22 in the running to compete for SPJ's top national award.



New Mexico State University's KRWG News22 program received two regional first-place Mark of Excellence awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, placing the student newscast among the top 12 student programs in the country honored by SPJ. (Courtesy photo)

The News22 staff was honored for news programs aired during 2010 in the four-year College/University category. The group received the 2010 Region 9 Mark of Excellence Award for "Best All-Around Television Newscast" and Angela Hardenburg, News22's current chief photographer and editor, was recognized with a first-place award for "Television Feature Photography."

"It's a great feeling to know our students and their professional work, not a huge budget or a prestigious name, was the reason we received such a huge honor," said News22 Director William Mattiace. "The students amaze me every day so I wasn't too surprised to know they've impressed judges from around the nation."

Mattiace, Hardenburg and News22's current producer Carol Nielson traveled to Salt Lake City April 9, to accept the awards at the SPJ Region 9 Awards Banquet and Journalism Conference. Arts and Sciences Dean Christa Slaton presented the awards to the rest of the News22 crew during a Broadcaster's Club meeting April 20.

The team now is being considered for a national award along with student newscasts from the University of Texas at Austin, University of Toledo, Tennessee State University, University of Florida and Brooklyn College.

National award winners will be announced May 3. If chosen, News22's show will be featured on SPJ's website and the students will travel to New Orleans in the fall to accept the award.

"We're all really excited about the awards," Nielson said. "It really shows the hard work and effort we put into every show and it's now paying off. These awards show how good we've become as a newscast team and it proves we're one of the best student newscasts in the nation. It's something everyone can be really proud of."

SPJ presents the Mark of Excellence Awards annually, honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.

To see News22 online, visit http://www.youtube.com/NEWS22NMSU.