Three WUTM FM students win awards in recent Associated Press contest
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"I'm proud of these fine students and especially pleased to see that they did so well in the prestigious AP competition,” said Dr. Robert Nanney, professor and chair of UT Martin’s Department of Communications.
Aimee Bilger, of Martin, WUTM news director and recent broadcasting major graduate, was awarded second place in the Best News Story category. Bilger wrote and aired an in-depth story concerning the proposed elimination of the ROTC program at UT Martin.
MaryLynn Williams, of Franklin, WUTM sports director and senior broadcasting major, was awarded first place in the Best Sports Coverage category. Williams conducted an interview with UT Martin alumnus and legendary women’s basketball coach Lin Dunn.
“MaryLynn may take your spot at ESPN, Andy Katz,” the judges stated. “She is very knowledgeable and thoroughly prepared. She had carefully crafted questions and elicited thoughtful answers from interviewees who could easily slip into automation mode. She artfully handled a fast pace and wide-ranging interview.”
Williams teamed with Matt Borden, WUTM program director and recent graduate, to also win third place in the Best Sports Coverage category. Williams and Borden interviewed NFL Tennessee Titan football player Michael Griffin.
“The three 2014 University of Tennessee at Martin winners displayed creativity and great storytelling. It is always a pleasure to judge the student AP awards to see the best of what our state’s colleges have to offer. I would encourage all up and coming journalists to enter,” said Sandy Boonstra, president of the Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Media Editors and news director for WTVF-TV NewsChannel 5 in Nashville.
Adam Yeoman, AP’s bureau chief for Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi, said, “The AP contest is a great way for students to connect their work with the professionals from whom they may be seeking a job one day, and we’re grateful the students and faculty at UT Martin have helped make the contest a success.”
The Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors represent all AP member broadcasters and newspapers in Tennessee. The organization introduced a competition for college journalism students two years ago to honor their best work and allow professional broadcasters in Tennessee to see some of the state’s top upcoming talent.
“It pleases me that working journalists recognize the great things that our students and WUTM are doing,” Nanney said.