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Pictured, from left, are Chris Leonard, Devin Brooks, Jasmine Crighton, John Benedeck, Baylee Brynteson and Emily Kenney.
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WIU Broadcasting Students Win Nine National Broadcasting Awards

March 6, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University broadcasting students brought home six grand prizes from the National Broadcasting Society (NBS) Convention in Washington D.C. March 3.

WIU students were named finalists in 14 categories, a record for the WIU Department of Broadcasting and Journalism.

Grand prize winners include:

1. Audio Podcast - John Benedeck, a senior broadcasting major from McHenry, IL, for his pilot episode of "Epistemology: The Art of Conversation."

2. Video Sports Play-By-Play: Michael Dion, a sophomore broadcasting major from Kankakee, IL, for "Michael Dion: Western Illinois Versus Eastern Illinois basketball on ESPN3."

3. Video Drama Program: Cora English, a 2017 broadcasting graduate from Bushnell, IL, for "Crazy Mind" - created for her Honors project.

4. Video Promo: Emily Kenney, a junior broadcasting major from Farmington, IL, and Baylee Brynteson, a senior broadcasting major from Woodstock, GA, for "WIU Promo" starring Brynteson, created for University Relations.

5. Video Editing: Kenney and Benedeck for "Perfection Isn't Real," a production created to discuss issues related to body image.

6. Live Sports Production: Danny Frey, a 2017 broadcasting graduate from Springfield, IL, for live production of a WIU Women's Basketball game.

During the convention, Benedeck, Kenney, Benedeck and Jasmine Yates, a junior broadcasting major from Chicago, won the NBS On-the-Spot Competition for Best Promo. 

Benedeck was also inducted into the NBS national honor society, Alpha Epsilon Rho, during a ceremony at the awards show.

Additionally, freshman broadcasting major Devin Brooks was awarded the "Rookie Member of the Year" and WIU Broadcasting Instructor Jasmine Crighton was named "Advisor of the Year," by the NBS.

"I feel very honored to be recognized for my role in the National Broadcasting Society - AERho at Western Illinois University," said Crighton. "I have a great group of very dedicated students, and they make all the difference in what can be accomplished within our NBS chapter. They work hard all year, and it's wonderful to see them recognized on a national level for their efforts."

For more information about the WIU Department of Broadcasting and Journalism, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations