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"WVU News" wins yet another regional Emmy Award

Production Room Tolu Olasoji and Makenna Leisifer produce a taping of "WVU News" from the control room at WVU's television studio. (Photo by David Smith)

For the second year in a row, "WVU News," the Reed College of Media’s student-produced television newscast, clinched a prestigious regional Emmy Award. The special edition episode, "Addiction in America: An Ongoing Epidemic,” won in the Newscast category. It was produced by Makenna Leisifer (BSJ, 2023) and Tolu Olasoji (MSJ, 2023) with main anchors Maggie Oliverio (BSJ, 2023) and Kathryn Bruch, a current journalism senior.

Each year, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement in video production at the collegiate level in 19 regions across the country, including the Ohio Valley Chapter of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. This year’s winners were announced during a virtual ceremony on Sunday, Sep.17.

“This award means a lot to me because it recognizes the hard work we put into it,” Olasoji said. “I appreciate the support of our reporters, studio crew and executive producers who worked together with us to bring these stories to life. I also want to give a huge thank you to the people whose stories were told. Our goal was to shine a light on a growing crisis – addiction in America – and we did it together.”

“WVU News” is part of the Advanced Television Reporting and Producing course taught by Teaching Professor and Assistant Dean Gina Dahlia and Teaching Assistant Professor Ashton Marra, who serve as the program’s executive producers. The newscast airs via several partnerships, including KDKA-TV's website, a top 25 TV market; on West Virginia Public Broadcasting; on the website of HD Media, the publisher of the seven statewide newspapers; and on the City of Morgantown’s Public Access Channel, channel 14.

Spring 2023 WVU News team Spring 2023 "WVU News" crew (Photo by David Smith)

“WVU News” reporters cover events on the University campus and in the Morgantown community. Students report, write, shoot and edit television news stories for the program. They also serve as on-air anchors, producers, directors and technical crew during newscast tapings at WVU’s television studio.

“The students are really thrown into live news production through this course,” Dahlia said. “It’s tough, demanding work that requires a lot of time outside of regular class hours, and they always rise to the challenge. I’m really proud of them and excited to add another Emmy to our College trophy case.”

Since 2015, “WVU News” has received more than 100 national, international and regional juried awards. “WVU News” was a national Emmy top-three finalist in 2012 and 2017 and received an Emmy first place national win in 2015.

This latest winning episode, along with other past episodes of “WVU News,” may be viewed at