Student media outlets receive national distinctions

Luis Gonzalez, Ed Julbe, and Amanda Fuentes in the SportsDesk studio with their College Television Awards. Photo courtesy School of Communication News

By UM News

Luis Gonzalez, Ed Julbe, and Amanda Fuentes in the SportsDesk studio with their College Television Awards. Photo courtesy School of Communication News

Student media outlets receive national distinctions

By UM News
UMTV’s SportsDesk secured its first College Television Award, while Ibis yearbook and Distraction magazine brought home six awards from two national conferences.

Three of the University of Miami’s campus student media outlets have received numerous accolades from national organizations this March, including SportsDesk, UMTV’s 30-minute live show focusing on UM athletics, which received its first College Television Award (CTA) from the Television Academy Foundation in Los Angeles.

UMTV, Ibis yearbook and Distraction magazine (both print and online), overseen by the School of Communication, received a total of seven awards.

SportsDesk was one of 25 nominees selected out of 600 submissions from 174 colleges across the United States. NewsVision, UMTV’s live bi-weekly news show, was also nominated. The Television Academy Foundation is responsible for producing the Emmys and coordinates the CTAs to recognize student productions and to foster networking and career opportunities. This year was the 39th Annual College Television Awards competition. SportsDesk is only one of nine shows that received a prestigious CTA this year.

Competing in the Sports category, SportsDesk was up against Molloy College and the University of Oklahoma, but won with an episode that showcased various storylines, strong reporting, and on-location shots. The winning episode aired in April 2018, but took months to prepare.

The winning episode featured a segment on then-UM baseball coach Jim Morris’ last season, an interview with pitcher Evan McKendry, a story on a UM cheerleader who has multiple sclerosis, and a feature on a local high school football player who has experienced a great deal of tragedy in his life. The episode also featured an exclusive one-on-one interview with Sarah Barnes, who had just begun her tenure as the head coach of the UM women’s soccer team. Aside from strong interviews and impactful stories, SportsDesk was also recognized by the academy for its production.

“When the Academy first saw the show they said it felt welcoming and it felt like we were a part of the show. They said it really gave them a perspective of this is the news this week at the University of Miami. And that’s what you want to do as producers,” said Luis Gonzalez, executive producer for SportsDesk and a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and with a minor in sports administration.

Ibis and Distraction staff
Students from both the Ibis yearbook and Distraction magazine staffs with adviser Randy Stano.


In New York City, the Ibis, Distraction print issue, and Distraction online site were honored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) at the Spring National College Media Convention 2019 with Gold Crown awards. The Gold Crown is the highest honor that the CSPA bestows on a student publication.

The Ibis has been a Crown winner 15 times over the past 16 years, with 11 of the awards being a Gold winner.

“This is an outstanding honor for the Ibis staff to be the only Gold Crown winner for the 2019 collegiate competition from CSPA,” said Randy Stano, editorial adviser for both Ibis and Distraction. “The hard work, long hours and dedication to the Ibis and UM is recognized by one of the top collegiate press associations.”

Distraction and its website received a hybrid Gold Crown in the Print/Online/Digital General Magazine category. This award was given to the publication for its 2017-2018 editions edited by Marissa Vonesh. Distraction and have consistently won Crown awards over the last decade, winning seven gold and three silver.

At the same conference, the Ibis won two Apple Awards.

In the beginning of March at the ACP/CMBAM Midwinter National College Journalism Convention in La Jolla, California, the 2018 Ibis won Best of Show in the Yearbook Category, and the winter issue of Distraction placed second in the feature magazine Best of Show Category.

In total, the two publications earned two Gold Crowns, one Best of Show, a second place for Best of Show, and two Apples between two national conferences.

- Reporting by Karina Valdes, Makayla Manning and School of Communication News.