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Medill students nominated for prestigious award from producers of Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards

Northwestern News Report, SportsNight and Medill documentary students received recognition last week with nominations for a NATAS Student Achievement Award from the Television Academy, the producers of the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards. Northwestern students have received nominations and awards in the competition in past years and this year appears to be no exception.

Five documentary films, produced by both undergraduate and graduate students, were nominated for the awards in the long-form fiction and non-fiction production category. 

“I am thrilled to see five Medill documentaries, made in my short 10-week documentary class, get nominated," Assistant Professor Brent Huffman said. "When the Day Breaks," one of the entries nominated from Medill in the Long Form (Fiction and Nonfiction) category, was created during Huffman's spring quarter documentary class.

"It is very gratifying to see the hard work of these young ambitious first-time filmmakers get recognized like this,” he said.

Along with recognition in the documentary category, Northwestern News Network (NNN), Northwestern’s premier student television and sports broadcast, also received nominations. 

This year, the categories for the awards were changed to no longer include a sports newscast, but NNN SportsNight received a nomination along with NNN’s regular news report in the newscast category. 

Sports director and producer Netta-Lee Lax (BSJ14) was initially nervous about this year’s change in categories. 

“Of the eight entries [in the College Student Production - Newscast category], we are one of five nominations and the only sportscast on the list,” she said. “It is really validating and redeeming to know that others have honored and respected our work in the same way that they respect the news.”

Along with SportsNight’s nomination, Medill student Harry Swartout (BSJ14) received a nomination in the individual college student production category. For his series, Swartout looked into Northwestern’s 43 club sports teams and provided a snapshot of “their passion and commitment to their sport.”

“As for my chances at winning, I don't know much about the other nominees, but I feel confident in the amount of hard work and time I put into my series," Swartout said. "Here's to hoping."

Larry Stuelpnagel, faculty adviser to NNN, said the nominations are well deserved.

"The NNN and SportsNight teams are some of the hardest working, talented students I've ever worked with," he said. "We are up against some tough competition, but these students are all winners to me."

The winners will be announced on November 18.