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Student Wins National PSA Contest

December 14, 2008

A student in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has placed first in a national public service announcement contest that spotlights the importance of free speech.

Junior Christie Roshau’s 30-second television spot was honored by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, the McCormick Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association.

Roshau’s PSA was selected from 55 entries, several of which were submitted by student teams rather than individuals. Graduate and undergraduate college students from across the country were judged on originality of style, artistic vision and novel presentation as well as innovative use of graphics, animation and special effects.

Roshau enlisted the help of friends who played drums and danced on the 30-second spot.

“What I wanted to show is that our actions—how we live our life, how we treat others, how we interact with those around us, what we are passionate about, what we do with our lives—speak louder than words,” she said. “Freedom of speech is more than saying what we believe, it’s living for what we believe in.”

Judges from the sponsoring organizations and television and radio stations were impressed with Roshau’s “seamless and effective integration of pictures, sound and music as well as the originality of its concept that free speech is more than just words,” said Paula Edgerton, project manager of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Mike Wong, the Cronkite School’s director of Career Services, said the work showcased Roshau’s “skills and creativity in producing a visual message on the all-important topic of freedom of speech. Christie produced this PSA under deadline pressure. She conceptualized it, wrote it, shot it and edited it.”

Six PSAs were honored in radio and television categories and will be made available to radio and television stations throughout the country. As the first-place television winner, Roshau was awarded $3,000.

National Freedom of Speech Week was recognized Oct. 20–26.