BEA Festival

Cronkite students garner 23 awards in BEA Festival of Media Arts competition

Friday, Feb. 16, 2024


Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication took 23 awards, including five first place finishes, at the 2024 Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) Festival of Media Arts contest.

The Cronkite School also won two Best of Festival awards, the highest honors awarded by BEA, and Cronkite News was named the best Television Newscast (4/5 days per week) for the fourth straight year. 

The BEA Festival of Media Arts contest is known as the preeminent international media competition focused on student and faculty creative endeavors in categories such as audio, documentary, film & video, interactive media & emerging technologies, news, scriptwriting and sports.

The Cronkite School has ranked as the top overall program since the BEA started ranking schools in 2022 based on the creative achievements of their students. That top ranking is based on the results from the past five years of the BEA Festival of Media Arts contest.

“Our Cronkite students continue to produce exemplary work that allows them to stand out as some of the best student journalists in the country,” said Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. “Congratulations to our students for their strong showing in this prestigious contest.”

This year’s tally included 16 undergraduate awards, five graduate student prizes and two faculty honors. Cronkite students received recognition for podcasts, newscasts, multimedia, hard news, feature and sports stories for television and radio.

Amber Victoria Singer racked up four awards, including a Best of Festival prize in the Student News Competition for her story “Protesters march at Arizona Capitol against anti-queer bills.” The story also took first place in the Radio Hard News Reporting Category.

She also received a first place prize for her story “Volunteers throw mud to preserve an ancient artifact at Pueblo Grande Museum Archaeological Park,” as well an Award of Excellence in the Radio Feature Category for her story “Ken Koshio marks three years of hiking Piestewa Peak every day.”

Among other undergraduate first place winners, Pratham Dalal, Sivan Plotkin & Janaé Bradford won the top prize for the Cronkite News broadcast from Oct. 23, 2023, and Daniel Stipanovich took the top honor in the Video Story/Feature (short) Category for “Playing Polo.”

In graduate student awards, Cronkite alum Chrystal Stone won the top prize in “Graduate Sports Competition” for “Video Sports Talent Anchor/Host.” 

“Cronkite students continue to knock it out of the park. These awards are a recognition of their hard work and incredible talent. They are also a credit to our tremendous faculty, whose tireless efforts and dedication to our students helps them learn, grow, and develop every day,” said Cronkite School Assistant Dean and Professor of Practice Brett Kurland.

Cronkite Assistant Teaching Professor Rodmanned Nikpour received two high honors: “Best of Festival” and “Best of Competition.” Both awards were in the Faculty Audio Competition for “1997: PaRappa the Rapper.”

Former national media personality and Cronkite alumnus Ian Punnett, who passed away last year, was recognized during the awards announcement for winning three prizes as a faculty member at Kansas State University. Punnett graduated from the Cronkite School with his Ph.D in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2017. 


Student News Competition

Best of Festival: Protesters march at Arizona Capitol against anti-queer bills; Amber Victoria Singer
(Radio Hard News Reporting Category)

Radio Feature Category:

Award of Excellence: Ken Koshio marks three years of hiking Piestewa Peak every day; Amber Victoria Singer

Radio Hard News Reporting Category:

First Place: Protesters march at Arizona Capitol against anti-queer bills; Amber Victoria Singer

Television Hard News Category:

Second place: Relocating Rattlesnakes; Tabitha Bland

Television Short Feature Category:

Award of Excellence: Outrigger Connections; Tabitha Bland

Television Newscast (4/5 days per week):

First Place: Cronkite News – October 23, 2023; Pratham Dalal, Sivan Plotkin & Janaé Bradford

Television News Magazine Category:

Second Place: Super Bowl Countdown; Trey Jordan, Ashley Engle & Jonah Krell

Award of Excellence: Cronkite News: Arizona’s Oasis; Zachary Davis & Sivan Plotkin

Student Sports Competition

Video Story/Feature (short) Category:

First Place: Playing Polo; Daniel Stipanovich

Video Sports Story/Feature (long) Category:

Third Place: The Anthony Robles Story; Noelle Blumel

Video Sports Talent (Anchor/Host):

Award of Excellence: Best of Noelle Blumel; Noelle Blumel

Video Sports News Program Category:

Award of Excellence: Cronkite Sports Friday Edition; Nick Borgia, Jimmye Jordan, Matt Venzia & Noelle Blumel

Award of Excellence: Super Bowl Special; Nick Borgia, Jimmye Jordan & Anthony Remedios

Student Audio Competition

Educational Program Category:

First Place: Volunteers throw mud to preserve an ancient artifact at Pueblo Grande Museum Archaeological Park; Amber Victoria Singer

Specialty Program & Podcasts Category:

Awards of Excellence: Inside Objectivity; Autriya Maneshni

Student Interactive Media & Emerging Technologies Competition

Multimedia Storytelling Category:

Second Place: No More Silence; Sierra Alvarez & Logan Camden

Graduate Audio Competition

Second Place: Arizona proposes paying parent caregivers of children with disabilities; Deanna Pistono

Graduate Documentary Competition

Award of Excellence: Finding Grandma Joyce; Samantha Chow

Graduate News Competition

Second Place: How the U.S. Forest Service is using prescribed burns to protect the Kaibab National Forest; Kiersten Edgett (Radio Hard News Reporting Category) 

Award of Excellence: “We all just evaporate”: Extreme heat overwhelms Phoenix’s unhoused community; Deanna Pistono (Radio Hard News Reporting Category) 

Graduate Sports Competition

First Place: Best of Chrystal Stone; Chrystal Stone (Video Sports Talent Anchor/Host) 

Faculty Audio Competition

Best of Festival: 1997: PaRappa the Rapper; Rodmanned Nikpour (Long-Form Production Category)

Long-Form Production Category:

Best of Competition: 1997: PaRappa the Rapper; Rodmanned Nikpour