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Emmy-esque excitement

Journalism students’ inside look at Des Moines Buccaneers hockey team wins National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences award

No paparazzi were present, but the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Upper Midwest awards were still a moment for Drake journalism students to shine. The Drake student-produced “Beyond the Blue Line” program was awarded a Regional Student Television Award for Excellence in the Long Form (fiction or nonfiction) category. 

“Beyond the Blue Line” follows three Des Moines Buccaneers hockey players as they balance their school, social and sports lives. The 30-minute program topped a category that featured nominations from St. Cloud State University, Buena Vista University and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The award was presented to members of Professor Todd Evans’ fall 2010 Producing Television Sports class on August 20 at the first-ever Upper Midwest Student Television Awards for Excellence in Minneapolis. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences also awards national and local Emmy Awards. This award is the student equivalent.

“I anticipated the program would be competitive, but you never know how much so until the awards are announced,” Evans says.“The national recognition reflects the dedication of those students and their abilities as video storytellers.”

Drake students Rebecca Altenhofen (executive producer) and Rachel Yancey (line producer) attended the ceremony and accepted the award on the class’ behalf. Maggie Sutton (associate producer), Lauren Staller (editor), and Eamonn Cogan (lead videographer) were also recognized.

“It became clear that these five members of the class were wholly committed to making ‘Beyond the Blue Line’ the best program they were capable of,” Evans says. “They pushed themselves way beyond their comfort zone, they pushed me, and they pushed the limits of our technology.”

Follow the “Beyond the Blue Line” conversation on Facebook.

“Beyond the Blue Line” was the second long-form pilot sports program created by Professor Evans’ Producing Television Sports class. In 2009, members of his class produced “Pound for Pound,” which focused on high school wrestling and won both Telly and Communicator Awards. Currently, this year’s students are working on “Blood, Sweat and Wheels,” which features amateur longboarding, roller derby and Muey Thai.

This is the fourth time a Drake student television program has been awarded a NATAS Award. Drake’s Electronic Media capstone DrakeLINE won best newscast in 1993, and two other individually produced programs also won awards in 1994. DrakeLINE was also nominated for best newscast this year.