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Two Broadcast Students Win Hearst Television Features Awards


This week, the Hearst Journalism Awards Program announced the winners of the 2017-18 Hearst Television Features Competition. Two BYU broadcast journalism students were named amongst the finalists.

News media students, Jessica Coombs (BA, News Media ’18) and Aley Davis (BA, News Media ’17), were both named as Top 10 winners. Coombs received fifth place, an $1,000 award and qualifies for the semi-final round and Davis came in at tenth place and received a distinguished certificate.

This year’s national competition received 94 entries from 53 schools and “Brigham Young University is in first place in the intercollegiate broadcast competition with the highest accumulated student points from the first television competition.” In essence, out of all the colleges who had finalists in the competition, BYU had the most students place. The top five winning schools receive matching grants.

“I’m honored to have received the recognition,” said  Davis. “But I feel this accolade really reflects more on the superiority and excellence of the university, in particular the broadcast journalism program. All throughout my education at BYU, I had professors who took a real personal interest in brainstorming story ideas, practicing filming and editing techniques and refining scripts with me.

“On several occasions, my professors would answer a text or phone call after school hours while I was in the field working. I attribute this success to their selfless service and sincere desire to help students achieve greatness. Alan Neves and Othello Richards coached me through both submission pieces. I’m so grateful for their guidance. I owe my experience at BYU to the opportunities I’ve had post graduation.”

Now that Davis has graduated, she is currently producing a television show for BYUtv titled “The Story Trek.” The theory of the show is that everyone has a story. Davis and her colleagues throw a dart on a map, travel to that state, and tell the story of the first person who answers the door.

“It’s a thrilling and rewarding career that leaves me feeling creative and happy,” said Davis. “I love knowing I can provide a platform for someone who doesn’t have the voice to tell their own story. Ultimately, I would love to produce full length documentaries; some stories just deserve a little more time.”

To watch Coombs’ and Davis’ submissions for the competition, view the links below:

Aley Davis: Goga and Packing Heat Through Airport Security

Jessica Coombs: Giant Pumpkin Drop Charity A Smashing Success