WTV Daily Update receives national honor


Anchoring the WTV Daily Update, senior and executive producer Neha Perumalla and the rest of the broadcast team, along with several individual students were honored with national recognition by the National Scholastic Press Association.

The WTV Daily Update was named one of 15 Pacemaker Finalists on Tuesday by the National Scholastic Press Association in its broadcast news competition.

These were exceptional newscasts start to finish,” NSPA Executive Director Laura Widmer said in a news release. “The Pacemaker-winning entries stood out for their quality, not only in the production, but in the stories being told, the writing, editing and hosting, and the willingness to tackle controversial topics.”

Brooke Colombo
WTV Daily Update Producer Wade Glover gets ready to anchor as WTV Special Projects Producer Marisa Uddin monitors the camera.

Five schools in Texas were named finalists, with WTV the only broadcast in FISD to earn the 2107 distinction.

“I think it’s a validation of all the work students have put in,” adviser Brian Higgins said. “Not only do we try to put out a good product for students and staff to get information, but it’s awesome that people well beyond our school recognize the quality of work that our broadcast journalism students are doing.”

Entries to the competition had to submit three broadcast news the 2016-2017 school year with former WTV executive producer and current UNT student Maddie Owens appreciative of the recognition.

“It’s a nice reminder of what I accomplished with my friends in high school and it shows that hard work does pay off, even if it is a delayed reward,” Owens said. “A lot of what we did last year seemed under recognized by a lot of people, but it’s awesome to see WTV being recognized by an organization like NSPA. WTV has evolved into a more real-world news show and people seem to notice that.”

The program has undergone various changes since Higgins became the advisor at the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

“WTV has only been here for two, almost three, years and to have accomplished this much really shows the perseverance and constant dedication that we give to the daily update on a daily basis,” WTV Executive Producer Neha Perumalla said. “It’s really stressful, but the fact that we still manage to get everything done and have our daily updates be [nominated] is really amazing.”

Keegan Williams
Former WTV Executive Producer Maddie Owens interviews Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President Charlotte Jones Anderson on the field at the Ford Center.

Since the program’s Redhawk TV days, the broadcast has changed from a weekly show to a daily show.

“[It takes] a lot of effort involving being here early in the morning, staying late, coming in for tutorials, and making sure we got what we need to get done, and it looks like it’s starting to pay off,” WTV Daily Update Producer Wade Glover said. “Obviously, making the daily update is fun, and as an aspiring broadcast journalist, the class itself is fun, but winning an award for all of the hard work and effort that you put into it just makes the outcome that much better.”

The eight Pacemaker winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Dallas Nov. 16-19.

“Winning this award will really encourage WTV to keep striving for greatness in the future,” Perumalla said. “Being a finalist is really amazing, but to be one of the eight winners will really show how WTV has been diligently producing informative stories.”