Written by Maggie Samples // Photo provided by Ethan Conn
The spring 2023 HU16 staff won a Student Emmy from the Mid-America Foundation for their coverage of the fall 2022 election, and the studio was nominated for Emmys in College Long Form Nonfiction and College Sports Program.
The show was directed by senior Kendall Moshinsky and produced by senior Ethan Conn. Harding alumna Morgan Wrigley and senior Carter Thweatt were anchors for the show with senior Mattie Powers reporting live from the White County extension office. Approximately a dozen people were a part of the behind-the-scenes crew.
Associate professor of communication at the University of Arkansas Dr. Ginger Blackstone was the faculty adviser for the show during her time at Harding.
“You don’t know who’s going to win,” Blackstone said. “You don’t know what the numbers are at a time. So, you have to use student anchors who are good to talk without teleprompter, which is not easy to do. So that was challenging on their part … All of the students contributed to the success of that night and they all deserve recognition for it.”
Brandon Emlaw graduated in 2018 but came back to Harding to provide the graphics system used for the show. Blackstone said she was appreciative of his work and production manager Mark Prior’s work on HU16.
Thweatt said he was shocked when he heard about the win.
“It had been months since the broadcast, and I’d forgotten they were coming up,” Thweatt said. “It was a really cool moment when I heard.”
Thweatt said the show went smoothly and it was due to the efforts of the full crew.
“Only five of us were on-air, but I’d say 20 to 30 people worked together to make the show a success,” Thweatt said.
Wrigley learned about the Emmy win by text and said she wasn’t surprised by the win because of the hard work the crew had put into the show. She said the HU16 team had opportunities like producing an Emmy-award-winning show because professors invested in them. Wrigley said she appreciated the chance HU16 gave her to work with students who were passionate about journalism and professors who believed in the abilities of the students.
“Not every school gives students the opportunity to work on a live newscast every day,” Wrigley said. “I don’t think there’s a class I could have taken that would replace what I learned from that hands-on experience.”