LCU convergence media students earn regional, national recognition

By Dr. Elizabeth Clarke,

Pineville, LA (LCU News) – Louisiana Christian University convergence media students took home top awards in two recent competitions—Society of Professional Journalists Diamond Awards and the National Religious Broadcasters intercollegiate competition. While this year’s awards were held virtually, COVID-19 didn’t stop the incredible work produced in 2020 by LCU students in journalism and media production.

Society of Professional Journalists Diamond Awards is a regional competition sponsored annually by the Arkansas Pro Chapter and recognizes journalism excellence in Arkansas and the six neighboring states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. The 2021 Diamond Journalism Awards honored work published or broadcast in 2020 and drew a record 393 entries in 75 categories. Members of the Cincinnati Pro Chapter of SPJ served as judges.

LCU students took home the two top spots in editorial writing and first in video features, as well.

Student division:


1st: “Good Journalism is Incorruptible,” Alena Noakes, Wildcats Media

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: Great work! MENTAL HEALTH AND THE MODERN CHURCH in particular was superb. Columnists should confront controversial and important topics head on to help the public better empathize and care. You did just that. Thanks for the great read.

2nd: “What the Democratic Party should learn from the 2020 election,” Joel Thompson, Wildcats Media

Video Features

1st: “LCU alum becomes award-winning artist,” Aaron Quartemont, Wildcats Media

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: This is nice story about a man’s life challenges and the opportunity’s they present. It’s nicely written to reveal the change from unemployment to artist. As the student grows in news video production, there will be an expectation of including more video to help tell the story. But, this effort is a good starting point.

Professional Division:

Community Journalism—Print/Online

3rd: “LCU art alumnus turns unemployment into winning artwork in 2020,” Elizabeth Clarke, Louisiana Christian University

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: Lovely story about a family who made lemonade out of the lemons that the COVID-19 crisis handed them. Nicely written and well sourced.

In this year’s National Religious Broadcasters student competition, students won eight awards in radio, television news and film categories. Convergence media students have competed in this competition for the past 12 years in 15 categories and three 24-hour challenges.

iNRB is the student division of National Religious Broadcasters, created to foster a vocational path for students to network with industry leaders in a national forum. Members schools from all over the United States meet for competition and educational seminars in industry specific topics.

Award winners are:

TV Promo
2nd, Jerry Clark
Theatre Louisiana Christian University

Short Form Radio Story
1st, Alena Noakes, Cafe Du Monde

Radio News Talk Show
1st, Jerry Clark
LCU moves to NAIA

2nd, Alena Noakes, Layne Frost and Darrell Brown
KZLCU Tuesday Sports Talk

TV Newscast
2nd, Alena Noakes, Aaron Quartemont and Charlie Pamplin
Wildcat Chat

3rd, Kylie Cornelison and Charlie Pamplin
Wildcat Minute

Live Non-Studio Multi Camera
1st, Alena Noakes and Thomas Hodge
Christ, Church, Culture Conference

24-Hour Film Challenge
2nd, Jerry Clark, Charlie Pamplin and Parker Hebert
“On the Altar”

“This year had its own challenges in that all pieces were submitted virtually,” said Jeff Young, associate professor of media production. “I am very proud of the students’ creativity and tenacity in submitting eight different pieces that won in this competition. The obstacles were great with the pandemic ever-looming over them, but they continued to produce excellent pieces in radio, news and film.”

This is the first year LCU has placed in the film challenge category.