Student team from Ithaca College's Newswatch 16 earns NYS broadcaster award for pothole piece

June 17, 2014 by Mark H. Anbinder

"Ithaca is Potholes," a Newswatch 16 piece produced by Ithaca College students this winter, caught the eye because it touched a topic everyone cares about, and it had a cute title, but it was more than that -- it was good journalism. The New York State Associated Press Association agrees; the ICTV piece on Ithaca's seasonal road complaint won Best News Story in the College Television category at NYSAPA's annual awards banquet in Saratoga Springs on Saturday.

Ithaca College graduate Alexandra Leslie reporting "Ithaca is Potholes," the NYSAPA Best News Story award winner. Image courtesy ICTV.Ithaca College graduate Alexandra Leslie reporting "Ithaca is Potholes," the NYSAPA Best News Story award winner. Image courtesy ICTV."Our team of producers and reporters work very hard to produce quality news reports that keep the community informed," says Chris Wheatley, manager of TV and Radio Operations at Ithaca College and the advisor for ICTV, WICB, and VIC Radio. "This piece had all the elements of a quality report," he says. "It was well shot, with interesting camera angles to illustrate the problem; it was well researched, and professionally reported."

The award was given to Newswatch 16, naming Alexandra Leslie, Dylan Lyons, and Sally Young as the recipients. "Alex and Dylan graduated from Ithaca in May. Both are talented journalists who are currently pursuing jobs," Wheatley tells us. "Sally will be a senior in the fall, and serves as News Director for ICTV." Carried locally on Ithaca's Time Warner Cable channel 16, Newswatch 16 offers a newscast on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings at 7pm, repeating the broadcast at 10pm, during the academic year.

A car hitting a pothole on West Clinton Street. Photo by Alexandra Leslie, Newswatch 16.A car hitting a pothole on West Clinton Street. Photo by Alexandra Leslie, Newswatch 16.The story focused on a frequent topic of concern in Ithaca in late winter, the area's pothole-ridden roads, with particular attention to a real problem area on West Clinton Street. "You might have noticed that we are in pothole season," City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said in late February, tongue in cheek, encouraging area residents to report potholes on City streets using a form on the City's web site, cityofithaca.org.

"This particular piece took on an issue that affects almost everyone, explained the process that causes potholes, and spoke with the assistant superintendent of public works who explained how the city deals with the problem," Wheatley says. "Our team of producers and reporters work very hard to produce quality news reports that keep the community informed. Winning this award validates all the care and effort that goes into producing Newswatch 16."

The team's "Ithaca is Potholes" piece can be viewed on YouTube.

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