Aug 18, 2020

College of the Ozarks student newscast, “The Point,” recognized nationally

College of the Ozarks student newscast, “The Point,” recognized nationally
College of the Ozarks student newscast, “The Point,” recognized nationally

Students garner awards from Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Society of Professional Journalists


POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — The College of the Ozarks student-produced newscast, “The Point,” received awards from the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in its college media competition. The students of “The Point” also received national recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists this summer.

Erin Hayes, professor of the practice of journalism and media, is the advisor for “The Point.”

“Our broadcast news students continue to prove that hard work, a dedication to truth, and a sincere desire to excel result in excellent work,” Hayes said. “The fact that judges at the regional and national levels, year after year, award their efforts is a testament to our students' talent and determination. I am very proud of them and grateful to the College for providing the resources our students need to do their very best work.” 

Society of Professional Journalists

Students were recognized this summer at the national level by the Society of Professional Journalists, which has announced the national winners of the 2019 Mark of Excellence Awards. These awards recognize collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2019. The awards honor the best in student journalism. As such, judges were directed to choose only those entries which they felt were outstanding work, worthy of a national honor. If the judges determined that none of the entries rose to the level of excellence, no award was given.

The following award was announced for College of the Ozarks students:

Broadcast News Videography – National Finalist: “Bobcat Thunder,” by Nathaniel Snipes, Ben Johnson, Caleb Brubaker, and Matthew Weathermon, junior public relations major from Marionville, Missouri.

"Bobcat Thunder" was a regional SPJ winner, which advanced it to the national level.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its roughly 6,000 members, works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development, and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.

Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS)

The Mid-America Chapter of NATAS works to encourage excellence in the television community by providing and developing leadership, by building community in television through camaraderie, and by providing networking opportunities, education, and resources. Mid-America NATAS is the gatekeeper of the prestigious regional EMMY® Awards. Mid-America represents the most experienced and talented television professionals from all disciplines of the industry.  

Awards earned by “The Point” included two Pillars of Excellence and five Honorable Mentions.

Pillar of Excellence

Newswriting:  Avery Reed, junior journalism major from Belleville, Illinois

Photography:  "Bobcat Thunder," Benjamin Johnson, senior journalism major from Fayetteville, Arkansas; Nathaniel Snipes, senior nutrition and dietetics major from Rogers, Arkansas; and Caleb Brubaker, senior journalism major from St. James, Missouri

Honorable Mention

General Assignment Light News: “Tunnels,” Benjamin Johnson, Nathaniel Snipes

General Assignment Light News: “Bobcat Thunder,” Benjamin Johnson, Nathaniel Snipes, Caleb Brubaker

Craft - Editor:  Ethan Harrison, senior video production major from Mountain Grove, Missouri

Photography:  Ethan Harrison

Photography: “Welcome to College,” the photojournalists of “The Point”

More about “The Point”

“The Point” Broadcast Newsroom was established in 2015. It is a College of the Ozarks workstation, and its students produce weekly newscasts and sportscasts covering stories of significance to the C of O community. “The Point” students were also honored with awards from the Missouri Broadcast Educators Association and the Society of Professional Journalists earlier this year. For more information, visit

Hayes is an award-winning journalist and former ABC news correspondent. In 2017, she was inducted into The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle. She is a four-time recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award and a winner of the National Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting. She received the National Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards, and was recognized for her work during ABC News’ coverage of 9/11.