West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism students are competing with some of the most prestigious journalism schools in the country and coming out on top.

This month, the Schools student-produced newscast,WVU News,placed among the top three universities and colleges nationwide for the Best Television Newscast category in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)2008 Mark of Excellence Awards.The students advanced to the national competition after winning the Region 4 competition last month.

Gina Martino Dahlia , broadcast news chair and teaching assistant professor, oversees production of the newscast but said the award is well deserved by all who were involved.

Winning this prestigious award is a huge honor for the School of Journalism,said Dahlia.Being a national finalist in this competition is a true testament to the quality of our students and faculty. I am so proud of the students and their hard work and dedication in making the newscast so successful.

Led by Professor Dahlia, senior broadcast students report, write, shoot, produce and edit stories for the newscast; serve as on-air anchors and reporters; and work as the technical crew during newscast tapings. The newscast airs statewide on West Virginia Public Television and on Time Warner Cable in North Central West Virginia. It is available for download at http://iTunes.wvu.edu/.

The winners of the2008 Mark of Excellence Awardswill be announced Friday, Aug. 28, at the Mark of Excellence Luncheon during the 2009 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.

In addition to the national SPJ award, School of Journalism students were recently recognized for their work on a web-based multimedia project.

West Virginia Uncovered: Multimedia Journalism from the Mountainswon third place in the Journalism category of The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC)Best of the Web 2009competition.

Assistant Professor John Temple and a small team of students launchedWest Virginia Uncoveredin fall 2008 to help small rural, newspapers enhance their websites with new multimedia content. Students and faculty produce video, audio and text stories for the newspapersWeb sites and train reporters and staff how to produce and deliver their own content. The multimedia pieces are available on the project Web site at

http://wvuncovered.wvu.edu/ .