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Election night news show cited for excellence in national and international competitions: WCSU ‘Election Connection’ production receives prestigious honors

image of Anchor desk at 2018 Election ConnectionDANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University 2018 production of the annual election night program “Election Connection” has garnered prestigious recognitions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Interactive Visual Arts.

The Boston/New England chapter of the NATAS chose the WCSU “Election Connection” broadcast as one of three winners earning Honorable Mention for Outstanding University Newscast in this year’s regional competition. The prize citation recognized the contributions of executive producer Dr. JC Barone, professor of Communication and Media Arts; director Samantha Saalborn, of New Fairfield; and student producers Rebecca Burton, of New Milford; Alanna Hill, of Ridgefield; Richard Lee, of New Milford; and Dion White, of Ridgefield.

The AIVA selected the WCSU program as recipient of a 2019 Communicator Award of Distinction for a live video production. The international awards program showcases creative excellence in education, public relations, corporate communications, advertising and broadcasting for productions in video, audio, print, digital and interactive media.

Since its debut in November 2011, “Election Connection” has provided election night coverage of news and results from congressional, state and local contests in western Connecticut, featuring an anchor team of student, faculty and expert commentators and field teams of student reporters at candidate and party headquarters. Thirty-five WCSU students from several academic disciplines participated in the editorial and production crews for the award-winning four-hour program on Nov. 6, 2018. Produced at a studio on the university’s Midtown campus in Danbury, the show aired live on Charter and Comcast Xfinity cable channels and WXCI-91.7 FM and streamed live on the university website.

Barone observed that he created the program “with the purpose of training students and serving the region with balanced news, commentary, analysis and real-time election results.” This year’s honors mark the latest in a series of recognitions for production and editorial excellence over the past eight years that have also included citations from the Telly Awards and the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts.

The ninth annual “Election Connection” edition will feature live coverage of 2019 town and municipal contests as well as analysis of statewide and national electoral issues from 8 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. The election night program and a preview show airing on Tuesday, Oct. 29, will offer multiple viewing, audio and social media platforms on cable networks, radio, YouTube, Facebook and the WCSU website.



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.