Recognizing local on-air, off-air talent at third annual BASH awards

High school television broadcast programs across the North Fork scored big at this year’s Broadcast Awards for Senior High.

Nearly 400 high school journalists, teachers and administrators from Suffolk and Nassau counties filled the Sidney Gelber Auditorium at Stony Brook University May 3, as the Southold School District hosted its third annual BASH ceremony.

The event was created in 2017 by Southold faculty who wanted to recognize talented high school broadcast journalists on Long Island. Nine schools and 180 participants attended the inaugural awards, which were held at Southold High School.

The program has expanded since; 22 schools across Long Island were represented at this year’s event, sponsored by Newsday and Stony Brook’s journalism school. 

“It was Southold where BASH started, and we realized early on that this would grow,” Greenport and Southold Superintendent David Gamberg said during opening remarks. “I want you all to pause for a moment and think about the value that you bring to your learning communities. The idea of journalism … is very important, but so is celebration.” 

Before the awards were announced, eight industry professionals representing various media platforms led a series of breakout sessions about their paths in journalism. Some of them, Mr. Gamberg said, made up the panel that judged the submitted videos.

This year’s speakers were Jonathan Anzalone, a Stony Brook University lecturer and assistant director at its Center for News Literacy; Newsday photographer Randee Daddona; Newsday associate managing editor Arnold Miller; Amanda Marzullo Ortiz, a digital content producer at Northwell Health; Spectrum Networks digital producer Frank Posillico; freelance correspondent Tania Rashid; NY1 News associate producer Kayla Shults; and Christopher Vaccaro, vice president of digital news at Altice USA. 

Mattituck High School broadcast students accept the award for most entertaining package presented Friday by Stony Brook University’s associate dean of admissions, Robert Pertusati (right), at the third annual Broadcast Awards for Senior High. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)

Keynote speaker Nicole Young, a producer of CBS’s “60 Minutes,” presented the Emmy Award-winning package she created with correspondent Scott Pelley in 2013 about chemical weapons attacks in Syria, which killed an estimated 1,400 civilians.

“This is one of the stories that encapsulates the dream that I had,” Ms. Young told the crowd. “I wanted to change the world and report on people who wouldn’t have otherwise had a voice unless Scott and I were there.”

Greenport High School received third place for Best Opening Segment, second place for Best Public Service Announcement, second place in Newsday’s nextLI Video Contest and first place for best broadcast.

The winning broadcast went behind the scenes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Hamilton” after 70 Greenport students attended a matinee performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City in December 2018.  Eleventh grade English and American history students received a Hamilton-related study guide for their coursework. The same broadcast included features on the Greenport Fire Department and the varsity basketball team.

Students in the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s broadcast program earned first place for Most Entertaining Package — a video of their team dancing through the school to “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins. Senior Lucas Kosmynka won first place for Best Public Service announcement for his suicide awareness video, “You Matter.”

This year’s master of ceremonies was Southold senior and SoHo TV News producer Anakin Mignone. He snagged a first-place award for a package about integrating English language learners into the Southold community. SoHo TV News also nailed down second-place awards for Best Anchor Team and Best Community News Package.

Southold senior Olivia Daddona, whose mother has led breakout sessions at each BASH event, said it’s fun watching her mother present to other students.

“Now that we’re more involved in the program, it’s incredible to be able to follow her and see how she presents to other groups,” Olivia said.

Anakin said BASH gives students the opportunity to learn from their peers.

“To see everyone else’s programs, to see where they’re at and what I can learn from them and their work, is the most interesting part of it all,” he said after the ceremony.

Top photo caption: Southold High School senior and SoHo TV producer Anakin Mignone gives opening remarks Friday to roughly 400 students, teachers and administrators at the third annual Broadcast Awards for Senior High at Stony Brook University. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)

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