UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The nation’s best collegiate weathercaster, one of its best sportscasters, and three separate award-winning television programs all share a Penn State bond.
The students and the shows were honored as part of the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts, which accepted 1,538 entries for its annual national competition. Honorees will be recognized during the BEA Convention in Las Vegas in late April.
Stefano DiPietro, a meteorology student who graduated in 2015, earned the top individual honor among Penn Staters. He was named top television weathercaster based on his work on the “Centre County Report” — the weekly student-produced newscast that airs on campus also reaches 530,000 households in 29 Pennsylvania counties because of a partnership with WPSU-TV.
DiPietro, from Norristown, Pennsylvania, completed an internship with WTAJ-TV while he was an undergraduate and presently works for WBRE-TV/WYOU-TV in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.
“Centre County Report” itself was honored, finishing second among all television newscasts that air three days a week or less. The Nov. 20, 2015, episode submitted for the competition included a segment about Penn State reaction after the terrorist attacks in Paris, an update about legislation regarding “tourist homes” in State College, information about preparations for a holiday meal for the homeless, and a one-on-one interview with Penn State football coach James Franklin.
A special edition of the show, “Centre County Report in Hong Kong,” finished third in the television news magazine category. Content for that program was generated from a semester-long international reporting course, which included a weeklong trip to Hong Kong.
Likewise, a segment titled “Sexual Assault on Campus: An Ongoing Issue,” finished third in the television hard news reporting category.
An individual honor for Tyler Feldman completed Penn State’s performance. Feldman, a senior broadcast journalism major from Pittsburgh, garnered an honorable mention among television sports talent. He was also co-anchor, along with Lauren Doyle, of the “Centre County Report” episode that earned the third-place finish.