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BECA faculty net prestigious national awards

April 8, 2009 -- Three Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) faculty earned prestigious Best in Competition Awards from the Broadcast Education Association (BEA). Assistant Professors Dina Ibrahim and Jeff Jacoby, and Visiting Professor David Dunaway were winners among a record 878 submissions, and will accept their awards at the BEA annual convention April 22-25.

A photo of Visiting Professor David Dunaway.

Visiting Professor David Dunaway was one of three BECA faculty to win national awards from the Broadcast Education Association.

Ibrahim won Best of Competition in the radio feature news reporting category for her piece, "What About the Arab-American Vote?" which gauged the Arab-American community's response to the 2008 Presidential election in light of negative rumors that Barack Obama could be Muslim. Ibrahim faced stiff competition in a category crowded with stories on the 2008 presidential election. The story ran on "Arab Talk," the show Ibrahim co-produces on KPOO 89.5 FM.

"Nobody had really highlighted the Arab-American community, which was traditionally Republican," said Ibrahim, assistant professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts. "To see so many flip to the Democrat side and be so inspired by Obama and the political process was interesting."

In the faculty audio category, Jeff Jacoby won Best of Competition in the long form production category for "The Traveling Radio Show Goes to San Francisco!" The show takes listeners through an audio tour of San Francisco, capturing the unique parts of the city that fall off the normal tourist path. The Traveling Radio Show began in 1975 as a radio show produced and run by Jacoby and three college friends.

After tweaking the format, Jacoby and friend Tom Hood have recorded eight, one-hour Traveling Radio Show episodes and numerous three-minute "audio postcards," with plans to record at least four more. The program will air on KQED public radio in April.

"In academe, there is no greater award," Jacoby said. "This is the Academy Award of academe. We're really presenting quite a face to the world about BECA and in particular the radio program."

In addition to accepting the award, Jacoby will present the panel, "The Demise of Radio is Greatly Exaggerated," which will discuss the future of radio and how it will be influenced by new technology.

Dunaway is no stranger to the award podium at the BEA Conference. He has won three awards in the past decade, and this year won Best of Competition in the radio documentary category for "Pete Seeger: How Can I Keep From Singing?" The documentary also netted Dunaway the BEA Best of Festival King Foundation Award.

Dunaway, who is Seeger's official biographer, wrote "How Can I Keep From Singing?" which formed the basis for the three-hour radio documentary that was recently picked up for future broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "(Seeger's) life and works tell a profoundly American tale," said Dunaway, who is a visiting scholar from the University of New Mexico.

He will speak May 9 at 3 p.m. at the Downtown Campus about Seeger and discuss the process of producing research in audio and book form.

-- Michael Bruntz


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