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Northeastern Journalism Students Win in Four Categories at the Student Emmy Awards: Gianna Barberia

Tell us about your project submitted to the Emmys!

I submitted three works that were recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The first two were traditional news packages I produced in Professor Mike Beaudet’s Video News Reporting and Producing class. My package “Northeastern University responds to COVID-19” examined how Northeastern handled the beginning of the pandemic and how it affected students living on-campus and working on co-op. That package won first place for News Report – Serious Feature. My other package, “The Collegiate Class of COVID-19,” explored how the pandemic specifically affected collegiate seniors and won honorable mention in the same category. Finally, I won for Talent – News or Sports for my reporting reel I put together using some of the work I produced for Professor Beaudet’s class. 

How will your Emmy recognition influence your future work?

This win has given me a newfound confidence to continue pursuing on-camera reporting and television news producing. This is the type of work I’ve been dedicated to and am most passionate about, so to be recognized for it is definitely reassuring. I’m very proud and excited to continue doing what I love!

What aspect of your winning project was particularly newsworthy? What led you to submit it for Emmy consideration?

The issues I explored in both of my recognized packages are still timely today, even as the pandemic progresses. How schools respond to the virus and how this affects its students are stories that are still being produced (for example, schools are now returning to in-person learning, requiring students to be vaccinated for the fall, etc.). Additionally, many people from the Class of 2020 continue to feel lost and overlooked a year after their graduation, especially as they watch the Class of 2021 being recognized at Fenway Park for an in-person commencement ceremony that they never received. 

How has being recognized by the Emmys changed the way you think about the future of journalism?

All the Student Production Award winners are so incredibly talented! This Emmy Award recognition has solidified for me that young people are the future of journalism. We have our fingers on the pulse of what is newsworthy, what is trending and what others want to know more about. Young journalists should be leaders in their respective newsrooms and collaborate with more experienced reporters/producers to put together a better final product. 

What does it mean to you to have your work recognized by a prestigious organization like the Emmys?

I was so shocked and honored! I was just hoping to get an honorable mention if anything, so to have won in two different categories is so exciting and unexpected. I was especially excited to have won for my on-camera reporting. I was unsure if I was talented enough to report on-camera, but Professor Beaudet encouraged me to put together a reel and pursue it further. He gave me the confidence to submit the reel to the Emmy’s. For the Emmy’s to then recognize it and award me first place for Talent – News or Sports has solidified for me that I do have the skills and can/should pursue on-camera reporting as a career.

Can you share an impactful experience you’ve had with the NU Journalism department that has informed the way you approach journalistic projects?

I learned the most about my area of journalism from Professor Beaudet’s class. His class taught me the types of things you don’t learn in a textbook — like confidence, news judgement and how to kill your darlings. 

Any journalism co-op experience would you like to share?

All my co-ops were great experiences! My first co-op was at The Boston Globe as an audience engagement co-op. My biggest advice for journalism students is to have at least one internship or co-op in social media/engagement. Engagement work is such a valuable skill that all newsrooms are looking for. I also worked at NBC News as a News Partnerships intern, which taught me so much about the television industry. NBC was my favorite newsroom, and I highly recommend applying for their internship program. Finally, my last co-op was with CBS News as a CBS This Morning intern. I also would recommend students try to create their own co-op. I applied for both NBC and CBS outside of NUCareers and combined the NBC summer internship and CBS fall internship to make one co-op. It was an incredible experience, and I got two different jobs for my resume within the same co-op cycle timeframe.