MSU TV Center continues to carry material for superior storytelling

STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State University Television Center took home a big prize at the Southeastern Emmy Awards, winning eight Emmy Awards for their productions over the past year. The center has been nominated for 15 awards and won eight. This is the second straight year of regional Emmy wins for the center.

The University Television Center provides production services to the MSU community as well as customers across the country. The documentary work they have produced and for which they have received numerous awards in recent years is part of a creative storytelling initiative called MSU Films.

“We realized that there were stories across Mississippi State and across Mississippi that resonated with the general public and could be told in over 90 seconds on social media or on YouTube,” said David Garraway, director. from UTC. “And so we really wanted to explore, ‘Can we tell quality stories that take their time to develop and develop those stories in a way that appeals to mainstream audiences?'”

Since 2019, the center has produced a variety of engaging content ranging from a 10-minute film about the fire at the former main dormitory to plays about natural resource conservation on the Mississippi Coast. This year, they received awards in various categories, including two awards for their landmark documentary series “The Hungriest State”.

“We wanted to look at the different types of food insecurity and how Mississippi works to overcome them on a daily basis. And what we have discovered is that there is no single cause of food insecurity. There is no quick fix,” Garraway said. “Instead, it’s a lot of different people working every day in different ways and doing what they can to try to make their neighborhoods and communities better for everyone.”

In addition to two awards for “The Hungriest State”, UTC received two awards for its “On the Farm” series. MSU Extension Service contracts with the center to produce the series, which examines sources of stress on the farm and opioid abuse in agriculture.

Garraway and creative director Hal Teaser won individual Emmys, and senior documentary and special projects producer James Parker won two individual Emmys.

Highly successful, Garraway credits support from the top, a team effort on the ground, and a collective recognition of the value of good storytelling.

“We have 11 dedicated employees here at the TV Centre, and each of them has a role to play in making this place what it is today. These are team wins,” Garraway said.
“And it all goes to MSU President Mark Keenum, Director of Communications Sid Salter for their quality storytelling value. We couldn’t do it without the support we received from the highest level. We are so grateful for that.

In addition to the eight Emmy Awards won this year and the four the center won last year, the center has received numerous other awards and accolades. It won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award and was nominated for the prestigious James Beard National Media Award and a number of Mississippi Association of Broadcasters awards.

“As MSU President Mark Keenum envisioned as he facilitated the growth and sophistication of this unit, the staff at the University Television Center are an integral part of Mississippi State’s storytelling apparatus” , said Sid Salter, MSU communications director and MSU office manager. Public Affairs, which administers UTC. “David Garraway, James Parker, Hal Teasler and the rest of the University Television Center produce unique films that allow MSU to share our missions of research and service with the world. These multiple regional Emmy awards and other nominations represent well-deserved professional recognition. The best is yet to come.”

Looking ahead, Garraway and the UTC team will stay busy with over 20 projects on the schedule for next year. They will continue to produce gripping stories, including a sequel to “The Hungriest State.”

“I think it’s important for Mississippi people to tell the stories of Mississippi. We don’t come from out of state to spend a week here and tell what we think about the story. We live here We have a vested interest in making the state a better place,” Garraway said. “And I think to do that, you have to be able to tell the stories accurately and fairly and in a way that empowers people. to understand who we are and where we come from.”

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