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Staff and students win national awards for Mary Rose broadcast

The creative talents of staff and students from the University of Portsmouth have been recognised at the NewTek UK Content Awards 2018.

(l-r) Gary Bown, Charlie Watts, Michael Parsons, Alex Watson, Edward Cook, Mae Webb, Stephen Bellinger, Emma Benson, Jessica Sutton and Chris Waddington (NewTek)

BSc (Hons) TV and Broadcasting students won Best New UK Content and the Best Video awards for a live TV production ‘The Mary Rose Live: Human Endeavours’.

Tutors Charlie Watts, Gary Bown and Katie Still on the BSc (Hons) TV and Broadcasting course and technicians Stephen Bellinger, Louise Lovesey and Michael Parsons, were all recognised by NewTek, and the academics were named tutors of the year.

The first NewTek UK Education Awards celebrate excellence in creating engaging and inspiring videos and live streams by students and staff at colleges and universities across the UK. Each project had to have been created using NewTek technology.

‘The Mary Rose Live: Human Endeavours’ was one of three live broadcasts in June 2017 from the Mary Rose in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The event, which was first of its kind for both organisations, saw three live shows beamed throughout the day straight to the Big Screen in Portsmouth’s Guildhall square.

The broadcasts, which formed part of the student’s final-year show, created a new and exciting programme that brought to life the famous ship and its museum. The students told the Mary Rose’s story from its sinking to rediscovery and recovery, to the creation of the purpose-built museum opened in 2013.  ‘Human Endeavours’ focussed on the people stories, from those who dived to excavate and raise the ship, to those continuing to tell the Mary Rose story today.

The judges stated that “the standard of entries was very high and we were very impressed with the professionalism, ambition and technical and creative ability of your video”.

Watch highlights from the broadcast here.

Charlie Watts, Course Leader for BSc (Hons) TV and Broadcasting, said: “This NewTek Award for Best New UK Content is a significant achievement. We also greatly appreciate it because it is partly due to NewTek as to why our curriculum focus has championed regular, live TV broadcast.

“As far as we know, we are the still the only course within the UK that is managing to generate and transmit broadcast quality TV programmes on an almost weekly basis. The students that join the course learn very quickly that we are setting standards that other TV courses have yet to even consider.  This is what it takes to make students employable in this popular and exciting industry and I’m delighted for the students and the staff team with the acknowledgement that this award has given us. I am also thrilled that the programme was judged the overall competition winner.”

The collaboration for the programme came from a long-term relationship between the University and the Mary Rose Trust.

Sally Tyrrell, Head of Development at the Mary Rose Trust, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Charlie and the team, including staff and students, have won this award.  It was great for us to work on this exciting project and to give the students a real life broadcast experience.  We hope it gave them a true insight into the industry and working with a British icon in the guise of the ship and collection.  I personally look forward to continuing our collaboration with the University in a number of exciting ways.”

Charlie Watts and his fellow course tutors were recognised for their hard work, professionalism and dedication when they were named as UK Tutors of the Year.

Charlie said: “Gary Bown and myself set-up BSc (Hons) Television and Broadcasting with the sole aim of making this course industry relevant and one of the best (if not the best) television courses in the UK. We see this award as being a very important milestone in the level we have reached in teaching excellence. It is further confirmation that we are achieving our aims to win industry respect via high-quality student work.

“We are dedicated and focused on running a television channel and producing regular and ‘actual’ live TV programmes. Live TV is a brilliant device for learning and we have found that the live aspect really helps students gain confidence, and it also makes them very employable.”

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