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TEC-TV members win National Guard media contest

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Three members of The I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center's TEC-TV branch were announced as winners of the 2009 National Guard public affairs media contest, Mar. 11.

Master Sgt. Dave Barlow won first place in the video documentary category and second place in the field production category; Tech. Sgt Lee Hoover took first place in the news feature report category; and Tech. Sgt. Marcie Mascaro, won first place in the television news report category.

Judges waded through a record-setting number of entries in the National Guard's annual media contest this year, which included more than 700 print stories and about 140 broadcast packages.

The entries ranged from stories about the Guard's efforts to empower women in Iraq to a haunted officer's club in Michigan and came from units located around the country. They were written and produced here and by deployed troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

The 50 or so categories in the Air and Army Guard contests included feature stories, television newscasts, stand-alone photos, commentaries and community relations plans.

In the print competition, Nebraska led the way for the Air Guard with 12 winners and North Dakota lead the Army Guard with eight, said Air Force Master Sgt. Greg Rudl, the contest administrator.

In the broadcast competition, Montana, Colorado and members of the Air National Guard's Training and Education Center, Tenn., were some of the multi-category winners for the Air Guard, said Army Master Sgt. Paul Mouilleseaux, the contest administrator.

For the Army Guard, the 34th Infantry Division's Red Bulls, the Illinois Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs Office and California's 69th Public Affairs Detachment won multiple awards.

"The overall quality of entries was the best that I have seen in some time," he said.

One of the reasons for the increase in entries may have been the ease of information sharing in the digital age.

In previous years, entrants had to cut their story or photo from a magazine or newspaper, paste it to a board, box it up and mail it to the Guard Bureau for judging.

For the second year in row, Guardsmen submitted their best work over the internet using electronic forms.

Fifteen print judges sifted through 406 Army Guard entries and 290 Air Guard entries. Contest judges were picked for their experience in military and civilian journalism, public affairs and military history.

"I was amazed by how much the Guard does all over our country, and by the contributions they make in ways big and small," said Jeri Robinson, a public affairs specialist at the Internal Revenue Service who was a new judge this year, via email. "It was a humbling, yet proud, experience."

Print and broadcast winners were forwarded to the next level of competition--the Army's Keith L. Ware Contest and the Air Force Media Contest.
The Army National Guard was allowed to forward three entries in each category and the Air Guard was allowed one in each category.