As Boston University’s debate show “On That Point,” begins producing its third season this fall, it will come armed with a new rhetorical weapon of its own after winning the 2008 Telly Award for excellence in student programming.
“On That Point” is the first show from parent station butv10 to win a Telly Award since the station’s 2005 inception. The award is given out to “local, regional and cable television commercials, programs and segments” every year for demonstrating high production and content standards, according to the award’s website.
“It was definitely a proud moment,” College of Communication 2008 graduate Neil St. Clair, the show’s creator and host for two years, said. “There was a lot of hard work put into it, so it was great to see it acknowledged.”
The program is a roundtable discussion about current events, from presidential elections to campus controversy to Lindsay Lohan.
“We’re different,” St. Clair, a former Daily Free Press columnist, said. “There aren’t a lot of college shows that do what we do. There are news shows, or soap operas, but we really have a professional-looking broadcast, and I think it sets us apart.”
St. Clair started the show in 2006, filming the pilot in the spring and airing it the following fall. The show has a host and three rotating panelists who debate, discuss news and give political analysis.
“On That Point” Co-Executive Producer Gabe Stein said he agreed that the show is different from most college productions.
“We’re not interested in sound bites, partially because we don’t have access to them, and we don’t love to stir up controversy, partially because we’re a college show and we don’t need the ratings,” Stein, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said.
COM senior Rocky Lotito will take over for St. Clair this year and said he hopes to use debaters from both major political parties.
The show’s overall format will also change this year to include more video clips. Research Director and panelist Saeyoung Cho said it promises to be “more visually stimulating and interactive.”
“We have a really passionate staff,” she said. “It’s a smaller team, but we’re all invested 100 percent.”
While this is the first Telly Award presented to a butv10 program, Inside Boston, butv10’s news magazine, won Fox News Channel’s College Challenge in 2007.
“I think such recognition reflects well on a young organization,” butv10 faculty adviser Chris Cavalieri said.
Officials from the Telly Award were not available for comment.