Despite some setbacks, it’s Broadband Emmy time again, and this year’s competition for the News and Documentary Awards is fierce. Each category is pregnant with pieces of outstanding merit with their own unique, creative approach to their craft.

An exciting aspect of this award is that its open to anyone in the world, which allows a wider range of influences to be judged by what has long been a national competition. An unexciting aspect of this award is that the nominees are dominated by US print publications.  Of course, not all can claim the honor and prestige associated with the Emmy.  Here are our top choices…

In the “Current News Coverage” category, Newsweek.com’s “Voices of the Fallen” is a hauntingly emotional piece that is not easily overlooked. It concentrates on the last correspondences between solders and loved ones. It is simplistic in its composition, comprised of a slide show and voice over or letters, yet it elicits  a myriad of emotions and reactions that can not be outdone.

It’s very powerful work that doesn’t uncover hidden truths, yet does expose a reality that conservative mainstream media and government sources have unfortunately ignored. The work is broken into series, creating a dateline like production that helps balance the information of “progress” with the price of humanity.

Of the Documentary/ Non-fiction nominees, MediaStorm‘s (Tilzy.TV page) depth in this area will undoubtedly prove beneficial. Nearly three years of experience in the broadband space is showing true.  Their video, “Bloodline: AID’s and Family” depicts many scenes that would not be viewable on national television. And that is saying something.

Stills of prostitution, funeral processions and the stages of starvation all compound with results that are two fold: the continuing pandemic of AIDs as a ravenous fire is beautifully presented, and the skill of storytelling is shown without fail.

Arts, Life, and Culture as a category was rather difficult to judge. However, the charm of Stagework.org’ s “A Conversation with Sir Ian” trumped all.

With the freedom of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, and the magnetism of…err…Magneto, this interactive video allows its viewers to shift through one of Shakespeare’s greatest works (Richard III) and will conclude with you actually digesting the clever subtext.

Making Shakespeare understandable is no easy task, and it is feasible that on that ground alone, it takes this category. Still, its overall feel and use of technology helps to make not only Richard III, but also technological conversations, a modern wonder.

It can be difficult for Regional News stories to resonate outside of their own specific locales.  The San Francisco Chronicle’ s video report “Two Dads, Five Sons, Forever Family” is an endearing story regardless of the region from which it hails.

Gregory Stewart, the senior minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church and his partner, Stillman White are two gay middle-age men who wanted kids, and have adopted five boys of color. Although this story most definitely isn’t a common occurrence, it does showcase prejudices that are happenstance globally. This element of universality is what should place a victory within reach.

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