Local students win C-SPAN's Student Cam competition

Documentary on free press earns Fan Favorite award

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Three Winter Park High School students took first place in C-SPAN's Student Cam competition. 

"We love celebrating these students who gave countless hours of their blood, sweat and tears into these student documentaries and have had such great resolve," said Joel Bacon, from C-SPAN.

Ella Grace Rodrigues, Luke Sand and Justin Whittingham produced a six-minute documentary called "Comfortably Numb: America's Right to a Free Press." The theme of this year's competition was "what does it mean to be American?"

"When we start this project, there's a lot of hemming and hawing in the beginning because it's not an easy project at all. And then at the very end, I always tell the kids, 'You can do it. You can make it.' C-SPAN is an attainable award, and today is proof of that," said Michelle Washing Gerber, digital video production teacher.

The students said they chose their topic because of the current state of journalism.

"And how journalists are really under fire for a lot of things, and we just wanted to kind of clear that up," Sand said.

The students won $3,000 and also captured the Fan Favorite award.

This year, C-SPAN received nearly 3,000 entries from more than 6,300 students representing 48 states and Washington, D.C.

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