The Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas (RTDNAC) is proud to announce the opening of its 2017 Dr. John R. Bittner College Scholarship Competition.

Each year, RTDNAC awards two $1,500 scholarships, one each to a student in North and South Carolina.

Students currently enrolled in two-year or four-year colleges and universities who are rising juniors, seniors or graduate students, and are pursuing a major course of study with emphasis in broadcast and/or digital journalism are encouraged to apply.

Funding for the RTDNAC Scholarships is provided by Capital Broadcasting Company/WRAL, Hearst Television, Inc./WYFF and the RTDNAC Board of Directors.

The announcement was made on Saturday, November 12, 2016, at the organization’s annual convention and awards luncheon held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Club in Concord, North Carolina.

The scholarship is named after the late Dr. John Robert Bittner, a professor at the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who served as the first executive director of RTDNAC.

To Apply

There is no formal application form. To be eligible for consideration for the Dr. John R. Bittner Scholarship, a application must contain:

  • Name of applicant
  • Year in school
  • Home and school addresses of applicant, and telephone numbers
  • College major
  • College honors, offices and activities
  • High school attended and any honors, offices and activities
  • Any other accomplishments or information the applicant would like to provide
  • A statement (one-page minimum) signed by the applicant, describing how the scholarship would contribute to the applicant's career goals
  • The names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least two references. Recommendation letters from each of the references should be sent under separate cover directly to the Scholarship Chair.
  • A certified copy of the applicant's latest college transcript should be sent under separate cover directly to the Scholarship Chair.

Completed applications must be received no later than Jan. 31, 2017.

Send to:

Pete Poore, RTDNAC Scholarship Chairman
Office of Communications
SC Dept. of Transportation
955 Park St., P.O. Box 191
Columbia, SC 29202

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2016 winners

Jaclyn Lee
Jaclyn Lee

Jaclyn Lee
UNC-Chapel Hill

The 2016 winner for North Carolina is Jaclyn Lee, a junior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Peace, War and Defense. Jaclyn has traveled from her home in Newbury Park, California to attend UNC-Chapel Hill. During her academic career, she has earned a number of honors. In January 2016, she won 1st Place in the Hearst Foundation’s National Television Features Competition. She will move onto the National Semi-Finals.

Jaclyn’s practical experience in journalism includes student activities such as two years of reporting for the student-run Daily Tar Heel. During that time, she covered the protests related to the police-involved shootings in Ferguson, Missouri. She has worked as a multi-media journalist for “Carolina Week” since 2014. The program is seen on UNC-CH’s student-run TV station.

Jaclyn has also traveled to other countries as a reporter or researcher. That experience includes spending May and June of 2015 in Peru, June and July of 2015 in Rwanda, and September through December 2015 in China. Jaclyn began working as a news production assistant at WRAL in Raleigh in January of 2016.

Abbey O’Brien
Abbey O’Brien

Abbey O’Brien
University of South Carolina

Abbey O’Brien is the 2016 South Carolina winner. Abbey is from Acworth, Georgia. She is a senior attending the University of South Carolina majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She has earned a place on the Dean’s List every semester she has been enrolled at USC. Her current GPA is 3.99. Abbey was selected for the 2016 list of “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”

Abbey’s journalism experience includes rotating among many positions with “Carolina News,” a newscast produced by senior students in the College of Journalism. She was a news intern at WIS-TV in Columbia, SC during the summer of 2014. Abbey spent the summer of 2015 in New York as an intern on NBC’s Today Show.

Upon graduation in May of 2016, Abbey hopes to secure a job as a multi-media journalist (MMJ) at a local station to “make a difference in the community.”