Greenville native takes top spot in Southeast Journalism Conference

Published 4:36 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Troy University student and Greenville native David Caddell recently nabbed the first-place finish for best radio journalist in the 2014 Best of the South competition of the Southeast Journalism Conference.

Caddell edged out five other finalists from various colleges around the Southeast for the award.

Along with Caddell’s, Troy university brought home a total of 14 awards, which is thought to be an all-time high for the school’s journalism department.

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Though Caddell considered the win to be an enormous honor, it was one that he was rather unprepared to receive.

“I wasn’t [expecting to win]; I actually told [Troy dean of journalism] Dr. Spurlock that I wasn’t expecting to win the big radio award,” Caddell said.

“And then I won the big radio award.  I was in a singing competition in Tuscaloosa at the time when I got the news.”

Though Caddell wasn’t present to revel in the moment, it was a memorable revelation for him all the same.

“I was actually on the bus ride celebrating a second-place win with a bunch of my classmates who also placed in their categories,” Caddell added.

“I got the text from my boss at Troy Public Radio, then the email from the school, and I was already on a high, so that just made the bus trip even better.”

Caddell serves as a student intern at Troy Public Radio, which is an experience he loves because it is an authentic radio station that is on the air 24 hours, seven days a week.

The full-time staff and the station has won awards of its own.  In addition, his boss, Kyle Gassiott, gives him real reporting jobs that air on the station’s noon show, “In Focus.”

“It’s a real responsibility, which is scary, but it’s also great for my development as a reporter,” Caddell said.

Real responsibility is fast-approaching as Caddell’s college experience draws to a close.

Fortunately, he’s already thinking ahead.

“The most immediate plan is to apply for the D.C. internship,” Caddell said.

“This is an internship where I would work directly with NPR at their headquarters in D.C. My boss had this internship, and the student intern who graduated in 2013, Natalie Boyd, also had this internship.  The application is due in April, so here’s hoping.”