CoJMC professor wins national awards for documentary

CoJMC professor wins national awards for documentary

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 1:30pm
Bernie McCoy portrait
Barney McCoy teaches multimedia, broadcast news and depth reporting courses at the CoJMC.

by Molly Chapple

Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” has been honored with the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. Producer/director Barney McCoy, broadcasting professor at the CoJMC, was honored with the award in Washington, D.C., on Friday, June 8. Accepting the award with McCoy was Christine Lesiak, an executive producer at NET and script adviser for the film. CoJMC professor of practice Luis Peon-Casanova was a primary videographer on the project.

The documentary reveals the deeply personal story of Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I and the only active duty six-star general in U.S. history. It was one of only five documentaries honored with the Sigma Delta Chi Award this year.

 “‘Black Jack Pershing: Love and War’ reminds us of the astonishing lengths Pershing went to serve his country and help win the war while battling deep personal tragedy in his life,” McCoy said. “Winning World War I helped establish America as a true global super power a century ago.”

 To produce the documentary, McCoy spent five years crisscrossing America examining Pershing’s personal papers, viewing thousands of archival photographs and films, and interviewing historians and Pershing family members.

 McCoy said the documentary also reveals the extraordinary sacrifices Americans made at home and abroad during the Great War.

 In June, the Accolade Global Film Competition also selected the documentary as one of the top international films of the year. Other Accolade “Award of Excellence, Special Mention” honorees include films featuring two Academy Award winners and productions from India, Germany, the U.S., Australia and United Kingdom.

 “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War,” is a co-production of Painted Rock Productions and NET, Nebraska’s PBS station. Production support for the documentary was provided by CoJMC, Humanities Nebraska, UNL’s Research Council, Lowell Vestal, Sandra Pershing and the Hitchcock Foundation.

For more information on the documentary and to schedule a screening go to