Matt Riedl, a 2015 Newman University graduate, was recently recognized as the second-place finisher for the Catholic Media Association’s Video Producer of the Year Award and a finalist for the Cardinal John P. Foley Award — an annual award that recognizes an individual who demonstrates excellence and innovation in Catholic storytelling.
Lending a hand
Riedl is the director of media production at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington in Arlington, Virginia, where he helps create content — from videos to podcasts to photos — for the organization’s various media platforms.
“It was definitely an honor to be nominated for this award,” he said. “It was gratifying to be recognized in that way, and it’s an encouragement to me to keep innovating and pushing to be the best I can be.”
He said the basis of his nomination for the Cardinal John P. Foley Award was his pivot to producing virtual content over the course of the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit, the diocese had to quickly shift to livestream technology to broadcast Holy Week services and weekly masses. Riedl took the initiative to learn how to use the new technology, and then teach what he had learned to the parishes in the diocese through webinars.
He also helped the bishop get messaging out regarding COVID-19 procedures and protocols and worked on inspirational projects as well, such as a Spanish language video profiling the local Hispanic community and how they responded to the pandemic.
“I think the award basically just recognized my willingness and ability to step up in a time of need when it wasn’t really asked or called for,” Riedl said. “I just did it because I knew that was what people needed, and I had the knowledge to do so, partially because of my education at Newman.”
Northern star at Newman
Riedl cites his classes with Professor of Communications Audrey Hane as influential to his successful career, as she taught him different means of effective communication. He also recalls his meaningful work at the Vantage, where he learned how to tell stories in a clear and concise manner, which was an especially valuable skill to use during the pandemic.
While a student, Riedl was involved in the Newman University Chorale and Troubadours as well, which is how he met his wife, Sydney, a 2017 graduate. His experience with the music department fostered his love for music, and he continues to sing in the Washington, D.C., area.
That passion has seeped into his professional work, too. Riedl said one of the videos he entered for the Cardinal John P. Foley Award nomination was a Christmas video he put together last year, in which singers from Arlington-area high schools performed “O Holy Night”— a particularly meaningful song to Riedl as he sang it every holiday season with the Newman Chorale.
As he continues to move forward in his career, Riedl plans to use all the tools and gifts he’s been given for God’s greater glory, which is why he chose to work at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington in the first place. Receiving the two recognitions from the Catholic Media Association motivates him to keep doing so, as do his fond memories and formative education from Newman.
“I have a lot to be grateful for from Newman,” he said.
Explore music at Newman
The music program teaches you the different styles of music and provides the opportunity to join or audition for large ensembles.