School of Journalism and New Media

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Archive for the ‘Student News’ Category

IMC students use research skills to improve The Meridian Star’s marketing strategy

Posted on: November 12th, 2018 by ldrucker

As our capstone course for the integrated marketing degree program at Ole Miss, we are applying our skills of marketing and research to boost new objectives of The Meridian Star. We have analyzed the company needs and what the organization could do to grow its business.

The Meridian Star is positioned uniquely, and we intend to identify ways the organization can preserve this uniqueness. By understanding audiences and sharing ideas in class, we are gaining a more detailed understanding to help The Meridian Star realize these objectives for their daily business.

Ole Miss students (from left) Darby Frisbie, Kedrick Smith, Molly Chain and Hayley Day are simulating an integrated marketing communications agency, gaining real-world experience by developing a promotional plan for brand awareness and expanded services of The Meridian Star.

For our generation, the ways people get news and information is different from how they did in the past. We have come up with different ideas and strategies for making it easier for people in the Meridian area to access relevant information at their convenience.

We also want to figure out the type of information people want to read about and recommend how The Meridian Star can put more of that information out there. We also want to learn what kind of services might add value. We have provided surveys for residents and businesses to gain this information. By the end of this class, we hope to help The Meridian Star reach as many people as possible by using this information to develop effective marketing recommendations.

With closer research and proper surveying, we believe we will be able to accomplish the repositioning of The Meridian Star. We hope to gain insights that haven’t been brought to light such as: “What is preventing local residents from engaging with The Meridian Star?” and “What would make the publication and its services the most attractive to Meridians?”

We have assumed that the lack of visibility of staff in the Meridian community and the dated design and delivery of the paper are a few problems that have resulted in these issues. Luckily, we will be able to clearly see through our research if these hypotheses are actually contributing to the main issues of The Meridian Star. Once we identify the root problems, we can then recreate the brand image of The Meridian Star by taking the right steps toward a specific solution.

By Darby Frisbie, Kedrick Smith, Molly Chain and Hayley Day. They are students in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. For more information on this project, contact Alexander Gould, publisher of The Meridian Star. This piece was originally published on the Mississippi Press Association website.

Lens Collective student film accepted as Oxford Film Festival entry

Posted on: November 9th, 2018 by ldrucker

The beauty of learning how to use video software is that you can potentially create something important and impactful, even if it is very short.

Congratulations to Matt Cipollone, of American University, and Mikey D’Amico, of West Virginia University. Their Lens Collective short film “Signs” was accepted into the Oxford Film Festival that will be held Feb. 6-9, 2019.

“Signs” is a 3:37 short film about a company that is replacing the bullet-ridden sign that memorializes Emmett Till and marks the site where his body was found after he was lynched in 1955 at age 14 in Money, Mississippi.

Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington said the film was chosen for the Oxford Film Festival because it had a “powerful message and is a story that needs to continue to be shared.”

She offers the following advice to student and area filmmakers who are interested in producing short or full length documentaries to submit to the festival.

“I recommend attending and seeing what other work is out there,” she said. “With our new student category and new $50 VIP pass for students only, along with free workshops, the festival is very accessible to new filmmakers.”

Addington said short film entries must be one minute to 30 minutes. They should be submitted via Film Freeway when submissions are open for 2020 next summer.

Cipollone and D’Amico’s mentor was Josh Birnbaum of Ohio University. University of Mississippi professor Vanessa Gregory lined up the story and made the initial calls.

Click this link to watch the short film “Signs.”

SIGNS from Lens Collective Conference on Vimeo.

For more information about how you can become involved in the Oxford Film Festival as a filmmaker or volunteer, visit the website.

Introducing our 2018-2019 Student Media Center leaders

Posted on: November 2nd, 2018 by ldrucker

The Student Media Center at the University of Mississippi has an amazing crew of dedicated student managers who produce compelling content across multiple media platforms. Here’s your chance to meet them!

Advertising Sales Manager: Rebecca Brown

It took Becca Brown only three months to prove she was ready to be advertising sales manager for the Student Media Center.

Brown, a junior marketing major from Yoakum, Texas, is a former Ole Miss cheerleader. Her goal for this year: to increase the profitability of the SMC’s publications, broadcasts and websites, and to increase the brand’s recognition around campus and in Oxford.

“The most successful person in the company gets told no 95 percent of the time, but they are making more calls than anybody else,” Brown said.

Roy Frostenson, SMC advertising adviser, describes Brown as focused, ambitious and goal-driven. “She’s dedicated to helping the Student Media Center expand our advertising revenues, especially our digital and broadcast sales,” Frostenson said.

Brown said a friend recommended she apply for a sales position, and she is glad she did. She supervises a staff of five account executives.

“My favorite part is that I’m really kind of treated like an adult when I go to my clients, because a lot of times they don’t realize that we are in college,” Brown said.

Brown leads an advertising staff meeting

“And that’s something that I have never really gotten before in any other job. They treat me like I’m on the same level as them. They treat me with professionalism, and I do the same with them.

“It’s so rewarding working really hard on something, and thinking of a pitch, and working with the client, and looking at what you think they would like, and when they say yes, it makes all those little things so worth it.”

Brown worked for the Edward Jones investment company in Texas last summer, and she hopes to return to work there next year. Her long-term goal is to open her own office as a financial adviser.

NewsWatch Station Manager: Abbie McIntosh

Abbie McIntosh is in her second year as station manager for NewsWatch Ole Miss. Rarely does a student serve two years in the top position.

“I was terrified this time last year,” McIntosh said. “But it all worked out. It’s been good. I like managing, calling the shots and producing. It’s stressful, but it’s good.”

Nancy Dupont, journalism professor and NewsWatch Ole Miss faculty adviser, said she was delighted McIntosh applied to be station manager again this year.

“She pushes herself harder than I ever push her,” Dupont said. “She already has excellent habits, so I expect bigger and better things this year.”

McIntosh is focusing on working with her team to deliver the best show possible Monday through Friday evenings. She is in charge of a staff that includes more than 30 producers, directors, anchors and correspondents. They are in the newsroom each afternoon producing a live, 30-minute newscast for Lafayette County that is broadcast on Channel 99 and is also available on websites and via livestreaming and social media.

McIntosh managing her team from the NewsWatch control room

“I hire them in September, and I want them to walk out in May better than they were when they walked in the door. Hopefully, I can help them achieve that,” McIntosh said.

This senior broadcast journalism major from Cypress, Texas, is a big fan of breaking news and highlights the December 1, 2017, newscast as her all-time favorite. The award-winning show featured breaking news about sanctions against Ole Miss Athletics and its football team.

Earlier this year, McIntosh was awarded first place as Best Television Hard News Reporter from the Southeast Journalism Association, and she was part of a multimedia reporting team that placed in the Top 20 in the national Hearst journalism competition for a project about Oxford church members helping a Texas community recover after Hurricane Harvey. In October, she was one of three broadcast students who traveled to Florida to report on rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Michael.

In summer 2018, McIntosh landed an internship with KDFW Fox 4 in Dallas. Her eyes were opened to all that it takes to get a newscast on the air, and it strengthened her passion for the buzz of the newsroom.

When she graduates in May, McIntosh plans to work as a television producer.

The Daily Mississippian Editor-In-Chief: Slade Rand

Since the day he was introduced to Assistant Dean Patricia Thompson at the Student Media Center, Slade Rand has been hard at work at The Daily Mississippian.

“She connected me with then Managing Editor Clara Turnage, who just brought me in right off the bat and told me to come along with her to an interview with the director of parking and transportation,” Rand reminisces. “She helped me lead the interview and brought me to the office and told me to write the story, gave me suggestions and made a graphic to go along with my story and then put it in the paper.”

Rand initially was an integrated marketing communications major, but switched to journalism at the end of his sophomore year when he realized how passionate he had become about reporting and writing. He honed his skills by participating in three depth reports in Mississippi and Sri Lanka, led by journalism instructor Bill Rose.

This year, Rand, now a senior, leads a staff that includes about 15 student editors and several dozen writers, photographers and editorial cartoonists.

Rand at work in the SMC newsroom

“We want to be producing editions that people are going to keep with them and put on their walls,” Rand said. “Not just because they look nice, but because it reminds them about things they can be doing to better our campus, things they can be doing to better their own lives.”

Faculty adviser Thompson said Rand has put together a “dream team” of very talented editors who have done an outstanding job covering major breaking news stories in an unusually busy fall semester, and planning and producing special sections tied to important issues.

“Slade works very hard, for hours every day,” Thompson said. “He’s a strong editor who also can write well on tight deadlines, and he has great range from news to profiles to music reviews.”

When Rand graduates in May, he plans to pursue a career doing what he loves best: storytelling.

“Now that I have had a taste of this, I don’t think there is another job I could do that would make me feel as satisfied or productive at the end of the day,” he said.

The Ole Miss Yearbook Editor-In-Chief: MacKenzie Ross

This Oxford native did not have to go too far away from home to find her passion. She found it at the Student Media Center.

“I already knew Professor Chris Sparks, and she told me about the Student Media Center so I came over,” Ross said. “I got to meet some really cool people my freshman year. It was her interest in me that sparked my interest here.”

Ross, yearbook editor-in-chief, wants to focus on the campus’ hidden gems and continue increasing the online presence of the yearbook.

“We are focusing on the things you might forget,” Ross said. “We are also excited to be back in the Student Union for portraits, getting students interested in coming into the Union to get a look before it officially opens to everyone.”

Ross hopes students are keeping up the yearbook’s social media networks, where content is frequently updated. Students can see photo galleries and stories that might not make it into the printed book.

Assistant Dean Patricia Thompson said Ross is a top-flight designer, a strong leader, and super organized. Ross’s staff includes assistant editors, writers, photographers, designers and artists.

Thompson said it has been fun to watch how well student managers have worked together this year.

Ross helps distribute 2018 The Ole Miss annuals

“MacKenzie is a senior who has worked for the yearbook and The Daily Mississippian, and those two staffs collaborate on stories and photos,” Thompson said. “Abbie has worked for The Daily Mississippian and NewsWatch. One recent night, when she knew her DM colleagues would be here late producing a special report, Abbie brought them cookies to keep them energized. MacKenzie has designed an SMC T-shirt for all the students who work here.”

Ross is president of the campus Society for News Design chapter. She also was part of the Hurricane Harvey team that placed in the Hearst competition, and she won SND awards for digital storytelling for the Harvey project and for her magazine cover for the Sri Lanka depth report.

Ross said her plans for her post-graduation future change almost every day, but she knows that as long as she has a career where she creates graphic designs that inspire others, she will be happy.

Rebel Radio Station Manager: DeAndria Turner

DeAndria Turner got her start in Rebel Radio during her freshman year. Turner, a junior broadcast journalism major, serves as manager of the entire station this year.

“She’s a true Rebel Radio veteran and did a good job for us last year as news director, so this was a natural move for her,” said Rebel Radio adviser Roy Frostenson. “The best thing about DeAndria is she always wants to do better, and I think she will help Rebel Radio be even better this year.”

The Gautier, Mississippi, native wants to make Rebel Radio more known on campus to a wider variety of students. She is proud of the staff’s diversity, in its staffing and in its programming, which features an eclectic variety of rap, oldies, underground, indie and even life-advice shows on 92.1 FM.

Turner covers events in Memphis commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“I want our DJs and reporters to be able to be light in our community, to be able to play the music or have the segment they want to do because sometimes the right song and the right place and the right time could change your life,” Turner said. “Music is just a really big thing.”

To inspire and motivate her staff, Turner has placed dozens of colorful sticky notes on the radio studio window, with phrases like “We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how to dance to it” and “Enjoy small things.”

Turner fondly remembers that during her freshman year, Leah Gibson was station manager and appreciated Turner’s persistence. Today, it is one of the adjectives Turner uses to describe her strengths, and she is thankful to have been given the space to tell others’ stories on Rebel Radio.

This past summer, during her internship with WMC Action News in Memphis, Tennessee, Turner gained experience working on the digital team, shadowing reporters and even doing her own reporting. It was an exhilarating experience, and Turner said the most important things she learned were to take initiative and stay flexible in order to be a well-rounded reporter.

Turner plans to return to Rebel Radio as news director during her senior year, as she prepares to get an on-air local news broadcast job after college.

Article by Ingrid Valbuena

Journalism and IMC students starting careers with help from Internship Experience Program

Posted on: October 29th, 2018 by ldrucker

“Life changing.” “Incredible.” “Eye-opening.” “Extraordinary.”

A group of University of Mississippi students recently used these words to describe the unique experiences they had this summer that enhanced their career skills and opened doors for their future.

Last month, students met with UM administration, faculty and staff to discuss their experiences as participants in the Internship Experience Program, a special program that prepares and organizes cohorts of Ole Miss students to participate in career internships in Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C.

Sara “Cookie” White, a senior integrated marketing communications major from Houston, Texas, was among the students who presented at the event.

“This program taught me how to create my own path,” White said. “I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in myself. It really pushed me to be my best and learn on my feet.”

The UM Internship Experience Program offers Ole Miss juniors and seniors an opportunity to gain professional work experience in these major cities while earning academic credit in their fields of study. Students work, with the assistance of university staff, to secure an internship that will give them important professional experience for future job opportunities.

“We envision these programs as a two-way pipeline between these amazing cities and the University of Mississippi,” said Laura Antonow, director of college programs in the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education. “This is a way to aid our students in their transition into successful professional careers after college.”

Students interested in learning about internship opportunities for summer 2019 can stop by an information session anytime between noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 31) at the UM Career Center in Martindale Hall.

In summer 2018, 12 students were selected to participate in the program, with two going to New York, four interning in Washington and six working in Atlanta.

“We start by selecting students that we believe are going to be competitive in these fast-paced cities, those who have a good combination of work experience, academic success and then extracurricular and leadership experience,” Antonow said.

White said she wanted to go to New York to try something new and feel the specialness of the city. As an intern with Allied Integrating Marketing, she got to help major motion picture studios promote upcoming films through screenings and special events.

“I had so many interesting projects and tasks,” White said. “I knew my IMC classes were preparing me for the future.

“When I started the summer, I felt like I had all of this knowledge, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it yet. Participating in this internship was a great way for me to apply everything that I have been learning during my time at Ole Miss.”

Shelby McElwain, of Corinth, is a senior art history major who interned this summer with nAscent Art in New York. She was able to help the company research art buys and designs for some of the country’s newest hotels.

“I felt like I was making a difference in the projects that my employer was pursuing this summer,” McElwain said. “They wanted my assistance and opinion. I learned so much.”

Jarrius Adams, a senior public policy and political science major from Hattiesburg, interned with the Congressional Black Caucus in U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson’s Washington office.

“My time in D.C. changed my perspective going forward,” Adams said. “I learned a lot. I know that I love politics, but I think I can make a greater impact in my community by participating more at the local level. I saw how local politicians make the laws that really affect everyday lives.”

Hailey McKee, of Dyersburg, Tennessee, is a senior public policy and journalism major who had positions in two different offices this summer in Washington, serving as an intern at the Newseum and with U.S. Rep. David Kustoff of Tennessee.

During the presentation, she shared more about some of the more interesting events, hearings, and tasks she participated in over the summer.

“I looked up, and I was taking notes during a Senate hearing about putting American boots on the ground on Mars by 2030,” McKee explained. “There were astronauts in the room who have left the Earth. It was surreal.”

She said she was awestruck passing the Supreme Court and Library of Congress each day on her way to work.

“I wanted to appreciate all the history and significance of the places I was around daily.”

Ryan Granger, a senior IMC major from Pearl, said he chose to intern this summer in Atlanta because of the big city feel that wasn’t too far out of his comfort zone.

As an intern with the Atlanta International Fashion Week organization, he had the chance to help roll out a new collaboration between AIFW and Microsoft Corp. that is providing educational opportunities for Atlanta youth.

“I was working on press releases, preparing media kits and event planning,” he said. “It was cool to get all this real-world exposure to activities that I’ll be doing in my field.

“I learned so much about being able to adapt to the world around me and correctly adjust to whatever I needed to do.”

Granger is hoping that his summer internship will turn into a full-time job after graduation in May.

“Working in this industry would be a great pathway that could open a lot of career opportunities for me,” he said.

Granger said one of his favorite parts of the program was getting to know Ole Miss alumni in the area.

“It was great to hear their perspectives of living in Atlanta versus living in Oxford and appreciating the differences,” he said. “They helped us students see that living in this major city is definitely manageable when you learn the ropes.”

Antonow said the UM Internship Experience program is a special way for alumni to stay connected or to get more connected to the university.

“We’ve been steadily building our relationships with alumni and employers in these cities, and now we are receiving phone calls from past employers asking us when the new batch of Ole Miss interns will be selected,” she said.

The priority application deadline is Nov. 9 for juniors and seniors who are interested in being a part of the summer 2019 cohort of Internship Experience participants.

For more information or to start an online application, visit http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/internships.

By Pam Starling, from University Communications

Student coverage of Hurricane Michael impact focuses on Ole Miss-Oxford connections

Posted on: October 24th, 2018 by drwenger

Photo by Mark Dolan.

When Hurricane Michael blasted through the Florida Panhandle, it was personal for hundreds of Ole Miss students and Oxford residents. As journalists, students Abbie McIntosh, Madison Scarpino and Victoria Hosey didn’t hesitate for a second when they were asked to cover the aftermath and share some of those stories.”

“As soon as I was offered the opportunity to go on this trip, I knew it was something I couldn’t pass up,” Madison Scarpino said. “I knew that I would learn so much about journalism and storytelling out in the field in ways I never have before. ”

Hosey wanted to focus on creating compelling radio pieces. “I like to challenge myself, and I thought that reporting in a place where we would not have access to normal conveniences would test my skills as a journalist.”

The trip would not have happened; however, without the efforts made by Profs. Ji Hoon Heo and John Baker, as well as Dr. Mark Dolan. These faculty members volunteered to spend four days without warm beds or hot food in an effort to help students learn what disaster reporting entails.

“To help our students in the field, where so much learning actually takes place,” said Dr. Mark Dolan. “Nothing is more satisfying than mentoring a team of young journalists in real time. It makes you rediscover what you love about journalism in the first place. Tiring trip, yes – but hugely energizing. It’s a paradox.”

The students hit the ground running producing video, audio, text and photos that aired or were published on NewsWatch Ole Miss, Rebel Radio, The Daily Mississippian and HottyToddy.com.

Scarpino says she will long remember her four days in Florida.

“By going on trips like these, journalism students get the chance to experience what it is like to go out and cover a topic that truly matters to the entire nation and give voices to those who are affected by disasters such as Hurricane Michael.”

Prof. Heo says it’s part of what the school does best.

“Our students spend a lot of time learning in the classroom and it’s a great opportunity for our students to take what they learn and put it to practice in real situations.”

SPJ Scary Potluck for Journalists will be held at 4 p.m. Halloween

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ldrucker

You are invited to the second annual Society of Professional Journalists Scary Potluck for Journalists. The event will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, Halloween, in Room 202.

Come if you dare to Farley Hall’s second floor haunted auditorium.  Student journalists and IMC majors should bring a snack to share with friends. The event is open to all Meek School students.

Meet other student journalists, writers, photographers, designers and communication students.
Learn how you can join the SPJ. We’ll also announce officers for 2018-2019.

We might even watch something scary. Invite a friend. All are welcome.

Costumes are encouraged, but not required. Share the event to invite others.

Meek School student’s documentary ‘American Hate’ shown in Overby Auditorium

Posted on: October 10th, 2018 by ldrucker

Brittany Brown, a senior Meek School broadcast journalism senior from Quitman, Mississippi, was recently awarded a News21 national investigative reporting fellowship for student journalists.

The documentary she helped create, “American Hate,” was shown Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Overby Auditorium. It was sponsored by the School of Journalism and New Media’s Common Ground Committee. Pizza was served following the film.

Read our Q & A with Brown below.

Q. Tell us about your University of Mississippi experience. Are you involved in student media?

A. I have been involved in the Student Media Center since my freshman year. I’ve written for The Ole Miss yearbook and The Daily Mississippian. I’ve also been a reporter and anchor for NewsWatch Ole Miss. Last year, I was the digital content producer for NewsWatch Ole Miss, and I am currently an assistant news editor at The Daily Mississippian.

Q. Describe the fellowship you won. 

A. News21 is a national investigative reporting fellowship for student journalists. This summer, I spent a few months in Phoenix, Arizona at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University reporting on hate crimes, hate groups and their victims.

The program included a semester-long seminar (January to May) learning investigative reporting techniques and researching incidents across the U.S. I spent the summer mainly reporting on the African American community and doing video storytelling. I helped team-produce the “American Hate” documentary, helped co-write “A Violent Legacy,” traveled on a nationwide road trip and produced interactive storytelling.

Q. What did you learn or take away from the fellowship?

A. I learned that this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life. It was such a great experience working in such a collaborative newsroom and working alongside such talented journalists and editors. I sharpened many of my technical skill, such as my efficiency in Adobe Premiere Pro, but I also learned how to properly research and build for an in-depth story.

Q. What do you hope others learn from the documentary you helped produce?

A. I hope that others realize how relevant the issue of hate is, still, in America today. It is not a thing of the past, and it is something we need to face as a country. I just hope this project expands people’s views of the world.

You can view the documentary trailer here: https://vimeo.com/284232784

Chicago Bulls sports announcer encourages future broadcasters at Meek School

Posted on: October 9th, 2018 by ldrucker

If you have ever been told you cannot play a sport because you are not big enough, or you would not be good at somethinglet Chuck Swirsky be your motivation. 

Swirsky, the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bulls, has faced many challenges to achieve his dream career. But with help and support from others, hard work, dedication and goals, Swirsky remains energetic, focused, disciplined, and passionate about life.   

I was a horrible athlete,” Swirsky said recently as a guest speaker at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media. “I got cut from every game.”

But he still wanted to be a part of sports. “In a make-believe world, I’d love to be an NBA player,” Swirsky said, “but when you’re vertically challenged like me and a poor athlete, a sports announcer is the next big thing.” 

The four people who influenced Chuck’s sports announcing career are Vince Bagli, Ernie Harwell, Joe Tait, and Pete Gross. Swirsky spent many summers with Bagli, a sports announcer, and his family job shadowing him from age 12 to 21. 

Pete Gross, a former broadcaster for the Seattle Seahawks, was also a mentor. Swirsky loved Pete’s work ethic.   

The video is a highlight of Swirsky’s first NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Atlanta Hawks. 

Swirsky said negativity from others can sometimes drive a person to accomplish great things. “The news director at NBC Radio told me that he did not like my voice, and that I will never make it,” he said.

This negative comment gave Swirsky the motivation needed to become a professional sports announcer. And during his junior year at Ohio University, he received an internship with NBC Radio in Cleveland, Ohio.

He recalled another moment when someone told him he would not be a successful sports announcer. He said he cried to his grandmother, who said, “You need to get these negative thoughts out of your system, and tomorrow you are going to prove to everyone and to yourself that you are worthy of this career.”

Swirsky said his grandmother’s speech has been the driving force in his life and every decision he has made. He said the people he surrounded himself with are the reason he has the skills and qualities necessary to succeed in this career field.

“You must be passionate, have a great attitude, and be enthusiastic,” he said. “With these three traits, you can accomplish anything.”  

Swirsky said you must be prepared, have a good work ethic and stay focused. With any job or career, you will have celebrations and challenges, he said.  

He said being a sports broadcaster is a tough and competitive industry. One must never give up, bring it when the time comes, and always be on time for everything.

“You never go into sports broadcasting or anything for the dollars and cents,” he said. “Because you are going to start at the bottom, and I mean the bottom. You are going to have to work your way up.”

In his first job in the sports broadcasting industry, he said he saved money by eating McDonald’s, pizza, and Chinese food. 

image2

Chicago Bulls sports announcer Chuck Swirsky.

Swirsky said he practiced being a successful sports announcer. “I would go into my room with a little tape recorder,” he said. “I would rewrite the newspaper (The Seattle times), and I would do the sportscast into my microphone, and I would listen, listen, and listen again.” 

When he was at Ohio University, he said the school had a 11:15 a.m. sportscast during the weekend. No one else wanted the job because of the time slot. Swirsky volunteered.

Swirsky has accomplished much as a sports announcer. He did not give up on his goals and dreams. When he feels like he has done all he can, he said tries to do more or better. 

“Those insecurities in my DNA drive me everyday to be better,” he said, “but the question I have is: How bad do you really want it, to be a sportscaster? Are you willing to pay the price?”

Swirsky has influenced, mentored, and motivated many journalists. “At this point in my career, I have probably done everything that I had hoped to do. However, there is still a window of opportunity, because I never shut the door on opportunities.” 

Swirsky said his career choice was a major goal in his life, and he thanks God for the opportunity.  

By J.T. Butts

VIDEO: Documentary competition run by alumnus Terry Ewert yields great student work

Posted on: October 5th, 2018 by drwenger

It took 48-hours, hard work and great video storytelling skills to win the first annual School of Journalism and New Media Mini-Documentary competition, but seven teams of Ole Miss students were willing to try their best.

The winning team of Gracie Snyder, Sam Gray and Alec Keyzer-Andre turned in a powerful piece on a sexual assault victim who is still struggling to feel comfortable in the aftermath of her attack.

“The most important thing I learned about filmmaking during this project was that you have to let the subject direct your way of filming. We wanted to fully embrace and capture her story,” Keyzer-Andre said.

The force behind the competition is journalism school alumnus, filmmaker and broadcast sports producer Terry Ewert. He says the 48-hour film experience has been around for a while.

“It’s used as an exercise by film schools, film societies and co-ops, etc. to teach focus, collaboration, and to give students a hands-on project to use the technology of cinema,” Ewert said.  “Usually, students can choose from which genre they want to create—drama, comedy, horror, music videos, documentary, etc.  Since this workshop was for the School of Journalism, I thought it would be best to limit the scope just to documentaries – since, at its core, journalism is the search for truth.”

First place winners received $100 gift cards and a trophy; second place winners went home with $50 cards. The second place team included Maggie Bushway, Sima Bhowmik, Ahmed Shatil Alam and Michael Lawrence. Their piece also focused on a character struggling with a challenge – this time with mental health.

Ewert says he took great pleasure in collaborating with j-school Prof. Ji Hoon Heo and the students who committed to the workshop.

“Hands down, working with the students was my favorite part.  They had such inspired ideas, and seeing those ideas on video and completed left me feeling that we had a group of future storytellers on our hands,” Ewert said.

Keyzer-Andre has some advice for students who may choose to participate in next year’s competition.

“If you are looking to take part in this contest, all I can say is plan. Having a schedule and a production shot list was very crucial to the timeliness of this project. Without having those for references it would have been very hard to meet the deadline. I would also recommend working with the max amount of members in your group as having different minds all thinking about one subject allows for new ideas and creativity to flow.”

Ewert is already thinking about next year, too.

“I would like to invite more individuals involved in video in other schools on the campus to join the party.  I think we had a diverse group, but maybe we can expand the endeavor.”

UM journalism graduate perfects skills behind the scenes of ESPN Network

Posted on: September 27th, 2018 by ldrucker

Born and raised an Ole Miss fan, 2016 graduate Catherine Carroon followed generations of family members to Rebel Nation before beginning her career in the world of sports through the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media.

Although she was not 100 percent set on Ole Miss, she said she decided to attend the university due to its impeccable journalism program.

Carroon embarked on her journalism journey her freshman year; however, she quickly switched her major to the school’s integrated marketing communications program.

The decision to switch career paths came from her passion for sports. She said she knew she didn’t want a career in sports writing, but since the school did not offer sports marketing, IMC became the best decision.

“I thought [IMC] would be the closest thing to get me near that track,” Carroon said.

While attending the university, Carroon had her first taste of experience through ESPN as a “runner” for College Gameday. That behind-the-scenes experience influenced her to hone in on sports operations.

“ESPN was one of those things I always thought ‘there is a one-in-a-million special person’ who would get the job there,” Carroon said. “I never thought it would be obtainable.” Photo courtesy of Carroon.

Carroon furthered her skill set in sport operations by working in the university’s control room—an operations sports program run by ESPN for a majority of SEC universities.

Upon graduation, Carroon said she was unsure what her next steps would be. However, one of the coordinating producers, Meg Aronowitz, sent a mass email to all the SEC control rooms regarding an operations internship in Bristol, Connecticut.

One of the ESPN control room contacts informed Carroon and encouraged her to apply, she said.

“ESPN was one of those things I always thought ‘there is a one-in-a-million special person’ who would get the job there,” Carroon said. “I never thought it would be obtainable.”

Now as a operations coordinator in her third year at the network, Carroon said she can link the framework of her success back to her Ole Miss experiences.

Although her classes in sports and journalism taught her educational information she uses day to day, Carroon credits her time at the university’s control room for her hands on experience in sports. From interacting with producers to handling film, the experience gave her a bird’s eye view on how to work in sports operations.

Carroon has covered a plethora of sports since her stint at ESPN. From the Sunday night MLB package to working on Olympic Sports, there aren’t many sports the young journalist hasn’t covered.

By Talbert Toole, lifestyles editor of HottyToddy.com.