Fox News anchor and Ole Miss alumnus Shepard Smith was only on campus for one day before his class of eleven students took over the Daily Mississippian website. Smith came to teach a summer intersession class in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, and recent news events have made this the ideal time to be a journalist in Mississippi.
In the aftermath of major tornadoes and in the middle of rising floodwaters, on the second day of class, students headed to Smithville to report on tornado recovery efforts and to Tunica and Vicksburg to chronicle swamped homes and businesses. During their reporting day, they called in briefs for the DM site and posted pictures and video to add power to their words.
“We’ve all been given a unique opportunity as journalism students to take what we have learned in the classroom and apply it at a time when the eyes of the nation are on Mississippi,” said Meek School graduate student Alex McDaniel. “Having Shepard Smith return to the same place he started to help us shape these stories and become better journalists is a dream.”
Smith also brought his Studio B show and anchored the Fox News Report from the Circle outside the Lyceum on the first day of class. The students had an amazing experience watching the show production.
“This place gave a lot to me and I just want to give a little bit back,” Smith said.
The students will travel to New York to do reporting on Ole Miss alumni working in the Big Apple. They will also spend time in a temporary classroom at Fox headquarters and will get to shadow and hear from key players in the Fox newsroom. Smith seems as excited about the class as the students.
“I can’t wait to see their work, find out what it is they’re going to accomplish, watch them grow and make us proud.”