School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Storm Coverage Teaches Important Lessons

Posted on: August 30th, 2012 by

Meek School journalism student Margaret Ann Morgan braves the pelting rain to cover Hurricane Isaac on the Mississippi coast, August 29, 2012. Photo by Mikki Harris.

Day 2 of Hurricane Isaac coverage brought more field experience for students Margaret Ann Morgan and Stephen Quinn.

“The day went really well today,” said Assistant Professor Mikki Harris. “Margaret Ann and Stephen did a fantastic job in extreme conditions, which included horizontal rain pellets!”

Meek School student Stephen Quinn uses his smartphone to cover Hurricane Isaac, August 29, 2012. Photo by Alysia Steele.

The team of four, which traveled to the Mississippi coast on Tuesday, also included Professional in Residence Al Steele.

Steele captured photos of the students in action, focusing on their mobile news gathering, which they used to report the story in real-time through social media.

“The rain stung and the winds were fierce, almost knocking us all down at one point or another,” Steele said.

Morgan, who is a Mississippi resident, called on her knowledge of the state and even family members to help the team get the story covered.

“I think the most important thing that we learned is how important the use of true multimedia is, especially in a breaking news situation when it’s all coverage, all the time,” said Morgan. “We had to balance reporting to Twitter and Facebook and producing live shots and then turning around stories for the Web, so that we were able to reach everybody whichever way they were getting their information.”

The students reported for student media outlets, including the DM Online and NewsWatch. Quinn’s stories also aired on WTVA in Tupelo.