For two days in late April, the Ole Miss Student Media Center became a news bureau for WTVA in Tupelo. Led by journalism professors Deb Wenger and Nancy Dupont, a team of 5 students covered the annual Double Decker Festival.
Gabriel Austin and Natalie Wood focused their Friday story on the artists of Double Decker.
The art story and another on festival music aired on WTVA’s 10 p.m. show.
“They did a terrific job,” said Wenger. “The started shooting at about noon, produced four versions of the story — one for WTVA, one for NewsWatch, one for HottyToddy.com and one for the DMOnline. Gabe anchored NewsWatch and then he and Natalie went back out for another round or reporting.”
On Saturday, a second team picked up the reporting baton at 7 a.m. to cover the Double Decker 10K. Ian Cowart and Jillian Clifton worked hard to capture the flavor of the festival’s biggest day.
Clifton says she was willing to give up her Saturday to get this kind of experience.
“It makes me feel proud to be a journalism student and to know that my work actually means something and people are actually watching it,” said Clifton.
WTVA’s news managers were so pleased with the students’ efforts that they asked to expand from two days of reporting to three. Miriam Cresswell and Gabriel Austin were tapped to cover a fundraiser for Good Food for Oxford Schools on Sunday; however, that event was postponed due to storms in the area.
The weekend reporting experience is part of the advanced TV reporting class, which is taught by both Dupont and Wenger.