School of Journalism and New Media

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Archive for the ‘Faculty News’ Category

UM journalism professors win Telly Award in international video competition

Posted on: May 29th, 2020 by ldrucker

Return to Croatia

When Assistant Professor Iveta Imre, Ph.D., began her career as a student at the University of Zagreb 20 years ago, she met a professor from the University of Tennessee who came there to help lead a student workshop. Because of that connection, she began a journalism journey that eventually led her to the United States, and she is now a member of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media faculty.

In December, life came full circle when Imre and Interim Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., returned to the University of Zagreb to help lead a journalism workshop and mentor students. The result was the creation of a news program that resulted in an international award.

The “Disrupt the News” project led by Imre and Wenger in Croatia in December won a second-place Silver Telly Award in the Non-Broadcast Category of an international video and television festival in New York.

For two-weeks in mid-December, Wenger and Imre led the multimedia journalism workshop in cooperation with the Faculty of Political Sciences at Croatia’s University of Zagreb (FPZG), with the support of the U.S. Embassy.

The workshop focused on preparing students and professionals for evolving careers in journalism and included instruction and practice with emerging storytelling techniques and tools, such as 360-visuals, and strategies for verifying information and building audience trust. The result was an experimental newscast and a multimedia website, Zagreb Newslab.

Iveta Imre in Croatia

Dr. Iveta Imre, a drone pilot, steers the device as students watch.

“The winning project is a half hour newscast called ‘Croatia Works,’ which explored issues related to working conditions in Croatia,” said Imre. “This newscast used innovative storytelling techniques and new tools and technologies, such as data visualization and mapping, to tell stories about international workers in Croatia, Croatian brain drain, and the gig economy, among others.”

Imre reflected on returning to her alma mater after 20 years to conduct a workshop like the one that inspired her.

"That was one of the best experiences of my education at the time,” she said, “so I understand the profound impact these kinds of workshops can have on students, and I was glad I had a chance to come back and work with the new generation of young journalists in Croatia."
Iveta Imre
Dr. Iveta Imre
Assistant Professor

Imre said she believes the project was selected as a winner because it used innovative storytelling techniques to explore an important issue that impacts a many people in Croatia.

“We had a great group of students who worked really hard to get great visuals and informative interviews with officials and people who are impacted,” she said, “and the fact that we won an award recognizes all the hard work that went into creating this newscast.”

The collaboration came about because Professor Tena Perišin, head of the journalism department at FPZG, had been following Wenger’s work for many years and because of her personal connection to Imre.

“Iveta is my ex-student, who after earning her M.A. from Zagreb, continued her academic career in the US,” Perišin said in an earlier interview. “In addition to her professional skills, which are very important, she is one who understands our Balkan mentality. It was a win-win situation considering we included 24 students, journalists and journalism lecturers from five countries to make this workshop a success.”

Croatia
Play Video

The workshop included young journalists from five European countries – Croatia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia.

The Telly Awards event was founded in 1979 to honor excellence in local, regional and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming added soon after, according to the award website.

With the recent evolution and rise of digital video (web series, VR, 360 and beyond), the awards today also reflect and celebrate a new era of the moving image on and offline. The awards annually showcase the best work created within television and across video for all screens. Organizers received more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

“I think that the students who participated in the workshop have a bright future in journalism ahead,” Imre said. “and I hope this award will inspire them to continue working hard and telling important stories.”

Friends and colleagues mourn former journalism department leader

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has lost a former leader who did much to promote quality journalism in schools throughout the South.

Ronald T. Farrar, who was chair of the UM journalism department from 1973 to 1977, died May 18 at age 84.

Farrar is also a former chair of the Southern Methodist University journalism department and former director of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism.

He authored several books, including a biography of Walter Williams, who founded the world’s first school of journalism at the University of Missouri. He also wrote “Powerhouse,” a book chronicling the history of journalism education at the University of Mississippi from its origins in 1947. He retired from academia in 2001 as the University of South Carolina’s Reynolds-Faunt Professor of Journalism.

Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan, an associate professor of journalism at the UM School of Journalism and New Media, met Farrar at the University of South Carolina as a graduate student. He said Farrar was a fabulous writer and historian.

“Above all, he was kind, with an attitude that all things are possible, and that good ideas mattered,” Dolan said. “I was his teaching assistant in a large section of freshmen, among them Ainsely Earhardt, who went on to Fox News. I owe my teaching career to him.”

Debbie van Tuyll, a professor of communications at Augusta University’s Department of Communications, was also one of Farrar’s graduate students. She describes him as an old-fashioned, Southern gentleman.

“And I mean that in the best way,” she said. “He was gracious and open to those around him. That’s not to say he didn’t have his moments when he could be stern, but he always did so in such a way as to be non-offensive.”

Van Tuyll said Farrar had an uncanny ability to assess where a student was in his or her intellectual development, meet them there, and help them move ahead in their studies.

“He was the best combination of teacher and scholar,” she said. “And a fine copy editor. He caught so many mistakes in my dissertation that I should have caught. But mostly, he was there to offer encouragement and to be a cheerleader for me.”

An Arkansas native, Farrar graduated from the University of Arkansas, earning a bachelor of science degree in business in 1957, according to a bio. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa in 1962, and a Ph.D. in history and journalism from the University of Missouri in 1965.

Ronald T. Farrar

Click the photo to access an article about Farrar from the University of South Carolina. Screenshot from University of South Carolina website.

Farrar began his career in Arkansas, first as a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat in Little Rock, later as the news editor of the Daily Press in Paragould, and as the editor of the Trumann Democrat in Truman. He also worked for the Daily Iowan.

Those who knew him said Farrar had the remarkable gift of never meeting a stranger. He was a great listener, a good man who truly cared about everyone he met and, in turn, they cared about him. He made and kept friends for life.

Van Tuyll said Farrar’s legacy is his students and scholarship. Because of his leadership and guidance, she won the American Journalism Historians Association Kobre Award this year for lifetime achievement.

“I was so proud to tell Dr. Farrar about that – even though he’d never been active in AJHA,” she said. “Still, I wouldn’t have won that award without his hand guiding me through my studies and teaching me the importance of doing high quality, publishable research that answered a significant question.”

Farrar was an internationally respected and gifted professor who taught, wrote and conducted research for nearly four decades. He was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists in 1969 with the Distinguished Service Medal for Research in Journalism for his book “Reluctant Servant: The Story of Charles G. Ross.”

UM graduate Rose Flenorl said she met Farrar while attending a program her senior year of high school designed to increase racial diversity at Ole Miss.

“I had decided to major in journalism, so I had the opportunity to meet Ron Farrar,” she said. “He was an encourager. I so enjoyed my visit, my conversations with Ron and attending journalism classes. Of course, I decided to attend Ole Miss after that visit.”

Rose Flenorl

Rose Flenorl

Flenorl said Farrar kept in touch with her throughout her career and continued to track her progress.

“Leadership matters. Effective leaders build strong cultures, inclusive environments and collaborative teams,” she said. “They also attract the best in faculty, staff and students.”

She graduated from UM with a degree in journalism and English and now works in corporate communications as Manager of Global Citizenship at FedEx Corporation in Memphis.

Charles L. Overby, former chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum, Newseum and Diversity Institute, is chairman of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics located inside the UM School of Journalism and New Media.

Charles Overby

“My own personal experience showed me that Ron cared deeply about his students, both while they were at Ole Miss and afterwards,” Overby said. “He was a good educator and administrator, but more than that, he was a very caring people person. Ron became a friend for hundreds of students long after they left Ole Miss.”

Due to conditions at this time, the family will hold a graveside service on Saturday, May 23, with plans to hold a memorial service later this summer.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Award in Media and Civil Rights in care of the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Farrar endowed the award there in 2011.

Enroll now in summer courses from the UM School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: May 20th, 2020 by ldrucker

Are you feeling a little bored? Why not get a head start on some of your classes?

Many courses offered this summer by the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media are required classes for journalism and IMC majors.

For summer classes, you have until the day they start to enroll, so why not include learning in your plans for summer fun?


Full Summer


Bobby Steele – IMC 104 Web 1 – Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication
– Integrated marketing communications is a versatile field. This class required for IMC majors introduces the basic disciplines of IMC – advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, database marketing, internet marketing communication, and relationship marketing.

IMC 395 – Internship I – Internship experience in media, such as public relations and advertising.

IMC 495 – Internship II – Internship experience in media, such as public relations and advertising.

 

First Summer Session

 

Mark Burson IMC – 455 Web 1 – Integrated Marketing Communications – This class required for IMC majors is a capstone course involving tactical application of IMC skills and disciplines that is designed to develop team-building skills. Alternative and competing IMC campaigns will be presented and judged by both professor and client.

Roy Frostenson – JOUR 101 Web 1 – Media, News & Audience – This class required of all majors is an introduction to various facets of communication from the world of news media to the persuasive realms of marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media. This course will also strengthen your knowledge of the media and communication industries, their history and current practices, their content, and their effects on us as individuals and society.

Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking

Emily Bowen-Moore – JOUR – 273 Web 1 – Creative Visual Thinking – Ready to think visual? This class required by all students except those enrolled in the broadcast journalism emphasis is an introduction to communication design that explores different media and how visual elements are used to communicate. It focuses on the vocabulary of effective visual presentation and the analysis of visual messages across media platforms.

Mark Dolan – JOUR 345 – Digital Media Diversity – Explores the origins, theory, and applications of diversity in digital media content and opens pathways among students and instructors to understand digital representations of race, sexuality, gender, disability, ethnicity, and class, underscoring and enlarging historical narratives of communication, the nature of audience and content creators within digital spaces. This class fulfills the diversity requirement.

 

Second Summer Session

 

Brad Conaway – JOUR – 310 Web 1 – Social Media in Society – This class takes a critical approach to understanding the relationship between society and social media. The course will explore the development of social media by situating them in broader social, political, historical, and business contexts. We will examine how the emergence of social media technologies are discussed, the ethical and legal challenges surrounding these technologies, and how social media affect various aspects of our lives including our social relationships, identity, privacy, and work.

LaReeca Rucker – JOUR – 361 Web 1 – Journalism Explorations IBlack Mirror, The Twilight Zone and Media – The British science-fiction anthology series “Black Mirror” is set in the near future explores the potential consequences of social media and future technology. Each episode has a different cast with a unique story and, like most science fiction, it offers a prophetic warning about what could happen if we lose control and allow technology to control us.

Some might say we are currently living in a “Black Mirror” moment. Recognizing the show’s potential as a discussion starter about modern and future media, students will watch specific episodes of “Black Mirror” and think critically about the program. Through class discussions and writing exercises, they will envision the future of social media and technology. Some selected content will be hosted on our Black Mirror Project website.

This mind-bending class will also analyze topical developments and news stories related to the impact of social media on society. Students will read academic articles that have been written about “Black Mirror” and “The Twilight Zone.” Other science and speculative fiction movies and television shows will be examined. We’ll speculate about what the future holds, good and bad, with media and technology. And we’ll discuss what we can learn about journalism and a free society from science fiction visions of dystopias.

Black Mirror

Students who take this class will receive daily lesson plans on Blackboard with work they should complete before the following day. They may be asked to give short video presentations via Zoom, or to upload a video to YouTube so that other students can view their presentations. We also plan to have weekly, nationally-recognized speakers who can share their thoughts on the media and technology topics we discuss that will be broadcast in an optional live Zoom meeting or via video.

Students will be asked to complete some writing projects that could be featured on our “Black Mirror” website: https://blackmirrorideas.wordpress.com/ They will be asked to engage in discussions in our Blackboard Discussion Forum with their classmates. We’ll also use social media platforms, such as Twitter, to communicate on some assignments. And we will (optionally) explore virtual reality, so it might be a good idea to purchase some inexpensive ($10 or less) VR glasses.

Iveta Imre – JOUR 362 – Journalism Explorations IIVideo Storytelling – Video storytelling is an essential skill whether you are going into film or TV, social media or advertising, PR or journalism, and the goal of this class is to give students a fundamental understanding of how to use video to tell a quality story. Students will learn to research, report, shoot, and edit short, focused video stories designed specifically for the web.

Imre said students will be doing fun projects, such as creating a silent movie for which they will edit a story only using visuals. They will also learn best practices for videos for social media. Students will experiment with video storytelling for TikTok. They will learn video and audio editing, and the class will culminate in creating a mini personal story or a mini documentary. At the end of the semester, they will have a class film festival with surprise awards for the best in show videos.

Bobby Steele – IMC 104 Web 1 –  Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication – This class required for IMC majors introduces the basic disciplines of IMC – advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, database marketing, internet marketing communication, and relationship marketing.

Christina Sparks – IMC 304 Web 1 – Account Planning – This class required for IMC majors presents principles and practices of the account planning process to develop skills, insights and strategies to use in different methods of influencing consumers’ behavior. Students will hear real-world examples of the instructor’s time as an account planner at Ogilvy.

Account planning is the study of branding, positioning, research, analytics, insights, and measurements involved in the creation and evaluation of an advertising or communication campaign. Account planners are known as the voice of the consumer within agencies. They are the brand marketers, consumer experts, strategy developers, data analysts, program effectiveness measurers and general thinkers behind communications. Concepts learned in the course will be applied in a planning project.

design

Darren Sanefski – IMC 305 Web 1 – Visual Communication – This class required for the graphic design specialization emphasizes creation, utilization, and critique of visual components of IMC at professional levels. Students will learn basics of design software for IMC purposes and applications in print, online, and video, as well as packaging and retail environments.

Mike Tonos – IMC 390.1 – Advanced Writing: Integrated Marketing – This class required for IMC majors explores advanced writing in integrated marketing types of advertising; concepts of creativity, copy structure, and style; emphasis on creative thinking and clear, precise writing in preparation of advertising for print and broadcast media and copy for presentations and direct mail.

John Baker – IMC 404 – IMC Research – This class required for IMC majors explores the theory and practice of qualitative and quantitative research applied to multiple marketing and communications challenges and tasks.

 

August Intersession

 

Bobby Steele – IMC 104 Web 1 – Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication – This class trequired for majors introduces the basic disciplines of IMC – advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, database marketing, internet marketing communication, and relationship marketing.

UM School of Journalism and New Media offers three ways to pay tribute to Street who is set to retire in May

Posted on: May 12th, 2020 by ldrucker

About 4,000 hours of Senior Lecturer Robin Street’s life ended this month when she graded her last advanced PR student project.

Each semester, students in her PR Techniques class turned in a final PR campaign plan of 50-100 pages. Grading it took up to two hours per student and she had about 2,000 total students in that class over the years.

Those projects are only a portion of the assignments, tests and papers she graded for classes in Introduction to PR, PR Case Studies, Feature Writing, News Reporting and Writing for Mass Media, at least doubling the total number of grading hours to 8,000.

Was it worth to Street?

Robin Street

Robin Street

“Absolutely! “Watching my students succeed as professionals made every minute worth it,” Street said. “Nothing beats the feeling I get when former students email me to tell me they used something they learned in class at work.

“Watching that ‘light bulb’ come on with students as they begin to understand how to create the work is a wonderful experience. But that understanding does not come often until you show them how through grading and feedback.”

The School of Journalism and New Media is asking her former students to pay tribute to Street, who will retire from full-time teaching on May 31, in three possible ways.

  1. Former students are asked to write a statement of what Street meant to them and to share their favorite story about her. Send the statement as an attachment, which will later be put into a bound volume, to Sarah Griffith at slgriff@olemiss.edu.
  2. The Robin Street Public Relations Students Support Fund has been established to help PR students with travel and expenses and to establish the Robin Street Outstanding Public Relations Student award. To donate, go to https://ignite.olemiss.edu/project/19977
  3. A party was scheduled for Friday, Oct. 23 from 6-8 p.m. That party, like so many other things in our lives, is now on hold. Updates will be sent out closer to the time.

Cooper Manning celebrates our seniors as virtual graduation speaker

Posted on: May 7th, 2020 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate Cooper Manning, who, in case you didn’t know, is also part of a famous football family, is the school’s virtual graduation speaker this year.

The school has created a virtual graduation page where you can see his full address to the Class of 2020.

Or if you’re lucky enough to spend five minutes talking to Manning, you can’t help but notice his sense of humor. We asked him what it was like to grow up in a famous family?

“I would say it was exactly the opposite of being a Kardashian.”

Manning said he became a broadcast journalism major after taking a semester of accounting and realizing he didn’t love it.

“I have always been kind of comfortable talking on camera or in front of people,’ he said. “You had semesters where you were behind the scenes and working the camera, and you got to learn a different perspective.”

“While I enjoyed being on camera more, I did appreciate my days as a cameraman. I also liked that there were no set hours around journalism. You could go shoot something at night. There was always action. You weren’t tied to a schedule.”

Manning said he’s always had two career paths – a sales job and a media job.

“After college, I had a radio show,” he said. “A big radio guru had a heart attack and was out of commission. They said, ‘Have you ever hosted a radio show? … You’re hired.’ My fun was always being on the air in some fashion. For me, personally, I think if I had made it a full-time career, it might not be as fun.”

Cooper Manning

Cooper Manning

Manning is entering his fifth year as a host for “The Manning Hour” on FOX NFL Sunday Mornings, where his broadcast journalism degree comes in handy. However, in his real job, he is senior managing director of investor relations for AJ Capital Partners focusing on new business development and managing and curating investor relationships. There he has been instrumental in raising capital for Graduate Hotels.

“I have a lot of respect for the guys in the journalism world,” he said. “The hours are different. Those are tough hours. Those guys grind and work.”

He said he hopes graduates will ponder this thought:

“I hope they can walk away thinking, ‘If this no talent clown is doing OK for himself, then I’m going to kill it,” he said. “I was reluctant to accept the invitation just because I still wake up in the middle of the night and have that horrible pit in my stomach that I have a paper due and haven’t done it, and you can’t find the classroom, and you’re late for class.”

“I have really enjoyed the last decade of my life without having papers and homework due, so I guess I wanted to torture myself the last couple of months about what I am going to put down on paper or what comes out of my mouth. I am equally nervous about this and my sociology exam at the end of my senior year, which didn’t turn out so well.”

His advice to young professionals:

“I am a big believer in doing what you like and doing what you are good at,” he said. “Don’t take a job that you don’t like that you’re not passionate about because it’s a good job. There are not that many people in the world who get to come home and enjoy what they have done, so if you can find that, I think you’ve got it figured out.”

For more information about our journalism or integrated marketing communications programs visit jnm.olemiss.edu.

This article was written by LaReeca Rucker.

Registration is underway for J361 ‘Black Mirror, The Twilight Zone and Media’ summer class

Posted on: May 5th, 2020 by ldrucker

Registration is underway for a class the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media will be offering online during the second summer session called J361 “Black Mirror, The Twilight Zone and Media.” If you’re a fan of either show, you may enjoy studying them from an academic viewpoint while envisioning the future of media and  technology.

“Black Mirror” is a British science fiction Netflix anthology series set in the near future that explores the potentially dark consequences of technology and social media. Each episode has a different cast with a unique story and, like most science fiction, it offers a speculative warning about what could happen if we lose control and allow technology to control us.

Black Mirror

 

The show, created by Charlie Brooker, was first broadcast on British television in 2011. It is now a Netflix original series, and some have called it a modern day “Twilight Zone.” Recognizing its potential for the discussion of modern and future media, some colleges and universities across the country have incorporated “Black Mirror” into their journalism and communications classes.

“The Twilight Zone,” which ran on CBS for five seasons from 1959 to 1964 and had several revivals, likely needs no description unless you just moved to Earth.

Professor LaReeca Rucker will teach the “Black Mirror, The Twilight Zone and Media” class. She encourages “Black Mirror” and “Twilight Zone” fans to register and enter a new dimension. Read the class Q & A below to learn more.

Q. Why were you inspired to create a class inspired by “Black Mirror” and “The Twilight Zone?”

A. After watching all the episodes of both series, I thought many of them tapped into important issues happening in our society regarding media and technology, offering a visionary warning about scenarios we could face if we aren’t careful. The episodes offer near future visions about issues involving social media, cyber security, cyber crime, digital privacy, digital voyeurism; technological inventions like drones, digital contacts and self-driving cars; and digital disconnection. Many of these scenarios are already happening in our world. We read about them daily in news stories. From city governments that become targets of ransomware attacks, to people who film crimes and accidents on their cell phones to share on social media rather than intervening and helping victims. And our world is very much influenced by social media. You’ll see eerie near future visions of this in “Black Mirror.”

LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker

Q. Is “Black Mirror” used by others in education?

A.Black Mirror” has been used by many people from different fields of study. If you take a look at some of the academic journal articles that have been written about the series, you’ll find papers written by experts in the fields of media and communication, sociology, science, technology, criminal justice, law, art, music, and literature, among others. Some papers discuss technological surveillance and privacy issues; the future of tech products, such as wearables; artificial intelligence; cultural issues, such as racial inequalities; and other philosophical topics that blend technology and spirituality.

Q. Are we living in a “Black Mirror” moment?

A. Yes. Some might say that we are currently living in a “Black Mirror” moment. We are on the verge of a situation that could go either way depending on how we respond now and in the future. If we seemingly resolve the current COVID-19 situation, some scientists have said it’s only a matter of time before another strain of this virus or another emerges to cause another pandemic. This is largely due to how we, as citizens of the planet, are handling many things, including negligently destroying forests and animal ecosystems, selling wild animals in wet markets, and factory farming, writers and scientists have said. These are the things that have led to viral spillovers. Authors and filmmakers have been warning us about this since 2011 in books like “Spillover” and movies like “Contagion,” and we weren’t prepared.

Today, when anything happens, it is amplified by technology. So one of the things we’ve seen during this crisis is an abundance of information. But much of that information has been conflicting, and it seems to indicate what can already be presumed – we don’t exactly know what’s happening or how this is going to turn out – but we have new information about it every second of the day.

There are also thoughts by some that “the media,” which for some includes everyone with a social media account these days, is influencing the events. I believe we – everyone on social media – are collectively influencing the response to this situation by voicing our opinions, and that is an interesting and somewhat disturbing thing to think about – the power we now have with social media to influence situations that we didn’t have in the past. You will see this scenario happening in several episodes of “Black Mirror.”

Q. Why is “Black Mirror” or “The Twilight Zone” educational? What can we learn from it?

A. “Black Mirror” has been called a modern version of “The Twilight Zone.” We’ll also be watching episodes of “The Twilight Zone” in this class. Rod Serling, the narrator of the show, was a brilliant writer with a heart for social justice. That comes through in many of his pieces that offer dystopian visions of society. Remember the iconic “Eye of the Beholder” episode with native Southerner Donna Douglas (of “The Beverly Hillbillies”) who just wants to look normal like everyone else, so she endures many operations to look like other members of her society, but ultimately does not succeed in her transformation, and she is devastated?

In the end, the audience sees that she looks like a model, but she has been having multiple operations to look like the “normal” people of her world with their distorted, frightening faces who live in a place ruled by a dictator. This is just one example of a “Twilight Zone” episode set in a dystopian world void of freedom and individuality. And what better way to talk about journalism, the First Amendment, the Constitution, and American freedoms than to contrast these privileges with fictional and real life examples of modern day government dystopias in which citizens have none of the freedoms that we as Americans enjoy.

Q. What can science fiction teach us about our society?

A. Anything that offers a prophetic warning can teach us things to avoid. In addition to offering warnings about our culture and society, there is a business angle that could be beneficial to companies. Futurism is a business concept that uses science fiction and forward thinking to predict long-term strategies and outcomes for companies. Some major companies have brought in teams of science fiction writers who can use their research and writing skills to predict what lies ahead for that company. This may help them make profitable decisions and avoid future crises that company leaders haven’t thought about. None of us can predict the future, but we can make smarter decisions with research, knowledge and innovation.

Class Description

Recognizing the show’s potential as a discussion starter about modern and future media, students will watch specific episodes of “Black Mirror” and think critically about the program. Through class discussions and writing exercises, they will envision the future of social media and technology. Some selected content will be hosted on a Black Mirror Project website.

This mind-bending class will also analyze topical developments and news stories related to the impact of social media on society. Students will read academic articles that have been written about “Black Mirror” and “The Twilight Zone.” Other science and speculative fiction movies and television shows will be examined. We’ll speculate about what the future holds, good and bad, with media and technology. And we’ll discuss what we can learn about journalism and a free society from science fiction visions of dystopias.

How will the class be taught?

Students who take this class will receive daily lesson plans on Blackboard with work they should complete before the following day. They may be asked to give short video presentations via Zoom, or to upload a video to YouTube so that other students can view their presentations.

We also plan to have weekly, state- and nationally-recognized speakers who can share their thoughts on the media and technology topics we discuss that will be broadcast in an optional live Zoom meeting or via video. Students will be asked to complete some writing projects that could be featured on our “Black Mirror” website: https://blackmirrorideas.wordpress.com/

They will be asked to engage in discussions in our Blackboard Discussion Forum with their classmates. They will be watching episodes of “Black Mirror” and “The Twlight Zone” on  Netflix (so they need a temporary subscription) throughout the course. We’ll also use social media platforms, such as Twitter, to communicate on some assignments. And we will (optionally) explore virtual reality, so it might be a good idea to purchase some inexpensive ($10 or less) VR glasses.


Harvard Political Review recently published the article Primetime Paranoia that mentions Rucker’s “Black Mirror” Project. The article explores “Black Mirror” and modern anxiety. You can read the story here: https://harvardpolitics.com/culture/primetimeparanoia/

You can also read student stories on The Black Mirror Project website at  https://blackmirrorideas.wordpress.com/

Those interested in learning more about the class may register or email Rucker.

 

 

GRE requirement waived; 4+1 program introduced to help graduate students at School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: April 30th, 2020 by ldrucker

The School of Journalism and New Media has two new opportunities that are designed to make things a little easier for students pursuing graduate degrees.

The school has decided to suspend the GRE requirement for Fall 2020 admission to graduate programs. On a separate note, the school is also introducing a 4+1 program designed for academically strong students who want to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism in just five years.

Farley Hall

Farley Hall

Suspended GRE Requirement

Professor Robert Magee, Ph.D., is the director of the M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication program. You can learn more about the program here: https://masterimc.olemiss.edu

Magee said the Graduate School granted the school permission in April to suspend the GRE requirement for Fall 2020 admission to graduate programs. The suspension is temporary and expires July 31, 2020.

“To be fair to all the applicants, the GRE will not be used at all in any admission decision for Fall 2020 admission,” Magee said. “Under the change, no one will be admitted or denied admission based on a GRE score.”

The suspension also means new applicants do not need to submit a GRE score as part of their application, as long as their application is complete by July 31.

The School of Journalism and New Media offers the M.A. in Journalism, the residential M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication, and the online M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication. Magee said the temporary suspension applies to all three programs.

Many Educational Testing Services testing centers around the country had to close because of COVID-19 concerns.

“Several applicants had contacted me to express their concern over taking the GRE,” Magee said. “They had reserved a time to take the test, but these sessions were canceled.”

ETS has since made arrangements for proctored individual tests, but these can occur in just a few countries, which could leave many international applicants at a disadvantage, Magee said.

“We want to make sure that everyone who wishes to apply can do so and that the application process is as fair as possible,” said Magee. “But setting aside the GRE means that an applicant’s transcript and letters of reference carry even greater weight as outside materials.

“These materials, along with the personal statement and resume, paint a picture for the admission committee of how well an applicant might handle graduate-level work.”

This Grad School link lists several programs:

https://gradschool.olemiss.edu/admissions-during-covid19/

This M.S. in IMC website admissions tab lists application materials:

https://masterimc.olemiss.edu/admissions/

4+1 Program

Assistant Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., a professor of journalism, said the 4+1 journalism program is also designed to help students interested in pursuing an advanced degree.

“The 4+1 is designed for academically strong students who want to get their undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism in just five years,” she said. “The advantage to the students is that they can tackle that advanced coursework beginning in their senior year and then complete that graduate degree in just two more semesters. The advantage to the school is that we get to keep these great students around a little longer.”

Wenger said students who are interested should meet with our Assistant Dean for Student Services Jennifer Simmons and Journalism Graduate Director Joe Atkins as soon as they begin taking journalism courses.

The school is also considering offering a 4+1 program for IMC students in the future.

There is a minimum GPA requirement and a few specific classes they must take to fulfill the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements simultaneously.

Required courses include JOUR 590 Multimedia Storytellling and Jour 578 TV Documentary, to name a couple.

How University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student journalists cover the pandemic

Posted on: April 27th, 2020 by ldrucker

How does journalism and integrated marketing communication education change in the midst of a pandemic? Here’s a look at how our faculty and students took on the challenge.

coronavirus

Coronavirus reporter illustrration

Anna Grace Usery, an instructor of journalism and integrated marketing communications who is the editor-in-chief of HottyToddy.com, said the Hotty Toddy News interns and her IMC 390 Advanced Writing students found new and innovative ways to tell community stories during this time.

“I’ve got students focusing on how local pastors are strengthening their faith by connecting with congregants who they can’t even see,” she said. “One intern is writing a really positive story about the abundance of fresh, local vegetables we’re going to have this summer and how to support farmers.

Anna Grace Usery

Anna Grace Usery

Usery said she thinks it’s fascinating that, in conjunction with students, teachers are discovering new ways to facilitate deep human connections.

“I’ve always taught that phone calls and email interviews should be last resort situations because we know that face-to-face interactions are the lifeblood of community journalism,” she said, “but those new media aspects are integral to storytellers during the quarantine. How do we make those deep connections that embody face-to-face interactions?

“You humanize those stories. You empathize. You give truthful representations of what people are feeling and facing. It’s so exciting to hear interns come back after they’ve researched, written and edited to say they’ve found deeper context to an issue because they found passionate people behind it. Then they become passionate about it. It’s a cycle you hope to inspire in young storytellers.”

Students in Interim Dean Debora Wenger’s J480 Advanced Video Newsgathering class held Google Meet news conferences with newsmakers, including the local school superintendent, the head of University Communications, and the head of communications for UM Athletics.

“They’ve been using FaceTime and other tools to get the people side of the story, i.e. the parent now homeschooling, the student wondering about refunds, and the spring athlete mourning their lost season,” Wenger said. “They also just recently wrapped up an assignment using an animation tool that allows you to easily illustrate concepts, like how to wear a mask properly or whether wearing gloves is a good idea. They’ve been doing amazing work – figuring out new tech and tools and, for the most part, cheerfully getting it all done.”

Graduate students in Wenger’s J610 Multimedia II class had been working on a semester-long project related to hunger in Mississippi when the campus closed.

“Much of their reporting was already done, so they are updating their stories in light of COVID-19, using an audio streaming service to interview their original sources,” Wenger said, “and then we’ll embed these episodes into the Feeding Mississippi website we’re creating. They have been a good team — working with and supporting each other.”

Wenger said one thing that’s essential in any career is adaptability.

“Boy, are they learning that right now,” she said. “They’re also learning that the storytelling principles we talk about are the foundation no matter what format or software you use. I’ve seen wonderful stories produced with an iPhone app, some designed solely for social media and others created for a TV news show – yet they all communicate the essential information people need to understand the story. Kudos to all of them!”

LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker

Professor LaReeca Rucker’s J102 Introduction to Multimedia Writing class reported on the pandemic and published their stories to the website OxfordStories.net.

“They have written about how some healthcare workers say more supplies are needed for them to do their jobs, how unemployment offices are struggling to address a record number of claims during the pandemic, and how panic buying has eliminated some necessary supplies in small towns like Eupora,” she said.

“They have written about how the Oxford Park Commission is working to improve its programming while it’s closed, how Mississippi hotel and Airbnb owners are feeling the effects of COVID-19, and how some are coping by volunteering during this time.”

“I hope that they realize they are doing important, meaningful work this time by providing information that connects their community and moves the conversation forward,” Rucker said. “I’m proud of the work they are doing. Keep reading Oxford Stories where they will be sharing more of their work.”

You can also find their work on social media. Look for Oxford Stories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @oxfordstories1.

Michael Fagans

Michael Fagans

Professor Michael Fagans teaches two sections of Jour 456 Capstone Journalism Innovation.

Some of his students worked on stories about student services being offered during the pandemic, how college seniors are presenting their thesis/final art portfolios online and staying sane while social distancing with your family.

They also covered topics about child abuse and neglect, businesses still operating, how workers at Parchman handled COVID-19 from prison, and how treatment and addiction centers were coping with the situation.

Some students explored how churches held services, what apartment complexes did for residents, the impact on study abroad students, guns as big sellers, and students also produced weekly vlogs.

Cynthia Joyce

Cynthia Joyce

Professor Cynthia Joyce said students from JOUR 377 Advanced Reporting continued to report from home and did a fantastic job.

Their work was published on HottyToddy, the Daily Mississippian and The Oxford Eagle websites. They wrote about subjects ranging from mental health access, grassroots aid for restaurant workers, rental issues, and the campus ministry adjusting to online fellowship.

Assistant Professor of Journalism Iveta Imre, Ph.D., said her students in a JOUR 378 Television Reporting class also covered local stories about the pandemic.

Iveta Imre

Iveta Imre

“They are interviewing sources via Zoom, getting creative with footage, and doing stand-ups all from their homes,” she said. “I have been really impressed with their effort and focus on the work. They have easily transitioned to online teaching, which, for this video class, was not an easy task at hand. I think they are getting valuable experience on reporting during trying times, and I could not be more proud.”

One social media video has been viewed more than 6,000 times.

Professor R.J. Morgan, who is also the director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association, said he’s seen countless teachers and students working overtime to cover the virus and its impact on local communities.

“It’s a major, major disruption of life for, well, for all of us,” he said, “but even amidst all the chaos, I’m still seeing students post meaningful, well-thought-out content in service of their audience.”

R.J. Morgan

R.J. Morgan

Morgan said high schools were out, but many teachers were still meeting regularly with their staffs via Zoom, etc., and editors were still making assignments and proofing pages.

“It has all been amazing to watch,” he said. “We had our annual MSPA spring awards ceremony on March 31, which we conducted digitally for the first time. In light of the ongoing crisis, we added four special COVID-19 categories to our carry-in contests, and we got some really incredible examples of student work that had been produced in such a short amount of time.”

Morgan said the student work demonstrates how seriously students take their jobs and how much their role as student reporters means to them.

“You don’t see that kind of commitment evolving from many other curricular activities,” he said. “We posted the winner/finalists’ works on our website if you’d like to see them.”

 

UM School of Journalism and New Media announces 2019-2020 award winners

Posted on: April 23rd, 2020 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media recognizes the outstanding work of our students annually.

Every year, faculty are asked to submit names of top students in our integrated marketing communications and journalism programs. The list of nominees is long and the challenge is tough to narrow that list down to those deserving of school’s top awards.

“In a typical year, we would bring you and your guests together for a celebration of your accomplishments with a formal awards banquet,” said Dean Will Norton, Jr. “As you know, COVID-19 prevents us from sharing those moments with you.

Student Awards Student Awards

“However, nothing prevents us from thanking you for your hard work and dedication throughout your time at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism & New Media. You are some of our best and our brightest and you give us a reason to be proud. We hope you are proud of all you have done during your time with us.”

The awards are indicative of exceptional performance during a student’s time at the University of Mississippi. They are based on their achievements in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership and the practical application of learning in our school and beyond.

The Dean’s Awards, in particular, were created to ensure that the school recognizes students who are poised to do great work in the broad fields of journalism and integrated marketing communication. 

Our awards list also includes new members of Kappa Alpha Tau, a college honor society that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.

“Membership must be earned by excellence in academic work at one of the colleges and universities that have chapters,” said Nancy Dupont, Ph.D. “Selection for membership is a mark of highest distinction and honor.”

Scott Fiene, assistant dean and associate professor of integrated marketing communications, said faculty members are proud of what our winners have accomplished.

“While it’s sad these outstanding individuals could not be recognized in person this year, they still represent all that is great about the School of Journalism and New Media,” he said. “While they’ll forever be known as the group that didn’t get an awards ceremony, they’ll also always be a reminder that even in difficult times, goodness reigns.

“Look out world – these kids are headed out, and it will be amazing to watch what they do.”

Assistant Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., a professor of journalism, noted that many of our students also win awards at the university level, including the prestigious Taylor Medal, the highest academic award at the university, as well as a series of excellence awards that are based on GPA and faculty endorsements.

“The Excellence Award winners are the type of students who can crank out an academic paper and then create a marketing campaign or report on hurricane recovery along the coast,” she said. “They perform with such grace and confidence that we know they are unstoppable.”

The following video shows our 2020 Taylor Medalists, Excellence and Dean’s Award winners:

Charles Overby Award

Daniel Payne

New Kappa Tau Alpha Members

IMC

Payten Coale
Julia Peoples
Tyler White
Jackson Sepko
Olivia Schwab
Kailee Ayers
Virginia Monssor
Lauren Wilson
Reagan Stone
Avary Hewlett
Cathryn Crawford
Andrew Gardner
Nicholas Weaver
Meredith Sills
Katherine Johnson
Anna Borgen
Hannah Rom
Hannah Williamson
Asia Harden

JOURNALISM

Nigel Dent
Alexandra Barfield
Matthew Brennan Hendley
Mason Scioneaux
Gavin Norton
Alexander Norris
McKenzie Richmond
Callahan Brooke Basil
Austin Parker
Sarah Neely Mullen

MS in IMC

Loidha Castillo Bautista

MA in Journalism

Lucy Burnam

Publishing During A Pandemic: Magazine media industry leaders talk to our own Mr. Magazine™

Posted on: April 10th, 2020 by ldrucker

Professor Samir Husni, Ph.D., director of the Magazine Innovation Center and the Hederman Lecturer, has published a series of interviews with magazine and magazine media executives on how they are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic called Publishing During A Pandemic.

The links to those nine interviews are below this picture that links to Husni’s official blog.

Samir Husni, Ph.D.

Samir Husni, Ph.D.

Highlights for Children’s CEO Kent Johnson
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4P9

Issuu’s CEO Joe Hyrkin
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4OY

The Big Issue’s Editor Paul McNamee
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4OA

Trusted Media Brands’ CEO Bonnie Kintzer
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4Oq

Hearst Magazines’ President Troy Young
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4Og

Bauer’s CEO Steven Kotok
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4O4

Hoffman Media’s CEO Phyllis Hoffman DePiano
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4NQ

Active Interest Media’s CEO Andy Clurman
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4NF

Meredith Magazines’ President Doug Olson
https://wp.me/p3FXF-4MY