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IMC Campaigns class on DeSoto campus works with community businesses

Posted on: April 25th, 2019 by ldrucker

Students enrolled in the School of Journalism and New Media’s integrated marketing communications program on the Ole Miss DeSoto campus are working hands-on in their communities with businesses as part of the IMC 455 Campaigns class with professor Patricia Overstreet-Miller.

Susannah Jones, 21, is a senior from Hernando enrolled in the class that pairs students with a real world client.

“It’s a nice break from all the simulations and practice and an exciting step into the post-college workforce,” she said. “The class is less lecture-based and much more hands on. We have three local non-profit organizations that we’re working with this semester, including Create Foundation, Desoto Grace, and BLDG Memphis.”

Each two- to three-person team collaborates with a business and comes up with an IMC campaign.

“This means that we get to be incredibly involved with the community,” she said. “My team will be working on a campaign for BLDG Memphis, a non-profit aimed at neighborhood revitalization. Throughout the semester, we will use our skills to integrate their messages on all platforms and channels to grow in developing and redeveloping Memphis communities. This will involve areas, such as special community events, social media, media coverage, print pieces, and website design.”

 Jones said she’s learned a lot from the class. “This class brings every piece of what we’ve been learning and practicing together and gives us an opportunity to put together the whole puzzle,” she said. “I’m excited to understand more of the hands-on work that goes into IMC.

“I think students will have more of an understanding of the impact that IMC can have and be able to work with a team more efficiently. This class will be a giant step toward our goals as students. After years of class-time and hard work, this course is the long-awaited cherry on top that equips us to accomplish all that we have been trained for.”

Southaven native William Rustenhaven, 24, is also enrolled in the capstone class for all IMC students. The course takes all of the skills and knowledge obtained through the journalism, business, and IMC classes and utilizes that knowledge to create a marketing campaign for a selected client or business bridging school and the real world.

 “The professor reaches out to a business that the students will be doing a campaign for,” Rustenhaven said. “Once the business agrees to let the class create a campaign for them, it is the student’s duty to set up meetings, do analytic research, and create the campaign for the company . . .

“The company we are working with is called BLDG Memphis, which is a non-profit in Memphis. They help revitalize different parts of the community throughout the Memphis area.”

Rustenhaven said the real world experience of working with companies is important. “It will give them a taste of what the actual world is like outside of the academic classroom,” he said. “It will teach them how to communicate with professionals in the corporate and business world.”

Rustenhaven said he hopes others understand what the IMC program can offer. “It is such an amazing and interesting degree field, and it has a large amount of flexibility,” he said. “So many students have majors, such as business, marketing, communications, journalism, etc. However, with IMC, you can gain experience in all of those fields.

 “As I have told people before, I can apply for a job as an event coordinator, travel up the road and apply for a job at a marketing agency, and then go somewhere else and apply for a business management position or even at a PR firm. These are just a few examples of what the IMC program can offer students, and that does not even begin to break the surface on the opportunities that the IMC program can provide for students.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker. For more information about our journalism and IMC programs, email

School of Journalism and New Media to have first graduate with degrees in both journalism and IMC

Posted on: April 22nd, 2019 by ldrucker

Savannah Woods, 21, will have the distinction of being the School of Journalism and New Media’s first person to graduate with degrees in both journalism and IMC.

Woods is a senior double major and double minor at the University of Mississippi from Cabot, Arkansas.

She is majoring in integrated marketing communications with a minor in business administration, and majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in English.

Woods received the Excellence in Integrated Marketing Communications Award during the University of Mississippi Awards Convocation and Journalism School Awards night. Only two seniors were selected out of all graduates from the program this year.

We asked Woods some questions about how she managed to do this during her time at UM, and she offered advice about how other students can make the most of their time in college. She said the key component is drive.

What are some of the things you are involved in on campus?

I have been heavily involved on campus over my last four years. Freshman year, I served on the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Student Advisory Council with 25 of the top leaders on campus. I also served on Crosby Community Council while I lived in the dorms. For two years, I served as the Spoon University Editorial Director. I currently am a School of Journalism and New Media Ambassador. I am also a member of the American Marketing Association and Society for Professional Journalists.

What made you decide to study at Ole Miss?  

I always knew that Ole Miss was where I wanted to go to school. Back in 1998, my parents began purchasing season tickets to football games, and I grew up, from the time I was a year old, in the Grove. My whole life, it was my dream to be an Ole Miss Rebel. In high school, I was heavily involved in public speaking, debate and journalism. My love for these areas grew into something I knew I wanted to become my career path.

Originally, at freshman orientation, I was signed up for the integrated marketing communications degree program. Over my first year at Ole Miss, I was constantly back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to pursue journalism and be on camera or stay in IMC.

How did you come to major in both journalism and IMC?

I went to my amazing advisor, Jennifer Simmons, and expressed my concern about being undecided. Ultimately, I decided to change my major to broadcast journalism, but then started second guessing the switch . . . so I went back into her office. I looked at her and said, “Is it possible to do both, but still graduate on time in four years because I can’t afford to do additional semesters?”

And she just kind of looked at me and said, “With most students, I would say it’s ‘no,’ but I think you can do it.” So after declaring both majors and minors, I had to work extremely hard. Every semester, I was in 18 hours, trying to crank out all of the requirements so I could graduate on time. It also helped that I did dual enrollment in high school, so I already had 12 credit hours towards my general education classes when I started freshman year.

Now, after much hard work and dedication, I will complete and graduate this May (2019) with two majors and two minors in four years from the School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss.

Was it difficult balancing your schedule while taking both tracks?

It was definitely difficult at times to balance my schedule while taking both tracks. Not only was I a double major and double minor, but I worked three jobs and was involved in extracurricular activities all while trying to maintain a social life.

While I was taking 18 hours every semester, I worked all four years for Ole Miss Football Video and traveled with the football team. I also worked all four years as a student desk assistant at the J.D. Williams Library, then as a social media and editorial intern for, and as a teaching assistant for Journalism 102 for a semester.

Would you recommend that other students double up like you did?

My advice and recommendation for all other students trying to double up and tackle everything is time management. Dewey Knight, one of my greatest friends and mentors, stressed this so much to me my freshman fall at Ole Miss. My planner is like my best friend. I don’t go anywhere or do anything without it. Being a good time manager is key in trying to balance two degrees, jobs, clubs and a social life, but it is totally possible if you have the work ethic and drive to do so.

What do you hope to do/work after graduation? And when will you graduate? This May?

I graduate May 2019. Last summer, I lived in Normandy, France while working on my internship filming a WWII Documentary “The Girl Who Wore Freedom.” After graduation, I am returning to Europe to see the premiere of the film that I had the privilege to be part of and work on. After a month in Europe, I will return home to Arkansas to visit my friends and family before moving and starting my job in Nashville, Tennessee in August.

What advice do you have to offer current and future journalism/IMC students in our school?

Enjoy every second. Ole Miss is a special, special place. As a journalism/IMC major, I encourage other students in the school to utilize every opportunity that we are provided with. There are so many outlets and tools available to us to get involved in and take advantage of.

Engage with your professors, ask them for advice, get involved in the clubs and programs, go to class. We are so blessed to attend a university and be part of a school that cares about our progress and our future as leaders in these industries. A good work ethic and determination to succeed will take you all far in life, so don’t take this place and these resources for granted.

I just want to also say thank you to all of my professors and mentors in and out of the journalism school who have been so monumental in my progress and molding me into the young woman I am today. I could not have accomplished my goals and dreams without their help and guidance.

Journey to Commencement: From the Grove to 30 Rock

Posted on: April 19th, 2019 by ldrucker

This story is part of the “Journey to Commencement” series that highlights University of Mississippi students and their academic and personal journeys from college student to college graduate.

Mack Hubbell likes to make people laugh.

The University of Mississippi senior grew up a bit of a class clown, used his humor as a campaign strategy while running for Mr. Ole Miss, and kept things lighthearted during his time as chaplain for the Kappa Alpha fraternity, a technique that allowed him to break down barriers of communication between himself and his fraternity brothers.

When he graduates in May, Hubbell hopes his ability to make people laugh will blossom into a career. He is a School of Journalism and New Media integrated marketing communications major.

“I want to eventually do comedy writing and perform full time,” he said. “My dream would be to become a cast member on ‘Saturday Night Live.'”

Hubbell laid the foundation of that dream as an Ole Miss student. He had separate internships in New York City, one for “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and the other for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

“Those experiences were incredible,” Hubbell said. “I was getting to walk into 30 Rock (30 Rockefeller Plaza, home of NBC) every day for work. I have watched shows like ’30 Rock,’ ‘SNL,’ ‘Friends,’ all the late-night shows, ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘The Office’ – like, every great show – and I am getting to walk into the building where it all happens.”

To read the full story in the Journey to Commencement series written by Justin Whitmore of University Communications, click this link.

UM students sweep awards from Public Relations Association of Mississippi

Posted on: April 17th, 2019 by ldrucker

One student named Outstanding PR Student in the state

University of Mississippi public relations students swept the awards in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition recently, including one student being named Outstanding PR Student in the state.

Students and recent graduates from the School of Journalism and New Media won 16 of the 19 student awards presented for public relations projects at the PRAM state conference in Vicksburg on April 12.

In addition, IMC major Davis Roberts from Grenada was named Outstanding PR Student in Mississippi. He was selected from 13 nominees from statewide colleges for the award that came with a $500 scholarship. Journalism major Hailey McKee and IMC major Hayden Benge were also recognized as nominees for the award.

For the competition for PR projects, the students entered public relations campaigns they produced in Senior Lecturer Robin Street’s advanced PR class during 2018.  Each student created a campaign to increase awareness or change opinion on a topic of their choice. Topics included prescription drug abuse, the detrimental effects of loneliness, the importance of registering to vote, equal pay for women, eating disorders in men, sex trafficking, suicide prevention, the physical and emotional health benefits of having a pet, the dangers of e-cigarette use, autism, and the dangers of bullying among teenagers.

School of Journalism and New Media Students and their instructor at the Public Relations Association of Mississippi Student Prism Awards Luncheon April 11 awaiting the results. Pictured are: counter-clockwise from far left are Kendall Patterson, Davis Roberts, Hayden Benge, Ally Langston, Anna Bess Pavlakovich, Barrett Climer, Senior Lecturer Robin Street, Melanie Wierzbicki, Hailey McKee, Holly Lasker, Madison Stewart and Chloe Parrish.

Each campaign required multiple aspects including writing news articles, shooting video and photos, planning creative events, conducting research and creating online and social media posts.

“Today’s communication specialists require skills in research and planning, as well as in all forms of communication including writing, designing, photography, video, social media and website creation,” Street said. “These students demonstrated that they excel in this diverse skill set. Their awards are a tribute to the preparation they received from all the faculty members at the School of Journalism and New Media.”

University of Mississippi public relations students and recent graduates swept the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition recently, winning 16 of the total 19 awards presented for PR projects. In addition, IMC major Davis Roberts was named Mississippi Outstanding PR Student. Pictured, left to right, are some of those winners: Front row: Hayden Benge, Chloe Parrish, Maggie Crouch, Senior Lecturer Robin Street, Anna Bess Pavlakovich and Aleka Battista. Second row: Samantha Metz, Calyn Hoerner, Kendall Patterson, Hailey McKee, Holly Lasker and Ally Langston. Third row: Davis Roberts and Melanie Wierzbicki. Not pictured are Barrett Climer, Caroline Hewitt and Madison Stewart. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

Comments from the judges, who remain anonymous, on the students’ entries included “solid research and planning,” “very thorough and impressive,” “exceptional,” “very creative,” “comprehensive and well done,” “thoughtful campaign to bring awareness and assistance to a difficult topic” and “creative and thought provoking.”

Davis Roberts, an IMC major from Grenada, was selected as Outstanding PR Student by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi from nominees representing colleges around the state. Here, he is congratulated by his nominating professor, School of Journalism and New Media Senior Lecturer Robin Street.  Davis was previously named a winner of the Marcus Elvis Taylor Memorial Medal, the university’s highest academic honor. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

Matt Martin, PRAM vice president for awards, commended the students’ entries.

“The award-winning work submitted by the students of the University of Mississippi is notable for its creativity and solid understanding and use of the public relations process,” Martin said. “While their awards will add stars to their resume, it’s their mastery of these fundamentals that will lead to successful careers as PR practitioners.”

Multiple students can win in the same category if they earn the required number of points as scored by the judges. No awards were given in the highest category called the Prism. The Excellence Award is the next highest award, followed by the Merit Award.

Winning Excellence Awards were Benge from Tulsa, Oklahoma; Calyn Hoerner, an IMC graduate from Houston; Holly Lasker, an IMC major from Seattle; and McKee, from Dyersburg, Tennessee. Street also won an Award of Excellence in the professional media writing category.

Winning Merit awards were Aleka Battista, an IMC graduate from Tupelo; Barrett Climer, an IMC graduate from Jackson; Maggie Crouch, a journalism major from Westmont, Illinois; Caroline Hewitt, a journalism graduate from Covington, Louisiana; Ally Langston, a journalism major from Dallas; Samantha Taylor Metz, a marketing and corporate relations major from Hernando; Chloe Parrish, an IMC graduate student from Germantown, Tennessee; Kendall Patterson, a journalism major from Corinth; Anna Bess Pavlakovich, a journalism major from Denver; Roberts; Madison Stewart, an IMC graduate from Dallas; and Melanie Wierzbicki, a double major in Spanish and marketing and corporate relations from Waxhaw, North Carolina.

For more information, contact Robin Street at

Magazine Innovation Center’s ACT 9 Experience all about the students

Posted on: April 17th, 2019 by ldrucker

Annual conference draws all-star list of industry leaders to UM

A who’s who of the international magazine industry will be at the University of Mississippi  from April 23 to 25, but it won’t be the movers and shakers of publishing who will be in the spotlight.

The real stars of the show, according to ACT 9 Experience founder and coordinator Samir Husni, Ph.D., are the Ole Miss students.

“There are a whole bunch of magazine conferences, but, to me, what makes this conference unique is the presence of the students,” said Husni, a UM journalism professor, Hederman Lecturer and director of the Magazine Innovation Center. “This conference brings together current industry leaders and the future industry leaders.”

More than 30 speakers from the highest ranks of magazine publishing will be on campus, and Husni places a priority on having students in the university’s magazine publishing and management specialization interact with those professionals.

“I assign students to shadow the speakers; they actually will pick them up from the airport,” Husni said. “I want that interaction. I want the students to have enough time to spend time with these leaders of the magazine industry.”

For junior Sarah Smith, the ACT 9 Experience serves as a chance to further her knowledge of the industry in which she wants to work, but also to meet people who will prove to be invaluable for her future career.

“This is the only opportunity I know of that you’re going to get a taste of worldwide magazine making anywhere near here,” said Smith, a journalism major from Mount Pleasant. “I expect to gain a lot of information about the next few years of magazine making.

“For media students, this is an unparalleled event where we can meet and mingle with industry leaders. This is a great chance to secure a summer internship or even a job after college.”

The ACT Experience, which stands for “amplify, clarify and testify,” is hosted by the Magazine Innovation Center at the School of Journalism and New Media. The event began in 2010 and has more than doubled in size in nine years.

The university has created a name for itself as a higher education hub for magazine publishing, and the ACT 9 Experience is the highlight of that achievement, Husni said.

“We have people from all over the world coming to this conference, coming to Ole Miss,” he said. “That’s why I tell people, when they say, ‘You need to have something like this in New York or you need to do something like this here or there,’ I’m like, ‘No, the ACT Experience is Ole Miss and Ole Miss is the ACT Experience.’”

The theme of this year’s ACT 9 Experience is “print smart, digital proud,” which Husni said emphasizes the ever-changing landscape of print publications.

“I want to focus on the integration between print and digital, that we are no longer an either/or industry,” he said.

Among the speakers for this year’s event are Linda Thomas Brooks, president and CEO of MPA: The Association of Magazine Media; James Hewes, president and CEO of FIPP, the network for global media; Michael Marchesano, managing director of Connectiv, a leading business-to-business magazine media network; and Jerry Lynch, president of the Magazine and Books at Retail Association.

Husni will moderate a discussion featuring these industry leaders.

“We will talk about some of the challenges facing the entire magazine and media industry locally and worldwide,” Husni said. “It should be fun to have those CEOs at the same place on the same campus in front of future industry leaders.”

The diversity and depth of the speakers makes the event unique, Smith said.

“Dr. Husni is a genius when it comes to magazines, and he puts his heart and soul into this event,” she said. “I think that the fact someone as successful and well-known as him puts his heart in it, always creates something genuine and fresh that you can’t get anywhere else.”

All lectures at the Overby Center are open to the public.

Activities begin Tuesday (April 23), with an opening gala for registered participants, featuring welcoming remarks by UM Provost Noel Wilkin and keynote speaker Stephen Orr, editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens.

Speakers will continue all day Wednesday and Thursday, and Thursday’s events for paid participants feature a bus trip and tour of the Mississippi Delta. The Overby Center for the Study of Southern Journalism and Politics will host the majority of speakers, and a full list of speakers can be found online.

Registration for the event includes all meals, sessions and transportation to and from the Delta. The Inn at Ole Miss is also offering special rates to ACT 9 attendees.

This story was written by Justin Whitmore of University Communications. If you are a prospective student who is interested in learning more about our undergraduate or graduate programs in journalism or IMC, email


Mississippi Press Association to roast Public Broadcasting executive Thursday, April 25

Posted on: April 11th, 2019 by ldrucker

The executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting will be roasted by the state press association April 25 at an event to benefit its journalism education foundation.

Ronnie Agnew, who has been chief executive for MPB since 2011 and is a longtime former newspaper journalist and editor, will be roasted by a panel of his colleagues and peers in a bid to raise funds for the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation.

Click here to view Roast Registration information.

Click here to view Roast Sponsor Levels.

“The Roast is a major fundraiser for the Foundation, and underwrites much of the cost for our annual internship program,” said Layne Bruce, MPA executive director, in an article on the MPA website. “It annually underwrites the cost of placing about 15 student journalists in working positions at Mississippi newspapers.”

In his work at MPB, Agnew has oversight of radio and television programming and the agency’s legislative, education and digital initiatives. He previously was longtime executive editor of The Clarion Ledger and Hattiesburg American.

“We are grateful to Ronnie for stepping up and agreeing to take on the role of ‘roastee’ this year,” said MPA President Paul Keane, publisher of The Wayne County News, in an article on the MPA website. “He has been a longtime member and friend to MPA, and we’re looking forward to a fun and entertaining event with him in the spotlight.”

The event will be held at the Hilton Jackson with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner  at 7 p.m. Tickets are $80 each or a table for eight is $600. Corporate sponsorships are also available. Click here to register or for more information. For more information, contact Bruce, 601-981-3060.

National Week of Conversation featured on MSNBC

Posted on: April 10th, 2019 by ldrucker

When someone has a different opinion than you, do you:

A. Stick your fingers in your ears?

B. Scream at them until they leave your sight?

C. Listen to their perspective?

Today, MSNBC aired a segment about listening as part of this week’s National Week of Conversation, a time when people with diverse perspectives #ListenFirst to understand.

Graham D. Bodie, Ph.D., a professor of integrated marketing communication with the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, works closely with the Listen First Project, a national non-profit that seeks to promote the healing power of listening, especially across difference.

Graham said the Listen First Project is one of the sponsors of the National Week of Conversation that runs through April 13. Organizers of the week were featured on MSNBC. Click the link to watch the video.

In the clip, Pearce Godwin, of the National Conversation Project, joins “Morning Joe” to discuss the National Week of Conversation. Godwin, along with podcast hosts Beth Silvers and Sarah Holland, discuss.

You can also check out the remaining opportunities this week to engage in conversation. Many of those opportunities can be found here, or you can look on social media and search the hashtag #ListenFirst.

UM journalism students win Broadcast Education Association, Associated Press and SPJ awards

Posted on: April 9th, 2019 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students just keep winning awards.

The Broadcast Education Association has an annual Festival of Media Arts that garners thousands of entries from faculty and students nationwide.  This year, we have two national winners:

Brittany Brown

Long Form Video or Film Documentary Category

1st Place – “Hate in America” – Justin Parham, Scott Bourque, Brittany Brown and Jasmine Putney, of Arizona State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Iowa were the winners. The winning entry came from the News21 Fellowship Brown received last year. You can watch the documentary at the link above.

Television Hard News Category

Award of Excellence – Ole Miss Alums and Students Deal with Aftermath of Hurricane Michael – Abbie McIntosh, University of Mississippi – This winning entry was the result of a school-sponsored reporting trip to Panama City, Florida this fall, right after the hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle.

“This is a really good showing in a BEA contest,” said UM professor Nancy Dupont, who has been involved in BEA for many years. “It’s tough to win anything from BEA because we’re competing with the best of the best.”

The winners receive their awards in Las Vegas at the annual BEA conference Festival of Media Arts celebration, an event that will be produced by UM School of Journalism and New Media students, including McIntosh, under the direction of professor Iveta Imre.

Regional Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists Awards

The regional AP awards banquet was Saturday in Jackson. The regional SPJ awards banquet was March 30 in Nashville.

We’re proud The Daily Mississippian, NewsWatch and Rebel Radio each won first place awards in best all-around newspaper, television and radio categories in at least one of the two contests.

SPJ includes entries from student media in four states, and AP in two states. Competing against the top student media in our region, The Daily Mississippian won first place for best student newspaper in both SPJ and AP, and NewsWatch won first place awards for best newscast in both contests, and a second place award for general excellence in AP.

As more information becomes available, we will update this story.

AP First-place awards

The Daily Mississippian, General Excellence for newspapers

NewsWatch OleMiss, Newscast

Billy Schuerman, two first-place awards, for Spot News Photo and Sports Photo.

Billy Schuerman also won a prestigious Best of Show, which includes a cash award and is given to the most outstanding student for a specific media platform. Only six Best of Show awards were given out. Schuerman won for photos published in The Daily Mississippian in 2018. This academic  year, he is studying abroad in Austria.

Rebel Radio, General Excellence for radio stations

Victoria Hosey, two first-place awards, for Radio Reporter and Radio Continuing Coverage. Hosey graduated in December and is studying and working in China this year.

Tyler Hayes, Radio Sports Story

Andranita Williams, Radio Feature Story

DeAndria Turner, Radio News Story

Abbie McIntosh, TV Reporting

Alec Keyzer-Andre, Sam Gray, Gracie Snyder, TV Documentary


AP Second-place awards:

NewsWatch Ole Miss, General Excellence

The Daily Mississippian, Editorials (a series of three)

Abbie McIntosh, TV News Story

Victoria Hosey, two second-place radio awards for Newscast and a shared award with Will Stribling for Radio Continuing Coverage

Will Stribling, two second-place radio awards for Feature Story and News Story, and the shared Radio Continuing Coverage award with Victoria Hosey


And check out our recent story about the School of Journalism and New Media’s Society of Professional Journalists Awards.

Conservative talk show producer speaks at UM School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: April 9th, 2019 by ldrucker

A conservative radio talk show host and producer spoke at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media Tuesday sharing storytelling tips and his political beliefs.

Lee Habeeb, vice president of content development for Salem Radio Network, hosts “Our American Stories,” a program that airs on more than 200 radio stations across the country.

He was the co-creator and executive producer of The Laura Ingraham Show, a radio show hosted by conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, who also had a television show on Fox.

Habeeb led a class talk called “Stories Matter: A Talk With Lee Habeeb, Creator and Producer of Top Talk Shows in America” Tuesday, April 9, at 8 a.m. in Farley Hall.

“Storytelling,” Habeeb said. “It’s what I’ve done for a living. And when I told my dad that was what I wanted to do, he thought I was crazy because Lebanese people own businesses. That’s what we do. We buy stuff and we sell it.”

Habeeb said storytelling is the art of listening. You’re not always going to like what you hear, but he said listening is important.

Habeeb has spoken at talk radio industry conventions and written columns for USA Today, Newsweek and National Review.

Habeeb said what he has learned about storytelling – the beginning, middle and end – sounds simple, but it’s not.

“The beginning should be really, really short, like life itself,” he said. “As we look at our life backwards when we’re 80, we don’t really recall the first three years of our life, let alone the first seven or eight. The most formidable part of our time probably starts in our early teens and goes straight up to our 60s. The rest is sort of memory.”

The short beginning should grab people’s attention, he said.

“The middle should be very long, just like life, really long. And the end should be, hopefully and pleasantly, short, as we all hope to go out … dying doing something we like … real sudden.”

Storytelling should have properties like life itself, he said.

“So then the question is: What do we tell stories about? And that’s for you to think about. That’s all journalism is. It’s storytelling. Who? What? Where? and Why? And I’m always really concerned with the why. What motivates people to do what they do?”

As a writer for Newsweek, Habeeb said he is paid per view, or based on the number of views his stories receive, so it is important to be a good storyteller.

“My life is to write something for Newsweek that people will click,” he said. “And if they click it through a few pages, I get paid a lot. And if they don’t click it, I’m fired.

“And I like that because I can’t be a victim in that universe. There are standards, and I have to entertain or amuse people … The joy of life is that if you write something interesting and compelling, it migrates and finds itself into other places, and then you get paid again. The key is finding a good story.”

He encouraged his audience to “have friends who disagree with them, and love them, and have a dialogue with them.”

Journalism and engineering professors hope to shape energy policy

Posted on: April 1st, 2019 by ldrucker

Journalism and engineering researchers at the University of Mississippi are teaming to identify gaps in media coverage, public understanding and policymaking about carbon capture, utilization and storage.

Journalism associate professor Kristen Swain and chemical engineering professor Wei-Yin Chen won one of the first Disaster Resilience Flagship Constellation research grants titled Communicating about Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Innovations to Policymakers and the Public.

The project will explore how CCUS innovations have been communicated from the scientific community to the public and policymakers over the last 20 years. With the help of journalism graduate students this summer, the team will conduct systematic content analyses of CCUS research, news stories and policy documents.

“I imagine that most CCUS innovations and tradeoffs have been invisible to the public and policymakers,” Swain said. “Ultimately, we hope to learn more about how scientific discoveries can be communicated to the public more effectively, to inform critical policy decisions.”

Chen developed innovative techniques for fixing the carbon in CO2 emissions onto biochar, a type of charcoal, to reuse carbon’s energy content. “We burn biochar with the carbon from CO2, to recover more energy than the raw biochar had,” he said. “Then we convert the treated biochar into synthetic gas.”

Chen leads UM’s Sustainable Energy and Environment Group (SEEG), which has worked with scientists around the world to pioneer several CCUS methods. These include carbon gasification and carbon activation for CO2 capture and wastewater treatment. His current National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant focuses on CCUS innovations in the sustainable food/energy/water nexus.

Swain said CCUS especially interests her because “it’s a rising-star strategy, a viable way to suck carbon out of the air whereever carbon emissions are released. Independent reports show that the world cannot avoid dangerous climate consequences without using it on a much wider scale.”