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UM journalism professor publishes American Journalism article about civil rights coverage

Posted on: July 1st, 2020 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professor has published an academic journal article about civil rights coverage.

Dr. Kathleen Wickham, professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, published The Magnifying Effect of Television News: Civil Rights Coverage and Eyes on the Prize in the recent edition of American Journalism.

Kathleen Wickham

Kathleen Wickham

Dr. Wickham’s research on the article started when she held a research fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.

The key to the article was the discovery of audio tapes in the Washington University archives from the pre-production sessions where Executive Producer Henry Hampton invited civil rights activists, journalists and historians to put the events in time and place. The article was accompanied by an author interview.

UM senior working on News 21 project wins top college honors in Louisiana-Mississippi AP competition

Posted on: June 29th, 2020 by ldrucker

The Reward of Public Service

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student, who is spending his summer reporting for News 21 – an award-winning investigative reporting project from the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University – recently won two top awards in the college division of the Louisiana – Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors competition. Matthew Hendley won first place in the TV Reporter category, and his television reporting work was named Best In Show.

The two-state competition, which received more than 1,200 entries, is sponsored by the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. The AP is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing thousands of U.S. media organizations.

“I believe it was for my 2019 reporting reel, in which I covered the pro-Confederate marches, the Associated Student Body resolution to move the Confederate statue, and several feature stories, including one on Ole Miss’ male cheerleaders and another on student-firefighters at Ole Miss,” said Hendley, who was happy to be recognized for stories he was interested in telling.

“The awards have been fantastic and very affirming,” he said. “But the last few years have taught me that the real reward in journalism is knowing that you’ve done a public service, that your work has made a positive impact and has instituted real change.

“That’s why I’m pursuing a career in this field. I hope to be able to say that is what my work has accomplished at the end of my career. The stories are what matter, not the awards.”

Matthew Hendley at 60 Minutes.

Hendley is now participating in the national investigative reporting project News 21. Each year, partner universities nominate top students to participate in the spring seminar and summer project that investigates a relevant topic. UM graduate Brittany Brown participated in News 21 in 2018 that explored the topic “Hate in America.”

“This summer, our project is ‘Kids Imprisoned,’” Hendley said. “We’re investigating the ins and outs of the juvenile justice system, from the school-to-prison pipeline to the across-the-board disparities that minority youth face,” he said. “I’m diving into two main storylines this summer: one being an in-depth investigation into gang-affiliated youth and their involvement in the juvenile justice system, and the second is an investigation into what juvenile justice looks like for Native American youth.

“It has really been a blessing because last fall I got to witness and be a part of such thorough research and storytelling at ’60 Minutes.’ A few months later, I joined this project and started filling research binders and developing source contacts for News 21. I’m quite literally using every skill I learned both at ’60 Minutes’ and at Ole Miss. It’s been a very fulfilling project so far.”

Hendley said he’s part of an excellent News 21 team this year.

“Most of our reporting is being done virtually from an Airbnb in Phoenix because of COVID-19,” he said. “But our editors are allowing us to use this opportunity to tell these stories in an unconventional way rather than letting the virus limit what we can do.”

Terry Cassreino, a 1985 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and radio and TV, worked more than 24 years in Mississippi newspapers before becoming the communications director and journalism teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Madison. He taught Hendley before he enrolled in UM.

“During the spring of his junior year at St. Joe, Matthew auditioned for an anchor spot on Bruin News Now for the fall,” Cassreino said. “Up to this point, Matthew had never delved into journalism. I could tell, though, from his audition that he had the potential to be a strong anchor for our weekly video school newscast, Bruin News Now.”

By midway through the first quarter of his senior year, Cassreino said he could tell Hendley had strong news instincts and could easily connect with the audience as anchor.

" Matthew had the ‘IT’ factor, the intangible quality that made him strong in front of the camera. He also did some news reporting and put together some strong features. But his strength was anchoring the newscasts. He became our regular weekly anchor with other co-anchors rotating every week.”
Terry Cassreino
Terry Cassreino

“Matthew had the ‘IT’ factor, the intangible quality that made him strong in front of the camera,” Cassreino said. “He also did some news reporting and put together some strong features. But his strength was anchoring the newscasts (he became our regular weekly anchor with other co-anchors rotating every week).”

Hendley also produced the Coach’s Pre-Game show, a weekly 10-minute radio show that preceded the student-produced live coverage of St. Joe varsity football that streamed live over Bruin Sports Radio and aired live over WJXC Jackson, Mississippi Catholic Radio.

This, like the Bruin News Now newscasts, was student-produced, student-hosted and student-driven. Again, Hendley demonstrated a strong voice for the radio and was a natural fit for the live sports programming.

“Matthew was a dedicated, hard-working student who took my class – and his responsibilities of being the chief news anchor – seriously,” Cassreino said. “His dedication and steadily growing interest was evident. He eventually went on to win Best News Anchor at the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association state convention in the spring of his senior year.”

News 21
The News 21 project

Cassreino said he has kept in touch with Hendley as much as possible and has followed his UM career.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of his accomplishments,” he said. “I told him that if he was interested in broadcast journalism that he would enter Ole Miss with a distinct advantage over other freshmen because he took my class.

“It came as no surprise when I learned he won an anchor spot at NewsWatch Ole Miss in his freshman year. And the AP award he received for radio work was for a live program he and another of my alumni, JoJo Katool, produced for Ole Miss radio about the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) sanctions against the football program. I listened to the show. It was great.”

With his “60 Minutes” internship and his work with News 21, Cassreino said Hendley is positioning himself to have an incredibly successful career as a broadcast journalist.

“He can do anything he wants,” he said. “Matthew can write his own ticket. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him anchor a major network nightly news cast – he is that talented and determined. He is hard-working, talented, determined and honest. He gets journalism. He understands the importance of solid journalism.”

Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., said nothing Hendley achieves surprises her.

“He is just one of those students who is always willing to work harder and grab more opportunities to grow as a journalist,” she said. “We look forward to the day when Matthew is an investigative reporter for a major national news outlet and comes back to campus to help the next crop of students on their way.”

Right now, the UM senior plans to return to campus this fall.

“I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t love having my face on TV and feeling that what I’m saying matters to people,” he said. “I think that comes from fighting for attention as the youngest child. Being on-air is very stimulating. Ideally, though, I’d like to take the anchor chair on a network newscast – after earning my stripes reporting in the field, of course.”

Hendley said he would be remiss if he didn’t speak up on what’s happening in our country and on our campus, subjects he’s currently learning more about in the News 21 project.

“To address underclassmen directly, we have a role to play in the battle for equality in law and society,” he said. “Students are enrolling in our j-school at a very critical point in our university’s history. You don’t want to graduate feeling as if you could have done more to fight for truth. Take advantage of the role we’ve been given as journalists – there’s no reason that we can’t make our campus a better place.”

To learn more about the News 21 project, visit the website here. The project will launch at the end of July. You can follow Hendley on Twitter @MattHendley.

There were a number of University of Mississippi students who won awards in the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors competition. For a list of all winners, visit this website.

UM School of Journalism and New Media adds new Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization this fall

Posted on: June 28th, 2020 by ldrucker

Have you ever dreamed of working in the fashion industry or owning your own fashion business? You can get your start at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media with the new Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization by taking only three classes.

The specialization was the idea of Assistant Professor Scott Fiene and Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications Mike Tonos.

It requires a nine-hour set of courses that introduces students to the world of fashion merchandising and promotion. Classes cover topics, such as trends, communications, budgeting, forecasting, buying and merchandising.

“The specialization is the result of student demand and interest,” Tonos said. “We added it because students wanted it, and we were looking for electives to make the IMC program more interesting and diverse.”

In late 2017 and early 2018, Tonos and Fiene were discussing possible electives when Fiene mentioned several students had expressed interest in fashion courses.

“I followed up with a student survey and got positive responses from 28 students, most of whom attended a March 28 meeting to discuss their ideas for such a program,” Tonos said. “Joe Sherman, a former executive at McRae’s department store, joined us as an adjunct and taught the first fashion merchandising course in spring 2018.

“We followed that with the Fashion Promotion and Media course. With those two courses in place, we were able to approve the specialization, which takes effect in fall 2020.”

fashion specialization

fashion specialization

The required classes include the following:

IMC 309 – Fashion Promotion and Media – This course introduces students to the communication, promotion, media, and branding of fashion in domestic and international markets.

IMC 376 – Commercial Photography – This class focuses on using the storytelling elements of photojournalism to create images that connect with specific audiences. Students will practice what it takes to create strong storytelling images that are both candid and contrived and create campaigns with those images. Students will use photo-editing software to produce images and campaign materials.

JOUR 361: Journalism Explorations I – New York City Internship Experience. This course focuses on covering emerging issues or specialized content related to the broad fields of journalism and new media.

Or students may take a pre-approved three-credit fashion-themed course or a pre-approved three-credit fashion-themed internship instead of JOUR 361.

“We hope students become knowledgeable enough about the fashion industry that they can find a good job in the field or can start their own fashioned-related enterprise,” Tonos said.

Among the job possibilities: buyers, department managers; store managers (boutiques); merchandisers for manufacturing companies; integrated marketing communication for a fashion company; fashion blogger; fashion writing and media.

Fiene said the Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization was driven by demand from students who were asking if we offered any fashion courses.

“We piloted a special topics course on it and offered that a few times,” he said. “It was wildly successful, and so we packaged that course into a nine-credit optional specialization that’s available to both IMC and journalism majors.

Dean Debora Wenger

Dean Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“It joins seven other specializations we already had, and is one more example of how we’re allowing students to customize their majors based on interest. We think this will be one of the more popular specializations in our school.

Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., said the specialization is important to the school because of the growing interest in fashion industry careers.

“Last year a group of about 50 of our students got together to produce our school’s first online fashion magazine,” she said. “They did it outside of the classroom experience on their own time because of their passion for fashion.

“Now, UM Velvet is adding even more students to the project for the fall. When you have this much grassroots enthusiasm for a subject, you know you need to do more to help students learn as much as they can.”

UM associate professor featured in election documentary presented June 25 in Oxford

Posted on: June 22nd, 2020 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media faculty member is featured in the election documentary “Win, Lose or Draw Straws” that will be presented Thursday, June 25 in Oxford.

Associate Professor Charlie Mitchell provides insight about the Eaton/Tullos race with other journalists and legal scholars weighing in about other races. The film will be presented at 8 p.m. by the League of Women Voters Oxford/North Mississippi during the Oxford Film Festival’s Drive In Series at the OFF Drive In movie site in the Cannon Motor parking lot.



Election ties happen far more frequently than the public may think. But the absence of a single deciding vote can have far reaching implications. Such is the powerful message in the film “Win, Lose, or Draw Straws.”

This is a rare political film that brings together Left and Right by exposing a little known oddity in U.S. electoral politics – the existence and resolution of races that end in exact ties. Told by people who experienced the highs and lows of political campaigns determined by games of chance, this film exposes the way luck often determines the winner.

The film was produced by Casey W. Phillips, a former political strategist, who worked on Delbert Hosemann’s 2007 race for Mississippi secretary of state. Highlighted in this nationwide story is the tie of the 2015 Mississippi House of Representatives race between Bo Eaton and Mark Tullos.

Drawing of straws is the Mississippi law to break ties, but come view the film to learn how the loser was seated.

Tickets may be purchased at this link. Discount tickets are available for League of Women Voters members.

For more information about the film, the Oxford Film Festival can be reached at

UM journalism professor to lead Freedom of Information Q&A Zoom online event June 23

Posted on: June 17th, 2020 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media will co-sponsor a Zoom event Tuesday, June 23 that will discuss open meetings, public records and what the public is entitled to know about COVID-19.

Professor Ellen Meacham, of the School of Journalism and New Media, will lead the 11 a.m. event that is open to the public featuring Leonard Van Slyke, a long-time media law attorney who mans the hotline for the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information.

Tune into the Zoom meeting Tuesday, June 23 at 11 a.m. by clicking this link.

Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information event with Leonard Van Slyke and Ellen Meacham.

“Although this is designed with journalists in mind, public records and public meetings laws are for all members of the public, so anyone can attend,” said Meacham, who will take questions from the audience.

The event is also sponsored by the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation, the Mississippi Broadcaster’s Association and the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

“We will talk about some of the most common questions Mr. Van Slyke gets on the Freedom of Information hotline,” she said. “We will especially focus on what should be available for  reporters and other member of the public relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will talk about what issues must be talked about in open meetings and when a government board can and cannot go behind closed doors. We’ll talk about what information should be available and how to get information about law enforcement too.”

Meacham said she hopes those who attend the online event realize that the work that public officials do is paid for by the taxpayers and belongs to them.

“Of course there are a few exceptions,” she said, “but, in general, the public’s business should be done in public, and residents and the reporters who represent them are on solid ground when they seek that information. I hope people who attend this will learn what they can get and what options they have if they run into obstacles.”

New Media Leadership Certification introduced at UM School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: June 14th, 2020 by ldrucker

Media leaders have traditionally learned on the job through trial and error. Early mistakes sometimes derail careers. Others never fully develop. The most successful leaders usually benefit from informal mentorships.

That’s why the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media is introducing a new Media Leadership Certification designed to give mid-career leaders a solid foundation for developing a successful leadership style.

Hank Price, director of leadership and development at the School of Journalism, has had a 30-year career as a television general manager, leading television stations for Hearst, CBS and Gannett. He will lead the Media Leadership Certification program.

“Leadership theory, practical application and a framework of introspection will provide the opportunity for individualized development of leadership skills,” Price said. “Skillsets will be enriched by a number of classes already taught in the IMC graduate program.”



Price is a frequent speaker to television industry groups about the future of media. He spent 15 years as senior director of Northwestern University’s Media Management Center, teaching in both the domestic and international executive education programs. He is the author of Leading Local Television (BPP, 2018) and co-author of Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First (Sage, 2015) a management textbook.

At the end of 2018, Price retired from Hearst and opened a boutique media-consulting firm. In addition to his consulting work and writing, he is recognized for his presentations on leadership and brand strategy, subjects he believes are foundational to the success of any modern business.

Price said the Media Leadership Certification is designed for mid-career professionals who aim to someday run media companies. Candidates will ideally have some level of management experience.

“This will be a unique program nationally, designed to fill an educational void in media leadership,” he said. “Our aim is for this program to become an essential tool and credential for future media leaders across the country.”

Annette S. Kluck, Ph.D., dean of the UM Graduate School and a professor of leadership and counselor education, said there are many reasons individuals obtain graduate certificates. They allow individuals to continue their education learning a defined set of skills or developing a targeted area of expertise.

“In many cases, certificates are designed for individuals who are already working and have great real-world experience that they bring to the courses,” she said. “This enables those earning the certificates to learn how the material and ideas directly apply to their work and how other professional environments implement ideas and practices that they learn about in the courses.”

Kluck said certificates are carefully designed to provide maximal impact. Courses included in certificate programs are selected to be cohesive and complementary to help students quickly gain expertise in a particular area.

“Certificates are also time-limited so students can often complete them in one year,” she said. “This allows students to quickly build their resume. And, having a certificate on one’s resume (or CV) shows current and prospective employers that an individual has developed advanced expertise in a particular area and engages in continuous professional development.”

Annette S. Kluck

Annette S. Kluck

Kluck said both the added expertise from the certificate and the demonstration that one is invested in learning and professional growth are appealing to hiring supervisors. The certificate shows that one can be successful in growing themselves as a professional.

“Certificates have become quite popular in the last few years,” she said. “Part of the reason is the ability to complete the certificate in about a year. The shorter commitment of a graduate certificate often fits well with the realities of working professionals who may not only have a full-time job, but may have family obligations and other commitments.”

The certificates also allow individuals to “test the waters” of graduate study, she said, which is quite different from undergraduate learning experiences. Courses are much more narrowly focused on gaining the expertise needed in your discipline.

Kluck said many individuals who start with a graduate certificate decide to go on and complete a master’s degree. In many cases, the courses completed to earn the graduate certificate may also be part of the curriculum for a master’s degree within the same discipline.

“When there is substantial overlap, and the courses are taught by the same institution and faculty that teach in a master’s program, credit hours completed in pursuit of the graduate certificate might also count towards the master’s degree,” she said. “For a master’s degree program that is 30 credit hours, the graduate certificate might mean that someone only needs 18 additional credit hours to earn a master’s degree.”

Kluck said she believes colleges and universities offer graduate certificates because they know there are adults who are seeking additional training and education in areas related to their work responsibilities or career goals.

“Certificates allow us to expand access to graduate study for busy working adults,” she said. “They are a way to ensure that working professionals can gain knowledge and skills needed for their career success while engaging with faculty experts. At the University of Mississippi, providing access to education for adults is a foundational value. We want people to be able to pursue their educational goals and to help set them up for success.”

Dean Debora Wenger

Dean Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

UM School of Journalism and New Media Dean Debora Wenger said the school decided to add the Media Leadership Certification to its curriculum because there is a real need for leadership education for those in media organizations.

“As in many fields, you often get promoted into a position of leadership because you are very good in other roles, but you may not ever receive training in how to effectively lead teams and people,” she said. “This certificate is designed with that person in mind.”

Many colleges and universities are now offering certificates. Wenger said they are a great way to try out the School of Journalism and New Media.

“Our Media Leadership Certification is designed in such a way that, if you do well, you can apply the credits you’ve earned to a Master’s of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication degree, and you’ll already be a third of the way through the program,” she said.

Wenger said she hopes the school will offer more certifications in the future.

“We have rich expertise in many areas that would be of value to those in the media world, so I hope we will begin to develop more,” she said.

For more information, contact the school at

UM School of Journalism and New Media students place in national Hearst contest 

Posted on: June 11th, 2020 by ldrucker

Four University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students have been honored with an award in the national Hearst journalism contest.

The students won 8th place in the category of Team Multimedia/News or Enterprise for a project about Puerto Rico’s recovery after Hurricane Maria. Website content included short and in-depth text articles, videos, photographs, graphics and timelines.

Hearst winners

Hearst winners

The students on the team were journalism majors Devna Bose, Brittany Brown and Christian Johnson, and IMC major Hayden Benge, who designed the website. All four students had leadership positions at the Student Media Center in 2019. The Hearst competition is considered one of the most prestigious in college journalism.

Bose, Brown and Benge graduated in May 2019. Bose is a reporter for the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina through the Report for America fellowship program.

Devna Bose

Devna Bose

Brown just finished the first year of her M.A. in the Southern Studies documentary program at UM.

Brittany Brown

Brittany Brown

Benge is an account coordinator for Saxum, a marketing communications agency, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Hayden Benge

Hayden Benge

Christian Johnson

Christian Johnson

Johnson graduated in May 2020 and continues to work as a photographer intern for UM marketing and communications.

The faculty leaders for the project were Patricia Thompson, assistant dean and assistant professor, and Iveta Imre, assistant professor.

Journalism graduate Ariel Cobbert participated as photography mentor. Cobbert is now a photographer at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis.

Jasmine Karlowski, a Study Abroad staff member and M.F.A. graduate student, helped with translations while working on a mini-documentary about the trip.

UM School of Journalism and New Media to offer updated curriculum with new courses this fall

Posted on: June 9th, 2020 by ldrucker

St. Louis native Brittany Kohne, 18, will be a freshman at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media this fall. The Oakville High School graduate is also one of our prestigious Talbert Fellows and a future journalism student.

Kohne said she was attracted to UM’s innovative journalism program, which school leaders recently updated after much research, planning and many in-depth discussions about how to best serve students beyond 2020.

“I am looking at the Political and Social Justice reporting emphasis for my major,” she said. “I am hoping to learn how to cover such topics with the utmost integrity and truth … I think that it is great that Ole Miss is taking a new approach and action to mass media and journalism as a whole.”

Brittany Kohne

Brittany Kohne

Dean Debora Wenger said, beginning this fall, the school’s new journalism curriculum will better position students for future jobs. The biggest changes revolve around four new emphases: Video & TV Storytelling, Multimedia Journalism, Visual Journalism and Political and Social Justice Reporting.

“We know our students have a high interest in video and photo, writing, design, social media and specialty journalism,” Wenger said. “These new emphases give them the opportunity to go deep in an area that they love, while still getting the foundation in journalistic principles that they need.”

Things change rapidly in the media world, and Wenger said the curriculum updates were necessary to remain modern.

“Though our school has been offering relevant journalism instruction for many, many years, that wasn’t always apparent from our course descriptions and emphasis options,” she said. “We know that the audience is consuming more and more news and information on digital platforms and through video, social media and interactive design — now our curriculum more accurately reflects what we’re teaching.”

Wenger said new courses include J270: Digital Story Production, which will immerse students as sophomores into the tools and concepts they need to tell stories across media platforms. Another new course for freshmen is called Visual Principles — helping students understand what it takes to capture a great photo or visualize important information in a graphic.

Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“And those are just two of the new hands-on, experiential classes we have developed for our existing and new students,” she said.

Digital Story Production gives students hands-on instruction about how to use digital media tools to produce interactive stories.

Iveta Imre, an assistant professor of journalism who teaches the course, said students will learn key concepts in audio, video, infographics, images, and other digital technologies. They will learn how to capture engaging audio, photos and video to create effective multimedia stories.

“I think this course is important for the new curriculum because it gives an opportunity to all of our journalism majors, regardless of the emphasis, to learn the basics in multimedia storytelling,” Imre said. “Until now, we had a huge discrepancy between our broadcasting and print majors in terms of skills, and this class is designed to remedy that.”

Imre said this is a new course entirely, and it is envisioned as a culmination of all the core classes all journalism students must take.

Iveta Imre

Iveta Imre

“Once they complete this class, the idea is that they would be ready to take the classes within their emphasis, and further develop the skills they learned in the digital story production class,” she said.

Professor Mark Dolan will be teaching Visual Media Principles. Students arrive in the course as novice designers.

“So a first goal is to help them apply what their eyes see, what the brain registers and the heart feels,” he said. “Everyone’s a designer, to some extent. Design begins with the outfit you picked this morning, the sofa you bought and how it fits with the other furniture. Design is in the shape of your water bottle, the logo on your ball cap, the menu you order from.”

This course is about understanding what design means, how it gets communicated, and why, said Dolan, who begins with core principles, such as how items relate to other items on a page or in a photo, or within a video frame or animated space. The class will discuss how elements balance, what is bigger and smaller in the frame, and why such things matter.

“Students this fall explore how these principles function within typography, page design, photography, video, even animation,” said Dolan, who thinks the best part of the class is learning to tell stories through design. This is what happens when the still image meets the type font, when the video sequence interacts with a block of text, he said.

“Sometimes richness and meaning can emerge from one photo, one type font, a video sequence,” he said, “but more often it’s the uniting of these that sparks the biggest impact. To design is like being a stage manager, a selector and coordinator, and telling stories through design is to use your brain, eyes and heart.

“More and more students are asked to design, whether for their class presentation, a professional web site, or their own business card. Not only do students come away with these core skills, they also take the next step in using design to do reporting.”

Oxford native Dalton Whitehead, 18, is also an incoming freshman and Talbert Fellow. The Oxford High School graduate said he has been researching new class additions.

“I absolutely want to develop even better camera skills than I already have and get some job experience in my field,” he said. “I would very much so like to gain more experience with interviewing. I’ve always been a camera man mostly, knowing all the ins and outs of them and all technology, and I am a good interviewer, but I still have a lot to improve on with interviewing.”

Kohne said she toured many schools in Missouri, but none seemed like a perfect fit until she visited UM.

“Once I walked on campus, I knew that it was the school that I saw my future at,” she said. “I chose broadcast journalism because I believe that every person should have the opportunity to share their story with the world, and show others a new perspective on life.

“I loved how Ole Miss had a lot of job opportunities when students graduated, as well as their approach in media as a whole. The journalism department is very forward thinking, which is very important for news media.”

Assistant Dean Scott Fiene said the school plans to update the IMC, or integrated marketing communication, curriculum next.

“The IMC program will be 10 years old in 2021, and while there have been continual tweaks and revisions to the curriculum since that time, the faculty is currently investigating larger changes that may be needed to keep up with the demands of the profession,” he said. “It is anticipated these changes would be implemented starting in fall 2021.”

For more information about the new journalism curriculum, email Wenger.

Attend our Virtual Open House to learn about graduate school Thursday, June 25

Posted on: June 7th, 2020 by ldrucker

If you have ever thought about attending graduate school and earning your master’s degree, this may be the time.

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media will be offering a Virtual Open House this month to provide information about how to become a graduate student in our journalism and IMC programs.

You are invited to be part of the Zoom online event Thursday, June 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Zoom gathering will feature professors who will answer questions about the program.



“The landscape is a bit different now with the coronavirus, and people have questions,” said professor Joe Atkins, who leads the journalism master’s program. “For example, we’ve lifted the GRE requirement for now and extended the application deadline to the end of July. We thought a Virtual Open House would be a good opportunity for people to check in and get answers to questions they might have about our programs.”

The professional masters track in journalism offers courses in multimedia storytelling, documentary-making and long-form narrative writing that allow journalists to hone their craft to the highest level as they create lasting works of nonfiction, whether in print, online or on a screen. Students in the academic track can do this while also taking courses specifically designed to develop their research and theoretical skills, preparing them for a future in teaching as well as practicing journalism. Contact Professor Joe Atkins at

The M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication is a tightly-focused professional master’s degree in which you can learn to create and manage coordinated communications that connect people and organizations. The curriculum blends theory, insight, and real-world application with a focus on the strategic integration of fields, such as advertising, public relations, brand strategy, digital media, direct mail, content marketing, and research. To explore the residential and online degrees, please visit our program website or contact Dr. Robert Magee at

Why is now a good time to think about going to graduate school?

“I can already see there is a lot of interest in graduate studies now,” Atkins said. “The coronavirus has created uncertainty about our economy and what the world will look like once the pandemic passes.

“It’s a time for many to turn this into an opportunity to deepen their studies and training and further equip themselves for the future. We’re already going to have the largest journalism graduate cohort for the fall 2020 semester that I’ve seen since I’ve been director of the program.”

To learn more about the two programs and their required classes, visit this page.

To participate in the Zoom event, register by emailing Atkins at He can provide a link to the Virtual Open House that you can click to join.

You may also email these professors to ask any questions about our programs.

UM School of Journalism and New Media student named winner in FUJIFILM photo contest

Posted on: June 6th, 2020 by ldrucker

Billy Schuerman, 21, a senior journalism major with an emphasis in print at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, was recently announced as a winner in the FUJIFILM Create Forever Students of Storytelling Contest. We asked Schuerman a few questions about his winning submission.

When did you hear about this contest? What prompted you to enter it?

I heard about this contest from Professor Mike Fagans just before spring break, but it didn’t open until May. I had a few projects in mind that I was looking to start, but I thought they would be optimal for this grant.

For those who don’t know what the contest is, how would you describe it?

It is a storytelling grant for students. I was awarded $3,000 in FUJIFILM photo equipment to work on my project.

Billy Schuerman

Billy Schuerman

What was your entry about? What did you propose?

The purpose of my story is to document the struggles that people suffering from substance abuse disorder are subject to while stuck in quarantine. The social isolation puts them at a much greater risk of relapsing.

How did you feel when you were selected as one of the winners? How many winners were there?

I was elated when I found out I won. I was on the couch in the living room and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the email notification come across my screen. At first I thought it was a spam email coming through. I think they selected just a handful of winners out of the hundreds of applicants.

How do you envision doing your project? When will you start?

Hopefully, I will be able to start in July. I will be reaching out to groups around Mississippi looking for sources until then.

What advice would you give other students about entering competitions and putting yourself out there?

Just enter whatever contest you come across because you never know what you will win. It is about the percentages, so if you get 1% of the awards you apply to, then apply to 100 and you will get at least one.