School of Journalism and New Media

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Archive for the ‘Student News’ Category

School of Journalism and New Media names three nominees for PRAM’s outstanding PR student

Posted on: April 10th, 2020 by ldrucker

Each year, the Public Relations Association of Mississippi names the outstanding PR student from all universities in the state. The School of Journalism and New Media has three nominees for that award.

From left are Callaghan Basil, a senior broadcast journalism major from Blue Springs, Miss.; Jessica Shipp, a senor IMC major from Southaven, Miss.; and Karsyn King, a senior double major in broadcast journalism and Spanish from Monroe, N.C.

PR students

Photo by Stan O’Dell

All three students are completing their specialization in public relations.

The winner was supposed to have been announced at the end of April at the PRAM state conference, but that conference has been cancelled. PRAM officials have said a winner will be announced electronically at a later date this spring.

UM journalism and IMC students vlog about life in the time of the coronavirus

Posted on: April 3rd, 2020 by ldrucker

Many of our University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students are working during the COVID-19 pandemic, writing stories about what is happening and creating video projects about their experiences.

Students from professor Michael Fagans’ class recently completed a video project.

“The students were asked to record a two- to five-minute long vlog,” said Fagans, “and to include one concern and one area that they saw hope. This was a way to check-in with them, start them working on an easy project and get a ‘snap-shot’ of where they were physically and mentally.”

Click this link or the photo below to view the video. Captions are provided.


COVID-19 and social distancing

COVID-19 and social distancing

Fagans said the project helped him learn more about his students and the challenges they are currently facing.

“I now better understand what they are experiencing,” he said.

As a result of the project, Fagans said he feels responsible for helping his students navigate this time in history and the pandemic. He is also offering encouragement.

He said he wants to “help them complete the course and produce work that they can be proud of during difficult times.”

Fagans said more individual student work will be published at the following links: Link 1 and Link 2.

We hope to share more student work created during this time in the future.

UM Journalism students win 13 SPJ awards; Daily Mississippian named best newspaper, best website

Posted on: April 3rd, 2020 by ldrucker

The Daily Mississippian staff won first-place honors for best newspaper and best website in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 12 Mark of Excellence competition.

“I’m so proud of the work our staff has done this year, especially with so much important news that we have covered,” said Daniel Payne, Daily Mississippian editor-in-chief. “It’s great to see the hard work that so many editors, reporters, photographers and designers do for our community recognized. We do it because we really care about our campus and town, but it’s always great to see that hard work — both in print and online — win awards.”

Student Media Center. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Student Media Center. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

SPJ Region 12 includes universities in four states: Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. The Daily Mississippian was named Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper for an entry that included three print newspapers published in 2019. The category is for newspapers published in print fewer than four days a week.

Daily Mississippian staff members

Daily Mississippian staff members

University of Mississippi students won a total of 13 awards in the Region 12 contest – seven for first place, six for finalists.

SPJ awards one winner and two finalists in each category. First-place winners are automatically entered into the national SPJ contest, competing against first-place winners in the other 11 regions. National winners and finalists are usually announced in May.

Other Region 12 first-place wins for UM students: best use of multimedia for a student media multiple-platform entry; Billy Schuerman, first place for sports photography; Daniel Payne, Eliza Noe and Kenneth Niemeyer for general news reporting; Will Stribling for radio news reporting; Devna Bose for online news reporting.

The six finalists: NewsWatch Ole Miss for best all-around newscast; Skye Spiehler and Brianna Florez for television in-depth reporting; Grant Gibbons and Carson McKinney for online sports reporting; Meagan Harkins for online news reporting; Daniel Payne for newspaper general news reporting; Billy Schuerman for breaking news photography.

Check out our lineup of upcoming classes for May

Posted on: April 1st, 2020 by ldrucker

If you’re looking for interesting online or remote courses to take this May, check out this list that covers everything from 3-D modeling and communications law, to learning the history of mass communication and magazine management. Check out the May intercession lineup.

J101 – Introduction to Mass Communication. You consume media every day, but do you know its history? Without that foundation, how can you really understand modern media? This class, which is a prerequisite for other classes, explores the history of media from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg. Yes, you’ll learn about the development of the printing press to the creation of Facebook and social media. The class is an introduction to traditional mass media (newspapers, magazines, television, radio, public relations, advertising, social media) and their importance and impact on modern society. Students will be asked to write book, music, film and television reviews of some of their favorite media. If you’ve ever wanted to give reporting a try, you’ll have a chance to write a feature story. Some writing assignments may potentially be published on a features website.

How will it be taught online? Students who take J101 will receive daily lesson plans on Blackboard with work they should complete before the following day. They could sometimes be asked to give short video presentations via Zoom, or to upload a video to YouTube or another platform so that other students can view their presentations. We also plan to have weekly speakers from the fields of journalism and public relations who will be broadcast in a (optional) live Zoom meeting or via video. Students may be asked to watch a documentary on YouTube. Students will be asked to complete some writing projects that could be published on our Oxford Stories (or a similar) website: 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.

mass communication

mass communication

J553 – Service Journalism Management. The course, which is not offered often, is a magazine specialization and managerial course that will give students an edge when applying for magazine jobs, regardless of their area of interest. Magazine and magazine media, for years, have operated on a three-legged stool: editorial, circulation and advertising. This course is more like the seat of the stool that connects all three legs – magazine management. Learn how to connect all the dots and how a magazine media company operates. It’s a must course for anyone interested in a career in magazine or magazine media, regardless of whether you want to be a writer, designer, sales person, public relations officer, creative director or circulation manager. Space is limited so act fast.



IMC 104 – Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication. Introduces the basic disciplines of IMC: advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, database marketing, internet marketing communication, and relationship marketing.

IMC 349 – 3-D Modeling. Learn basic techniques to create 3-D models in Cinema 4D. Understand the implications of texturing and lighting and the effects they have on productions. Learn the fundamentals of operating a camera in a 3-D environment

IMC 404 – Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication Research. Theory and practice of qualitative and quantitative research applied to multiple marketing and communications challenges and tasks.

IMC 492 – Public Relations Case Problems. Research, decision processes, and program design in addressing public relations problems at the management level. Application of public relations principles and techniques in programs of profit and nonprofit institutions. Role of mass media; ethical considerations.



J371 – Communications Law. Legal rights and responsibilities of journalists and other media practitioners. Attention to Constitutional law and relevant First Amendment cases; FCC and private industry regulation of the internet; evolving philosophies of intellectual property; libel and privacy issues.

J575 – Mass Media Ethics and Social Issues. Formulation and discussion of professional ethics for journalists. Analysis of social forces affecting media performance.

#OleMissWhereRU – We want to know where our remote learners are now

Posted on: March 26th, 2020 by ldrucker

The School of Journalism and New Media is asking its remote learners #OleMissWhereRU?

Now that our students are learning online off campus, we want you to show us where you are and tell us what this experience has been like for you.



We want to see where our students are finishing their semesters.

Are they taking their final tests in their childhood bedroom or on a beach?

Are they writing papers overlooking rolling hills or an urban skyline?

Use #OleMissWhereRU on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok to show the university family where you are, and how you’re completing the semester.

We may share your response on our school’s social media sites.

Apart Yet Together: UM School of Journalism and New Media faculty offer thoughts about school changes caused by COVID-19

Posted on: March 25th, 2020 by ldrucker

In the last few weeks, things have rapidly changed at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media as faculty, staff and students have learned more about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

As journalists, we understand how to adapt to new situations pretty quickly, and that mindset has allowed us to move all of our in-person classes online using Blackboard and other multimedia tools in a short time.

This has required teamwork and innovative thinking, and it has allowed us to stay together as an educational family even though we are temporarily separated.

We’re together, though we’re apart.

Farley Hall

Farley Hall

We’re still a family of students and educators. We will persevere. Life and school will go on even though we face temporary challenges.

Some of our professors are offering words of wisdom about coping with these new changes.

Dean Will Norton, Jr.

Dean Will Norton, Jr.

Dean Will Norton, Jr., Ph.D., said faculty staff are here to help students any way they can, and they will be offering many interesting courses in the summer and fall, whether they are in person or online.

“I am grateful for the hard work our faculty members have done to adapt to the current situation,” Norton said. “Faculty are working long hours to get lectures online and to contact students so that they can finish the semester. We meet as a faculty once a day on Zoom, and the comments are heartwarming.

“I also am grateful for the many adjustments students are making so that they can complete their coursework. This has been an eerie time, but our faculty and our students have been superb.

“We are grateful for the amazing students we have as we navigate these uncharted waters. We are confident that our school will emerge from this stronger than ever.”



Assistant Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., said the school’s faculty and staff were determined to continue teaching students and were willing to make big changes to complete the semester.

“In just a little more than a week, our faculty rolled up their proverbial shirtsleeves and pulled off what might seem to be the impossible — they put every one of our classes online,” she said. “In addition, we have seen students, who have good reason to be stressed out, sending emails of support and offering good humor and kindness to each other in Zoom meetings and on social media.

“Add to that the incredible response from our staff. They are keeping this ship together so well that it doesn’t even look leaky, but day in and day out, they are plugging countless holes. Right now, we’re seeing the very best of what the School of Journalism and New Media is, and I could not be prouder to be a part of it.”

Scott Fiene

Scott Fiene

Assistant Dean Scott Fiene said he is also proud of faculty, staff and students for the strength and character they have exhibited adapting to changes.

“I am so pleased with how we’ve all come together – students, faculty, staff – to make the best of this,” Fiene said. “We are living through a terrible global tragedy, but I also think this could be our finest hour. I truly believe that.

Samir Husni

Samir Husni

“Everywhere I go (and by that, I mean on Zoom, and brief trips to the grocery store to see if they have any TP and hand sanitizer yet), I am seeing kindness, compassion, creativity, humor and a sense of community and purpose that has been long overdue in our world.  We will get through this, and there’s one heck of a rainbow at the end. Stay focused, stay safe, and I look forward to all being back together on campus again very soon.”

Professor Samir Husni, Ph.D., director of the Magazine Innovation Center, offered these words of wisdom.

“In the midst of all the doom and gloom there is always hope… and this shall also pass,” he said. “Students, keep the faith, stay well, stay safe, and stay inside.”

Senior Lecturer Robin Street said she knows all of us are anxious and unsure right now.

“I cannot imagine how stressful it is to be a student right now,” she said. “My own ‘survival kit’ has three components that help me get work done and cope with the anxiety. Hope some of this advice can help a student:

Set up a work area. “I already had a great home office set up. Of course, it is all about purple (her favorite color) and has a standing desk!”

Exercise! “As a former health journalist, I know that exercise is proven to reduce anxiety. I just ordered some exercise equipment that I am using in my basement.”

Love on your pet. “My favorite anti-anxiety treatment is my beloved dog, Brooklyn. If you are lucky enough to have a pet, spending time with him or her is a proven mental health booster.”

Professor Kathleen Wickham, Ph.D. shared a quote from William Faulkner: “The problems man faces are usually bigger than he is, but amazingly enough, he copes with them — not as an individual but as a community.”

Kathleen Wickham

Kathleen Wickham

“Keep in touch with us,” Wickham said. “Ole Miss is your community. Together we will cope with your issues.”

Professor Cynthia Joyce said she won’t sugarcoat things.

“The next few weeks/months are going to be very difficult, and in ways we don’t necessarily anticipate,” she said. “The priority will be for you to take care of yourself and to make sure you are properly ‘sheltering in place’ while still trying to stay productive if at all possible.”

Cynthia Joyce

Cynthia Joyce

She said some of her tried-and-true coping mechanisms include petting an animal and drinking a glass of water.

“Check on someone you know who might be struggling,” she said. “Call your grandparents. Don’t forget that outdoors is still a safe place to be. Spend more time there rather than in front of the TV or your computer screen if you can . . . And here’s a little bit of good news to keep in mind in the midst of this crisis: This is likely to be the biggest story of your lives — and you all are storytellers. Make this moment count.”

Professor Jason Cain, Ph.D., said in times of crisis, we all want a sense of control.

“It can be difficult to embrace just how adrift in chaos our lives are at the moment, and feeling out of control is what causes so much anxiety,” he said. “We feel we have so little impact on these giant decisions by governments and institutions even though we’re so deeply affected by them.”

However, Cain said, the truth is there are many things you can still control – not just coursework – but the joy we bring to others.

Jason Cain

Jason Cain

“They may seem like small acts – all those times you made a brother or sister laugh, helped a parent relax, spent a few minutes on FaceTime with your grandparents, reached out to someone you know who needs to hear a kind voice, or just reminded someone that you love them – but they matter.

“I’d argue they matter more than anything else in the world. While I’ve seen people angry over hoarding and so on, I’ve also seen a few people cry just from being completely overwhelmed by the many small kindnesses their communities have shared . . .

“When it comes to bringing joy to the people in your life, you’re a king. That’s where your work lies,” he said. “All of you reading this are a king or queen in some area of your life. And no matter how big or small you think that role is, it’s important. That’s where you can find some control in this situation in which you’ve found yourself. Don’t worry about the places where you still feel like a pawn, find those places where you are royalty.  That’s where you are most needed, and that’s where you now have an opportunity to shine.”

Professor LaReeca Rucker said the coronavirus was the topic of many current events discussions this semester before spring break.

LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker

“It seems surreal that we are here and the world has changed so much since some of those class conversations,” she said. “But I think this presents a unique opportunity for all of our student journalists to be community servants through their work, even if they are doing it only via phone and social distancing.

“If you were actually looking for a way to help your community during this time, one of the ways student journalists can do that is by doing good work. I believe the stories they write will ultimately mean more to them in the long run because they will know they were part of something bigger. It’s almost as if we have a responsibility to chronicle this situation and make sure the focus of our reporting is about helping our neighbors.”

Rucker said it’s also important to remember to take care of yourself.

“I know that a lot of people are feeling a little anxious,” she said. “One of the things that has a proven psychological benefit is being in nature. I would encourage you to continue practicing social distancing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out into the forest or spend time at a lake, especially if no one else is near you, and enjoy the beauty and the peacefulness of nature to clear your mind.”

R.J. Morgan

R.J. Morgan

Professor R. J. Morgan said it may seem like you are alone, but we’re all going through this together.

“It’s not easy, and it’s not normal, but it is necessary,” he said. “Listening to the recommendations of our world and local leaders can and is saving lives. We must keep doing our part. So put on your most comfortable pair of jammies, remember to tip the delivery person who just dropped off lunch, and let’s get through this semester. We can do this.

“We all stand with you . . . just not beside you.”


The School of Journalism and New Media is also asking students to report where they are with its #OleMissWhereRU social media campaign.



We want to see where our students are finishing their semesters. Are they taking their final tests in their childhood bedroom or on a beach?

Are they writing papers overlooking rolling hills or an urban skyline?

Use #OleMissWhereRU on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok to show the university family where you are, and how you’re completing the semester. We may share your response on our school’s social media sites.

A Message from the Dean of the School of Journalism and New Media about COVID-19

Posted on: March 16th, 2020 by ldrucker

Dear students,

We sincerely hope that this email finds all of you and your families doing as well as can be expected. This is an unprecedented time for our campus, our country and, in fact, the world. We have heard from many of you and we know that for some, anxiety is high.

Dean Will Norton, Jr.

Dean Will Norton, Jr.

Whether first-year or senior, our students are grieving some part of their expected college experience. Some of you may feel relieved to be home and others may feel anxious about what you will do at home for the next several weeks or more.

No matter how you’re feeling, it’s perfectly valid. The next several weeks are going to be difficult. We want you to know that we are committed to working through this together.

Here are some things you should be aware of:


  • In general, you should be checking your UM email address frequently. We are also providing updates on the School’s website: and through our Facebook account: and LinkedIn account:
  • Many of your instructors have been emailing you to ask for information from you regarding your access to technology and other issues, please check your UM email now. Your responses will help your faculty plan to make the next few weeks as painless as possible.

Advising for summer/fall
Your faculty are working on a plan to make sure advising for the summer and fall can be completed effectively and remotely. Priority registration opens on March 30, and you should expect to hear from your advisor no later than March 23 regarding the system that he/she will use for the process. Be sure to check your UM email frequently.

Returning school equipment
Students are expected to stay away from campus and participate in classes from home. However, if you have School of Journalism equipment and cannot get to campus before Friday, March 20 to return that gear, please contact the School’s front office at 662-915-7146 to make other arrangements.

We do want you to know that the School of Journalism & New Media is not closed! We will still be here to assist you as you navigate these upcoming weeks. The university has a webpage with helpful information:, but if you need additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We are grateful for the amazing students we have as we navigate these uncharted waters. We are confident that our school will emerge from this stronger than ever.




Dean Will Norton

UM chancellor releases statement about canceled classes and COVID-19

Posted on: March 12th, 2020 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi will cancel classes March 16-20 and move classes online following an extended break.

UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce released a statement Thursday saying the decision is a response to the rapidly evolving situation with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

University leaders hope the decision will help maximize social distancing, and slow transmission of the virus.



“All classes on the Oxford campus and the regional campuses are canceled for March 16-20, 2020, the week that students were scheduled to return from spring break,” the statement reads. “This decision will extend UM’s spring break by one week so that faculty and staff can prepare to move classes online following the extended break.”

Beginning Monday, March 23 and until further notice, the university will hold all classes and related coursework online or via methods other than in-person, on-campus instruction, the chancellor said.

“The timeframe for this approach is open-ended, and we will monitor this approach continuously with the hope of returning to normal operations before the end of the spring semester,” Boyce said in the statement.

Glenn Boyce

Glenn Boyce

Students will hear directly from their respective deans and/or faculty instructors regarding any specific instructions. Students are strongly encouraged to return to their family home and stay there during this period to promote social distancing and minimize the risk of spreading the virus.

Click this link to read the entire statement.

Click this link to read University of Mississippi updates about COVID-19.

UM student journalists win 21 awards in regional Associated Press college contest

Posted on: March 10th, 2020 by ldrucker

Please join us in congratulating our students who excelled in this year’s Associated Press contest for college students in Mississippi and Louisiana. AP picks three finalists in each category. Details about the awards will be announced in April.

Farley Hall. Photo by Clay Patrick.

The Daily Mississippian, Rebel Radio and NewsWatch Ole Miss are finalists in staff categories for overall best work. The finalists are, in the order announced by AP:

  • Joshua Clayton, sports enterprise writing, profile of Khadim ‘”Dream” Sy
  • Billy Schuerman, finalist in two categories: sports photography (volleyball) and spot news photography (homecoming king election)
  • The Daily Mississippian staff, finalist for breaking news, weekend of activism; finalist for breaking news, “IHL Picks Its Chancellor; Campus Protests”; finalist for newspaper General Excellence
  • Brittany Brown, TV news story,  neo-Confederate groups prompt reaction from alumni and students
  • Skye Spiehler, Lafayette County water system looking to solve big problems
  • NewsWatch Ole Miss, newscast
  • Matthew Hendley, TV reporter
  • Hayden Wiggs, radio feature story, therapy dog
  • Will Stribling, finalist in three categories: radio news story, Emmett Till memorial marker; radio news story, statue protest; use of sound
  • DeAndria Turner, finalist in two categories, radio news story (counter protest) and use of sound
  • Rebel Radio, finalist for newscast and finalist for general excellence
  •, website
  • The Daily Mississippian staff, multimedia package, Oxford/Ole Miss protests and activism
  • Devna Bose, multi-media journalist, emotional trauma of Hurricane Maria

University of Mississippi DECA students take home statewide awards

Posted on: March 5th, 2020 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi DECA chapter members recently won three awards in a statewide competition in Meridian.

The winners are:

Business Ethics:  1st place team of Dalton Robison and Kyle Boyd
Professional Selling:  1st place Dalton Robison
Financial Accounting:  2nd place Chris Brown

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professor R. J. Morgan is the new sponsor for DECA.

“I already knew our program housed some of the best young communicators and business/marketing students in the state, but Dalton and his team are truly on the cusp of something big here,” he said. “On to Atlanta!”


DECA winners. From left, Kyle Boyd, Chris Brown and Dalton Robison.

DECA Inc., formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a career and technical student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. The Collegiate Division includes over 15,000 members in 275 colleges and more colleges.