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UM School of Journalism and New Media offers jobs site and career advice

Posted on: August 3rd, 2019 by ldrucker

Landing your first job out of college can be challenging. That’s why the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has created a jobs website to help, but many people aren’t aware it exists.

Business leaders throughout the state and country are encouraged to submit job, internship, fellowship, scholarship and other opportunities to our site. Students are encouraged to take a look at what’s offered.

“We realized we needed one place to post jobs,” said Assistant Dean Scott Fiene. In the past, faculty members were often told about job opportunities, and if they had a student in mind, they would forward the job to them. “We thought, let’s try to build this thing on our own. It’s very informal, and it’s linked to our school website.”

The school website address is The jobs site address is

Fiene said employers from around the country often send job opportunities to faculty and staff, and they are now posted on the jobs site. He wants to promote the site so more people will become aware of it. Visitors can also subscribe to the site and receive newly posted jobs via email.

Bobby Steele, instructional assistant professor of branding and promotions, said the website is like the school’s own LinkedIn.

“I think the website is very important because I had a professor tell me once that 75 percent of the jobs people got in integrated marketing communications (IMC) are word-of-mouth marketing,” he said. “It gives students an opportunity to see jobs that we are not necessarily recommending, but we are letting them know that they are available.”

Amanda Haley

Atlanta native Amanda Haley is a multimedia journalist for WTVA-Tupelo who graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. Haley said it’s important to think broadly when searching for jobs after college.

“It’s important to set long-term goals,” she said, “but don’t limit yourself when job searching right after school. Apply everywhere that might work for you, and never turn down an interview or phone call with potential employers, even if you don’t see yourself working for them. Getting used to answering questions about your career goals, and getting yourself out there professionally will always be beneficial.”

Many students don’t take advantage of resources at the University of Mississippi that may help them land a job. It’s important to ask questions and reach out to faculty members who may be able to put you in touch with individuals or opportunities who can help you achieve your goals.

Haley said connecting with faculty and meeting and communicating with others in your field is an important part of the job search.

“Any conversation is an important one,” she said, “And when it comes time to look for a job, you’ll have some relationships already made, and they can help guide you or refer you to a job.”

UM School of Journalism and New Media alumnus wins first place in law and policy competition

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate student alumnus has won first place in a media law and policy writing competition.

The University of North Carolina Center for Media Law and Policy has announced the winners of the inaugural James R. Cleary Prize for students who wrote the best published scholarly articles on media law and policy-related topics in 2018.

This year’s first place winner is Austin Vining, a joint JD/Ph.D. student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and College of Journalism and Communications, for his Mississippi Law Review article “Trick or Treat?: Mississippi County Doesn’t Clown Around With Halloween Costumes.”

Vining, who earned his master’s degree from the School of Journalism and New Media, will receive a $1,000 prize. Read more at this link.

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student George Young

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019 by ldrucker

George Young studied integrated marketing communications at the University of Mississippi with a business minor. The Madison, Mississippi native began his freshman year at the University of Mississippi undeclared and eventually chose IMC as his major.

He knew he was interested in journalism, art, and music, but wanted to find a major that would include all his interests and still give him a competitive marketing and business edge. He realized that with an IMC degree, he could one day have a career outside the conventional desk jobs.

His eyes were opened to how broad the journalism and marketing fields are and how they both connect in ways he could personalize to his interests. After taking a few classes, he said he began to see the world around him differently. He knew he had a special eye for recognizing what people want and figuring out how to get it to them.

Young is a member of the music and artist group Dreamland Gateway, and he performs under the moniker Harvey. Dreamland Gateway includes four hip-hop musicians and other contributing artists.

Dreamland Gateway has performed in Oxford four times over the past year. They have played at local house shows and at Proud Larry’s. Young’s music has inspired his degree and career path.

He wants to use his degree to get a job with Spotify or iTunes helping curate suggested music for subscribers. He hopes he can make a difference in the music industry and make the streaming experience more enjoyable for subscribers with his marketing expertise and music passion.

– By Miranda Waddell

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Alicia Watts

Tupelo native Alicia Watts moved to Oxford to pursue her bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi. She is majoring in English and minoring in journalism. Before becoming a Rebel, she attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton for two years.

“I was a mathematics major for a year and a half until I realized that English was my calling,” she said. “I hope to get my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Ole Miss, and then I plan to become an English professor at a community college on the East Coast.”

Watts said she’s known she wanted to become a teacher since she was little, but it wasn’t until her sophomore year of college that she realized her career path.

“Writing and reading are two of my passions, and I could not imagine doing anything else with my future,” she said. However, she wasn’t sure what her minor would be.

“I knew that I wanted to do something that involved writing because I wanted to do something that would benefit my major. My brother was a journalism major, and he currently works for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. I did not want to copy my brother, but I decided I should at least take a journalism class to see if I enjoyed it.

“The journalism class taught me so much about writing and inspired me, so I decided to officially make journalism my minor. All of my school assignments now involve writing, but I would not have it any other way. Choosing journalism was the best choice for me and my education.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Maggie Bell

Columbia, South Carolina native Maggie Bell grew up in Atlanta, where she attended a Catholic school from kindergarten until senior year. After kindergarten, she said her parents sent her to a pre-first grade school, so she is a year older than many of her peers, which has its perks.

Bell said she was inspired to major in integrated marketing communication by her sister, who graduated from the University of Georgia.

“She majored in public relations and now works as a sales representative for radio stations in Atlanta,” she said. “Since I watched her graduate from college and work during the summers before I even graduated high school, I always thought her job seemed very cool.”

Bell said she enjoys interacting with others and knew she didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day.

“She taught me some about her major, PR, which is very similar in my eyes to IMC,” Bell said. “I picked IMC because it also relates to journalism. In high school, I grew to enjoy writing. Communication is essential to personal and career success in order to understand yourself and others around you.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Perk Swift

Perk Swift, a native of a small town in South Georgia, followed his older brother to the University of Mississippi.

“I realize now Ole Miss was my blessing in disguise,” said Swift, who came to UM without knowing anyone other than his sibling and started a new life.

Instead of studying business or accounting like many friends and family members, Swift chose to study integrated marketing communications, or IMC, hoping to someday work in television.


“My dream job would have to be directing commercials,” said Swift, who said he’d also enjoy working in news or film production.

“The storyline matters, but what’s even more interesting to me is the shot,” he said, referring to his favorite movie, “Good Will Hunting.”

Swift said he hopes to one day work in front of or behind a camera.

  • By Talley Bass

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Talley Bass

Talley Bass moved from a small town in South Georgia to an even smaller town in North Mississippi before becoming a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student.

“I now see the irony in this,”she said. “I was tired of my small town life in Georgia and wanted something new. I picked the farthest college I could think of that was within my most tolerable driving distance, and I went.”

Bass enrolled in UM as a business major with a minor in art, but switched to IMC because she said it is a good combination of both fields.

“I love hearing people’s stories and getting to know their background,” she said. “When people are interviewed, they feel a sort of importance that they matter in the big picture. I enjoy making people feel important because I believe everyone plays a part of importance to society, offering different insight and thoughts.”

Bass said she supports the expression of individuality. “I am known in my circle of friends for being the one that could be fine for the rest of her life with no one else but myself,” she said. “I always wanted to be the person that did something no one else has, or does the crazy thing, because I grew up in such a predictable town.

‘I believe independence is important for a person because, at the end of the day, only you look at yourself in the mirror. You get to decide if you like what you see or not.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student Kenlea Barnes

Oxford native Kenlea Barnes is one of our many students who made Farley Hall part of her world while enrolled in elective classes. Even though she majored in general studies and minored in English, history and education, she chose to take some of the classes taught in the UM School of Journalism and New Media.

Raised in Desoto County, mostly in Southaven, Barnes said her favorite hobbies are watching Harry Potter and YouTube videos; playing with her three adorable cats, Renlea, Rory and Riley; and singing and hanging out with friends.

“The wizarding world of Harry Potter always made me feel like I was destined for greatness, like I could and would do anything,” she said. “This movie series (I do plan on reading the books. I just haven’t gotten the chance) has helped me to realize that Harry, just like myself, is “exceptionally ordinary” as Luna Lovegood would say. So, greatness is something a person becomes, something anyone can achieve.”

Although she didn’t major or minor in journalism, Barnes said the field is a big part of her life.

“YouTube, especially, is a huge form of communication,” she said, “and vlogging is like having an open diary of sorts,” she said. “… Journalism and communication shape the society in which we all live in today, and I, for one, am grateful.”

The School of Journalism and New Media welcomes anyone who has an interest in journalism or IMC classes to enroll in a course or get involved in some of our many clubs and organizations.

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Caroline Nihill

Freshman Caroline Nihill, 19, spent her days in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before deciding to move to Oxford for a change of scenery at Ole Miss. Nihill also has family residing in Oxford, and desired the warmth of the South.

She originally started college as an English major before discovering journalism was the best fit for her. “I enjoy writing about the things currently happening in our society,” she said. “Not only that, I’m a very curious person who thoroughly enjoys research and finding the truth. I realized that journalism is something that would help me satisfy my curiosity and spread the truth on current events.”

Additionally, Nihill fell in love with the Ole Miss journalism program. She enjoys writing and loves investigating and discovering more about a topic.

“I just thought about where I could see myself in 10 years, and I can see myself being a journalist,” she said.

Nihill is working on a minor in political science. She understands politics and enjoys learning about government. She said the “nice, down-to-earth” people of the School of Journalism and New Media are her favorite aspect of the major, describing it as a community with commonalities. “I could read something interesting, and someone would sit down and dissect it with me,” she said.

She is also an ambassador for the School of Journalism, and noted the openness and genuineness found in that group. Nihill said fellow students are always open to discuss current events, offer advice, or simply talk.

Nihill knows the value of journalism and communication. “Communicating to a larger audience about the things that are or could be affecting them is a necessary thing for the world to function,” she said, adding that communication is the basis of who we are as humans and how we interact with one another.

“Journalism is the people who consume it, considering they decide what to read and how they want it accessible to them,” she said.

Nihill was part of the Oxford Stories journalism class this semester, and she won the Editor Award at the end of the semester, evidence that she has demonstrated leadership skills and quality work.

She aspires to become an investigative print journalist to satisfy her hunger for truth. “Journalism is what I consider myself good at, and it feels like second nature,” she said.

– By Chloe Baker

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Chloe Baker

Olive Branch native Chloe Baker, 19, was raised just an hour north of Oxford on the Tennessee line. She is the fourth of five children.

“When I was younger, I spent my days listening to music, playing soccer, and watching sports (especially football and baseball) with my family,” she said. “One day while watching football, I realized that I could become a sideline reporter, just like those women I watched on television and admired. That sparked the idea of studying journalism, which I kept in mind as I went through high school.”

Chloe Baker

As a sophomore, Baker joined her school’s news broadcast program and loved it. She worked as an anchor, reporter, director, producer, photographer, and more.

“When senior year arrived, I was torn between the University of Memphis and Ole Miss,” she said. “However, when I visited Ole Miss, I just knew this was home. The amazing journalism department happens to be a fantastic plus.”

Baker said journalism is important.

“Though many conflicting opinions arise when discussing media, one thing rings true – it is a necessity,” she said. “Without journalism and communications, people would have no way of learning about the world around them.

“The job of a journalist is extremely important and unique, as they get to learn about the world, then share it with the world. It is a beautiful thing to have the ability to be a storyteller and promote truth and awareness for various topics.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Cam Achord

Achord, 20, is an integrated marketing communications major from Olive Branch, Mississippi near Memphis. He said he chose to attend the University of Mississippi because it is located far enough away from his hometown to give him independence, but he’s still within driving distance of his family, who he enjoys visiting and spending time with.

“I chose to pursue a degree in integrated marketing communications because I felt that is was geared towards certain aptitudes of mine,” said the National Merit Finalist. “I find the coordination of different elements of advertising very interesting, and I like to think from an advertiser’s point of view.”

Originally a psychology major with plans to attend medical school, Achord said he learned he wasn’t as passionate about the career field as he thought he would be.

“I did, however, very much enjoy studying psychology,” he said. “I believe that there is a strong element of psychology associated with marketing, as one must understand the tendencies of the human mind to effectively advertise and persuade people.”

Achord also believes communication is important. “Without communication, the spread of information would be extremely limited, and we would not be able to enjoy many of the accomplishments made by humanity,” he said.

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Parker Blaylock.

Blaylock, 20, is a University of Mississippi junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications with a specialization in public relations and a minor in general business.

The Eupora native was originally a biochemistry major, but after hearing from friends about the School of Journalism and New Media’s IMC program, he decided to make the switch during his freshman year at Ole Miss.

Blaylock quickly fell in love with the program and all the potential career options, saying it has taught him how to think critically and creatively.

“Before I became an IMC major, I was lost,” he said. “I really did not have a sense of direction for what I wanted in life.”

Blaylock said his personal skills are best utilized in the world of marketing and sales. He is proud of his communication skills and sees value in those skills for his daily life and future career path.

“Communication is one of the most important skills a person can have, in my opinion,” he said. “There aren’t many scenarios in life where you won’t have to communicate with someone.”

After he finishes school, Blaylock plans to pursue a career at an advertising agency working in the creative department. He sees himself living in a larger city, specifically New York or Nashville.

Ideally, he would like to create social media content and do copywriting, but he is also interested in conducting research for campaigns.

Blaylock said he would also love to work for a greater cause at a nonprofit organization, such as the Human Rights Campaign or the Advertising Council.

– By Ali Arnold

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Allie Allen.

Allen, 20, is a University of Mississippi sophomore majoring in integrated marketing communications. The Jacksonville, Florida native moved to Memphis at age 6 because her dad took another job.

“In 2013, my life took a turn when I was diagnosed with brain cancer,” she said. “After my first brain surgery, I became a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. One of the reasons I chose to come to Ole Miss was because it is far enough, yet close enough to my house and St. Jude if I ever need to go there for treatment or scans.”

Allen said the past six years of her cancer journey have made her realize how much she wanted to work for the hospital that saved her life.

“As much as I would love to be a doctor, I do not feel that I am fit for that job,” she said, “but there are many different jobs that work directly with the hospital that I am interested in working with in the future.”

The fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is called ALSAC, an acronym for American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities.

“ALSAC specifically has jobs that deal with integrated marketing communications,” said Allen, “and this is a big part of why I chose IMC as my major. I feel that integrated marketing communication is important because it is more than just marketing.

“It takes all the aspects of marketing communications and combines them together using different approaches for a specific customer. Even if I do not end up working for ALSAC or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, I wish to work for a company that gives back. I plan to take everything I have learned from this major and apply it to my future career.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Shelby Bickes.

The Saltillo native, 22, who is majoring in integrated marketing communications, said she chose IMC because she enjoys creative thinking and how IMC requires you to create and design, yet also involves business, marketing and communications.

As a senior, Bickes has been very involved on campus. Since her freshman year, she has worked with the Wesley Foundation, a United Methodist campus ministry. She served on the entertainment committee for the Student Activities Association, providing campus entertainment and opportunities for student involvement in programming.

She was also a member of the advanced ceramics group, The Mud Daubers, and she participated in an internship with the Oxford Arts Council.

“IMC is about meeting all of the ever-changing generations in their way of effective communications and marketing,” she said.

School of Journalism and New Media IMC student named finalist out of 170 worldwide entrants in WJEC Paris competition

Posted on: July 19th, 2019 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media integrated marketing communications student was named as a finalist in the World Journalism Education Congress “Imagine the Journalism School of Tomorrow” competition.

Out of 170 applications from all over the world, IMC student Chloe Dwyer’s entry was one of 17 selected to advance in the competition that offered five winners a trip to Paris to present their papers about the future of journalism education at the 5th WJEC.

Journalism schools are the windows of the profession tomorrow. Despite facing unprecedented upheavals, they are not only adapting their courses and programs, but also preparing future journalists.

Chloe Dwyer

Dwyer was notified that she will be receiving an official WJEC Paris certificate attesting that she was a finalist in the competition and for her continent, and her ideas contributed to discussions in Paris about the future of journalism education for an audience of more than 500 journalism teachers who attended the WJEC July 9-11. The session was broadcast live on the WJEC internet site and available on replay.

We asked Dwyer, a 21-year-old native of Southlake, Texas, how she became involved in the competition and her thoughts on the future of journalism education.

Q. How the competition came about? Why did you enter?

A. I was taking the web course for Journalism 101 with LaReeca Rucker, and she opened an optional discussion board where we could submit an entry for the competition. The competition was seeking ideas of how we view the future for schools of journalism. The submission could have rewarded you a spot in a conference in Paris, France to present your ideas to a room full of journalism faculty from across the world.

I wanted to enter the competition because I felt this was a topic I could write on so easily, as I’m very passionate about it. I love being an IMC major at Ole Miss because of the many opportunities to learn about such modern forms of business and gain such valuable skills with the excellent resources our academic school provides.

We are very lucky to have Mac desktops fully loaded with the Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office, to have an easily accessible printing room that allows us to create tabloid-sized projects, and to have the ability to rent equipment to create media projects. Having these resources readily available truly helps the students and faculty excel.

I feel so lucky to be in a program that encourages creativity and sets students up for success. I felt it was important to share how our program provides opportunities for students, and to present ideas of ways I think schools and universities can advance their programs.

Q. What were your thoughts the day you received the email and learned you were a finalist?

A. When I received an email from the conference saying I had been one of the 10 percent of applicants pre-selected, I was so surprised. I thought of this as a great opportunity to submit my ideas and bring some light to our university’s excellent program, but I never thought it would get me far into the competition, as I assumed many people applied.

Q. There were many entries in this competition. Why do you think they selected yours?

A. Since I am very passionate about growing in the creative, hands-on areas of journalism, I included many ways schools could create workplaces and provide resources that can help students find their specific niche in such a large department full of many different potential career paths. I believe that within my submission, the ideas I presented must have stood out in such a large pool of applicants.

Q. What are some of the things you said in the application regarding your vision for the Journalism School of Tomorrow? What elements do you think future journalism schools should have?

A. My vision for the Journalism School of Tomorrow includes a lot of hands-on practices that offer space for creativity for students and faculty. I mentioned how beneficial it has been attending a university that provides me with many great resources, such as camera equipment rentals, recording centers, media centers, tabloid-style and 3D printing, and advanced Mac desktops that are set up with the Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and other creative programming.

I said schools could start implementing media labs in their journalism schools. This space could include many computers that come with all the useful programs installed, such as the entire Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and other programs that benefit journalism,  such as graphic design and digital design. This space could also include iPad Pros with Apple Pencils, or Surface tablets that allow students to create advanced pieces by hand digitally.

I’m sure there are many other devices that could help students create advanced pieces of journalism that I am unaware of, or even that will exist in the future. I think universities could start putting some of their funds towards more forward-thinking machinery that could place their journalism schools far ahead other institutions.

I see this as a way to make journalism schools think about the future. With the rate that all media mediums are evolving around us, there is no reason our nation’s journalism schools should not be striving towards the same goal. I am aware that creating spaces, such as the ones I have mentioned, is an expensive improvement. However, I believe with the right motivation and creativity, it can be done.

Q. What is your vision for the UM School of Journalism and New Media? How do you think it will change in the next decade, or what would you like to see change?

A. It’s hard to say where I see our academic school heading in the next decade, simply because new media is constantly changing and taking us to such unpredictable advancements. However, I feel confident Ole Miss will continue to stay in tune with the most modern forms of journalism and business, and it continues to foster an environment that sets students up for success and prepares them for excellent careers.

Q. You were one of only a few students out of a class of 200 who chose to submit an entry for this competition. And you were named as a finalist out of 170 entrants from all over the world. What advice would you give other students about putting themselves out there,  entering some of the contests and opportunities, and applying for fellowships, scholarships, jobs, etc.?

A. I was shocked to only see two other submissions from students in my class for this competition. I am such an advocate for taking advantage of the amazing opportunities Ole Miss provides, especially within the School of Journalism and New Media.

Whether it’s signing up to have a 15-minute meeting with a market researcher of a major company or attending a session to hear how the Oxford Police Department has branded themselves on Twitter so well… these resources are free to us as students and can help you grow in your field of study far more than you may realize.

Along with those resources, many professors will keep you updated on internships, job opportunities, or even involvement on campus that they see could be beneficial for you. Always take advantage of these, because you never know what the outcome might be. In hindsight, I have always found these resources beneficial and will continue to take advantage of them while I can.

Q. What are your plans for the future? What is your dream job?

A. I would love to attend graduate school for IMC or advertising. My dream job would be working on the creative team for advertising campaigns for any major company.


To learn more about our journalism or IMC program, email

Former Daily Mississippian editor featured as journalist in TV series ‘Death Row Stories’

Posted on: July 15th, 2019 by ldrucker

A former editor of The Daily Mississippian has been featured in the fourth season of the television series “Death Row Stories” that airs on HLN. Lyndy Berryhill, who graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media in 2018, talked with us about the experience.

Q. Can you tell me a little about yourself, what you studied, and when you were a student at UM?

I grew up in rural Southwest Mississippi and graduated from the School of Journalism and New Media in 2018. I have been a working journalist since age 19. I have written and edited for more than 10 community newspapers and served as editor-in-chief of The Daily Mississippian. I currently live north of Gulfport and freelance for local newspapers and magazines. I have written and reported on four continents. I most recently worked as an investigative reporter for CNN’s “Death Row Stories,” and I was an undercover journalist for a documentary series which airs on BBC’s Channel Four.

Q. When did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about the opportunity through a fellow Mississippi-based journalist, Jerry Mitchell. I actually met him several years ago when Ole Miss hosted a journalism conference where he spoke at the banquet. I had read his work beforehand and was a little starstruck. I introduced myself and stayed in contact. He recommended me for the job, and I applied.

Q. What was your assignment? Tell me a little about the work you did.

I was assigned to do some investigative field work. Since both of the Mississippi cases they were looking at were around 20 years old, the original people involved were hard to track down. People had died, moved away, or changed their names in some cases, so Jigsaw was looking for someone who knew the state and knew enough people to get in touch with former attorneys, judges, law enforcement officers, family members and witnesses. The main goal for me was to provide updated contact information, so the production crew could put together an episode.

I was nervous when I first got the job because I am experienced with print. Luckily, the investigative skills are the same whether it is for print or video. I spent hours in libraries, pouring over public records and old newspaper clippings trying to find answers. When Google and old phonebooks failed, a couple of times I had to walk door-to-door at old addresses and ask the current tenants questions. Additionally, I also spent a lot of time collecting and digitalizing court records, newspaper articles and evidence files.

Once I gathered all material possible, the production company was given the green light to film each episode. When the crew came to film, I also served as the production assistant on set. I helped location scout, got coffee, and picked up lunch.

Q. What is the name of the show? When does it air/aired? What is it about? What can viewers expect to see regarding your work?

The show is “Death Row Stories” and it is produced by Jigsaw Productions. It airs on CNN or HLN. This is the 4th season.

As far as what you will see, all if not most of the archival images, newspaper clippings and court documents were gathered and digitized by me. In the Marlon Howell episode, I digitized a VHS tape for the first (and hopefully only) time. That was probably the most challenging task. All of the records were public, but you were not allowed to remove any files from the courthouse. Additionally, many of the interview subjects were individuals I located and connected to the production company.

Here is a link about the series and I have copied the descriptions and airing dates of both episodes I worked on.

June 9, 2019 “Web of Lies” – The shooting of a newspaper carrier in rural Mississippi lands 20-year-old Marlon Howell on death row. Convicted on the word of two co-defendants and the identification of an eyewitness with a checkered past, Marlon maintains his innocence.

June 23, 2019 “A Woman Wronged” – A man is found dead in his rural Mississippi home, shot four times with his own pistol. His 19-year-old son names his hospitalized mother, Michelle Byrom, as the mastermind of the murder, claiming she hired the boy’s friend to shoot her husband, and promised to pay him from the life insurance payout. Sentenced to death, Michelle spends 14 years awaiting execution — until a team of lawyers reexamine her case.

Q. What advice do you give journalism students, journalists and freelancers?

I always took the hardest teachers I could at Ole Miss, and it continues to pay dividends. I came away with more than a piece of paper when I graduated because of the quality of instruction I was able to study under in the journalism school.

To freelancers, I would like to give them a hug. If you know a freelancer, they need it. It is not easy being entirely independent, and it takes twice the work to line up features and projects that are worthwhile. In general, I try to take every writing opportunity I can if it fits in my schedule. At first, I took writing jobs even when they were low-paying, which is not ideal. But because I stuck with it and continued writing, those small jobs have actually helped me garner larger, better paying gigs.

UM School of Journalism and New Media launches new Talbert Fellows program

Posted on: July 15th, 2019 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media is seeking future journalism and communications students in Mississippi and beyond for a unique program designed to provide exclusive opportunities.

Incoming journalism and integrated marketing communication students with great potential and strong work portfolios are encouraged to apply to become Talbert Fellows, an elite cohort within the school. The program will launch Aug. 1 and begin in the fall of 2020.

Talbert Fellows will be selected based on a portfolio of their best submitted work in print, broadcast, integrated marketing communication, photography, etc. rather than their GPA or ACT scores. Applicants should begin submitting work in the fall of 2019 and follow the UM scholarship application process.

Farley Hall. Photo by Clay Patrick.

The Talbert Fellows program will offer scholarship opportunities and financial assistance in addition to other funding students might receive, special events, personalized attention and coaching from faculty, reporting trips and a possible travel budget.

“Students have a lot of choices when it comes to finding the right university, and we think the Talbert Fellows program might be just the little extra incentive some need to choose the School of Journalism and New Media,” said Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of Journalism Debra Wenger, Ph.D. “From scholarship money to unique experiential learning opportunities to networking options, the students accepted to become Talbert Fellows will find themselves positioned to become future leaders in the fields of journalism and integrated marketing communications.”

Assistant Dean and Associate Professor Scott Fiene said the School of Journalism and New Media is pleased to launch a program that offers more than just financial assistance.

“This will also create a unique cohort of students who get opportunities for faculty coaching, reporting trips, possibly special class sections, and a lot more,” he said. “It’s truly a win for students and a milestone in the evolution of our school.”

R.J. Morgan, director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association, said there are many high school students across the country who are proving they are skilled thinkers and innovators at a young age.

“Students like that need to be honored, but more than that, they need to be challenged to reach their full potential,” he said. “This program will help us better identify those students from the outset, so that once they arrive on campus, we can focus our best resources on pushing them to an elite level of success.”

The Talbert Fellows program is named after Samuel S. Talbert, Ph.D. The versatile administrator and author wrote three academic books on journalism, several plays and a column published in more than 100 newspapers. He chaired the UM Department of Journalism from 1951 until his death in 1972.

Talbert Fellows selections will follow the university’s annual calendar with new students notified in April and admitted each fall semester. New, transfer and current students are eligible to apply. Awards are renewable for up to four years.

Applicants must submit a link to their online portfolios and the information required through the University of Mississippi scholarship application portal.

To request an interview about the Talbert Fellows program, contact Wenger at 662-915-7912 or

Interested in journalism or IMC and law? Sign up for the Accelerated Law Program

Posted on: July 11th, 2019 by ldrucker

If you are student who is interested in journalism or IMC and law, the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has a new program that will allow you to study both simultaneously.

The Accelerated Law Program offers a unique path to study at the University of Mississippi School of Law. The School of Journalism and New Media is just one of the schools or majors at UM that offers this pathway to law school.

Here’s how it works.

·         Students must complete general education coursework and all required courses for both their major and minor.

·         During the “junior” year, students apply to UM Law.

·         If accepted, they enroll in law school during their “senior” year.

·         The hours completed as a first-year law student are “transferred” back to fulfill the advanced electives for the undergraduate program of study so that the degree could be finalized.

·         Journalism or IMC students should contact the dean’s office to notify them of their intent to “participate.”

Jennifer Simmons, assistant dean for student services, said because many students enroll with dual credit and/or advanced placement coursework, the required classes vary each semester.

“However, on average, students must complete 18 hours of degree-applicable coursework each semester,” she said.

A willingness to enroll in and complete coursework during the summer term and intersessions could reduce the 18-hour average per semester, Simmons said.

Jack Hall is one of the first School of Journalism and New Media students to participate in the Accelerated Law Program. We asked him a few questions about his decision to get involved.

 Q.    How did you hear about the program, and what made you decide to become part of it?

A.    I first heard about the 3+3 accelerated juris doctor program through the journalism school. I decided to apply to be part of the program so that I could use law classes to cover elective credits in order to save some time towards graduation.

 Q.    Tell me a little about your interest in journalism and law? 

A.    I’ve always had a strong interest in public service, and I believe both a formal education in both journalism and law combined could allow for a strong career in service to my community.

Q.    What has the program been like so far? I know you have taken some journalism classes, but have you taken any law classes? If so, which ones have you taken, and what has the experience been like?

A.    I begin taking a full-time course load of law classes this August. So far, I have applied and gained admission to the University of Mississippi School of Law. Orientation begins Aug. 21.

Q.    What advice do you have for other students who may want to pursue this program/route?

A.    If you’re interested in pursuing this same program, be prepared to work hard and take advantage of the excellent resources provided by the School of Journalism and New Media. I don’t believe this would have been possible for me without the work of the faculty and staff of the School of Journalism and New Media.

For more information about the Accelerated Law Program, email

Column: I was anxious to leave Delaware, but Mississippi felt like the place I belonged

Posted on: June 18th, 2019 by ldrucker

As I look back on my time as a student at the University of Mississippi, I have nothing but fond memories.

From my first day freshmen year, moving to a new state, not knowing a single soul, I met a random roommate from Minnesota who was so homesick she tried to move home the entire first month of school.

I went to the dining hall at the wrong time every day and couldn’t figure out why only half the food stations weren’t open. I even missed my first college exam because it was given on Blackboard on a Friday night, and I forgot to take it.

Now these may not sound like amazing memories to you, but they are how my college experience began. As a second semester senior, I look back on all of those memories and wish I could go back to my very first day and relive everything again. I would love to have my undergraduate experience repeat over and over again.

Alli George

Farley Hall

Fast forward to senior year. I still live with my random Minnesota roommate who turned out to be one of my best friends.

I finally found something I was really passionate about, and I switched majors from public policy leadership to integrated marketing communications.

The School of Journalism and New Media has provided me with some amazing opportunities over the past few years. My public relations class assisted me in obtaining an internship. Through experiences with my classes, I have obtained two other internships during my college career. One was last summer as a marketing intern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The other was a marketing internship with the Oxford Community Market during my sophomore year.

Besides the academic opportunities that Ole Miss has given me, it also created an environment for me to grow as a person and grow socially. When I first moved to college, I was anxious and nervous. I had never lived anywhere besides Delaware. However, I knew I needed to move somewhere new or I might never leave my hometown.

My senior year of high school, I applied to many schools in the South. I figured at no other point in my life would I live in the South, and I wanted to experience the culture. My parents took me to visit all of the schools I was accepted into. I honestly really liked most of them, but I always felt a stronger connection to Ole Miss.

Lyceum. Photo by Alli George.

From the day I took my tour, I felt at home on the Ole Miss campus. As anxious as I was to leave home, it felt like the place I belonged. I wanted to move to a place that made me feel uncomfortable, as crazy as that might sound.

I knew Mississippi, as a state, had different political viewpoints than I did and stronger religious beliefs. I wanted to put myself in a place where I didn’t necessarily agree with everything that was going on. Mississippi proved to be a very good place to do that.

I came here with a certain perception of Mississippi, and I didn’t think that would change over my four years as a student. However, now as I’m about to leave Mississippi forever, I have such a fond view of this state. Even though there may be some aspects of the state’s past and present political views that I may not agree with, Mississippi has changed my life forever.

I will always be grateful for the state of Mississippi for building a university that provided me with much more than an education. I became a writer, joined a large Greek organization, became a leader on campus and came out of my shell socially. I have made friends that will hopefully last a lifetime.

I have had many of my “lasts” in Oxford. My last senior dinner with my sorority sisters. Finishing my last classes to get my degree in integrated marketing communications.

I’m nervous and anxious all over again, except this time, it’s about going home. I found a home in Oxford these past four years, and now I have to re-establish that home back in Delaware. I don’t have a plan for what’s next. I have applied to just about every marketing job in the state of Delaware. I have also applied to graduate school to pursue my master’s degree in business administration.

Whatever the future might hold, I am so thankful and grateful for Ole Miss. This university has helped me grow in so many ways. I’m sure if I had attended another school, I could have had a similar experience. However, I would have never had my first Saturday in the Grove, all my memories on the Square with my incredible friends, and all the sunsets I watched set over Sardis Lake.

Most importantly, I would have never been a Rebel. For the rest of my life, I will be proud and honored to say I am an Ole Miss alumnus. Hotty Toddy!

This column was written by Alli George before graduation. To learn more about our journalism and IMC programs, email


UM School of Journalism student finds success in sales with Cox Media Group

Posted on: June 3rd, 2019 by ldrucker

Many of our recent graduates, like Brittany Clark, are out in the world doing amazing things. During her senior year at Ole Miss, Clark bumped into Assistant Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., who inquired about Clark’s plans after graduation and suggested sales.

“She had received an email about the Media Sales Institute through the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, and suggested I apply,” Clark said. “I was accepted and received a scholarship to attend the program. I traveled to Arizona State and studied for a few weeks. It was an amazing opportunity to network, and learn more about a different side of the media industry.”

After several months of interviews, Clark landed a job as a sales assistant for CBS television stations in Atlanta. She assisted local sales reps about their digital and local TV buys.

“By the end of my role, I had started managing several large agency accounts on my own and started to assist our National Sales Department,” she said.

Fast forward 10 months, and a previous work colleague reached out to Clark to let her know his sales team was looking for a new assistant at Cox Media Group Atlanta. A few days later, she went for an interview and was told, based on her career goals and talent assessment, she wasn’t a fit for the position.

“I was asked if I would be willing to wait a few months, since they were looking to hire an entry level sales person,” she said.

Being patient paid off. Four months later, Clark was hired as a sales associate for radio and digital and promoted within 10 months to media consultant. Now, she manages a list of agencies. Some of her largest clients include AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Kroger.

“The company I work for has given me an opportunity to expand my digital knowledge,” she said. “Since I have been with Cox Media Group, I have become Interactive Advertising Bureau Media Sales Certified, Google Fundamentals, Search, Video, and My Business certified. My favorite part about my job is working on digital campaigns. I have the opportunity to help people grow their business in ways they may have never thought of.”

Clark graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in broadcast journalism with a specialization in public relations. During her time at Ole Miss, she earned several Associated Press awards telling stories of tornado and hurricane devastation and covering the Rebels’ Bama win.

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