School of Journalism and New Media

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Posts Tagged ‘Act 9 Experience’

ACT 9 Experience successfully showcases leading magazine professionals at UM

Posted on: April 26th, 2019 by ldrucker

Bo Sacks, president of Precision Media, led a session during the ACT 9 Experience conference titled “Capping It All.” He said there is more opportunity than every before with new technologies and the most important thing is to “be print strong and digital smart.”

Sacks believes advertising revenue should be the gravy on the meat and not the indigestible thing he said advertising has become. “Structure follows strategy,” he said. “If you base your strategy on your existing structure, you limit your potential to what you have already done.”

He said publishers should consider every option to keep subscribers engaged. For example, The Wall Street Journal created a monthly wine club. Sacks quoted Kevin Turpin, president of the National Journal, saying it is important to “build on earned trust and continually innovate.”

Because magazines are a trusted media form, Sacks said it is important to be niche and specific for the magazine audience. In other words, he believes positioning is everything.

This article was written by Lindsly Penny, 22, a senior integrated marketing communications major with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in business communications. After graduation, she hopes to relocate to a city and find a job in marketing or in the entertainment industry.

Publishers must find new ways of getting their magazines to the market

By Breyton Moran
Oxford Stories

Vogue. The New Yorker. People. Better Homes and Gardens.


They are one of our last true connections to media, simply meaning they are one of the only pieces of media you can hold in your hand.

Weird, right? How can a bound book of pictures and words have an impact on our understanding of media, especially when most of us use them as coasters on our coffee table?

On April 23, 2019, the University of Mississippi hosted the annual  ACT 9 Experience convention, which brings together magazine industry leaders for a three-day “think-and-do” experience.

On April 25, 2019, the ACT 9 hosted a panel titled “Circulation Roundup,” featuring industry “bigwigs,” such as Linda Ruth, of PSCS Consulting, and Drew Wintemberg, former president of Time Inc. Retail and founder of AJW Leadership and Insights.

The 45-minute minute seminar focused on what is currently burdening the magazine industry,  urbanization.

“Urbanization is hurting the magazine industry today,” Wintemberg said. “Walmart isn’t building anymore Supercenters. We are losing the avenues where we were distributing our magazines. We have to find a way to counter these losses.”

The current infrastructure that has been created to produce today’s magazine is no longer working, he said. America is changing, leaving magazines in the past.

“Magazines are DEAD,” Ruth said, causing the room to go silent.

The statement that made everyone murmur slowly made its way to the edge of the stage, and Ruth backed up what she said with more facts.

“I think publishers have to find new ways of getting their products to market,” she said. ” There must arise new ways to bring product to market, and new ways to bring accountability to products.”

In a society where urbanization is inevitable, magazines have to find a way to modernize production and better reach their consumers. If not, we might have to say goodbye to magazines for good.

This story was written by Breyton Moran, 18, a UM freshman studying to earn his bachelor’s degree in print journalism with a double-minor in professional writing and political science. Moran graduated in the top in his class and was involved in many clubs and organizations, including student council, National Honor Society and BETA Club, holding leadership positions in most.

A Provost Scholar and Golden Key Honors Member, Moran works hard. He wants to attend Tulane University after graduation to study law and become an immigration attorney to fight the “voiceless” fight of the millions around the country. He also has a twin sister.


Why events are important in the magazine industry

By Anna Edwards
Oxford Stories

On Thursday, April 25, I attended the Act 9 Experience conference seminar “Bridging the Gap.” The moderator, Jim Elliot, prompted guest speakers with questions regarding magazines, data, and how they fit into the context of the real world.

One of the main topics was how to use data to improve your brand’s content development. In a virtual world, it is not very often that people from magazines get to speak with their audience, but the speakers said having face-to-face connections with readers and being able to ask them questions can be used as data to help run their business and manage their content.

They also emphasized the importance of hosting events in the magazine industry. Events bridge the virtual gap and extend relationships with your target audience in a way that is strategic and interactive. They allow readers to speak with members of the staff, such as the editor, to push the brand further and give insight into what kind of content readers are looking for.

Overall, I thought the seminar offered helpful information to anybody looking to work for a magazine in the future.

This column was written by Anna Edwards, 21, a junior majoring in art with an emphasis in graphic design. She has always loved Ole Miss and recalls fond childhood memories of cheering on the Rebels and visiting the beautiful town of Oxford with her family. She got the opportunity to attend the Lott Leadership Institute Summer Program in 2012, which helped make her college decision an easy one.

She is now a junior studying art, an interest she has had since visiting Italy for the first time nearly 10 years ago. Experiencing the incredible architecture and galleries filled with thousands of famous artworks inspired her to pursue a career in the arts. After graduating, she aspires to become a graphic designer.

The importance of magazines in the Digital Age

By T’Aja Cameron
Oxford Stories

Digital age journalism is about getting the right content in front of people and impacting their lives. The essence of journalism is rooted within democracy.

The Digital Age is about storytelling and adjusting to society without completely eradicating  print. Growing up as a millennial, I receive my news and the latest trends on social media, but we have to examine the use of news and trends of this generation.

John Mennell, founder of Magazine Literacy, discussed journalism in the Digital Age. “The key is to be able to use technology to design your content to be shared with the masses,” he said.

Mennell discussed the importance of connecting fine print with digital media to interact with the masses of the world. The key elements work together within all the necessities of journalism, and when applied, you will be able to publish to your audience with steady revenue.

I’ve learned that the age of journalism is no longer just fine print, and there are many ways to express journalistic aesthetics through digital media. Digital media is how society stays connected and interrelated.

This column was written by T’Aja Cameron, 19, a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in sociology and education. Raised in Atlanta, she is a student athlete and transfer student from Jacksonville University. Although life as a student athlete is challenging, her goal is to leave a mark as an athlete and be the first college graduate in her family. She loves to travel and hopes to become a sports analyst or a creative innovator for ESPN or Nike.

Magazine professionals talk about what drives readers

The 2019 ACT 9 Experience brings in many big names in the magazine industry to teach  students about the world of magazine and how it looks for the future. At 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning, a professor said the magazine industry is facing many challenges today, but it is still no doubt a great time to be involved in the industry as it evolves.

He said magazines are a temporary item. The next month, there’s something totally new. This can be good and bad. If you fail, you have a chance to do it all over again. If one is a huge hit, try to keep it up.

One thing I took away was the simple fact that consumers are influenced by what they look at. It is so simple, but so important to understand what drives people and how we can translate that to our magazine readers.

Mary Arden Guyton, 20, is a UM junior pursuing a degree in integrated marketing communication while minoring in business administration and specializing in public relations. Throughout her time at Ole Miss, Guyton has volunteered with The Big Event, the biggest service event in the community, and joined Chi Omega sorority.

ACT 9 Experience magazine editor offers motivational advice

For the ACT 9 Experience conference, I attended the noon session Wednesday featuring Jo Packman, editor-in-chief of Where Women Create, and the winner of the 2018 Magazine Launch of The Year.

Packman spoke about her magazine, and how if one points their phone’s camera at the cover, it turns into augmented reality and plays a video describing what the magazine is about. She talked about her experiences and how she got into magazines. It was long and unruly with lots of heavy losses.

Packman said she owned a craft boutique that hit it big with cross-stitching. She then ended up publishing books with Better Homes and Gardens after losing her deal with the first company. She also lost this business deal after the bottom fell and everything collapsed. As a last-ditch effort, she went to the magazine company Women’s Daily and started creating for them.

I was inspired by Packman’s speech and what she’s currently doing within the magazine world. I think her story of fighting for what she wanted to achieve and not taking no for an answer when being turned down by mega-companies is motivational, and I hope to one day have half the ambition and resilience that she does.

This column was written by Caroline Nihill, 18, a freshman journalism major and political science minor originally from Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania right outside of Philadelphia. Nihill came to Mississippi for a change of scenery and adventure. She is an ambassador for the School of Journalism and New Media. Her love for learning and writing, along with brief involvement in her high school newspaper led her to pursue journalism.

Husni interviews magazine editors during ACT 9 Experience

By Grayson Wolf
Oxford Stories

At this year’s 2019 ACT 9 Experience conference, students and faculty of the School of Journalism and New Media heard from a variety of magazine industry leaders. They spoke about many topics, including the debate over whether “print is dead” and the pros and cons of data collection by marketers.

One of the panels was a “Fireside Chat,” hosted by Samir Husni, Ph.D., who led the conference. He interviewed two magazine editors, Rachel Barrett of Country Living, and Jeff Joseph of Luckbox Magazine.

After taking a chance and moving to the Big Apple to work for Glamour magazine, Rachel Barrett relocated to Birmingham to work as the editor for Country Living magazine, a Southern lifestyle magazine that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Barrett was bubbling with enthusiasm and showed conference attendees that she had a passion and fascination with the magazine industry. She spoke highly of the brand’s message and said its intended goal is to inspire readers to “have dreams of selling peaches out of a pickup truck, and live on a farm down South.”

She said one of the appeals of working in magazines is that you aren’t confined to one area of the country to find success in the industry. Her magazine upholds those claims, and demonstrates that with specially curated types of publications such as magazines, you can truly break into the industry in any part of the country.

This column was written by Grayson Wolf, 19, a sophomore political science major and journalism minor at the University of Mississippi. Having looked at several universities across the nation, such as New York University and George Washington University, Wolf ultimately decided to attend the Magnolia state’s flagship university to become a student in the university’s excellent political science program. Wolf is involved in two prominent campus organizations – The Mock Trial Organization and Model United Nations. After graduating, he plans to attend law school.

ACT 9 Experience successfully showcases leading magazine professionals at UM

By Cameron Fronk
Oxford Stories

The Act 9 Experience magazine conference held April 24-25 was a remarkable way to teach students different ways of marketing and publishing into today’s journalism.

The Act 9 Experience is led by Mr. Magazine, Samir Husni, Ph.D., of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media’s Magazine Innovation Center. For two days, students met with different industry leaders to help Amplify, Clarify and Testify about the power of print and digital.

The event was amazing and helpful to freshman, upcoming seniors, and soon-to-be graduates about the industry. The Act 9 Experience featured some of the most influential leaders in the industry who shared their wisdom about what it takes to become a strong and influential reporter and publisher.

David Adler, CEO and founder of BizBash Media, said finding your audience isn’t easy. It will take time, but once you find that spark, there is no denying you’ll have a flame.

This column was written by Cameron Fronk, a Fort Worth native majoring in broadcast journalism. She aspires to work as a sideline reporter for ESPN, the SEC network or Fox Sports. Her father played for Texas A&M.

She hopes to study abroad in London, New York City or Australia and inspire others through writing and creativity. She loves to volunteer with her sorority, explore new restaurants, learn new Lafayette County traditions, and spend time getting know other students on campus.

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

Posted on: April 17th, 2019 by ldrucker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Husni will moderate a discussion featuring these industry leaders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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