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School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘Billy Schuerman’

Two University of Mississippi journalism students place in prestigious Hearst competition

Posted on: June 20th, 2022 by ldrucker

Congratulations to two University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students who recently placed in the Top 20 in the prestigious national Hearst journalism competition in the team digital news/enterprise category.

Rabria Moore and Billy Schuerman were winners led by editor/adviser Ellen Meacham, according to Patricia Thompson, former director of the S. Gale Denley Student Media Center at Ole Miss.

Thompson said the project tied for 16th place in the Hearst contest with a project from Elon University. The Top 5 winners in that category were students from Western Kentucky, Syracuse, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Oregon.

The project, about water supply problems in the community of Taylor, Mississippi, was published during the spring semester of 2021, and this is one of several major awards it has won since then, Thompson said.

Rabria Moore is pictured in the photo.

Rabria Moore is pictured in the photo.

Moore is entering her senior year at UM and is The Daily Mississippian editor-in-chief for 2022-23.

Schuerman graduated in 2021 and just completed his first year in the visual communication master’s program at Ohio University. He spent winter break as a photographer and writer at a newspaper in Colorado and has a photo internship this summer at the Virginian-Pilot, Thompson said.

Moore, 20, is a Durant, Mississippi native entering her senior year at the university studying journalism and political science.

“I was very excited to find out I received a Hearst award for this project,” Rabria said. “When I started this project, I didn’t think about winning any awards. My main goal was to tell a story about a woman who’s been fighting for access to water, and hopefully bring attention to the issue of water access, especially in Mississippi. I’m happy to receive the award, but I definitely take more pride in knowing that the story has reached a broader audience.”

Moore said working on this project was different from others.

“For months, I was able to visit Ms. Ilean’s home to hear about and see the problems she was facing without access to community water,” she said. “I hope others, especially people living in Mississippi, understand that not everyone has access to the same resources. Water is something we take for granted and something we don’t typically think about, but I hope people can appreciate the ‘small’ things that we don’t have to figure out on our own.”

She said learning to listen was one of the things she took away from the project.

“So many times, we think we know someone’s story or situation,” Moore said. “I think listening gives people the opportunity to tell their stories without us injecting ourselves into those stories.”

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Schuerman, 23, who is from Houston, Texas, said he was elated to hear that their hard work was recognized in the competition.

“I am more hopeful that this recognition helps provide a future for the community we reported on,” he said. “Awards are secondary to the communities we serve.”

He said the project was meaningful.

“Before we are journalists, we are humans, and this is a human story,” he said. “This was not a project we could just walk into. We dedicated our time to telling a meaningful story about something that really matters. I hope other students can take away that in order to tell the rough draft of history, we must truly dedicate ourselves to the people we serve.”

His advice to other journalists is to find time to do important stories.

“Not everything you work on will come through,” he said, “but when you have an opportunity to really do something important, it’s important to take it head on.”

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

Posted on: June 6th, 2020 by ldrucker

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

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

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

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

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

Billy Schuerman

Billy Schuerman

What was your entry about? What did you propose?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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