School of Journalism and New Media

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Posts Tagged ‘broadcast journalism’

Chicago Bulls sports announcer encourages future broadcasters at Meek School

Posted on: October 9th, 2018 by ldrucker

If you have ever been told you cannot play a sport because you are not big enough, or you would not be good at somethinglet Chuck Swirsky be your motivation. 

Swirsky, the play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bulls, has faced many challenges to achieve his dream career. But with help and support from others, hard work, dedication and goals, Swirsky remains energetic, focused, disciplined, and passionate about life.   

I was a horrible athlete,” Swirsky said recently as a guest speaker at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media. “I got cut from every game.”

But he still wanted to be a part of sports. “In a make-believe world, I’d love to be an NBA player,” Swirsky said, “but when you’re vertically challenged like me and a poor athlete, a sports announcer is the next big thing.” 

The four people who influenced Chuck’s sports announcing career are Vince Bagli, Ernie Harwell, Joe Tait, and Pete Gross. Swirsky spent many summers with Bagli, a sports announcer, and his family job shadowing him from age 12 to 21. 

Pete Gross, a former broadcaster for the Seattle Seahawks, was also a mentor. Swirsky loved Pete’s work ethic.   

The video is a highlight of Swirsky’s first NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Atlanta Hawks. 

Swirsky said negativity from others can sometimes drive a person to accomplish great things. “The news director at NBC Radio told me that he did not like my voice, and that I will never make it,” he said.

This negative comment gave Swirsky the motivation needed to become a professional sports announcer. And during his junior year at Ohio University, he received an internship with NBC Radio in Cleveland, Ohio.

He recalled another moment when someone told him he would not be a successful sports announcer. He said he cried to his grandmother, who said, “You need to get these negative thoughts out of your system, and tomorrow you are going to prove to everyone and to yourself that you are worthy of this career.”

Swirsky said his grandmother’s speech has been the driving force in his life and every decision he has made. He said the people he surrounded himself with are the reason he has the skills and qualities necessary to succeed in this career field.

“You must be passionate, have a great attitude, and be enthusiastic,” he said. “With these three traits, you can accomplish anything.”  

Swirsky said you must be prepared, have a good work ethic and stay focused. With any job or career, you will have celebrations and challenges, he said.  

He said being a sports broadcaster is a tough and competitive industry. One must never give up, bring it when the time comes, and always be on time for everything.

“You never go into sports broadcasting or anything for the dollars and cents,” he said. “Because you are going to start at the bottom, and I mean the bottom. You are going to have to work your way up.”

In his first job in the sports broadcasting industry, he said he saved money by eating McDonald’s, pizza, and Chinese food. 

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Chicago Bulls sports announcer Chuck Swirsky.

Swirsky said he practiced being a successful sports announcer. “I would go into my room with a little tape recorder,” he said. “I would rewrite the newspaper (The Seattle times), and I would do the sportscast into my microphone, and I would listen, listen, and listen again.” 

When he was at Ohio University, he said the school had a 11:15 a.m. sportscast during the weekend. No one else wanted the job because of the time slot. Swirsky volunteered.

Swirsky has accomplished much as a sports announcer. He did not give up on his goals and dreams. When he feels like he has done all he can, he said tries to do more or better. 

“Those insecurities in my DNA drive me everyday to be better,” he said, “but the question I have is: How bad do you really want it, to be a sportscaster? Are you willing to pay the price?”

Swirsky has influenced, mentored, and motivated many journalists. “At this point in my career, I have probably done everything that I had hoped to do. However, there is still a window of opportunity, because I never shut the door on opportunities.” 

Swirsky said his career choice was a major goal in his life, and he thanks God for the opportunity.  

By J.T. Butts

Why Ethical Business Is Good Business: Hearst TV leaders speak at Meek School

Posted on: October 4th, 2018 by ldrucker

Fred Young and Hank Price, two past and present top Hearst TV leaders, spoke Monday, Oct. 8 in the Overby Center auditorium. Young discussed “Why Ethical Business is Good Business.”

According to Hearst.com, Fred I. Young, was the senior vice president of News for Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., before retiring after a distinguished 46-year career. Young served in an advisory and consulting role with the company and its television stations.

He oversaw news operations at Hearst-Argyle TV stations in 26 markets throughout 22 states, according to Hearst.com, as well as the Hearst-Argyle Washington, D.C., News Bureau, which services the company’s television news departments. He had served as vice president of news upon Hearst-Argyle’s formation in August 1997 through the combination of Hearst Broadcasting and Argyle Television, Inc.

In March 2002, Young received a First Amendment Service Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation.

Hearst.com reports that Young joined Hearst Broadcasting in October 1962, serving for 25 years at WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, as vice president and general manager, news director, and in other news management positions. “During his years there, WTAE-TV received numerous local and national awards for quality programming and community service. He was also instrumental in the original campaign to admit television cameras into Pennsylvania courtrooms,” the website reports.

Young is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, from whom he received a Broadcaster of the Year Award. He is also past chairman of the Telecommunications Advisory Committee of Pennsylvania State University, and is a member of the Radio-Television News Directors’ Association. A graduate of Duquesne University, he is also a past president of the Congregation Brothers of Israel in Trenton, New Jersey.

Hank Price is president and general manager of WVTM 13, the Hearst Television NBC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama. He also serves as director of leadership development for the Meek School of Journalism & New Media.

Before moving to WVTM 13 in January of 2015, Price was president and general manager of WXII 12, Hearst’s NBC affiliate in Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During Price’s tenure, WXII 12 became the region’s dominant source of news and information on all platforms, including television, web and mobile. From 2000 until 2015, Price was also senior director of Northwestern University’s Media Management Center. He is co-author of Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First (Sage, 2015).

Prior to joining Hearst and Northwestern, Price was vice-president and general manager of WBBM-TV, the CBS-owned television station in Chicago. During that time, he was named a “Fifth Estater” by Broadcasting and Cable Magazine for innovative leadership in local news.

Before WBBM, Price spent 12 years with the Gannett Company in a variety of positions, including president and general manager of KARE 11 in Minneapolis, president and general manager of WFMY-TV in Greensboro, N.C., and vice-president for programming, marketing and research at WUSA-TV in Washington, DC.

Price, a native of Gulfport, Miss., worked his way through college at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he is a member of the School of Mass Communications and Journalism Hall of Fame.

Meek School student wins RTDNF’s most prestigious scholarship

Posted on: June 7th, 2018 by ldrucker

A Meek School of Journalism and New Media student has been awarded the Radio and Television Digital News Foundation’s most prestigious scholarship.

Brittany Brown is the recipient of the Ed Bradley Scholarship, a $10,000 award “presented to an outstanding student of color in memory of the late CBS News’ ’60 Minutes’ correspondent and groundbreaking journalist,” RTDNF reports.

RTDNF awards journalism students who have “demonstrated an outstanding commitment to broadcast and digital news, its ethical principles and the foundations of storytelling.” Honorees are invited to attend the fall Excellence in Journalism conference in Baltimore.

Brown is a Meek School senior journalism major and Spanish minor, who has been very involved in Ole Miss student media, serving as assistant news editor for The Daily Mississippian newspaper and digital content producer for NewsWatch Ole Miss, a live, student-run TV news program.

The RTDNF news release reports that “Brown is passionate about investigative journalism and multimedia storytelling, and she is currently completing a summer-long fellowship with Carnegie-Knight News21 at Arizona State University, where student-journalists from across the country and world are producing a national project on hate crimes and acts of hate in America.”

You can follow Brown on her website or on Twitter at @isthatbritt.

The 2018 class of fellowship and scholarship recipients includes nine young journalists of color – six of them women of color.

“The journalists represent the best and brightest in news,” RTDNF reports. “From health to science to sports and politics, they’ve demonstrated a commitment to keeping their communities informed.”

To read the full article, click here.

Knight Foundation writes about local news study co-authored by Meek School professor Wenger

Posted on: April 6th, 2018 by ldrucker

The Knight Foundation’s Beyond “Live at Five”: What’s Next for Local News? summarizes research the organization commissioned from Meek School of Journalism and New Media Assistant Dean Debora Wenger and Professor Emeritus Bob Papper of Hofstra University.

Local TV News and the New Media Landscape” focuses on the competing forces currently shaping local television news. With a decline in broadcast news ratings, local news leaders are trying to engage audiences on social media and other digital platforms.

The article reads: “Knight Foundation is supporting television news journalists and leadership by investing $2.6 million into efforts around digital transformation, diversity, audience engagement and investigative reporting. Today, we are complementing that effort by publishing new research on the state of the industry and its future.”

The article notes some key findings from the study Local TV News and the New Media Landscape, co-authored by Wenger and Papper. They include:

  • TV is a key source of news, but audiences are slowly shrinking.
  • While newspapers have lost employees to layoffs and industry changes, TV news employment is up.
  • Television stations are primarily innovating on digital platforms rather than on the air.
  • Social media engagement boosts television ratings.
  • Most local television news leaders believe newscasts must fundamentally change if they expect to survive into the future.

The Knight Foundation is a national foundation that invests in journalism, the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Its goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, believed to be essential for a healthy democracy, according to their website.

Meek School alumnus named deputy White House press secretary

Posted on: October 15th, 2017 by ldrucker

A Meek School alumnus has been named deputy White House press secretary.

Check out this story by The Daily Mississippian about J. Hogan Gidley, 41, of South Carolina, who is a 1998 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in broadcast journalism and minor in political science.

Media outlets have reported that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has confirmed Gidley’s position in numerous press reports.

See the NewsWatch video here.

Gidley is pictured below with Meek School faculty members Senior Lecturer in Journalism Robin Street and Dr. Jim Lumpp. He returned to the Meek School to speak to students several years ago.

New Albany High School students visit Student Media Center

Posted on: September 25th, 2017 by ldrucker

New Albany High School students visited the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media Student Media Center Sept. 21. They watched the live NewsWatch Ole Miss newscast, sat in on the daily critique with NewsWatch faculty adviser Nancy Dupont, and had a Q&A with Daily Mississippian editors. Shane Sanford of Ole Miss Sports Productions arranged the visit.

Students gain broadcast journalism experience working at Rebel Radio

Posted on: March 24th, 2017 by ldrucker

Rebel Radio is a student-run organization that broadcasts throughout much of North Mississippi and enables students to gain broadcasting experience by becoming volunteer interns.

Just like any other radio station, anyone can tune in and listen to sports, music, local or world events and news.

Hernando native Aaron Isom, a University of Misissippi junior majoring in broadcast journalism, is also a former Oxford Stories reporter. He is from Hernando and attended Northwest Community College two years before transferring to UM.

FullSizeRender (1)Isom became interested in broadcasting when he was young. “I always thought broadcasters had a cool job, even when I was little,” he said.

In high school, he was a part of the student news team. “The show came on every morning, and it proved to me that broadcasting was something I was very interested in,” he said.

Isom continued his journalism career at Northwest Community College, where he worked at the local newspaper distributed throughout Tate County while attending Northwest.
He became involved in Rebel Radio because of a family connection. “My brother’s girlfriend knew the manager, so she told him about my interest in radio,” he said. “I love to talk, so radio has just kind of seemed like a good fit for my personality.”

On Mondays at 5 p.m., Isom is on the air for an hour. On Thursdays at 8 p.m., he works for two hours.

“I do enjoy working at Rebel Radio, especially on Mondays, because that is when I get to talk,” he said. “During Thursday’s broadcast, I pretty much just play music. I mostly play a wide variety of hiphop on Thursdays.”

Isom said he’s not sure a lot of people realize how far-reaching Rebel Radio is. The station even airs in the Memphis metro area.

Although one cannot see Isom’s face when he is on air, he believes working at Rebel Radio will lead to bigger broadcasting opportunities. Isom said he wants to become a broadcaster at a big sports network.

Jackson Maddox, 21, is originally from Houston, Texas. He worked at Rebel Radio last semester and  switched his major to broadcast journalism before the beginning of the fall semester of 2016. Maddox discovered Rebel Radio last summer.

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Jackson Maddox. Photo by Jack Newsom.

“I am glad that I worked at Rebel Radio last semester,” he said. “It was a great experience, and I would definitely be open to being involved with Rebel Radio again.”

Maddox had two segments each week at Rebel Radio on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“On Tuesdays, I had a co-host, and we would talk about current events and pop culture,” he said. “I really wasn’t too knowledgeable about pop culture, and I don’t think she was that interested in current events, so sometimes it made for an awkward combination.”

On Thursdays, Maddox played his own music. “I really loved picking music for people to listen to,” he said.

Maddox said he didn’t have time to work at Rebel Radio this semester. “My schedule is kind of hectic this semester,” he said, “so I just didn’t want to commit to anything and then have to back out later. Even last semester, it could be hard to come to work, but that was because I worked both days at two in the afternoon, so it was sort of in the middle of the day.”

Maddox said he job was fun, and he would encourage any student to become involved.

Story by Jack Newsom, Oxford Storiesjsnewso2@go.olemiss.edu.

Students get career advice at Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day

Posted on: March 7th, 2017 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi student Torry Rees speaks with radio broadcaster Jeff Covington during the event.

When Abbie McIntosh was in 8th grade, her mother demanded that she finish her homework before watching her favorite football team play.

“I was a huge Texas fan,” said the Houston native. “I had to finish my homework before I could watch Texas. And that night at dinner, my mom was like, with how much you love sports, I think you should look into being a sports broadcaster.

“I thought about it, did some more research, and I really liked it. I did print (journalism) in high school, because we didn’t really have anything broadcast, but I wanted to do broadcast.”

Today, the University of Mississippi sophomore is preparing for a future in broadcast journalism. She attended Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media Tuesday in the Farley Hall on the University of Mississippi campus to have her resume critiqued and seek career advice from industry professionals.

McIntosh said she has learned a lot about broadcast journalism at the Meek School.

“I’ve just learned different techniques,” she said, “like how to do the proper standup.”

McIntosh said she’s also learned how to create a broadcast package, how to shoot B-roll, proper interview techniques, and how to use cameras and equipment.

“I’ve learned so much in my two very short years here,” she said. “I just wanted to get feedback on my work to improve myself.”

UM senior Lynecia Christion, 22, is also studying journalism.

“I’m basically just trying to get some advice and criticism,” she said Tuesday. “I brought my resume so I could tweak it a little bit. I didn’t realize how fast the year was going to go by, and now it’s really kicking in, and you go to places like this and realize graduation is about to be here.”

Christion said she’s trying to get her name and brand out to future employers.

“Right now, I’m not so big on being in front of the camera,” she said. “I like the background scene in producing, editing and directing. I am willing to report if I need to just to get to a background spot.”

Nancy McKenzie Dupont, Ph.D., organized Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day.

“It’s everything I hoped it would be,” she said, referring to the event. “I’m always nervous before this event every year because there are so many moving parts, and everything has to come together, but the broadcasters of the state have supported our students, and many students get internships and actual jobs every year.”

A journalism or integrated marketing communications degree can lead to a job in public relations, marketing, sports promotion, creative services and many other categories.

Dupont said the event teaches students how to succeed in broadcast journalism and marketing jobs at broadcasting stations. It involved portfolio critiques in the morning, a meeting with faculty, and small group discussions in the afternoon. The public was not invited. It was only for students and faculty only. Dupont said said 15-20 broadcasters attended.

“Broadcasters want to come to the Meek School because they believe it’s the best program in the state,” she said. “They want to help students during their time here. It would be a mistake for students to miss this opportunity to get a professional critique of their work and advice on how to land the job they want.”

Dupont said many students start out with the goal of becoming newspaper and broadcast reporters, but because many jobs have changed, there are many more career options for students. Her advice: Develop as many skills as you can—writing, video shooting, editing, social media, etc.—and intern at more than one place to gain experience.

For more information about the event or the University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism and New Media’s broadcast journalism program and and classes, contact Dupont at ndupont@olemiss.edu.

  • Story by LaReeca Rucker, adjunct journalism instructor

Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day speakers offer advice

Posted on: March 6th, 2017 by ldrucker

A journalism or integrated marketing communications degree can lead to a job in public relations, marketing, sports promotion, creative services and many other categories.

That’s why the University of Mississippi annually hosts the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day. It will be held Tuesday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Nancy McKenzie Dupont, Ph.D., is a professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media and coordinator of the event that will be held in the Overby Center in Farley Hall on the UM campus.

“This event is for students to learn how to succeed in broadcast journalism and in marketing jobs at broadcasting stations,” Dupont said. “The day consists of portfolio critiques in the morning, a meeting with faculty, and small group discussions in the afternoon. The public is not invited to any of the events. It’s just for students and faculty.”

She said 15-20 broadcasters will attend.

“Broadcasters want to come to the Meek School because they believe it’s the best program in the state,” she said. “They want to help students during their time here. It would be a mistake for students to miss this opportunity to get a professional critique of their work and advice on how to land the job they want.”

Dupont said many students start out with the goal of becoming newspaper and broadcast reporters, but so many journalism jobs have changed, and there are many more career options for students.

“I hope students will learn what skills they need to be developing right now to make themselves ready for careers at broadcasting stations,” she said.

Her advice: Develop as many skills as you can—writing, video shooting, editing, social media, etc.—and intern as much as you can to gain experience.

For more information, contact Dupont at ndupont@olemiss.edu.

  • Story by LaReeca Rucker, adjunct journalism instructor