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School of Journalism and New Media
University of Mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘journalism awards’

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 students win 24 awards in two journalism contests

Posted on: April 2nd, 2021 by ldrucker

The Daily Mississippian and Newswatch Ole Miss won 24 awards, including 12 first-place awards, in the Southeast Journalism Conference Best of the South Competition and the state Mississippi Press Association contest for their content published or broadcast from late 2019 through 2020.

Best of the South is a southeastern U.S. regional contest that received 369 entries from 30 universities. The MPA contest is for students attending Mississippi colleges.

In the SEJC contest, The Daily Mississippian won first place for Best College Website, Best News Writer (Daniel Payne), Best Arts & Entertainment Writer (Will Carpenter) and Best Newspaper Page Layout Design team ( Eliza Noe, Daniel Payne, MacKenzie Linneen, Megan Tape, Kate Kimberlin).

Awards were also won by Daily Mississippian staff members Kelby Zendejas, 3rd place for Best Sports Writer; Kenneth Niemeyer, 3rd place for Best Special Event Reporter/Editor; Katherine Butler, 3rd place for Best News Graphic; Hadley Hitson, 4th place for Best News Writer; Eliza Noe, 6th place for Best Feature Writer; and Katie Dames, 13th place for Best Op-Ed Writer. Some categories had more than 30 individual entries.

Daily Misissippian staff

Daily Misissippian staff

NewsWatch Ole Miss, the student newscast, was honored with awards for 3rd place, Best College TV Station; 3rd place, Best TV News Feature (Carter Diggs), and 6th place, Best TV Journalist (Kaylee Crafton).

In the MPA contest, the Daily Mississippian received first-place awards for Best Website; Best Newspaper Layout & Design; Best Newspaper Front Page; Best Series or Investigative (Kenneth Niemeyer); Best General News Photo (Billy Schuerman); Best Sports News Story (Joshua Clayton); Best Feature Story (Will Carpenter); and Best Cartoon (Nakiyah Jordan).

William Schumerman

William Schumerman

MPA judges praised the DM website for “good, clean, up-to-date content; good format, good job with the pandemic on keeping stories, photos and multimedia flowing.” They called DM front pages “bold and provocative.” They said articles showed outstanding storytelling; compelling writing; courageous journalism. Visuals were praised as “stunning,” and for capturing “signs of the times” and expressing emotion.

The DM staff won a second-place MPA award for General Excellence. Schuerman won first place and second place in the General News Photo category. Eliza Noe, Katie Dames and John Hydrisko shared a third-place award for editorial writing.

Eliza Noe

Eliza Noe

“I’m very proud of all of the awards we were able to bring home this year,” said Eliza Noe, DM Editor-in-Chief for 2020-21. “Student journalism, in general, has been through a lot this year, so I’m also extremely fortunate to have a staff that’s been able to excel during the pandemic.”

Noe also thanked the Student Media professional staff. “I don’t know what we would have done without them and their guidance when we needed it.”

Hitson, DM managing editor, said that during her four years on the DM staff, she’s seen the publication win dozens of awards every spring.

“I’m glad that even under hard circumstances this year, we were able to uphold our journalistic standard for content and continue to publish important articles that impact the community,” Hitson said.

Atish Baidya, associate director/editorial at the SMC, said students for all platforms had to rethink workflows when the pandemic struck last March.

Brian Barisa

Brian Barisa

“The Daily Mississippian staff had to switch all their reporting efforts to the website and worked entirely from home,” Baidya said. “The Newswatch staff had to reimagine its newscast, pivoting to an online weekly newscast with anchors and reporters recording their segments and stories from home as well.”

Brian Barisa had just become NewsWatch Ole Miss manager in January 2020 and the new staff of anchors and correspondents had been working for about a month when the university told students to not return to campus after spring break.

“This past year has been a test of my ability to navigate a changing world and be able to update a live show into a production that could be done from home,” Barisa said. “We worked our way from editing and uploading weekly recap shows on personal computers spread all across the country to making twice-a-week newscasts live from our new desk and steadily returning to normal. After a year of hard work, we’re ready to push NewsWatch forward into its future and put the pandemic behind us.”

This year’s SEJC conference was supposed to be held in mid-February at two universities in the New Orleans area, but it was canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions. The awards ceremony was held virtually. There were  no on-site competitions this year. Over the past decade, UM students dominated the on-site contests and frequently won the Grand Championship.

The MPA conference also was canceled because of the pandemic. Colleges were emailed results from judges.