School of Journalism and New Media

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Mississippi artist Marshall Ramsey drawing students to his Ole Miss classroom

Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by ldrucker

An award-winning cartoonist is sharing his talents at the School of Journalism and New Media this fall.

Marshall Ramsey is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, editorial cartoonist and editor-at-large at Mississippi Today. When his pair of illustrations published in The Clarion-Ledger memorializing the passing of Barbara and George H.W. Bush went viral in 2018, Assistant Dean and Professor Debora Wenger said Ole Miss’s School of Journalism and New Media took notice.

“When I saw that Marshall’s cartoon had captured the attention of the nation, I thought, ‘This is a man who is a good friend of our school. He’s been a Pulitzer finalist multiple times. He’s an amazing speaker and teacher. Why have we not had him on campus teaching a class before?’” Wenger said.

The course meets on Mondays from 4-6:30 p.m. Coursework involves discussions, marketing advice and weekly drawings based on current events. Since fall is an election season, Ramsey has said he will invite politicians, candidates and other newsmakers to speak in class and provide material for students of all skill levels to draw.

“You don’t need to be a fine artist to come in (to the class),” Ramsey said.

He says a good editorial cartoon is 85 percent idea.

“You have to have humor that everyone can relate to, and you have to be on top of the issues to know what’s going on,” he said. “But, truly, a great editorial cartoon has a great idea behind it. There are ideas that just sometimes speak to people, and that’s when you know you’ve succeeded in creating something.”

There are no pre-requirements for the class, and students from all majors with passions in storytelling through visual mediums were encouraged to attend.

“I hope that the chance to work with a Pulitzer-nominated cartoonist and amazing artist will intrigue students beyond journalism to see some of the creative classes we offer,” Wenger said.

Although many newsrooms across the country are cutting editorial cartoons to save money, Ramsey said cartoons are not going anywhere and are increasingly relevant in a visual-based, social-media savvy society.

“Editorial cartoons get a lot of information across very quickly,” Ramsey said. “They truly are made for these times.”

It did not take much to convince Ramsey to teach at Ole Miss, as he says the “gorgeous campus,” “many friends” and students in Oxford make it worth it.

“It recharges me because it’s fun to be around the students and their energy,” Ramsey said. “It makes me not get stagnant. I enjoy any chance I can to come up to Oxford and be able to contribute a little bit of my talent.”

This story was first published on HottyToddy.com.

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Reese Colaluca

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019 by ldrucker

Reese Colaluca is a native of Allen, Texas, about 10 minutes from Dallas. She attended a large high school that provided many opportunities, including earning 24 hours in college credit classes.

“I really love the city I grew up in, not only because of how much it had to offer, but also because it was so close to a major city,” she said. “It gave me even more opportunity to do and see things not everyone gets the opportunity to experience living in smaller towns.”

Reese shows her school spirit.

When she chose to attend the University of Mississippi, Colaluca said she wanted to get away from the rush of life and attend a school where she could meet people who weren’t from the area  in which she grew up.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do job-wise in the future,” she said, “so choosing a major was really hard. Once I started classes, my advisor said I should take an Introduction to IMC course to test it out and see if it would be something I was interested in. After completing that course last semester, I realized I had a real passion for marketing, advertising and communications, so integrated marketing communications was perfect for me.

“The University of Mississippi gave me this amazing opportunity by offering this unique major, that allows me to excel in many different areas of marketing, advertising and communications.”

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

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.

A look at the School of Journalism and New Media’s IMC and journalism programs

Posted on: June 4th, 2019 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has produced notable alumni and continues to inspire students to dream big.

In 2009, the university’s journalism department became a school of journalism. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC).

IMC was created in 2011, allowing students to learn about the integration of communication tools, such as marketing, advertising, direct marketing, public relations, sales promotions, etc. The major includes a minor in business administration in which students study business management and learn the essentials of marketing a business. The IMC program is offered at the university’s Oxford, Tupelo, and Southaven campuses.

“What made me choose IMC was the diverse possibilities it offered for jobs,” said Caroline Waller, who has studied IMC. “I always knew I wanted to do something with communications, marketing or journalism. I liked that IMC provided a background for all of those and I could decide and narrow it down later. Every aspect of this program is so interesting, and I don’t think students can go wrong with any of the paths.”

Sydney Patterson said she learned many things about marketing and communication in the IMC program including different platforms used to target certain demographics effectively. “I have learned to perform an in-depth analysis of a client and create a strategic campaign based on research,” she said. “I have been certified in Google AdWords, taken a class on the Adobe program, learned how to write an effective news release, etc. The point is this major covers every aspect of marketing across different platforms.”

The IMC program also gives students the choice to further their knowledge by adding a specialization to their majors. Some specialization options include Magazine Publishing and Management, Media Sales and Management, Public Relations, and Sports Communication and Promotion.

Patterson selected Media Sales and Management. “Media Sales is mainly focused on the idea that in order to reach your audience, you need to know who your audience is,” she said. “The idea of this specialization is to help students become more aware of how to target people as if they were working for an agency. It is big on research, covering platforms from radio, television, newspapers, magazines, digital, mobile apps, etc. It is all about how to sell their media product and what is the most effective way to do so on the right platforms.”

Waller, a Nashville native, said she would recommend the program to anyone. “My biggest takeaway from the time I’ve had in this program is learning the value of hard work,” she said.

In the beginning, The IMC program had a total of 51 undergraduates enrolled in the fall of 2011. Since then, the enrollment increased exponentially, with 964 undergraduates in the fall of 2016.

Students who want to continue their studies in IMC after graduation have the opportunity to earn a master of arts degree in journalism with an emphasis in IMC. Students can earn the master’s degree at the Oxford, Tupelo, and Southaven campus locations.

Due to high interest and popularity, the School of Journalism and New Media has launched an online IMC graduate degree. The 36-hour course credit enables students to complete the IMC graduate degree in two years during the fall, spring and summer. Those who work full-time jobs and cannot make the move to Oxford have the choice to take the same courses as those who are attending the program in person.

This article was originally written by Madison Stewart for OxfordStories.net. To learn more about our programs, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

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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UM journalism students win Broadcast Education Association, Associated Press and SPJ awards

Posted on: April 9th, 2019 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students just keep winning awards.

The Broadcast Education Association has an annual Festival of Media Arts that garners thousands of entries from faculty and students nationwide.  This year, we have two national winners:

Brittany Brown

Long Form Video or Film Documentary Category

1st Place – “Hate in America” – Justin Parham, Scott Bourque, Brittany Brown and Jasmine Putney, of Arizona State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Iowa were the winners. The winning entry came from the News21 Fellowship Brown received last year. You can watch the documentary at the link above.

Television Hard News Category

Award of Excellence – Ole Miss Alums and Students Deal with Aftermath of Hurricane Michael – Abbie McIntosh, University of Mississippi – This winning entry was the result of a school-sponsored reporting trip to Panama City, Florida this fall, right after the hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle.

“This is a really good showing in a BEA contest,” said UM professor Nancy Dupont, who has been involved in BEA for many years. “It’s tough to win anything from BEA because we’re competing with the best of the best.”

The winners receive their awards in Las Vegas at the annual BEA conference Festival of Media Arts celebration, an event that will be produced by UM School of Journalism and New Media students, including McIntosh, under the direction of professor Iveta Imre.

Regional Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists Awards

The regional AP awards banquet was Saturday in Jackson. The regional SPJ awards banquet was March 30 in Nashville.

We’re proud The Daily Mississippian, NewsWatch and Rebel Radio each won first place awards in best all-around newspaper, television and radio categories in at least one of the two contests.

SPJ includes entries from student media in four states, and AP in two states. Competing against the top student media in our region, The Daily Mississippian won first place for best student newspaper in both SPJ and AP, and NewsWatch won first place awards for best newscast in both contests, and a second place award for general excellence in AP.

As more information becomes available, we will update this story.

AP First-place awards

The Daily Mississippian, General Excellence for newspapers

NewsWatch OleMiss, Newscast

Billy Schuerman, two first-place awards, for Spot News Photo and Sports Photo.

Billy Schuerman also won a prestigious Best of Show, which includes a cash award and is given to the most outstanding student for a specific media platform. Only six Best of Show awards were given out. Schuerman won for photos published in The Daily Mississippian in 2018. This academic  year, he is studying abroad in Austria.

Rebel Radio, General Excellence for radio stations

Victoria Hosey, two first-place awards, for Radio Reporter and Radio Continuing Coverage. Hosey graduated in December and is studying and working in China this year.

Tyler Hayes, Radio Sports Story

Andranita Williams, Radio Feature Story

DeAndria Turner, Radio News Story

Abbie McIntosh, TV Reporting

Alec Keyzer-Andre, Sam Gray, Gracie Snyder, TV Documentary

 

AP Second-place awards:

NewsWatch Ole Miss, General Excellence

The Daily Mississippian, Editorials (a series of three)

Abbie McIntosh, TV News Story

Victoria Hosey, two second-place radio awards for Newscast and a shared award with Will Stribling for Radio Continuing Coverage

Will Stribling, two second-place radio awards for Feature Story and News Story, and the shared Radio Continuing Coverage award with Victoria Hosey

 

And check out our recent story about the School of Journalism and New Media’s Society of Professional Journalists Awards.

University hosts annual MSPA convention for student publishers

Posted on: March 28th, 2019 by ldrucker

Hundreds of Mississippi’s aspiring writers, publishers and journalists visited Oxford in April for the 72nd Mississippi Scholastic Press Association Convention hosted by the University of Mississippi.

Students from high schools across the state came for the one-day event Monday, April 1, to hear speakers, participate in seminars and immerse themselves in the Ole Miss campus.

The convention helps high school students who work for their respective school newspapers, yearbooks, broadcasts and literary magazines realize they share a passion for publication with hundreds of peers in the state, said R.J. Morgan, MSPA director.

“(The convention) is a great opportunity for the university and a great opportunity for Mississippi high school kids to get on a college campus and see what college life is like,” said Morgan, an instructional assistant professor of journalism at UM.

“There will be a lot of these students who have never been on a college campus, so letting them see how college works and exposing them to that environment gets them thinking in terms of attending college. The convention really serves as a rallying point and pep rally in terms of helping these students understand that this is something they should feel proud of, something they can hang their hat on.”

The highlight of each year’s convention is the MSPA awards ceremony, Morgan said. This year, besides announcing more than 100 winners and finalists, including best-of honors for several publication types, the MSPA announced a new honor called the All-Mississippi recognition. Ten students were selected from a field of 20 candidates who submitted portfolios of their journalism work.

More than 700 individual pieces of work were submitted for the various prizes.

“The awards are really what the kids are most excited about,” Morgan said.

This year’s Pam Hamilton Keynote Address was delivered by Ronnie Agnew, an Ole Miss alumnus and director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Agnew is a veteran of the newspaper and news industry, previously serving as the executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson.

High school students at the 2018 MSPA spring convention listen to keynote speaker Jesse J. Holland. This year’s keynote speaker was Mississippi Public Broadcasting director Ronnie Agnew. Photo courtesy UM Division of Outreach and Continuing Education

“(Agnew’s) wealth of experience in both print and digital media, as well as his dedication to education and serving others, made him a natural choice to deliver this address to our statewide audience,” Morgan said.

Other speakers include Pablo Correa, a documentary filmmaker working on a feature-length film about Fannie Lou Hamer, and Lori Oglesbee-Petter, a nationally recognized newspaper and yearbook adviser who serves as an advocate for First Amendment rights.

“There’s never been a greater need for good communicators,” Morgan said. “The number of platforms and reasons to tell those stories has greatly diffused in the last decade, and we really need good storytellers to cut through the noise in our society.

“We hope to help these students find their voice and refine that voice and teach them going forward how to be good citizens and good communicators.”

Besides attending the convention, Correa discussed his work with the “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” documentary team in a separate event in the Overby Center Auditorium.

The MSPA was created in 1947 to “support, promote and nurture journalism in a high school setting through workshops, competitions, conventions and online aids and advice. Membership is open to any Mississippi school that has a newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, online publication, broadcast and/or journalism class.” It is housed at the university.

UM has hosted the spring convention since its inception. Two years ago, a fall convention was added at the University of Southern Mississippi. The event usually draws approximately 500-600 high school students, Morgan said.

For more information on the convention or MSPA, visit its website.

This article was written by Justin Whitmore of University Communications.

Overby Center program asks: Are Centrist Politics Doomed?

Posted on: March 28th, 2019 by ldrucker

At a time when American politics seem hopelessly polarized, a pair of prominent figures from the two major parties discussed the prospects for more centrist views at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics’ program in April.

Stuart Stevens, a native Mississippian who managed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012, and David Baria, a Democratic leader in the Mississippi legislature, were guests in a conversation that included Charles Overby, the chairman of the center, and Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie. Both Overby and Wilkie have long experience covering national politics as journalists.

The event was held in the Overby Center Auditorium on the Ole Miss campus. Like all Overby programs, was free and open to the public.

The program represents a return engagement to the Overby Center for Stevens, who has previously appeared to comment on American politics and to talk about his book, “The Last Season,” in which he wrote of accompanying his aging father to a complete season of Ole Miss football. Though a major player in national Republican circles, Stevens has become a fierce critic of President Donald Trump and his style of divisive politics.

During his tenure in the Mississippi House of Representatives, Baria, an attorney with offices in Jackson and the Gulf Coast, has become one of the Democratic Party’s most respected members in the legislature. Last year he served as the party’s nominee in an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Roger Wicker.

Media professionals mentor students at Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day

Posted on: March 27th, 2019 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi is lucky to have so many media professionals who want to help mentor our students.

Broadcasters from around the state came to meet broadcast journalism students Wednesday in the Student Media Center.

This was the 6th annual Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day at Ole Miss.

Radio and television professionals met the students, viewed their work and offered good career advice.

Derek Rogers, general manager of WCBI-TV and college representative to MAB, said the broadcast students at the School of Journalism and New Media always set the bar high.

“The Ole Miss broadcast and journalism students are always prepared and have good quality work to share with us,” Rogers said. “The videography was particularly strong this year, and the storytelling was of higher quality as well.

“Our overall impression on the students was that many of them are ready to join a station right out of school.  Many of the students are aware of meeting daily deadlines, and that is such a major hurdle for recent graduates.”

Graduation is Saturday, May 11. Here’s your graduation checklist.

Posted on: March 25th, 2019 by ldrucker

It won’t be long until students put on their cap and gown and march in line during the University of Mississippi’s graduation ceremony.

Graduation will be held Saturday, May 11. The morning commencement ceremony will be at 9 a.m. in the Grove. The School of Journalism and New Media graduation will be in the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum at 3 p.m.

Tewolde GebreMariam, the group chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines, will be the graduation speaker.

Students had the opportunity to participate in a graduation expo March 19-21 that answered many questions about the graduation process. Now they can refer to the commencement website for more information.

http://commencement.olemiss.edu/commencement-timeline/

Here are a few reminders by month:

April

  • If you expect to graduate with Latin honors, find out when and where your college or school will be distributing honors cords.

May

  • Verify the time and location (including inclement weather location) for your college or school ceremony.
  • Pick up cap and gown from the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.
  • All monetary type holds should be cleared before you leave.
  • Diplomas will not be mailed if you have a bursar, financial aid or library hold.
  • May 11 – Commencement Day. Congratulations and Hotty Toddy!
  • Gowns should be returned at the conclusion of your college/school ceremony.  Instructions will be given at the ceremony.

A Winter Week in Puerto Rico: Journalism students visit island to produce hurricane recovery report

Posted on: March 20th, 2019 by ldrucker

For a week during winter break, University of Mississippi journalism students Brittany Brown and Devna Bose traded the comforts of home for waking up each morning at the first sign of light on an island they had never visited.

They were struck by the juxtaposition between the beauty provided by Puerto Rico’s mountains, beaches and rainforests and the lingering effects of one of history’s worst natural disasters.

But, the two Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College students in the university’s School of Journalism and New Media did not visit the island to see the views.

Brown and Bose were part of a group that went with a mission: to tell stories of recovery 16 months after Hurricane Maria. The hurricane is linked to 3,000 deaths and shook the infrastructure of the United States territory to its core.

UM student Brittany Brown (left) interviews artist Raúl Ayala at his shop in Loíza, Puerto Rico. Photo by Jasmine Karlowski

“Puerto Rico was of interest because, after doing some initial research, we knew that there were still good stories to tell about how its residents were coping after the two hurricanes that devastated the island, particularly in impoverished areas and in communities of color,” said Patricia Thompson, assistant dean for student media. “We also found ties between Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts and Mississippi students, residents and companies.”

For Brown, the trip was not solely for educational purposes. Her father is Puerto Rican, and she wanted to further understand her ancestry by visiting his family’s homeland.

“I really don’t know a lot about the Puerto Rican culture,” said the senior print journalism major from Quitman. “So, it was very much a personal reason I wanted to go to Puerto Rico, and with this opportunity I thought, ‘Why not go there while also doing something I love, which is journalism and reporting.’”

They packed so much work into the short winter intersession trip that not much spare time was available for sightseeing.

“We traveled all over the island,” Brown said. “We covered as much ground as we could. Every day we were up with the sunrise driving to the ends of the island. We were there to work – to talk to people and tell stories.

“We really got to dig into the culture of Puerto Rico. We were embedded into small communities and building relationships with everyday Puerto Ricans who are living with the effects of the hurricanes still.”

The Ole Miss multimedia team included journalism student Christian Johnson, photojournalism mentor and recent graduate Ariel Cobbert, and M.F.A. graduate student Jasmine Karlowski, who also is a Study Abroad staff member. The project was led by Thompson and assistant professor Iveta Imre.

The trip was an opportunity for students to stretch their legs journalistically and put the lessons they are learning to the test in a practical environment. Weeks of phone calls and emails before the trip, along with the interviews, photographs and video from the week in Puerto Rico, will be used to produce multimedia stories that will be published this semester.

“(Once it’s published) I’m going to feel like we really accomplished a lot,” said Bose, a senior journalism major from Philadelphia. “I feel like I was pushed on the trip and I gained a lot as a reporter and as a person. It really forced me to learn how to communicate.

UM student Brittany Brown (left) interviews Minerra Ramos-Osorio in Loíza, Puerto Rico. Photo by Jasmine Karlowski

“This is going to be the only clip I have like this, where I have a hand in the photos, the video and graphics that are being made. It’s one of the most thorough pieces I’ve written. So, I’m going to feel like I put to use all the skills that I’ve learned here at Ole Miss.”

Bose and Brown said they were inspired by how the residents of Puerto Rico welcomed them, the hospitality of the people, and their passion and vigor for life despite traumatic experiences.

“Many people are still hurting,” Brown said. “Some literally have PTSD, and if it rains too hard or the wind blows too hard, it can be scary. But the people of Puerto Rico are still so passionate and they refuse to sit in pity and wallow about their situation. I would describe them as resilient.”

Bose’s project will focus on the mental and emotional impact the storms had on residents.

“I am looking at how the people were affected and what’s being done to improve mental health on the island since the hurricane,” she said.

Bose said the residents were open and hospitable to them as reporters, and they seemed to embrace having their stories told instead of viewing the students with skepticism.

“We were really careful to make sure we weren’t exploiting anyone’s tragedy or taking advantage of their situation,” she said. “But no one seemed to think like that. It didn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind. They were just so eager to share their voice, which was amazing to me.”

Some of the students spent time examining recovery and the impact of the hurricanes on Loíza, a small, majority Afro-Puerto Rican town in the northeastern part of the island. In a few ways, Loíza drew comparisons to Mississippi in terms of the Magnolia State’s relationship to the rest of the United States.

“The story I’m working on shows a lot of parallels between Loíza and Mississippi,” said Brown, who aspires to one day be a documentary filmmaker. “Loíza has one of the highest percentages of black Puerto Ricans; Mississippi is one of the states with the largest percentage of African-Americans.

“It is one of the poorest cities on the island; Mississippi is one of the poorest states. But there is a resilience and a will to keep moving despite not having access to many resources, living in poverty and family members leaving the island. We deal with those things here, too.”

In more rural locations on the island, English becomes less commonly spoken. Brown said her ability to speak Spanish was tested during interactions in parts of the island, and she was glad she was able to get out of her comfort zone and practice her Spanish.

“This was my first time really reporting in Spanish,” she said. “My minor is Spanish, and I feel confident in my ability to report in Spanish, but this was the first time I’ve really put the pedal to the metal and really tested myself.”

Thompson said the students represented the university exceptionally well on the trip.

“Watching our students expand their storytelling skills as they explored other cultures (was most memorable for me),” she said. “Several sources complimented our students on their interviewing skills, saying they were as good or better than national media who had interviewed them.”

Bose said she is grateful to Thompson for her leadership and work to make this opportunity possible for students.

“It amazed me that she pulled this trip together in such a short timeframe,” Bose said. “We never would have been able to do anything that we were able to do without her guidance, so I’m just really grateful to her.”

The School of Journalism and New Media works with the university’s Study Abroad Office to offer students a variety of reporting trips to locations around the globe.

This story was written by Justin Whitmore of UM Communications. If you are interested in learning more about our programs or becoming a student, please email umjourimc@olemiss.edu.