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UM journalism graduate to join ABC 7 Chicago Eyewitness News as special projects producer

Posted on: July 1st, 2021 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism graduate will soon join the ABC 7 Chicago Eyewitness News team as a special projects producer.

Poinesha Barnes first day at the station will be Monday, Aug. 9.

“Poinesha has an impressive track record producing winning newscasts and specials,” said Jennifer Graves, vice president of News, ABC 7 Chicago, in a news release. “She also brings great enthusiasm, leadership and a wealth of ideas to any team effort. She will be an important addition to ABC 7’s special projects and community reporting.”

Poinesha Barnes

Poinesha Barnes

Barnes is currently a producer at KXAS-TV, the NBC-owned station in Dallas, where she produced both newscasts and specials. She also contributed to KXAS’ diversity and inclusion efforts as co-lead of the Black Employee Network.

Prior to joining KXAS-TV, Barnes worked as a producer at WREG-TV in Memphis. She also produced newscasts and digital content at WEAR-TV in Pensacola, Florida.

In addition, Barnes has been active in her local chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists.

A journalism graduate of the University of Mississippi-Oxford, Barnes is currently studying for a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. When not working, she enjoys mentoring youth, spending time with family and learning the art of Bachata.

View highlights from the UM School of Journalism and New Media 2021 graduation

Posted on: May 4th, 2021 by ldrucker

If you missed graduation, or you want to relive the fun, check out our Graduation 2021 page.

There,  you’ll find videos featuring candid photos of our graduates’ favorite memories from the University of Mississippi. We’ve put together a video slideshow.

Senior Memories 2021

Senior Memories 2021

You can also view the Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony Program and watch a video featuring our guest speaker, Jesse J. Holland, who also graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media before becoming a journalist and author.

And you can read profiles of some of our outstanding 2021 graduates. You can access this content later under the Graduation tab on our website.

Congratulations seniors!

Meet some of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media’s outstanding 2021 graduates

Posted on: May 1st, 2021 by ldrucker

Journey to Commencement

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media congratulates the Class of 2021. Here are a few profiles of some of our outstanding graduates. The students shared thoughts on what drew them to UM, what they learned on their Journey to Commencement, their favorite classes and professors, and their future plans.

Their collective advice for future students is to make the most of your four years of college because it’s over quickly, and don’t wait until you graduate to begin building your resume. 

By LaReeca Rucker

Eumetria Jones in front of Farley Hall

Memphis native Eumetria Jones is an IMC major who has moved to Austin, Texas to work as the new social media coordinator for YETI Coolers with hopes of learning more about marketing from top branding companies so she can create her own consulting business.

Jones said she chose the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media because she was offered a scholarship that paid for all of her studies.

“I’ve always wanted to help people,” she said, “and this degree offered me the most comfortable, yet wide variety of career paths . . .

“I know how far you can go in life and also where you can be limited if you don’t try to reach out beyond, which has motivated me to push past any limitations or standards that others have set for me.”

UM also offered Jones distance from home, but not too far, so she could spread her wings and explore new avenues of school and life, but also go home for a Sunday dinner, she said.

“Teachers like Debbie Woodrick Hall introduced me to PR, and I have been in love ever since . . . ,” she said. “Rachel West was an example of a teacher . . . who will never let you fail yourself. Chris Sparks has prepared me so well for an actual (marketing) campaign . . . Dean (Jennifer) Simmons has gone above and beyond to help me with my degree plan and after graduation transition.”

Jones said the school has helped her build confidence and offered ways to express herself.

“I have stopped being scared of writing and have had the ability to strengthen and showcase these abilities,” she said. “I have learned how to communicate effectively across different audiences.”

Her advice: “Use you college professors, faculty, administration to get the experience you need for your next steps,” she said. “College is only four years, and you have to use them wisely so make sure you make connections that you can rely on from people who want to support you and have your best interest at heart.

“Because in life, the saying is very true, ‘It is not what you know, but who you know!’ Truly, the staff and faculty at the school is who you need to know!”

Hadley Hitson

Birmingham native Hadley Hitson is a journalism major with minors in digital media studies and Spanish who attended Mountain Brook High School before becoming a student at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

“Experts in Southern journalism like Curtis Wilkie and Cynthia Joyce have helped me build a steady foundation for my reporting based in ethics, curiosity, empathy and storytelling during my four years at the University of Mississippi,” she said. “Learning from professor Wilkie and professor Charles Overby in their special topics classes and from professor Joyce in her advanced reporting class shaped my understanding of good journalism.”

Hitson said she would not have had the opportunities to intern at places like Fortune magazine, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the White House without having worked at The Daily Mississippian.

Rising from a staff reporter all the way up to managing editor has been the most rewarding experience of her college career, she said.

“I’ve reported on activism in the Oxford community, the causes and effects of record breaking voter registration in Lafayette County, and the state of election security in the South, among other topics,” she said. “With these stories, I was able to win fourth place for Best News Writer in The South and develop great clips for my portfolio.”

Hitson said her career goal is to be a well-respected politics and government reporter — whether that’s for a local paper or national publication.

“During my last semester at the university, I’ve been able to do freelance reporting for Fortune magazine, and I hope to continue freelancing for major outlets post-graduation while pursuing external publication for my honors college thesis ‘Moving the monument: The University of Mississippi’s decades-long journey to relocate its Confederate monument,'” she said.

Her advice for other students is to “stay critical and ask as many questions as you can. I love this university, and in order to keep it progressing, we, as journalists, have to hold Ole Miss and ourselves accountable to UM values.”

Tyler White

Flora native Tyler White is an integrated marketing communications major with a minor in general business and a specialization in social media.

During his freshman and sophomore year, he attended Southwest Mississippi Community College, where he played baseball and was the student body president.

“While in college, I’ve definitely learned the importance of consistency and hard work,” White said. “There are a lot of good brands and experienced workers, but those that put in the most work and don’t give up when speed bumps come their way are the ones that will succeed.

“If you are doing what everyone else is doing, you will get the results everyone else is getting. To be the best, you have to work like the best.

“Whatever I do, I want the best. When I played baseball, I didn’t want to be a catcher; I wanted to be THE catcher. This same principle applies to everything I do in life.”

White plans to attend law school in the fall.

Tyler White

Read Tyler's Story

In an internet age when it’s easy to open shop online and create your own business without a brick and mortar store, Tyler White, an integrated marketing communications major from the small town of Flora in Madison County, Mississippi, is on track to make $100,000 in sales from his custom apparel company TeeWhites this year.

Julia Peoples

Julia Peoples was valedictorian of Puckett High School in Puckett, Mississippi before enrolling in the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

The integrated marketing communications major who minored in general business and political science will be attending Yale Law School as a member of the class of 2024.

“My time at the university has been a period of growth and reflection,” she said. “Some of my favorite classes have been ones that push me to challenge myself and think outside of my comfort zone, like Communications Law, Research for IMC, and Creative Visual Thinking.

“I will always be grateful for Professor Sparks in the School of Journalism and New Media, who taught me so much about communicating and connecting with people and has always believed in me. The greatest lessons I have learned throughout this journey are trusting myself and asking for help when needed.”

Her advice: “Enjoy the ride. The past four years have been a roller coaster, but a beautiful one nonetheless.”

Asia Harden

Greenville, Mississippi native Asia Harden, an integrated marketing communications student at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, plans to attend the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City and pursue a career in editorial publishing or publicity.

She said she chose to become an IMC major because it gave her the freedom to explore writing, marketing, public relations, and graphic design without feeling boxed in.

Harden, who has a minor in Spanish, studied abroad in Granada, Spain for the fall semester in 2019, one of the highlights of her college experience.

“The courses I’ve liked the most have always been the ones that challenged me or stretched my worldview,” she said.

Harden said the greatest impact the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has had on her has been through the Student Media Center and her work with the Ole Miss yearbook.

“I’ve been one of its writers since freshman year, and this past year, I served as only the second African American editor-in-chief of the publication,” she said. “I’ve grown not only as a storyteller, but also as a leader and young professional through my work with the yearbook. My involvement in such a beloved publication has brought me lots of joy throughout my college experience.”

Her advice: “Be yourself, and chase after your own dreams, not anyone else’s. We only get one life, so it only seems fair to honor it by constantly learning, growing, and living up to our fullest potential. Whether you want to be a lawyer, news anchor, publicist or English teacher, live life on your own terms. And be kind to those around you; the world is full of enough hate as it is.”

Asia Harden in Granada, Spain

Read Asia's Story

Asia Harden, a graduating IMC senior and The Ole Miss yearbook Editor-in-Chief, has been selected for the prestigious Columbia Publishing Course, a six-week summer program in New York City. The program prepares students for entry-level jobs in book, magazine and digital publishing through lectures and workshops.

Matthew Hendley

Matthew Hendley, a Madison, Mississippi native, attended St. Joseph Catholic School before enrolling in the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media.

He was drawn to the journalism program at UM and the campus television station, NewsWatch. He studied broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. 

“My time at UM has been the most outrageous four years of my life,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the opportunities offered at the J-school, I would have never landed an internship with the longest running primetime TV news show (60 Minutes), nor would I have been able to join a UFO cult for a day at the same exact time. 

“The outlets the journalism program (has) took me everywhere I wanted to go – at the desk at NewsWatch Ole Miss, on the ground telling stories in Holly Springs, and even in opposite corners of the country with two consecutive internships in New York City and Phoenix.”

After graduation, Hendley plans to move to Nashville with his band Happy Landing to pursue music while working part time in media and marketing at a non-profit called Shower Up that serves the homeless community by parking mobile shower trucks in public places. 

Matthew Hendley playing guitar.

Read Matthew's Story

Matthew Hendley is always looking for new ways to tell stories – whether that means researching and reporting, being an activist or fronting his band, Happy Landing.

Julia James

Mandeville, Louisiana native Julia James, who studied public policy leadership and journalism, will begin an investigative reporting internship with Mississippi Today after graduation.

“I am extremely excited to be working with and learning from this team of thoughtful and influential journalists,” she said. “I am considering going to graduate school to study data, media, and society issues or going to law school in a few years, but I am excited to first work and gain professional experience.”

James said her experience in the summer Lott Leadership Institute and the personal recruiting she received helped her imagine a future for herself in Oxford and attracted her to the University of Mississippi.

“My last four years held unprecedented challenges globally and personally,” she said. “I feel particularly grateful for the way professors have supported and encouraged me through these events, specifically Vanessa Gregory, Cynthia Joyce and Ellen Meacham.”

James said the most thought-provoking and enlightening courses she took at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media were Writing with Voice (with Professor Gregory) and the Presidency and the Press (with Charles Overby and Curtis Wilkie).

“Writing with Voice helped me expand my understanding of what journalism could be, past rigid AP-wire type stories, giving much more humanity and depth to my storytelling,” she said. “Presidency and the Press really was just so fun, retelling me the history I was familiar with from the perspective of the journalists who lived it.”

Advanced Reporting (with Professor Joyce) was more practical, but it made me do the work of being a journalist in a regular and consistent way, which helped me build confidence in myself and my abilities.”

Her advice: “Be intentional about the stories you choose. It’s hard to make every project be the penultimate project, but just the sheer act of doing your homework can introduce you to unique people and opportunities that can expand your community if you choose wisely.”

Abbey Edmonson

Tupelo native Abbey Edmonson was drawn to the University of Mississippi because it was more of a traditional college experience, and she liked the Sally McDonnel Barksdale Honors College. She also loved Oxford and its artistic history.

The editorial journalism major with minors in English and creative writing earned a specialization in social media.

“My time at UM has offered me so much more than I expected,” she said. “Through my time here, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities as a writer and journalist.”

One of her favorite courses was Editorial Cartooning with Marshall Ramsey.

“Ramsey is one of the greats, and I was extremely lucky to be able to take his class,” he said. “I have ancestors who were successful editorial cartoonists back in the day, so taking that class was personally really fulfilling to me.”

She also enjoyed classes with professor Cynthia Joyce.

“I took two classes with professor Joyce: Media Ethics and Advanced Reporting,” she said. “Both of those classes taught me skills that I’m going to keep with me in both my professional and personal life.

“I learned that it is okay to ask uncomfortable questions, and it is okay to write about something important, even – or maybe especially – if it makes you uncomfortable.”

Edmonson will soon step down from the job she has held the past two years as Invitation Magazine’s editorial assistant so she can attend graduate school.

“I hope to one day continue to climb the ladder in the magazine and/or publishing industries,” she said. “In the meantime, I’ve been accepted into both Columbia University’s M.S. in Journalism program and Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD’s) M.F.A. in Writing program, and I’ve decided I’m going to SCAD in Atlanta starting this September.”

Edmonson said she hopes to use her time in Atlanta to grow her network and hone her writing skills across multiple forms of media.

“The UM School of Journalism and New Media is here to help its students and offer opportunities for growth,” she said. “I urge other students to take advantage of those outside-of-the-classroom opportunities.

“During my time here, I participated in Lens Collective 2019, took a class in New Orleans and interviewed the mayor, traveled to the Mississippi Coast to write about climate change, connected with people who gave me my dream internship and eventual job, and so much more.”

Edmonson said you can learn a lot in the classroom, but you also gain valuable insight when you get real life experience outside of the classroom.

“When a professor suggests you should apply for something, do it,” she said. “All of those extra hours put into your college experience are the elements that build you up as a journalist and as a person.”

Abbey Edmonson rides in a boat during a recent journalism project that explored climate change in Mississippi. The photo was taken by Billy Schuerman.

Read Abbey's Story

The great-great-granddaughter of a Pulitzer Prize-winning Memphis cartoonist is forging her own path in the journalism world.Tupelo native Abbey Edmonson’s great-great-grandfather and great-grandfather, J. P. Alley and Cal Alley, were editorial cartoonists for the Memphis Commercial Appeal during the early to mid-20th century. J. P. Alley was the first cartoonist at the Appeal, and he won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1923.

University of Mississippi journalism graduate adds flavor to the world as cookbook author

Posted on: March 19th, 2021 by ldrucker

Working with prominent New Orleans restaurant owner, GW Fins, Susan Puckett, the author of many books on food has enriched her perspective on seafood.

“The entire process took about two years. It was an overall positive experience. Most of the words were all mine and pretty much all the organization and layout was Susan,” Tenney Flynn, GW Fins owner said.

Puckett, a University of Mississippi journalism graduate, and Flynn collaborated on The Deep End of Flavor: Recipes and Stories From New Orleans’ Premier Seafood.

Starting her food writing career with, A Cook’s Tour of Mississippi,  Puckett has now found her passion in food writing and is currently working on her 12th cookbook.

Click the link to read her Alumni Story.

 

Susan Puckett: Food Writer, Alumni Stories, Read about this University of Mississippi graduate on our Alumni Stories page

Susan Puckett: Food Writer, Alumni Stories, Read about this University of Mississippi graduate on our Alumni Stories page

UM School of Journalism and New Media student continues media work with Coca-Cola campus job

Posted on: March 11th, 2021 by ldrucker

Meagan Harkins, the face of Coca-Cola on campus, is using her undergraduate years to prepare for a career in creative media.

Harkins was named Coca-Cola campus ambassador after a friend thought she would be perfect for the position and told her about the opportunity.

The job entails sampling events, product drops, attending monthly webinars, bringing products to groups on campus, and running advertisements and information through her own social media account.

Meagan Harkins

Meagan Harkins

“One of my main responsibilities is to bring brand love,” Harkins said.

Read more of Ava Jahner’s story about Harkins on HottyToddy.com.

University of Mississippi journalism instructor pens book about Mississippi songwriter Jim Weatherly

Posted on: March 3rd, 2021 by ldrucker

The late Jim Weatherly, who passed away Feb. 3 at his home in Brentwood, Tennessee at age 77, was part of Mississippi and American music history. A new University of Mississippi scholarship has been established in his honor.

The Pontotoc native, who later became a quarterback at the University of Mississippi, chose to pursue a music career over football and went on to write songs for 50 years. His best known song was “Midnight Train to Georgia” recorded by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Other artists who have recorded Weatherly’s songs include Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks.

Jeffrey Roberson, a journalism instructor with the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, is Weatherly’s first cousin and  author of “Midnight Train,” a book produced by Yoknapatawpha Press in conjunction with the School of Journalism and New Media that chronicles the life of the Hall of Fame songwriter.

We asked Roberson a few questions about Weatherly and his legacy.

Q. How long had you known Jim Weatherly?

A. My father, now 95, and Jim’s late mother were siblings. So I had known him all my life. He was 16 years older, and I was only 5 when he completed his Ole Miss football years. He lived in California until I was in my mid-20s, and we would see him twice a year during those years. Then, in the late-1980s, he moved to Nashville, and we saw him a lot more.

Q. How would you describe him?

A. Jim loved his hometown of Pontotoc and his home state of Mississippi, and much of his music reflected that love and passion. When he received a Governor’s Award for Excellence in Music in Jackson a few years ago, he told the audience, “I’ve lived in California, and I’ve lived in Tennessee, but I’ve never considered myself anything but a Mississippian.”

He loved football, especially Ole Miss football. He loved his family. His wife, Cynthia, and their children, Brighton and Zack, were so important to him and brought him so much joy. He began reading biographies and autobiographies later in life, and he realized he might have a story to tell, and certainly he did. The book “Midnight Train” is his life story.

Jim Weatherly

Jim Weatherly

Q. What do you think his contributions in the music world meant to Mississippi?

A. Jim liked to say he was born in Pontotoc, between Oxford and Tupelo, between Faulkner and Elvis. So he always said that he had a head start on being a songwriter. While his music and his football resonated with Mississippians and Southerners, who can be passionate about both, I think it was the worldwide attention his music received that proved people everywhere could relate. He was overwhelmed by the news in 2014 that he was to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York. It was a significant moment that brought attention to the state of Mississippi and gave his music even more worldwide acclaim.

Q. How do you think his legacy will live on?

A. His songs have been recorded by so many people and groups from different walks, from Neil Diamond to Widespread Panic, from Garth Brooks to Dean Martin, Aretha Franklin, the Oak Ridge Boys, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Charley Pride, and many, many more. Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Price recorded an astounding 38 of Jim’s songs.

But it was Gladys Knight and the Pips who sent his music to the top. They recorded 13 of his songs. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America chose 365 significant songs of the 20th century. Jim’s “Midnight Train to Georgia” was No. 29.

Gladys Knight Tweeted (after his death), “I’m missing Jim Weatherly already. He was about life and love. . . .I’m gonna miss him terribly and love him always.”

Last summer in a televised show called “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future,” Jennifer Hudson sang the opening song, which was one of Jim’s classics – “Where Peaceful Waters Flow.” His legacy lives on through his music.

Click this link to learn more about the University of Mississippi Scholarship that has been established in Weatherly’s honor. 

WREG-TV Memphis donates set to NewsWatch Ole Miss newscast

Posted on: February 5th, 2021 by ldrucker

Thanks to WREG-TV in Memphis, NewsWatch Ole Miss has a new set for its newscast.

Wes Pollard, creative services director at WREG-TV News Channel 3, worked in December and January with Steven Miller, Student Media Center broadcast engineer, to complete the project. Pieces of the WREG desk were taken apart, delivered to campus, and then reassembled in the NewsWatch Ole Miss studio.

WREG installed a new set at its Memphis studio last year and generously offered furniture from its previous set to the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media and the SMC. WREG General Manager Ron Walter was happy to see the desk go to a good home.

NewsWatch Ole Miss

NewsWatch Ole Miss

“We are proud to support the aspiring young journalists and broadcasters in our area, knowing we may one day work alongside them,” Walter said. “The desk served our anchor teams very well, and we hope it does the same for University of Mississippi journalism students.”

Pictured in the photo at the new anchor desk are NewsWatch student staff members Madeleine Nolan, graphics producer; Artez Gibson, video producer; Brian Barisa, newscast manager; Justin Claas, sports director; and Alexandra Barfield, social media producer.

In spring semester 2021, the newscast is aired on Wednesdays and Fridays. You can learn more about NewsWatch at http://www.newswatcholemiss.com

University of Mississippi journalism grad Payne selected for national POLITICO Fellows program

Posted on: January 29th, 2021 by ldrucker

Daniel Payne started work this month as a POLITICO Fellow. Payne graduated in May 2020 from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. He was in the Honors College, a Taylor Medalist, and editor in chief of The Daily Mississippian, where he led a staff that won national journalism awards. He participated in Lens Collective and had a summer internship at a Washington news website. Following graduation, he was executive editor of The DeSoto (MS) Times-Tribune.

The POLITICO Fellows program offers four journalists an opportunity to work on teams throughout the newsroom reporting full time on politics and policy. The 12-month professional fellowship also includes a robust training component and work on enterprise reporting projects on policy areas with disproportionate impact on underrepresented communities. Upon successful completion of the program, each fellow is invited to a full-time reporting role at POLITICO.

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne at his desk in Washington.

“Daniel is foremost a thoughtful journalist who has demonstrated serious commitment to his craft,” said Robin Turner, director of editorial diversity initiatives at POLITICO. “In addition to his solid journalism chops, he demonstrated strong leadership in pushing The DeSoto Times-Tribune toward a digital-first approach as the weekly newspaper’s executive editor. In addition to his compassionate approach to serving his community, Daniel impressed our selections committee with his aggressive accountability reporting on the pandemic, his role in redesigning the newspaper, his work on newsletters, and in his savvy, but responsible social media skills.”

Turner said that Payne, as a graduate of the University of Mississippi who hails from Tennessee, also offers a geographic perspective and background that often go missing in D.C.-area newsrooms. “In short, Daniel is a talented, creative and innovative contributor with fresh insight that any newsroom would welcome.”

Turner, who designed the professional fellowship with the support of POLITICO’s Editor in Chief Matt Kaminski, said that fellows are “full colleagues from Day One.”

“Daniel will be embedded as a reporter on two editorial teams and will learn how POLITICO launches new products. We are pleased that all of our fellows – those who have served previously, and those now serving as professional fellows – know they are respected and valued team members. They also help advance POLITICO’s editorial mission for delivering strong, independent and credible journalism on politics and policy – and with diverse voices and perspectives.”

Grad students Lucy Burnam and MacKenzie Ross caught up with Payne as he started his new job this week and asked him a few questions:

Q. Daniel, why did you apply for the fellowship?

A. I have always enjoyed POLITICO and the work that comes from its newsroom, especially all the work they do innovating digital journalism. When I saw that they would be bringing two fellows on board in January, I knew I had to apply.

Q. How do you feel about being a reporter in the nation’s capital in 2021?

A. I’m very excited about it. I think, especially over the last year or so, people have focused more on the importance of understanding how policies and politicians affect day-to-day life in the U.S. That makes the job of reporting important stories all the more exciting.

Q. How did your journalism and Honors classes, and your work at The Daily Mississippian, prepare you for this fellowship?

A. My experience at UM has been foundational in preparing me for this fellowship. I feel that, though I still have a lot to learn through professional experience, I’m ready to get to work in the world of journalism. The experience I got at The Daily Mississippian has proved to be monumental in my understanding and practice of reporting and editing. I can’t imagine being able to get this fellowship without the real-world education I got at the Student Media Center.

Q. What do you hope to learn from this fellowship?

A. I hope to sharpen my reporting and writing skills, and I also hope to learn about the diversity of opportunities available to someone who wants to report on politics. POLITICO has journalists working in many unique niches of politics and policy reporting, and I think working with different people who have different interests will give me a wealth of perspective on journalism today and my future in the field.

Here is the press release from POLITICO about the new Fellows:

POLITICO Announces Inaugural Class of The POLITICO Fellows

ARLINGTON, Va. — POLITICO today announced its inaugural class of The POLITICO Fellows, a competitive professional fellowship program that offers four enterprising journalists a front-row seat covering the biggest storylines dominating Washington.

The POLITICO Fellows program, which just began this week, seeks to empower journalists seeking to advance their careers in political and policy journalism. POLITICO is pleased to share that Jonathan Custodio, Anna Kambhampaty, Marissa Martinez and Jonathan “Daniel” Payne emerged from an outstanding and competitive applicant pool impressing the selections committee with their strong journalism skills, entrepreneurial spirit and unique contributions to newsroom diversity.

“The POLITICO Fellows builds on our strong commitment to develop newsroom talent as we deliver authoritative, independent politics and policy coverage with diverse voices and perspectives,” said Robin Turner, director of editorial diversity initiatives for POLITICO. “Our incoming cohort includes four very talented journalists, each with the demonstrated ability to lead teams, innovate and break news even beyond U.S. borders. We are proud of all of our fellows – past and present – and are pleased to partner with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in identifying and preparing these emerging newsroom leaders.”

The 12-month program will train professionals and provides a unique opportunity to cover the White House, Congress and policy areas such as health care, trade, technology and finance. Reporting opportunities will include in-depth exploration of how key policy issues disproportionately impact underrepresented communities.

“NABJ is proud to partner with POLITICO in creating this critical pipeline of diverse journalists who will become the next generation of political reporters. Now more than ever, it is important that people who represent Black and Brown communities are leaders in reporting on the government and policy issues that impact communities of color every day. We look forward to the dynamic work that will come from the 2021 cohort and extend our support to each of them,” said Dorothy Tucker, president of NABJ.

Participants receive total compensation of $60,000, plus benefits, and are invited for a full-time reporting role at POLITICO upon successful completion of the program. This professional fellowship program also features monthly workshops, mentoring and other training as well as editorial rotations for career exploration. Anna and Daniel begin their fellowships in the POLITICO newsroom this week. Jonathan and Marissa will begin their 12-month terms in June.

The 2021 POLITICO Fellows

Jonathan Custodio brought his Bronx-honed reporting skills to POLITICO in October as an intern in the New York office, where he contributes regularly to New York Playbook and the New York Real Estate newsletter and covers city campaigns. A member of NABJ, Jonathan’s work has been featured in ProPublica’s Electionland and the immigration news outlet Documented NY. A graduate of LaGuardia Community College and Lehman College, Jonathan also served as a reporting intern at The Chronicle of Higher Education and Bronx community newspaper Norwood News. The Pulitzer Center awarded Jonathan a grant in 2019 to do groundbreaking bilingual reporting on Afro Mexicans’ struggle for political, social and cultural recognition, which helped (along with decades of activists’ efforts) lead to unanimous vote by the Mexican Senate to ensure constitutional recognition for the disenfranchised community. Jonathan is a member of NABJ.

Anna Kambhampaty has spent the past year and a half as a reporter/researcher at Time Magazine, and delivered a major scoop– Anna broke the Justin Trudeau brownface story for Time in the midst of the 2019 Canadian election. A native of upstate New York, Anna brings a mix of skills to the newsroom: She studied information science at Cornell University while writing a column for the Cornell Daily Sun, and was an interactive web development intern at CNBC and a UX engineering intern at The New York Times before landing at Time. Since mid-2019, Anna has researched and reported on art, agriculture, politics, and history for Time, but developed a specialty at the intersection of politics, race and identity. Anna is a member of AAJA.

A native of Chicago, Marissa Martinez has already made a name for herself as a newsroom leader and editor in chief of the Daily Northwestern, during a tumultuous year for higher education. Marissa managed a staff of more than 80 journalists and reported on issues of race, health and education for the city, campus and investigative desks at The Daily, which serves as the only newspaper for the city of Evanston, Ill. Marissa, who speaks Spanish and has studied Portuguese and Arabic, created the newspaper’s first diversity and inclusion editor and has been interviewed by the Columbia Journalism Review for her work in newsroom diversity. Marissa currently covers COVID-19 as a reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. She is a past participant of the POLITICO Journalism Institute and is a member of NABJ, AAJA and NAHJ.

Daniel Payne has worked to push The DeSoto Times-Tribune toward a digital-first approach as the Mississippi newspaper’s executive editor for the past year. He emphasized aggressive accountability reporting on the pandemic and redesigned the newspaper, newsletters and social media accounts. A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Oxford, Daniel was editor in chief of The Daily Mississippian, where he also helped overhaul the newspaper’s website and workflow. Daniel has interned for the Global Post in Washington, D.C., and worked as a reporter and panelist for the Lens Collective researching, filming and editing short films on civil rights activists.

Professor seeks UM School of Journalism and New Media student volunteers for app project that provides free emotional support

Posted on: January 18th, 2021 by ldrucker

As we continue to be separated from each other due to COVID-19, several studies have documented increased levels of depression, stress and anxiety, and decreased levels of general mental well-being among students.

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professor is hoping to change that by partnering with creators of an app that provides free emotional support. Professor Graham Bodie, Ph.D., is also seeking students from the school willing to participate as listeners through the app for other students in need.

Graham Bodie

Graham Bodie

The HearMe.App, created by Adam Lippin and his team,

allows people to seek and receive support at any time. Users download the app to their Android or Apple device, specify their preferred listener type (male-female, age range, time availability to chat, etc.), and either identify a topic for conversation or begin chatting.

“All conversations are text-based, and listeners go through minimal training in active and reflective listening before they are allowed to interact with users,” Bodie said. “To date, over 54,000 conversations have taken place on the app with 94 percent of support seekers reporting they ‘felt better after one chat.’”

At the outset of the pandemic, the HearMe.App team commissioned a survey of 350 American adults, Bodie said. Results indicated that a majority of 18- to 24-year-olds reported feeling less connected than before the pandemic, compared to a majority of those over 35 who reported feeling more connected.

HearMe.App
Screenshot from website.

“Those in the traditional college-aged cohort were the least satisfied with the emotional support they are currently receiving and more readily identified texting to be a viable means of seeking support (again, compared to those in older age cohorts),” Bodie said. “Our current studies thus target a key demographic likely to benefit the most from digital forms of emotional support.”

The studies will take place at the University of Mississippi and University of Minnesota. They will examine whether broad-based, communal emotional support, delivered through a free app, can mitigate stress among college students and the negative mental health effects of social isolation and loneliness resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

By any number of measures, 2020 was stressful, and 2021 might be best described as “the year of loneliness” if we continue to be separated from each other due to COVID, Bodie said.

“In March, U.S. American higher education institutions closed down most campus operations and dormitory housing, and began encouraging or mandating online courses in an effort to manage the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “By April, it was clear students were unlikely to return to campus for the remainder of the spring semester. As summer turned to fall, students continued to remain isolated, either at home or in a restricted and curfewed campus community.”

Bodie said general population studies find younger age groups reporting more impact from COVID-19 than older age groups, and students from disenfranchised groups are even more at risk of suffering from the consequences of the pandemic.

“Although most colleges and universities offer formal sources of support, these resources are generally underutilized,” he said.

Even if universities were able to convince more students to use mental health services, Bodie said the staffing alone would overwhelm personnel and overextend the financial capacities of higher education budgets. One answer to assisting students through crises is to strengthen social support networks.

Receiving high-quality support from friends and other informal help providers is vital for student coping, he said. However, COVID-19 precautions have disrupted students’ channels of seeking support. Some students are now socially isolated from peers, roommates, family members, and co-workers; and their social life has declined since March 2020.

Screenshot from website.

Bodie said scholars are increasingly recognizing the need for colleges and universities to prioritize early prevention and intervention programming through platforms that allow students to adequately manage their mental health on or off campus.

He is looking for students to become listeners. While some might only be available for one session each week, others may have a few hours weekly to devote to the project.

“First, it does not take long to be a supportive shoulder for people, a keen ear available to listen in times of stress,” Bodie said. “Second, we hope students will seek support through the application as the semester progresses, whether they sign up as a listener or not.”

  1. If you are interested in participating as a listener, click this link to answer the following short survey to get started.
  1. Volunteer to “listen” on the app by emailing Bodie at at gbodie@olemiss.edu.

For more information about our journalism or integrated marketing communications programs visit jnm.olemiss.edu or email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

Mr. Magazine, of University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, offers industry insights

Posted on: January 8th, 2021 by ldrucker

Samir Husni, Ph.D., also known as Mr. Magazine ™, has been called the leading authority on magazines. He has been very busy the last few months participating in interviews and writing articles about the magazine industry.

As the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, the professor and Hederman Lecturer’s work and insights have appeared on websites like Poynter, Editor & Publisher, Forbes and in the New York Post.

Below is a collection of some of those recent articles.

Samir Husni

Samir Husni, photographed by Robert Jordan for University Communications.

BoSacks Speaks Out: Disputing the Death of Journalism

Husni is featured in this article.

Samir Husni’s presentation at Augusta University

Husni discusses freedom of the press and the role the audience plays in it.

Marc Benioff’s Time magazine gets cease-and-desist

Print magazines may be a struggling business, but a recent cease-and-desist aimed at Time magazine suggests the business of churning out high-priced special issues, or “bookazines,” is still hot. Read this article that features Dr. Samir Husni.

Opinion: In a digital world, magazine covers still carry tremendous weight

Opinion: In a digital world, magazine covers still carry tremendous weight

Media Voices Podcast: Mr. Magazine Samir Husni on why magazines are new media

This week, Dr. Samir Husni, founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media, tells us why magazines are the ultimate new media. He explains the wild ride that was magazine publishing in 2020, his print evangelism, the benefits that digital brings and his favorite magazine. Oh, and why he’s called ‘Mr. Magazine’.

Listen to the podcast.

Poynter: Magazine covers in 2020 have featured Black subjects three times more than the previous 90 years

Today, a first-time visitor to a newsstand would see something long-sought: a mainstreaming of Black people into American life.

In the 90 days following the death of George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police, mainstream magazines celebrated Blackness on their covers about three times more than in the previous 90 years combined. Husni collaborated with other UM faculty – Mark K. Dolan, Ph.D., Marquita Smith, Ed.D. and Charlie Mitchell – on this article.

Magazine covers in 2020 have featured Black subjects three times more than the previous 90 years

Against the Grain: Are Print Magazines Still Relevant?

ATG Asks the Expert: Mr. Magazine-An ATG Original

Oprah Winfrey: recently announced a shift in her media kingdom with what publishing partner, Hearst, called a “rethinking the future of the magazine’s print editions and following a more digital-focused route following its December 2020 issue.” Hearst representatives went on to call this “a natural next step for the brand, which has grown to an online audience of 8 million, extending its voice and vision with video and social content. We will continue to invest in this platform as the brand grows and evolves into one that is more digitally centric.”

Husni is interviewed in this article.

Are Print Magazines Still Relevant? ATG Asks the Expert: Mr. Magazine-An ATG Original

Podcasts from the Printverse: Journalism, Justice and Publishing in a Pandemic with Mr. Magazine

In this podcast, Husni talks about the role of a journalist amidst a social revolution, and why the audience – not the platform – should remain the focal point of all media companies.

Journalism, Justice and Publishing in a Pandemic with Mr. Magazine

Editor & Publisher: Publishing During A Pandemic

Husni is “the country’s leading magazine expert,” according to Forbes magazine; “the nation’s leading authority on new magazines,” according to min:media industry newsletter; “a world-renowned expert on print journalism” according to CBS News Sunday Morning; and The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “the planet’s leading expert on new magazines.” It’s no wonder he is better known in the industry as Mr. Magazine. Read the article about publishing during a pandemic.

Poynter: Is the increase in Black representation in magazines hypocrisy or a genuine change?

And why do some magazine editors and public relations directors not want to talk about the sea change that has taken place in the industry?

“Blackness exploded on the covers of magazines during the middle months of 2020. But is it hypocrisy? A performative act so that those magazines can profit from the pain of Black people, as one editor told me? Or is it a genuine change, as I heard from another?” Read Husni’s article below.

New York Post: Despite pandemic, 60 new print magazines launched in 2020

The number of new print magazines launched in the U.S. dropped by more than half in 2020 to 60, compared to 139 a year earlier. But in a surprise move, the pace of new launches accelerated in the second half of the year with food, home and fitness titles proving the most popular. Husni is interviewed in this story.

Forbes: Stop Saying Print Journalism Is Dead

60 Magazines Launched During This Crazy Year

It’s long been axiomatic among people who care about the news business that print is on the way out. That digital opportunities are where resources and investment need to be steered, and that the anachronistic, fusty pages of alt-weeklies, newspapers, and magazines should not operate in competition with the digital side of their respective businesses. If anything, the era of President Trump has only accelerated the throbbing pulse of the news business that already kept us all — journos and readers alike — hopelessly tethered to the digital grid. Husni’s work was reviewed for this article.

An interview with Bloomberg Quicktake

Can magazines compete in a digital world, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? Samir Husni, also known as Mr. Magazine, discusses how magazines offer a unique experience for the consumer.

Mr. Magazine’s blog

You can read more posts about the magazine industry at Mr. Magazine’s blog.

People en Español: The Most Trusted Voice In Hispanic Culture Approaches Its 25th Anniversary As It Continues To Thrive Even During A Pandemic – The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Monique Manso, Publisher & Armando Correa, Editor In Chief…