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Welcome Back Virtually – From the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: September 8th, 2020 by ldrucker

Some of you know how we look in person. But what about our virtual personas?

With avatars and Bitmojis, we thought we’d re-introduce ourselves to students and welcome them back to our online, hybrid and in-person classes.

Click the photo below to see our Welcome Back Virtually page and video featuring your favorite University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professors.

UM School of Journalism and New Media adds new Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization this fall

Posted on: June 28th, 2020 by ldrucker

Have you ever dreamed of working in the fashion industry or owning your own fashion business? You can get your start at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media with the new Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization by taking only three classes.

The specialization was the idea of Assistant Professor Scott Fiene and Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications Mike Tonos.

It requires a nine-hour set of courses that introduces students to the world of fashion merchandising and promotion. Classes cover topics, such as trends, communications, budgeting, forecasting, buying and merchandising.

“The specialization is the result of student demand and interest,” Tonos said. “We added it because students wanted it, and we were looking for electives to make the IMC program more interesting and diverse.”

In late 2017 and early 2018, Tonos and Fiene were discussing possible electives when Fiene mentioned several students had expressed interest in fashion courses.

“I followed up with a student survey and got positive responses from 28 students, most of whom attended a March 28 meeting to discuss their ideas for such a program,” Tonos said. “Joe Sherman, a former executive at McRae’s department store, joined us as an adjunct and taught the first fashion merchandising course in spring 2018.

“We followed that with the Fashion Promotion and Media course. With those two courses in place, we were able to approve the specialization, which takes effect in fall 2020.”

fashion specialization

fashion specialization

The required classes include the following:

IMC 309 – Fashion Promotion and Media – This course introduces students to the communication, promotion, media, and branding of fashion in domestic and international markets.

IMC 376 – Commercial Photography – This class focuses on using the storytelling elements of photojournalism to create images that connect with specific audiences. Students will practice what it takes to create strong storytelling images that are both candid and contrived and create campaigns with those images. Students will use photo-editing software to produce images and campaign materials.

JOUR 361: Journalism Explorations I – New York City Internship Experience. This course focuses on covering emerging issues or specialized content related to the broad fields of journalism and new media.

Or students may take a pre-approved three-credit fashion-themed course or a pre-approved three-credit fashion-themed internship instead of JOUR 361.

“We hope students become knowledgeable enough about the fashion industry that they can find a good job in the field or can start their own fashioned-related enterprise,” Tonos said.

Among the job possibilities: buyers, department managers; store managers (boutiques); merchandisers for manufacturing companies; integrated marketing communication for a fashion company; fashion blogger; fashion writing and media.

Fiene said the Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization was driven by demand from students who were asking if we offered any fashion courses.

“We piloted a special topics course on it and offered that a few times,” he said. “It was wildly successful, and so we packaged that course into a nine-credit optional specialization that’s available to both IMC and journalism majors.

Dean Debora Wenger

Dean Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“It joins seven other specializations we already had, and is one more example of how we’re allowing students to customize their majors based on interest. We think this will be one of the more popular specializations in our school.

Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., said the specialization is important to the school because of the growing interest in fashion industry careers.

“Last year a group of about 50 of our students got together to produce our school’s first online fashion magazine,” she said. “They did it outside of the classroom experience on their own time because of their passion for fashion.

“Now, UM Velvet is adding even more students to the project for the fall. When you have this much grassroots enthusiasm for a subject, you know you need to do more to help students learn as much as they can.”

UM associate professor featured in election documentary presented June 25 in Oxford

Posted on: June 22nd, 2020 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media faculty member is featured in the election documentary “Win, Lose or Draw Straws” that will be presented Thursday, June 25 in Oxford.

Associate Professor Charlie Mitchell provides insight about the Eaton/Tullos race with other journalists and legal scholars weighing in about other races. The film will be presented at 8 p.m. by the League of Women Voters Oxford/North Mississippi during the Oxford Film Festival’s Drive In Series at the OFF Drive In movie site in the Cannon Motor parking lot.



Election ties happen far more frequently than the public may think. But the absence of a single deciding vote can have far reaching implications. Such is the powerful message in the film “Win, Lose, or Draw Straws.”

This is a rare political film that brings together Left and Right by exposing a little known oddity in U.S. electoral politics – the existence and resolution of races that end in exact ties. Told by people who experienced the highs and lows of political campaigns determined by games of chance, this film exposes the way luck often determines the winner.

The film was produced by Casey W. Phillips, a former political strategist, who worked on Delbert Hosemann’s 2007 race for Mississippi secretary of state. Highlighted in this nationwide story is the tie of the 2015 Mississippi House of Representatives race between Bo Eaton and Mark Tullos.

Drawing of straws is the Mississippi law to break ties, but come view the film to learn how the loser was seated.

Tickets may be purchased at this link. Discount tickets are available for League of Women Voters members.

For more information about the film, the Oxford Film Festival can be reached at

New Media Leadership Certification introduced at UM School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: June 14th, 2020 by ldrucker

Media leaders have traditionally learned on the job through trial and error. Early mistakes sometimes derail careers. Others never fully develop. The most successful leaders usually benefit from informal mentorships.

That’s why the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media is introducing a new Media Leadership Certification designed to give mid-career leaders a solid foundation for developing a successful leadership style.

Hank Price, director of leadership and development at the School of Journalism, has had a 30-year career as a television general manager, leading television stations for Hearst, CBS and Gannett. He will lead the Media Leadership Certification program.

“Leadership theory, practical application and a framework of introspection will provide the opportunity for individualized development of leadership skills,” Price said. “Skillsets will be enriched by a number of classes already taught in the IMC graduate program.”



Price is a frequent speaker to television industry groups about the future of media. He spent 15 years as senior director of Northwestern University’s Media Management Center, teaching in both the domestic and international executive education programs. He is the author of Leading Local Television (BPP, 2018) and co-author of Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First (Sage, 2015) a management textbook.

At the end of 2018, Price retired from Hearst and opened a boutique media-consulting firm. In addition to his consulting work and writing, he is recognized for his presentations on leadership and brand strategy, subjects he believes are foundational to the success of any modern business.

Price said the Media Leadership Certification is designed for mid-career professionals who aim to someday run media companies. Candidates will ideally have some level of management experience.

“This will be a unique program nationally, designed to fill an educational void in media leadership,” he said. “Our aim is for this program to become an essential tool and credential for future media leaders across the country.”

Annette S. Kluck, Ph.D., dean of the UM Graduate School and a professor of leadership and counselor education, said there are many reasons individuals obtain graduate certificates. They allow individuals to continue their education learning a defined set of skills or developing a targeted area of expertise.

“In many cases, certificates are designed for individuals who are already working and have great real-world experience that they bring to the courses,” she said. “This enables those earning the certificates to learn how the material and ideas directly apply to their work and how other professional environments implement ideas and practices that they learn about in the courses.”

Kluck said certificates are carefully designed to provide maximal impact. Courses included in certificate programs are selected to be cohesive and complementary to help students quickly gain expertise in a particular area.

“Certificates are also time-limited so students can often complete them in one year,” she said. “This allows students to quickly build their resume. And, having a certificate on one’s resume (or CV) shows current and prospective employers that an individual has developed advanced expertise in a particular area and engages in continuous professional development.”

Annette S. Kluck

Annette S. Kluck

Kluck said both the added expertise from the certificate and the demonstration that one is invested in learning and professional growth are appealing to hiring supervisors. The certificate shows that one can be successful in growing themselves as a professional.

“Certificates have become quite popular in the last few years,” she said. “Part of the reason is the ability to complete the certificate in about a year. The shorter commitment of a graduate certificate often fits well with the realities of working professionals who may not only have a full-time job, but may have family obligations and other commitments.”

The certificates also allow individuals to “test the waters” of graduate study, she said, which is quite different from undergraduate learning experiences. Courses are much more narrowly focused on gaining the expertise needed in your discipline.

Kluck said many individuals who start with a graduate certificate decide to go on and complete a master’s degree. In many cases, the courses completed to earn the graduate certificate may also be part of the curriculum for a master’s degree within the same discipline.

“When there is substantial overlap, and the courses are taught by the same institution and faculty that teach in a master’s program, credit hours completed in pursuit of the graduate certificate might also count towards the master’s degree,” she said. “For a master’s degree program that is 30 credit hours, the graduate certificate might mean that someone only needs 18 additional credit hours to earn a master’s degree.”

Kluck said she believes colleges and universities offer graduate certificates because they know there are adults who are seeking additional training and education in areas related to their work responsibilities or career goals.

“Certificates allow us to expand access to graduate study for busy working adults,” she said. “They are a way to ensure that working professionals can gain knowledge and skills needed for their career success while engaging with faculty experts. At the University of Mississippi, providing access to education for adults is a foundational value. We want people to be able to pursue their educational goals and to help set them up for success.”

Dean Debora Wenger

Dean Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

UM School of Journalism and New Media Dean Debora Wenger said the school decided to add the Media Leadership Certification to its curriculum because there is a real need for leadership education for those in media organizations.

“As in many fields, you often get promoted into a position of leadership because you are very good in other roles, but you may not ever receive training in how to effectively lead teams and people,” she said. “This certificate is designed with that person in mind.”

Many colleges and universities are now offering certificates. Wenger said they are a great way to try out the School of Journalism and New Media.

“Our Media Leadership Certification is designed in such a way that, if you do well, you can apply the credits you’ve earned to a Master’s of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication degree, and you’ll already be a third of the way through the program,” she said.

Wenger said she hopes the school will offer more certifications in the future.

“We have rich expertise in many areas that would be of value to those in the media world, so I hope we will begin to develop more,” she said.

For more information, contact the school at

UM School of Journalism and New Media to offer updated curriculum with new courses this fall

Posted on: June 9th, 2020 by ldrucker

St. Louis native Brittany Kohne, 18, will be a freshman at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media this fall. The Oakville High School graduate is also one of our prestigious Talbert Fellows and a future journalism student.

Kohne said she was attracted to UM’s innovative journalism program, which school leaders recently updated after much research, planning and many in-depth discussions about how to best serve students beyond 2020.

“I am looking at the Political and Social Justice reporting emphasis for my major,” she said. “I am hoping to learn how to cover such topics with the utmost integrity and truth … I think that it is great that Ole Miss is taking a new approach and action to mass media and journalism as a whole.”

Brittany Kohne

Brittany Kohne

Dean Debora Wenger said, beginning this fall, the school’s new journalism curriculum will better position students for future jobs. The biggest changes revolve around four new emphases: Video & TV Storytelling, Multimedia Journalism, Visual Journalism and Political and Social Justice Reporting.

“We know our students have a high interest in video and photo, writing, design, social media and specialty journalism,” Wenger said. “These new emphases give them the opportunity to go deep in an area that they love, while still getting the foundation in journalistic principles that they need.”

Things change rapidly in the media world, and Wenger said the curriculum updates were necessary to remain modern.

“Though our school has been offering relevant journalism instruction for many, many years, that wasn’t always apparent from our course descriptions and emphasis options,” she said. “We know that the audience is consuming more and more news and information on digital platforms and through video, social media and interactive design — now our curriculum more accurately reflects what we’re teaching.”

Wenger said new courses include J270: Digital Story Production, which will immerse students as sophomores into the tools and concepts they need to tell stories across media platforms. Another new course for freshmen is called Visual Principles — helping students understand what it takes to capture a great photo or visualize important information in a graphic.

Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“And those are just two of the new hands-on, experiential classes we have developed for our existing and new students,” she said.

Digital Story Production gives students hands-on instruction about how to use digital media tools to produce interactive stories.

Iveta Imre, an assistant professor of journalism who teaches the course, said students will learn key concepts in audio, video, infographics, images, and other digital technologies. They will learn how to capture engaging audio, photos and video to create effective multimedia stories.

“I think this course is important for the new curriculum because it gives an opportunity to all of our journalism majors, regardless of the emphasis, to learn the basics in multimedia storytelling,” Imre said. “Until now, we had a huge discrepancy between our broadcasting and print majors in terms of skills, and this class is designed to remedy that.”

Imre said this is a new course entirely, and it is envisioned as a culmination of all the core classes all journalism students must take.

Iveta Imre

Iveta Imre

“Once they complete this class, the idea is that they would be ready to take the classes within their emphasis, and further develop the skills they learned in the digital story production class,” she said.

Professor Mark Dolan will be teaching Visual Media Principles. Students arrive in the course as novice designers.

“So a first goal is to help them apply what their eyes see, what the brain registers and the heart feels,” he said. “Everyone’s a designer, to some extent. Design begins with the outfit you picked this morning, the sofa you bought and how it fits with the other furniture. Design is in the shape of your water bottle, the logo on your ball cap, the menu you order from.”

This course is about understanding what design means, how it gets communicated, and why, said Dolan, who begins with core principles, such as how items relate to other items on a page or in a photo, or within a video frame or animated space. The class will discuss how elements balance, what is bigger and smaller in the frame, and why such things matter.

“Students this fall explore how these principles function within typography, page design, photography, video, even animation,” said Dolan, who thinks the best part of the class is learning to tell stories through design. This is what happens when the still image meets the type font, when the video sequence interacts with a block of text, he said.

“Sometimes richness and meaning can emerge from one photo, one type font, a video sequence,” he said, “but more often it’s the uniting of these that sparks the biggest impact. To design is like being a stage manager, a selector and coordinator, and telling stories through design is to use your brain, eyes and heart.

“More and more students are asked to design, whether for their class presentation, a professional web site, or their own business card. Not only do students come away with these core skills, they also take the next step in using design to do reporting.”

Oxford native Dalton Whitehead, 18, is also an incoming freshman and Talbert Fellow. The Oxford High School graduate said he has been researching new class additions.

“I absolutely want to develop even better camera skills than I already have and get some job experience in my field,” he said. “I would very much so like to gain more experience with interviewing. I’ve always been a camera man mostly, knowing all the ins and outs of them and all technology, and I am a good interviewer, but I still have a lot to improve on with interviewing.”

Kohne said she toured many schools in Missouri, but none seemed like a perfect fit until she visited UM.

“Once I walked on campus, I knew that it was the school that I saw my future at,” she said. “I chose broadcast journalism because I believe that every person should have the opportunity to share their story with the world, and show others a new perspective on life.

“I loved how Ole Miss had a lot of job opportunities when students graduated, as well as their approach in media as a whole. The journalism department is very forward thinking, which is very important for news media.”

Assistant Dean Scott Fiene said the school plans to update the IMC, or integrated marketing communication, curriculum next.

“The IMC program will be 10 years old in 2021, and while there have been continual tweaks and revisions to the curriculum since that time, the faculty is currently investigating larger changes that may be needed to keep up with the demands of the profession,” he said. “It is anticipated these changes would be implemented starting in fall 2021.”

For more information about the new journalism curriculum, email Wenger.

Attend our Virtual Open House to learn about graduate school Thursday, June 25

Posted on: June 7th, 2020 by ldrucker

If you have ever thought about attending graduate school and earning your master’s degree, this may be the time.

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media will be offering a Virtual Open House this month to provide information about how to become a graduate student in our journalism and IMC programs.

You are invited to be part of the Zoom online event Thursday, June 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Zoom gathering will feature professors who will answer questions about the program.



“The landscape is a bit different now with the coronavirus, and people have questions,” said professor Joe Atkins, who leads the journalism master’s program. “For example, we’ve lifted the GRE requirement for now and extended the application deadline to the end of July. We thought a Virtual Open House would be a good opportunity for people to check in and get answers to questions they might have about our programs.”

The professional masters track in journalism offers courses in multimedia storytelling, documentary-making and long-form narrative writing that allow journalists to hone their craft to the highest level as they create lasting works of nonfiction, whether in print, online or on a screen. Students in the academic track can do this while also taking courses specifically designed to develop their research and theoretical skills, preparing them for a future in teaching as well as practicing journalism. Contact Professor Joe Atkins at

The M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication is a tightly-focused professional master’s degree in which you can learn to create and manage coordinated communications that connect people and organizations. The curriculum blends theory, insight, and real-world application with a focus on the strategic integration of fields, such as advertising, public relations, brand strategy, digital media, direct mail, content marketing, and research. To explore the residential and online degrees, please visit our program website or contact Dr. Robert Magee at

Why is now a good time to think about going to graduate school?

“I can already see there is a lot of interest in graduate studies now,” Atkins said. “The coronavirus has created uncertainty about our economy and what the world will look like once the pandemic passes.

“It’s a time for many to turn this into an opportunity to deepen their studies and training and further equip themselves for the future. We’re already going to have the largest journalism graduate cohort for the fall 2020 semester that I’ve seen since I’ve been director of the program.”

To learn more about the two programs and their required classes, visit this page.

To participate in the Zoom event, register by emailing Atkins at He can provide a link to the Virtual Open House that you can click to join.

You may also email these professors to ask any questions about our programs.

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

Posted on: June 6th, 2020 by ldrucker

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

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

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

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

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

Billy Schuerman

Billy Schuerman

What was your entry about? What did you propose?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UM journalism professors lead students to win Telly Award in international video competition

Posted on: May 29th, 2020 by ldrucker

Return to Croatia

When Assistant Professor Iveta Imre, Ph.D., began her career as a student at the University of Zagreb 20 years ago, she met a professor from the University of Tennessee who came there to help lead a student workshop. Because of that connection, she began a journalism journey that eventually led her to the United States, and she is now a member of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media faculty.

In December, life came full circle when Imre and Interim Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., returned to the University of Zagreb to help lead a journalism workshop and mentor students. The result was the creation of a news program that resulted in an international award.

The “Disrupt the News” project led by Imre and Wenger in Croatia in December won a second-place Silver Telly Award in the Non-Broadcast Category of an international video and television festival in New York.

For two-weeks in mid-December, Wenger and Imre led the multimedia journalism workshop in cooperation with the Faculty of Political Sciences at Croatia’s University of Zagreb (FPZG), with the support of the U.S. Embassy.

The workshop focused on preparing students and professionals for evolving careers in journalism and included instruction and practice with emerging storytelling techniques and tools, such as 360-visuals, and strategies for verifying information and building audience trust. The result was an experimental newscast and a multimedia website, Zagreb Newslab.

Iveta Imre in Croatia

Dr. Iveta Imre, a drone pilot, steers the device as students watch.

“The winning project is a half hour newscast called ‘Croatia Works,’ which explored issues related to working conditions in Croatia,” said Imre. “This newscast used innovative storytelling techniques and new tools and technologies, such as data visualization and mapping, to tell stories about international workers in Croatia, Croatian brain drain, and the gig economy, among others.”

Imre reflected on returning to her alma mater after 20 years to conduct a workshop like the one that inspired her.

"That was one of the best experiences of my education at the time,” she said, “so I understand the profound impact these kinds of workshops can have on students, and I was glad I had a chance to come back and work with the new generation of young journalists in Croatia."
Iveta Imre
Dr. Iveta Imre
Assistant Professor

Imre said she believes the project was selected as a winner because it used innovative storytelling techniques to explore an important issue that impacts a many people in Croatia.

“We had a great group of students who worked really hard to get great visuals and informative interviews with officials and people who are impacted,” she said, “and the fact that we won an award recognizes all the hard work that went into creating this newscast.”

The collaboration came about because Professor Tena Perišin, head of the journalism department at FPZG, had been following Wenger’s work for many years and because of her personal connection to Imre.

“Iveta is my ex-student, who after earning her M.A. from Zagreb, continued her academic career in the US,” Perišin said in an earlier interview. “In addition to her professional skills, which are very important, she is one who understands our Balkan mentality. It was a win-win situation considering we included 24 students, journalists and journalism lecturers from five countries to make this workshop a success.”

Play Video

The workshop included young journalists from five European countries – Croatia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia.

The Telly Awards event was founded in 1979 to honor excellence in local, regional and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming added soon after, according to the award website.

With the recent evolution and rise of digital video (web series, VR, 360 and beyond), the awards today also reflect and celebrate a new era of the moving image on and offline. The awards annually showcase the best work created within television and across video for all screens. Organizers received more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

“I think that the students who participated in the workshop have a bright future in journalism ahead,” Imre said. “and I hope this award will inspire them to continue working hard and telling important stories.”

Friends and colleagues mourn former journalism department leader

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has lost a former leader who did much to promote quality journalism in schools throughout the South.

Ronald T. Farrar, who was chair of the UM journalism department from 1973 to 1977, died May 18 at age 84.

Farrar is also a former chair of the Southern Methodist University journalism department and former director of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism.

He authored several books, including a biography of Walter Williams, who founded the world’s first school of journalism at the University of Missouri. He also wrote “Powerhouse,” a book chronicling the history of journalism education at the University of Mississippi from its origins in 1947. He retired from academia in 2001 as the University of South Carolina’s Reynolds-Faunt Professor of Journalism.

Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan, an associate professor of journalism at the UM School of Journalism and New Media, met Farrar at the University of South Carolina as a graduate student. He said Farrar was a fabulous writer and historian.

“Above all, he was kind, with an attitude that all things are possible, and that good ideas mattered,” Dolan said. “I was his teaching assistant in a large section of freshmen, among them Ainsely Earhardt, who went on to Fox News. I owe my teaching career to him.”

Debbie van Tuyll, a professor of communications at Augusta University’s Department of Communications, was also one of Farrar’s graduate students. She describes him as an old-fashioned, Southern gentleman.

“And I mean that in the best way,” she said. “He was gracious and open to those around him. That’s not to say he didn’t have his moments when he could be stern, but he always did so in such a way as to be non-offensive.”

Van Tuyll said Farrar had an uncanny ability to assess where a student was in his or her intellectual development, meet them there, and help them move ahead in their studies.

“He was the best combination of teacher and scholar,” she said. “And a fine copy editor. He caught so many mistakes in my dissertation that I should have caught. But mostly, he was there to offer encouragement and to be a cheerleader for me.”

An Arkansas native, Farrar graduated from the University of Arkansas, earning a bachelor of science degree in business in 1957, according to a bio. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa in 1962, and a Ph.D. in history and journalism from the University of Missouri in 1965.

Ronald T. Farrar

Click the photo to access an article about Farrar from the University of South Carolina. Screenshot from University of South Carolina website.

Farrar began his career in Arkansas, first as a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat in Little Rock, later as the news editor of the Daily Press in Paragould, and as the editor of the Trumann Democrat in Truman. He also worked for the Daily Iowan.

Those who knew him said Farrar had the remarkable gift of never meeting a stranger. He was a great listener, a good man who truly cared about everyone he met and, in turn, they cared about him. He made and kept friends for life.

Van Tuyll said Farrar’s legacy is his students and scholarship. Because of his leadership and guidance, she won the American Journalism Historians Association Kobre Award this year for lifetime achievement.

“I was so proud to tell Dr. Farrar about that – even though he’d never been active in AJHA,” she said. “Still, I wouldn’t have won that award without his hand guiding me through my studies and teaching me the importance of doing high quality, publishable research that answered a significant question.”

Farrar was an internationally respected and gifted professor who taught, wrote and conducted research for nearly four decades. He was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists in 1969 with the Distinguished Service Medal for Research in Journalism for his book “Reluctant Servant: The Story of Charles G. Ross.”

James A. Autry, the former CEO of the Meredith Corporation’s Magazine Group, said he viewed Farrar as a calm and gentle person whose effectiveness depended on the strength of quiet leadership.

“I think his legacy is that he led the department of journalism in the sometimes frustrating job of convincing university leadership of the need to move the program from a ‘department’ to a ‘school,'” Autry said. “This was not a simple challenge, and while the change did not happen during his tenure, he worked to maintain the momentum toward that eventuality.”

UM graduate Rose Flenorl said she met Farrar while attending a program her senior year of high school designed to increase racial diversity at Ole Miss.

“I had decided to major in journalism, so I had the opportunity to meet Ron Farrar,” she said. “He was an encourager. I so enjoyed my visit, my conversations with Ron and attending journalism classes. Of course, I decided to attend Ole Miss after that visit.”

Rose Flenorl

Rose Flenorl

Flenorl said Farrar kept in touch with her throughout her career and continued to track her progress.

“Leadership matters. Effective leaders build strong cultures, inclusive environments and collaborative teams,” she said. “They also attract the best in faculty, staff and students.”

She graduated from UM with a degree in journalism and English and now works in corporate communications as Manager of Global Citizenship at FedEx Corporation in Memphis.

Charles L. Overby, former chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum, Newseum and Diversity Institute, is chairman of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics located inside the UM School of Journalism and New Media.

Charles Overby

“My own personal experience showed me that Ron cared deeply about his students, both while they were at Ole Miss and afterwards,” Overby said. “He was a good educator and administrator, but more than that, he was a very caring people person. Ron became a friend for hundreds of students long after they left Ole Miss.”

Due to conditions at this time, the family will hold a graveside service on Saturday, May 23, with plans to hold a memorial service later this summer.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Award in Media and Civil Rights in care of the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Farrar endowed the award there in 2011.

Enroll now in summer courses from the UM School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: May 20th, 2020 by ldrucker

Are you feeling a little bored? Why not get a head start on some of your classes?

Many courses offered this summer by the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media are required classes for journalism and IMC majors.

For summer classes, you have until the day they start to enroll, so why not include learning in your plans for summer fun?

Full Summer

Bobby Steele – IMC 104 Web 1 – Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication
– Integrated marketing communications is a versatile field. This class required for IMC majors introduces the basic disciplines of IMC – advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, database marketing, internet marketing communication, and relationship marketing.

IMC 395 – Internship I – Internship experience in media, such as public relations and advertising.

IMC 495 – Internship II – Internship experience in media, such as public relations and advertising.


First Summer Session


Mark Burson IMC – 455 Web 1 – Integrated Marketing Communications – This class required for IMC majors is a capstone course involving tactical application of IMC skills and disciplines that is designed to develop team-building skills. Alternative and competing IMC campaigns will be presented and judged by both professor and client.

Roy Frostenson – JOUR 101 Web 1 – Media, News & Audience – This class required of all majors is an introduction to various facets of communication from the world of news media to the persuasive realms of marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media. This course will also strengthen your knowledge of the media and communication industries, their history and current practices, their content, and their effects on us as individuals and society.

Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking

Emily Bowen-Moore – JOUR – 273 Web 1 – Creative Visual Thinking – Ready to think visual? This class required by all students except those enrolled in the broadcast journalism emphasis is an introduction to communication design that explores different media and how visual elements are used to communicate. It focuses on the vocabulary of effective visual presentation and the analysis of visual messages across media platforms.

Mark Dolan – JOUR 345 – Digital Media Diversity – Explores the origins, theory, and applications of diversity in digital media content and opens pathways among students and instructors to understand digital representations of race, sexuality, gender, disability, ethnicity, and class, underscoring and enlarging historical narratives of communication, the nature of audience and content creators within digital spaces. This class fulfills the diversity requirement.


Second Summer Session


Brad Conaway – JOUR – 310 Web 1 – Social Media in Society – This class takes a critical approach to understanding the relationship between society and social media. The course will explore the development of social media by situating them in broader social, political, historical, and business contexts. We will examine how the emergence of social media technologies are discussed, the ethical and legal challenges surrounding these technologies, and how social media affect various aspects of our lives including our social relationships, identity, privacy, and work.

LaReeca Rucker – JOUR – 361 Web 1 – Journalism Explorations IBlack Mirror, The Twilight Zone and Media – The British science-fiction anthology series “Black Mirror” is set in the near future explores the potential consequences of social media and future technology. Each episode has a different cast with a unique story and, like most science fiction, it offers a prophetic warning about what could happen if we lose control and allow technology to control us.

Some might say we are currently living in a “Black Mirror” moment. Recognizing the show’s potential as a discussion starter about modern and future media, students will watch specific episodes of “Black Mirror” and think critically about the program. Through class discussions and writing exercises, they will envision the future of social media and technology. Some selected content will be hosted on our Black Mirror Project website.

This mind-bending class will also analyze topical developments and news stories related to the impact of social media on society. Students will read academic articles that have been written about “Black Mirror” and “The Twilight Zone.” Other science and speculative fiction movies and television shows will be examined. We’ll speculate about what the future holds, good and bad, with media and technology. And we’ll discuss what we can learn about journalism and a free society from science fiction visions of dystopias.

Black Mirror

Students who take this class will receive daily lesson plans on Blackboard with work they should complete before the following day. They may be asked to give short video presentations via Zoom, or to upload a video to YouTube so that other students can view their presentations. We also plan to have weekly, nationally-recognized speakers who can share their thoughts on the media and technology topics we discuss that will be broadcast in an optional live Zoom meeting or via video.

Students will be asked to complete some writing projects that could be featured on our “Black Mirror” website: They will be asked to engage in discussions in our Blackboard Discussion Forum with their classmates. We’ll also use social media platforms, such as Twitter, to communicate on some assignments. And we will (optionally) explore virtual reality, so it might be a good idea to purchase some inexpensive ($10 or less) VR glasses.

Iveta Imre – JOUR 362 – Journalism Explorations IIVideo Storytelling – Video storytelling is an essential skill whether you are going into film or TV, social media or advertising, PR or journalism, and the goal of this class is to give students a fundamental understanding of how to use video to tell a quality story. Students will learn to research, report, shoot, and edit short, focused video stories designed specifically for the web.

Imre said students will be doing fun projects, such as creating a silent movie for which they will edit a story only using visuals. They will also learn best practices for videos for social media. Students will experiment with video storytelling for TikTok. They will learn video and audio editing, and the class will culminate in creating a mini personal story or a mini documentary. At the end of the semester, they will have a class film festival with surprise awards for the best in show videos.

Bobby Steele – IMC 104 Web 1 –  Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication – This class required for IMC majors introduces the basic disciplines of IMC – advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, database marketing, internet marketing communication, and relationship marketing.

Christina Sparks – IMC 304 Web 1 – Account Planning – This class required for IMC majors presents principles and practices of the account planning process to develop skills, insights and strategies to use in different methods of influencing consumers’ behavior. Students will hear real-world examples of the instructor’s time as an account planner at Ogilvy.

Account planning is the study of branding, positioning, research, analytics, insights, and measurements involved in the creation and evaluation of an advertising or communication campaign. Account planners are known as the voice of the consumer within agencies. They are the brand marketers, consumer experts, strategy developers, data analysts, program effectiveness measurers and general thinkers behind communications. Concepts learned in the course will be applied in a planning project.


Darren Sanefski – IMC 305 Web 1 – Visual Communication – This class required for the graphic design specialization emphasizes creation, utilization, and critique of visual components of IMC at professional levels. Students will learn basics of design software for IMC purposes and applications in print, online, and video, as well as packaging and retail environments.

Mike Tonos – IMC 390.1 – Advanced Writing: Integrated Marketing – This class required for IMC majors explores advanced writing in integrated marketing types of advertising; concepts of creativity, copy structure, and style; emphasis on creative thinking and clear, precise writing in preparation of advertising for print and broadcast media and copy for presentations and direct mail.

John Baker – IMC 404 – IMC Research – This class required for IMC majors explores the theory and practice of qualitative and quantitative research applied to multiple marketing and communications challenges and tasks.


August Intersession


Bobby Steele – IMC 104 Web 1 – Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication – This class trequired for majors introduces the basic disciplines of IMC – advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, database marketing, internet marketing communication, and relationship marketing.