Memphis news station WREG-TV donates anchor desk to ‘Ole Miss NewsWatch’ team
To help prepare University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism students for life after graduation, Memphis news station WREG-TV donated its station’s anchor desk to “NewsWatch Ole Miss,” providing a true real-world broadcast journalism experience on campus.
The university’s student-run broadcast news operation, NewsWatch, also serves Oxford and Lafayette County as its only complete local newscast. It airs at noon Wednesdays and Fridays during the academic year.
Brian Barisa, station manager and fourth-year NewsWatch member, said the significance of the desk donation and the partnership with the Memphis news outlet is immeasurable.
“This new desk symbolizes the future of NewsWatch and where we will grow in the future,” Barisa said. “This gift allows for us to take leaps and bounds in modernizing our studio and evolving NewsWatch into the current look of TV studios.”
Appearance is not the only thing the future journalists receive while reporting with NewsWatch. Students combine their class knowledge with their on-air experience to learn new techniques in journalism.
“The Ole Miss School of Journalism has taught me storytelling tools and techniques that have helped me through reporting and producing content not just in news-oriented spaces, but also in other outlets of media production,” said Barisa, who plans to continue in the world of collegiate video production after graduation.
Besides producing the student-run broadcast, NewsWatch serves as a learning laboratory and creates opportunities for all students, regardless of experience level.
NewsWatch plays a pivotal role in the complete development of students who are ready to hit the ground running after graduation, said Debora Wenger, interim dean and professor of journalism.
“‘NewsWatch Ole Miss’ is a key part of the hands-on experiential learning, which is a hallmark of our school’s programs,” Wenger said. “Students, whether they are studying integrated marketing communications or journalism, have the opportunity to work for the newscast and a number of public-facing news outlets that are part of our school.
“Students who work for NewsWatch and these other platforms graduate with solid experience on their resumes, which in turn makes them more competitive in the job market.”
The Memphis station not only donates gifts, but sets an example for Ole Miss journalism students and NewsWatch staff members.
“WREG and all of the stations in our area have been wonderful partners in educating our students,” Wenger added. “They hire our graduates, and they are generous with their time and expertise. We can’t thank the station enough for reaching out and providing this donation.”
Ron Walter, WREG general manager, said he is happy to see the desk go to a good home.
“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.”
WREG also donated a second station desk to the school for students taking news reporting classes in Farley Hall.
This story was written by Michael Taplin for University Communications. Read the full story here.