The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

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Multimedia student team covers Katrina Anniversary on Gulf Coast

Posted on: August 29th, 2015 by drwenger
Ji Hoon Heo and Maggie McDaniel cover the recovery of the seafood industry in Mississippi on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Ji Hoon Heo and Maggie McDaniel cover the recovery of the seafood industry in Mississippi on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Some opportunities for learning are just too good to pass up; that’s why six Meek School students and two profs packed up their bags and loaded up with gear for a trip to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and the Hurricane Katrina 10-year anniversary.

“On the Ole Miss campus, we’re recognized as students covering Ole Miss events, but here we had to get credentials, figure out logistics and work under the same constraints and with the same expectations as professionals,” said student Brittany Clark.

The student team included Clark, Payton Green, Sereena Henderson, Ji Hoon Heo, Maggie McDaniel and Quinton Smith. They covered stories from President George Bush’s visit to thank local first responders, to the resilience of one coastal church to the comeback of the area’s casino and seafood industries.

“It’s astonishing that people fought to rebuild; they stayed because this is their home and they love the place so much that they’re willing to take the risk that this could happen again,” said McDaniel.

For professors Deb Wenger and Nancy Dupont, it was a chance to help students learn strategies for reporting in unfamiliar territory and on tight deadlines.

“These Katrina stories are emotional, and it’s important that our students learn to cover people with painful memories, “ Dupont said. “They’ve learned that this weekend, and they exceeded my expectations.”

Student Quinton Smith ended up on crutches right before the trip, but he refused to stay home.

“I just realized how good of an opportunity this kind of reporting trip is,” Smith said. “Hurricane Katrina is not something that affected my family personally, but we were all broken up about it and we would watch video from the coverage every night, so I just wanted to be a part of it.”

For graduate student Ji Hoon Heo, it was a chance to learn more about Southern culture.

“It also gave me an opportunity to work with other students in the Meek School,” said Heo. “The journalism graduate program is small, so every time I get a chance to work with other students, it’s a pleasure.”

Sereena Henderson is from Pass Christian, Mississippi – a small town that hit Katrina particularly hard.

“It meant a lot of me to be able to be down here during the 10th anniversary and be able to talk with people who shared similar experiences,” Henderson said. “Listening to people’s stories helped me remember some of my own; it was an emotional time for me.”

The student stories aired on the student-run NewsWatch99 and on the DMOnline. Payton Green is the NewsWatch99 news director, who is also from the Mississippi coast.

“I was a kid when it happened so there wasn’t anything I could do to help back then; now, this is my way to do something, to report on the recovery that we’ve made,” said Green.

Wenger says anyone looking to hire terrific young journalists should look no further than this crew.

“Every one of these students worked hard and produced professional quality work. If there are employers on the hunt for solid multimedia journalists, this is a great list to pull from.”

L-R: Sereena Henderson, Brittany Clark, Nancy Dupont, Quinton Smith, Maggie McDaniel, Deb Wenger, Payton Green, Ji Hoon Heo.

L-R: Sereena Henderson, Brittany Clark, Nancy Dupont, Quinton Smith, Maggie McDaniel, Deb Wenger, Payton Green, Ji Hoon Heo. Meek School students and professors cover Hurricane Katrina Anniversary in Biloxi, Aug. 28-30, 2015.

Recent grad living his dream

Posted on: August 27th, 2015 by ewrobins

Ignacio Murrillo

Ignacio Murillo graduated from the Meek School in 2014, and already has landed a job that lets loose his creativity and passion for design, fashion and photography. A photo assistant for Harper’s Bazaar magazine in New York City, Murillo said his job is the most stressful yet most enjoyable thing he’s ever done.

Murillo’s job search was anything but traditional. He Photoshopped pictures of himself with Harper’s Bazaar special projects director Laura Brown and tweeted them to her: #Thiscouldbeusbutyouareplaying.

“I would say that I was getting pretty annoying, but she finally liked one of the photos that I tweeted and replied to me to call her office,” Murillo said.

He was given a test for a features internship that took him about 10 hours to complete. He didn’t make the cut for that job, but impressed them enough that his contact information was passed along to other departments.

Murillo moved to New York, crashing at friends’ apartments while he continued his search for a job. He made regular contact at Harper’s Bazaar, and it paid off: an internship with the art and photo department.

In November, shortly before his internship ended, he was offered a job — on his birthday — as a men’s fashion assistant at a PR company where he had interned two years earlier. In the middle of March, he heard that Harper’s Bazaar was hiring and he reached out to the photo director.

“I had to interview with three editors before I got the answer I had dreamed about since I was 10 years old,” he said.

“The best — funny — part of my story is that the image and tweet that opened the door for me was related to the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV show and the first issue I worked on with my name on the masthead featured ‘Game of Thrones’ leading lady Emilia Clarke as the cover star. It might sound stupid, but I took that as a sign that I was at the right place.”

Murillo said his work days run the gamut from routine to glamorous, including meeting celebrities.

“I help the photo department produce our well/back of the book photo shoots,” he said. “I help with the historical, fine art and commercial research that goes into producing a shoot. I help manage our in-house studio for all the front-of-the-book pages. I help manage our interns to ensure everything is completed thoroughly and efficiently. One day I could be focusing on invoices and the next day finding new locations for upcoming stories.”

Throughout his years as a student at the University of Mississippi, Murillo had internships and worked at the Magazine Innovation Center and the Student Media Center. He was a photographer and award-winning designer for The Daily Mississippian and The Ole Miss yearbook, and said he learned a lot about journalism and working on teams.

“Most my learning has been on the job because there were no classes on how to produce a photo shoot that costs thousands of dollars in another country,” Murillo said, laughing.

“The best advice I have for current students is to intern as much as possible. I was hired by both companies where I was an intern here in NYC. Don’t be afraid to go big. I think one of the things that helped me get where I am was that I was never really scared to just go out there and get it.”

Nathan and Kate Gregory catch up with R. J. Morgan

Posted on: July 30th, 2015 by pchurdle

rjNathan and Kate Gregory, son-in-law and daughter of Sid Salter, talk with R. J. Morgan, director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association.

Alan Perry and Norman Gillespie visit at Neshoba County Fair

Posted on: July 30th, 2015 by pchurdle

gillespieAlan Perry, president of the board of the Institutions of Higher Learning in Mississippi, and Norman Gillespie, former clerk of the U. S. District Court of the Northern District of Mississippi, visit on the Square at the Neshoba County Fair.

Charlie Mitchell on Super Talk

Posted on: July 30th, 2015 by pchurdle

talkAssistant Dean Charlie Mitchell on Super Talk on the Square at the Neshoba County Fair.

Charlie Mitchell and Sid Salter listen to Gov. Phil Bryant’s speech

Posted on: July 30th, 2015 by pchurdle

rightAssistant Dean Charlie Mitchell and Sid Salter, director of the Office of Public Affairs at Mississippi State University, listen to Governor Phil Bryant speak at the Neshoba County Fair.

Joel McNeece, Sam Hall, and Will Norton meet with Clarion-Ledger publisher Gena Lovett

Posted on: July 28th, 2015 by pchurdle

IMG_3713-2Joel McNeece, Sam Hall and Will Norton met with Gena Lovett, publisher of The Clarion-Ledger. McNeece is president of the Mississippi Press Association and Hall is executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger.

Norton, Turner, McNeece at Mississippi Business Journal

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 by pchurdle

IMG_4214-1Will Norton, Jr.; Alan Turner, publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal; and Joel McNeece, president of the Mississippi Press Association, at the offices of the Mississippi Business Journal in Jackson, Miss.

MBJ’s Alan Turner talks with Will Norton

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 by pchurdle

NortonAlan Turner, publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal, talks with Will Norton, Jr., Dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, in the Journal’s offices, Jackson, Miss.

Overby, Gottshall, Westbrook dinner on the Square

Posted on: July 22nd, 2015 by pchurdle

Sq 2Charles Overby, former editor of the Daily Mississippian; Billy Gottshall, former ASB president; and Leslie Westbrook, former Miss Ole Miss; during dinner on the Square in Oxford. Westbrook was on campus for discussion on strategic marketing research and visited with Overby and Gottshall who were on campus during her student days.