The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘Featured News’ Category

A Day With Mr. Faulkner and His Horses: Presentation by Dr. Ed Meek

Posted on: August 30th, 2016 by jheo1

Noted journalist, author, and photographer, Dr. Ed Meek, was a first hand witness to events and people who changed Mississippi’s history. His iconic images of William Faulkner and James Meredith are now a part of the archival collections at the University of Mississippi. Come hear about a day spent with William Faulkner from the man behind the lens.

  • Thursday, September 1st at noon
  • In the Faulkner Room of Archives & Special Collections (third floor of the J.D. Williams Library)


Free ice cream and information at the 1st annual Meek & Greet

Posted on: August 21st, 2016 by drwenger

Whether you’re new to the school or an old hand at this IMC and journalism thing, be sure to stop by the Meek & Greet Ice Cream Social on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 12:15-1 p.m. under the school tailgating tent in front of Farley Hall.

Get yourself a scoop of ice cream from any one of the faculty serving up treats, and then get the scoop on local internships and jobs, organizations and activities that you can use to build your resume and get more out of your time at Ole Miss.

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Design students learn by doing and doing good

Posted on: August 12th, 2016 by drwenger
Meek School student Ryan Grover developed an award-winning logo under the direction of his design instructor Emily Moore.

Meek School student Ryan Grover developed an award-winning logo under the direction of his design instructor Emily Moore.

There’s nothing like learning by doing, and that’s why the Meek School of Journalism & New Media emphasizes instruction in the skills that students can put to use immediately.  For example, media design instructor Emily Bowen-Moore has partnered with organizations on campus and in the community to help her students get practical experience in creating logos.

“I like for the students to be involved in designing for local community events and organizations. It creates a connection between the university students and local/regional population. In addition, the goal is to give the students an opportunity for actual experience in the industry of designing and marketing for business,” said Bowen-Moore.

Student Ryan Grover competed with dozens of other students in the Meek School in a contest to select the top logo design for the Oxford School District Foundation (OSDF).  For 30 years, the organization has raised money to support innovative teaching within Oxford classrooms and this year it is in the middle of a year-long birthday celebration.  Grover developed an anniversary logo that will be used on posters, T-shirts, social media and in other OSDF publications.

“I’m really grateful to have had the chance to work with the Oxford School District Foundation. It was a great opportunity to practice the things we learn in class with a real world project,” said Grover.

He also valued the chance to get outside the classroom to make a difference.

“I’ve always been interested in graphic design and have really enjoyed taking this class with Mrs. Bowen-Moore. It was awesome that OSFD considered our class to be involved with the design process and I hope we students can have more opportunities like this to work with the Oxford community.”

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Meek School alumni gather at the PRAM Jackson chapter meeting to hear Robin Street speak

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 by pchurdle
robin pram

Pictured left to right: Haleigh Huddleston Ritter, Bill Dabney, Mary Margaret Turner, Ashlee Reid, Street, Liz Hogue Densmore, Carey Miller, Susan Christensen (in front), Selena Standifer, Rachel Anderson, a current student interning in Jackson, Danny Blanton and Caron Blanton.

Ten Meek School alumni and one student attended the Jackson chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi meeting in June when Senior Lecturer Robin Street spoke, including six of Street’s former students.

Street spoke on From Millenials to Mothers and Sexual Orientation to Senior Citizens: A Look at some of Today’s Diverse Publics. PRAM has 10 chapters throughout the state.

Posted on: June 21st, 2016 by pchurdle

Mississippi TodayMeek School alumni with Will Norton in the newsroom of Mississippi Today. Standing: Dennis Moore, Gabe Austin, Patsy Brumfield, Ashley Norwood and Fred Anklam. Kneeling: Will Norton and Adam Ganucheau.

Posted on: May 23rd, 2016 by ewrobins

Samir WPA AwardProfessor Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni was the keynote speaker at the Western Publishing Association in Los Angeles May 6.  His presentation preceded the 65th annual Maggie Awards banquet that the WPA hosts.  At the Maggies awards, Dr. Husni was presented the “WPA Leadership Award of Distinction” for his work at the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi and his “relentless defense of print in general and magazines in particular in the digital age.”

Posted on: May 13th, 2016 by ewrobins

Lumpp LunchThe IMC faculty took Dr. Jim Lumpp to lunch on his last day at the Meek School.

UM students win national SPJ journalism awards

Posted on: May 13th, 2016 by ewrobins

Katrina Team 2Students covering the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast won the top national award for best use of multimedia in the Society of Professional Journalists annual Mark of Excellence contest, which honored the best work by college student journalists in 2015.

The MSKatrina project team included Meek School of Journalism and New Media students Brittany Clark, Payton Green, Sereena Henderson, Ji Hoon Heo, Maggie McDaniel and Quinton Oliver Smith. The project’s advisers were professors Nancy Dupont and Deb Wenger, who led the team on the trip to the Gulf Coast.

Here is a link to some of the work they produced:

In addition, UM students were named national finalists in three other SPJ categories.

The Daily Mississippian, for the second year in a row, was honored as a finalist for best all-around daily student newspaper, which means it ranked as one of the top three campus publications in the country. Judges consider all editorial aspects, including editing, writing, photography, design, opinion, columns, illustrations and cartoons in all sections. The DM staff was led by Editor in Chief Logan Kirkland and Managing Editor Clara Turnage, with a staff of about a dozen editors and numerous reporters, photographers, columnists. Patricia Thompson, director of student media, is DM faculty adviser. Professors Darren Sanefski, Mikki Harris, Cynthia Joyce and other faculty regularly work with students on design, photography, writing, online and other areas of their work.

Deja Samuel, a photographer for The Daily Missisippian, was named a national finalist for her photograph taken during the “take down the state flag” rally and protest on campus in October.

Land of Broken Promises, the depth report published in early 2015 examining 50 years of voting rights legislation in the Delta, was a finalist in the best college magazine category. More than two dozen students contributed to the depth report. The project was led by instructor Bill Rose, with Mikki Harris as photo and multimedia editor and Darren Sanefski as presentation editor.

Meek School wins third Kennedy Award

Posted on: May 12th, 2016 by ewrobins

Depth reporting class exposé on 50th anniversary of Voting Rights Act winner in college category

Mollie Mansfield interviews civil rights activist and business owner Vernice Sanders with Professor Bill Rose at Vernice's Upholstery in Leland, Miss., Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

Mollie Mansfield interviews civil rights activist and business owner Vernice Sanders with Professor Bill Rose at Vernice’s Upholstery in Leland, Miss., Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

For the third time in seven years, the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi has won an annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Journalism Award.

UM’s depth reporting class won in the college category for “Land of Broken Promises.” The exposé examines the impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the Mississippi Delta 50 years later.

The winning project was led by Willard “Bill” Rose, visiting professor and a fellow of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics; Mikki Harris, assistant professor; and Darren Sanefski, assistant professor of multiple platform journalism.

“Winning the Kennedy Award for college journalism is a testament to the quality of teaching by Mikki Harris, Bill Rose and Darren Sanefski,” said Will Norton Jr., professor and dean of the journalism school. “These three individuals have demonstrated repeatedly that they are uncommonly effective, student-oriented teachers. We are grateful to have professionals of their caliber on our faculty in the Meek School.”

Twenty-seven students spent spring break 2014 conducting interviews and photographing images for the 132-page, four-color magazine. It was published and distributed in January 2015.

Students who worked on the project included Eliza McClure, Debra Whitley, Erin Scott, Jason Burleson, Logan Kirkland, Thomas Graning, Clancy Smith, Katie Adcock, Karson Brandenburg, Phil McCausland, Cady Herring, Phillip Waller, Mary Marge Locker, Kayleigh Skinner, Alex Edwards, Allison Moore, Mollie Mansfield, Christina Cain, Taylor Davenport, Kristen Ellis, Conner Hegwood, Jessica Hotakainen, Lauren Keossian, Ignacio Murillo, Savannah Pounds, Kimberly Sanner, Madisen Theobald and Ellen Whitaker.

Advertising executive Allan Hammons speaks during an interview with University of Mississippi reporters Clancy Smith, middle, and Karson Bradenburg, right, in Greenwood, Miss., Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

Advertising executive Allan Hammons speaks during an interview with University of Mississippi reporters Clancy Smith, middle, and Karson Bradenburg, right, in Greenwood, Miss., Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

Three reporters both wrote and captured photographs. One worked on the design and captured photographs, and four were dedicated to photojournalism for the project.

“This was a wonderful and unique opportunity for our journalism students to work as multimedia journalists in a very diverse setting,” Rose said. “It’s one of the things I love about working here. Students who are driven to be the best can get opportunities here they won’t get at other journalism schools.”

The project focused primarily on documenting the work of activists in the civil rights movement and their struggles to help people in impoverished areas register and vote in local, state and national elections.

“These students tracked down civil rights legends Andrew Young and John Lewis and lesser known, but influential, civil rights workers to capture what happened here after the Voting Rights Act was passed,” Rose said. “They tackled the tough conversations on race and did it impressively.”

The result was a print depth report produced to raise awareness of this community.

The award is nice, but the experience with the students is the best reward, Harris and Sanefski agreed.

“We used a significant number of archival photos to tell a visual story of major events that happened in the past,” said Harris, who edited the photos to fit the written stories. “The process of spending hours looking at the AP’s archive of images was eye-opening and emotional.”

Archival images selected for inclusion in the project showed activist Fanny Lou Hamer speaking to delegates attending the Democratic National Convention in 1964, civil rights leader Lawrence Guyot as a young man in 1963, covered with marks from a police beating, and Martin Luther King, Floyd McKissick and Stokely Carmichael marching together for equality.

“The images from the 1960s provide a visual of the blood, sweat and strength that laid a foundation for today,” Harris said.

Sanefski’s digital design students spent more than a semester designing the award-winning publication.

“We were not able to accomplish it in one semester, so me and three other students from that class wrapped it up early the next semester,” Sanefski said. “Design is always about making content easier to understand. I’m very proud of my students and all the students who have pooled their talents together to create a great product.”

The journalism school has won previous RFK Awards for magazines on poverty in the Delta and attempts to help residents of an island off the coast of Belize.

“Throughout his life, my father held a deep commitment to freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “He would invite reporters and news crews to join him in the most impoverished city neighborhoods, to Indian reservations and communities in Appalachia, California’s Central Valley or rural Indiana – places that often lacked electricity and plumbing – and he would ask the press corps why it wasn’t covering those issues and these places.

“The journalists who followed his ’68 campaign created the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards in his name, to honor those who covered the issues most important to him.”

This year’s Book and Journalism Award winners were chosen from more than 300 submissions. Historian Michael Beschloss chaired the judges’ panel for the 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

The journalism awards ceremony, in its 48th year, will be presented May 25 by Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. All honorees will receive a bust of Robert F. Kennedy in recognition of their award. — Edwin Smith

Read Land of Broken Promises at

President Obama answers Meek School student’s question at College Reporter Day briefing

Posted on: May 3rd, 2016 by ewrobins
Daniella Oropeza.Briefing Room

Daniella Oropeza in the White House Briefing Room

When Juan Oropeza came to the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant 25 years ago, he couldn’t have imagined that his daughter would one day ask the president about immigration policies. But that’s what happened in the White House Briefing Room last week when Daniella Oropeza, a junior in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, raised her hand and was called on by President Obama.

Oropeza reporting from outside of the White House

Oropeza reporting from outside of the White House

“We weren’t supposed to meet the president, so I was shocked he came into the room and shocked that he called on me, “ Oropeza said. She was chosen as one of 50 college journalism students to participate in the first White House College Reporter Day.

President Obama answered a few questions from students, and called on “the young lady right there in red.” When Oropeza began her question, her first words were, “Hey, I’m Daniella,” which prompted President Obama to teasingly interrupt by saying, “Hey.” He gave a lengthy answer to her question about whether his administration will make any further changes in its Mexican immigration policy.

Oropeza’s question got attention. Immediately after the press conference with the president, Oropeza was interviewed by CBS News. She then received emails from Univision and Telemundo, the two Spanish-language networks, asking her for interviews, which she conducted in Spanish and English.

“It was very exciting. I didn’t expect to see President Obama and I didn’t expect what came after with the interviews,” Oropeza said. “It was the experience of a lifetime.”

Oropeza in the White House Briefing Room

Oropeza in the White House Briefing Room

Oropeza, of Clinton, had an internship last summer at WAPT-TV in Jackson. She is a correspondent this semester for NewsWatch, the Student Media Center’s student-run daily, live newscast. She will work this summer as a sales and marketing intern at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Oropeza traveled to D.C. with her mother and grandmother. They drove 14 hours from Mississippi to the nation’s capital, and stayed for two days. On their way back to Oxford, they stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant in a small town in Georgia. While paying for their food, the waiter asked: “I’m sorry, but I just have to ask, were you on the news a couple of days ago?”

“I was speechless,” Oropeza said, “but my grandmother was quick to say, ‘Why yes, she was!’ After paying our check, our waiter came back with his phone in hand and showed us a clip of my question to the president from the White House account on YouTube. That lunch still feels like a dream.”

White House College Reporter Day was on April 28. It was designed as an opportunity for student journalists to talk to senior administration officials about issues as varied as sexual assaults on campus and student loans. Students were selected based on applications they submitted, and they had a full day of events and briefings at the White House, including sessions with Press Secretary Josh Earnest, the White House Press Corps, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Education John King.

Near the end of the day, President Obama walked in, saying, “I hear there’s some hotshot journalists here.” USA Today reported that you could hear “audible gasps and freak-outs from the unsuspecting students.”

At 3:28 p.m. that day, Oropeza tweeted: “When your Mom is so excited that you spoke with the POTUS that she can’t even type.”

Oropeza’s coverage of College Reporter Day aired on NewsWatch.