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Ole Miss students win 18 awards, first for Public Service Journalism at Southeast Journalism Conference

Posted on: February 20th, 2017 by drwenger

Photo courtesy Oxford Conference Center.

University of Mississippi students earned 18 awards at the Southeast Journalism Conference awards ceremony Friday night, including a first-place honor for Public Service Journalism for The Daily Mississippian’s “The Red Zone” special edition.

Daily Mississippian Editor-in-Chief Clara Turnage led the award-winning project during fall 2016. It highlighted the issue of sexual assault, which Turnage said she felt was under-reported on campus. She said many of the editors and reporters she worked with wanted to tell the stories of sexual assault that happened in their own college town.

“It’s an incredible honor to receive this award, and I couldn’t be prouder of my staff,” Turnage said. “They are so talented, and I am so blessed to work with them.”

The Best of the South contest honored work published or aired between mid-November 2015 and mid-November 2016. There were entries from 29 universities across seven Southeastern states.

Turnage won second place in the prestigious College Journalist of the Year category. She was awarded a plaque and $500.

Daily Mississippian Managing Editor Lana Ferguson won first place for magazine writing, and DM Lifestyles Editor Zoe McDonald won first place for feature writing.

Second-place awards included: Hayden Benge, page design; Billy Rainey, radio reporting; Lauren Veline, journalism research paper.

Third-place awards included: Lauren Layton, TV feature reporting; Daniella Oropeza, TV hard news reporting; Clara Turnage, special event reporter; Lana Ferguson, news writing; Marisa Morrissette, graphic design; Jake Thrasher, editorial artist.

Other individual winners included: Julia Grant, fourth place, op-ed writing; Ellen Spies, fourth place, advertising; Brian Scott Rippee, eighth place sports writing.

The Daily Mississippian, the only daily newspaper in the contest, won fifth place as best newspaper, and won third place for best website. NewsWatch Ole Miss, a daily live newscast, won fifth place as best TV station.

The Southeast Journalism Conference also includes onsite competitions, where students competed in 15 categories to produce content with tight deadlines. Georgia State University took first place in the Grand Championship Team Category. Belmont University placed second, and Southeast Louisiana University claimed third place. As the host university, Ole Miss could not participate in onsite competition.

Conference speakers included Meek School faculty and journalists- including alumni- from The New York Times, Clarion-Ledger, ESPN’s The Undefeated, the Associated Press, Mississippi Today, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, E.W. Scripps, the Miami Herald, and other media companies.

Middle Tennessee State University tied for fifth place in the Grand Championship Team Category this year. Faculty adviser for the MTSU paper Sidelines Leon Alligood said his students have been to five SEJC conferences together.
“We come every year,” Alligood said. “My expectations were high, and I’m happy to say they were met.”

Bryce McNeil, assistant director of student media at Georgia State University, hosted the conference two years ago in Atlanta.

“I was especially overwhelmed by how positive the speakers were in spite of so many clashes in the media,” McNeil said.

He said this year he brought 29 students to Oxford, which is the biggest group yet to represent Georgia State at SEJC. He said these conferences have a lot to offer to journalism students.

“First, the camaraderie is invaluable,” McNeil said. “And they leave knowing their profession really does matter.”

Harding University will host the next SEJC in 2018. Faculty adviser Katie Ramirez said this was her program’s first time visiting Oxford.

“I think they’re all ready to move here,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”

The University of Mississippi Student Media Center hosted this year’s conference. Its theme was “Spotlight on Storytelling: Watchdog Journalism in a Mobile World.” Meek School Assistant Dean Patricia Thompson was this year’s SEJC president.

Will Norton, dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, said he was truly proud of the Ole Miss students who participated in the conference.

“Assistant Dean Thompson and her staff and the students of the Student Media Center provided a wonderful weekend for those attending and communicated excellence to everyone who attended,” Norton said.

Thompson said among the highlights for her during the conference were Jerry Mitchell’s keynote banquet speech, the support and help from Meek School faculty and other departments on campus, and the recognition of Ole Miss students’ work.

“They are full-time students who work as journalists for hours every day and night because they care about our campus and community,” Thompson said.

This story was originally published on


Meek Hosts Southeast’s Top Journalists for Conference

Posted on: February 17th, 2017 by jheo1

Hundreds of student journalists from across the South piled into Farley Hall for the 2017 Southeastern Journalism Conference Feb. 16-18. Friday’s lineup included such powerful speakers as New York Times Reporter Daniel Victor, Matt Miller, Talent Acquisition Leader, for E.W. Scripps Co., and Jesse Holland, Associated Press Race and Ethnicity Reporter.

Some of the best and brightest college journalists in the country are here to learn, compete and meet with recruiters.  Workshops focus on skills and issues that journalists need to maser and confront in their careers.

The conference includes an awards ceremony, honoring excellence in reporting and storytelling, as well as work produced on-site in timed competitions.  To see more of what the 2-day conference includes, check out the full schedule:

Alumni members of the LGBT public are asked to participate in a panel

Posted on: February 13th, 2017 by jheo1

The Meek School will host It Starts with MEek, a weeklong series of programs and communications to celebrate diversity and inclusion of people of all races, ethnic origins, religions, disabilities or sexual orientation.

The program coordinators are seeking alumni who are members of the LGBT public to speak on a panel about their experiences while they were at Ole Miss and in their careers. The alumni panel will complement a panel of LGBT students, staff and faculty members at Ole Miss.

Alumni who might be willing to participate in the panel, scheduled sometime April 19-21 or 24-25, are asked to contact Robin Street at for more information or to volunteer.

More details on all the events will be announced later. 

The Meek School will host It Starts with Meek, a weeklong celebration of diversity and inclusion, in April. Organizers are seeking alumni who are members of the LGBT community to speak on a panel. Pictured here is the opening ceremony of a similar program four years ago.

Pulitzer-Prize winning photojournalist visits Meek School

Posted on: February 6th, 2017 by jheo1

Join us in learning from one of the best in the industry. Bill Frakes will share advice for working with editorial and commercial clients, such as ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Learn more about the power of visual storytelling. All are welcome.


A visual storyteller and educator, Frakes has worked in every US state and in more than 138 countries for a wide variety of editorial and advertising clients. He is a winner of the coveted Newspaper Photographer of the Year award in the prestigious Pictures of the Year competition and was a team member of the Miami Herald that won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of Hurricane Andrew. He was also awarded the Gold Medal by World Press Photo. Through his production company, Straw Hat Visuals, he is a pioneer in embracing the newest technology and techniques to captivate audiences, creating effective, visually-stunning and compelling films.

Overby Center to Salute Mississippi’s 200th Anniversary

Posted on: February 3rd, 2017 by jheo1

In recognition of the 200th anniversary of Mississippi’s statehood the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss will put special emphasis on Mississippi programs during the spring semester.

“The people and events in Mississippi’s past provide an interesting glimpse into our state’s future,” explained Charles Overby, chairman of the center, in announcing the line-up.

The first of six events – “How Deep is Mississippi’s Commitment to Education?” — will concentrate on one of the most controversial issues in the state. Rep. Jay Hughes, an Oxford Democrat who has been outspoken in his criticism of the administration and the legislature’s approach to education, will be joined by Bracey Harris, an education reporter for the Clarion-Ledger, in a conversation on Friday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m.

Using the slogan “It ALL starts with education” for his frequent emails to constituents and other interested parties, the first-term legislator has closely tracked bills involving educational issues and sharply faulted a new formula devised by a New Jersey firm hired by the Republican leadership to determine levels of state aid for various school districts in the state.

“Jay Hughes has become one of the most urgent voices in the legislature,” said Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie. “Our program is designed to give him an opportunity to expand on his thoughts – while offering members of our community a chance to question him during a Q & A session.”

The program – like all Overby Center events — is free and open to the public. Arrangements are being made to provide parking in a lot adjacent to the Overby auditorium. Following most of this spring’s programs a reception will provide an opportunity for members of the audience to mingle with special guests.

Other events on the Overby agenda this spring:

Friday, Feb. 17, at 1:30 p.m. – “Assault on the Media.” Four prominent Mississippi journalists will talk about a growing hostility toward the press. Overby Fellow Bill Rose will moderate a panel discussion that includes Jerry Mitchell, a prize-winning investigative reporter at the Clarion-Ledger; the newspaper’s popular cartoonist Marshall Ramsey; Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting; and Kate Royals, another award-winning education reporter for Mississippi Today.

Wednesday, March 8, at 6 p.m. – “Revisiting Jefferson Davis and J.Z. George: U.S. Capitol Relics?” William (Brother) Rodgers, director of programs at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History; Marvin King, an Ole Miss political science professor; and Charles Overby will consider the question of whether the subjects of Mississippi’s two statues in a capitol hall for all 50 states are appropriate today.

Monday, March 27, at 6 p.m. – “Mississippians Say the Strangest Things.” David Crews of Oxford has compiled a collection, “The Mississippi Book of Quotations,” and will talk with Overby about the new publication, his choices in it, and his long-time interest in memorable lines by people from the state.

On a date in April to be determined later – “The Free State of Jones.” Retired Federal Judge Charles Pickering, a native of historic and colorful Jones County, will join Overby and others in a discussion about the breakaway movement during the Civil War, a fascinating piece of Mississippi history that was recently celebrated in books and a movie.

Monday, April 24, at 6 p.m. – “Racial Politics in Memphis.” Otis Sanford, an Ole Miss journalism graduate who writes a column for the Commercial Appeal and teaches at the University of Memphis, will talk about his new book, “From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics,” with Overby and Wilkie.

Considering the future of journalism

Posted on: December 8th, 2016 by jheo1

Featuring remarks from Richard Gingras, vice president of Google News, and Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news and editorial director at NPR, the Nov. 15 program explored the “disruption” of news and journalism by major technology companies. The discussion took place in the Newseum’s Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater, and was moderated by Jeffrey Herbst, president and CEO of the Newseum and Newseum Institute.

Posted on November 16, 2016 by 

The Honorable Delbert Hoseman, Mississippi’s Secretary of State, talks to students in a Meek School journalism class

Posted on: October 31st, 2016 by jheo1

Posted on: October 29th, 2016 by jheo1

Berkley Hudson and his brother at the Meek School tent before the Auburn game.

Assistant Professor Mikki Harris in Beijing, China

Posted on: October 28th, 2016 by jheo1

Assistant Professor Mikki Harris and Nosa Egiebor, Senior International Officer and Professor of Chemical Engineering, traveled to Beijing to present “Strategy for Global Engagement at the University of Mississippi” during North China University of Technology’s 70th anniversary celebration. Harris discussed how the Meek School of Journalism uses visual storytelling as a way to develop students, the Meek School and communities through global experiential learning.


UM Journalism Professor Presents Katrina Archive Work at UCLA

Posted on: October 19th, 2016 by jheo1

A professor at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media will present her work to discover and republish an archive of lost blogs, emails and other online writing from the years after Hurricane Katrina on Friday (Oct. 14) at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Cynthia Joyce is editor of “Please Forward: How blogging reconnected New Orleans after Katrina,” an anthology released Aug. 29, 2015, the 10th anniversary of the storm. The anthology mined blog posts and widely circulated emails from more than 75 blogs and online websites, many of which are no longer live. It weaves an intimate narrative of the first two years after the storm and the lives of the people who lived through it.

cynthiajoyce2-768x431“The contributors to this anthology were so generous in allowing us to resurface their reflections from such a difficult part of their lives,” Joyce said. “We pulled those up and put them into print.

“Those posts – and the original blogs they were excerpted from – also deserve to be discoverable in an online context. Working with Archive-It made that possible.”

Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005 near the Mississippi-Louisiana state line, killed 1,833 people in five states, including 231 in Mississippi. It’s often referred to as the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history.

Joyce is participating in the “Dodging the Memory Hole: Saving Online News” forum at UCLA’s Young Research Library, hosted by Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri. She is part of the lightning round of participants, in which each panelist has three minutes to deliver their message.

Will Norton, dean of the Meek School, said Joyce’s colleagues are proud of her work.

“Cynthia Joyce is a first-rate journalist who brings years of work at the cutting edge of new media to her presentation at UCLA,” Norton said. “It says a lot about the Meek School that our faculty members are making presentations at prestigious institutions with other pioneering innovators.”

Joyce and the others involved in the anthology project used Archive-It, a web archiving service of Internet Archive used by more than 450 libraries, archives, universities, governments and researchers to collect, preserve and provide ongoing access to cultural heritage materials published on the web.

The anthology, which was published by University of New Orleans Press, will also be accessible and searchable online via the Internet Archive’s Archive-It database later this year. Jefferson Bailey, director of web archiving at Internet Archive/Archive-It, is also presenting at the conference.

“The web is the most significant publishing platform of our era, democratizing the ability to document our lives and communities for a global audience,” Bailey said. “Yet content on the web is highly ephemeral, often eluding the traditional process of historical preservation.

“We are excited to be able to collaborate with researchers like Cynthia Joyce, who bring local expertise and community knowledge, and work together to identify, archive and provide access to these historically valuable resources so that they remain available long into the future.”