Meek School students and faculty at the Blue Nile Falls in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, on Saturday, Jan. 17. Ten students were in Ethiopia for a depth reporting project during Winter Intersession.
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Jim Hussey (’85), left, who grew up in Aberdeen, Miss., and now lives in Connecticut, and Lon Chapman, a marketing manager at CCAH in Arlington, Va. Hussey and Chapman are two of the partners in Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey, a direct marketing firm that has 50 employees in the Arlington office and 25 in San Francisco. Hussey is married to the former Cammiel Woodbury (’86), who was Miss Ole Miss. In addition to his work at CCAH, Chapman does marketing for Dinosaur, a new magazine that received a great boost from Dr. Samir Husni’s enthusiastic review.
Casinos in Mississippi: Worth the Gamble is a new documentary produced by the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism that explores the impact of casinos in the state since they were legalized in the 1990s. Through a series of interviews with state leaders and key players in the casino industry, the documentary investigates how casinos have changed the state for better or worse, and asks if they were worth the gamble.
The documentary was produced by reporters, videographers and instructors at The University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media. The documentary was a joint project of a documentary class taught by Dr. Brad Schultz and an Advanced Reporting class taught by Dr. Kathleen Wickham. Students in both classes shared interviews and teamed on reporting trips. The Documentary students wrote and edited the 30-minute documentary. The Advanced Reporting students produced a webpage with supplemental stories, background information and additional features.
Those interested in screening the film may contact Dr. Brad Shultz, director, at email@example.com. You can also find information about the documentary on our official website, at http://umjournalist.wix.com/mississippicasinos and on Facebook and Twitter.
In January 2014, two Engineering Without Borders (EWB) teams from the School of Engineering at Ole Miss returned to Togo, West Africa, to complete a school they started building for the people of the Hedome village a year before. Ole Miss Meek School of Journalism and New Media student journalist Sudu Upadhyay and professor Nancy Dupont followed the team to the West African country to document their work. Here is Sudu’s documentary that chronicles EWB’s work and tells a remarkable story of a minister trying to help his people.
The EWB organization will be returning to Togo in 2015 to work on a medical clinic for the village. For more information about the program, contact the engineering school’s assistant dean, Marni Kendricks, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School, presented his annual awards for the 30 Hottest Launches of the Year in New York City. Dr. Husni selects and presents the awards annually in partnership with min: media industry newsletter. The event that took place on Dec. 5 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City ended with naming The Hottest Magazine Launch of the Year. This year the award was given to two magazines: Closer Weekly published by Bauer Media U.S. and Dr. Oz The Good Life published by Hearst Magazines.
Dr. Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni was the keynote speaker at the Press Distributors Association (PDA) annual conference in Moscow, Russia, November 25. Dr. Husni was also invited to visit the State Duma (the Russian Congress). First deputy chairman for information politics, information technology and communications Andrey V. Tumanov invited and accompanied Dr. Husni on a tour of the State Duma. This is professor’s Husni 11th presentation overseas this year representing the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School. During his visit to Madrid, Spain earlier this year, Dr. Husni was told that if magazines were a country, he will be indeed its best ambassador.
The J.D. Williams Library at the University of Mississippi soon will be home to a unique collection that includes never-before-seen photos of James Meredith attending his first classes at Ole Miss and what are believed to be the last photographs made of William Faulkner at his Oxford home, Rowan Oak.
Ole Miss alumnus and journalism school namesake Ed Meek has donated a collection of his images taken as a student photographer to the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and Department of Archives and Special Collections at the library.
The 1,600 images include many photos that show Oxford and the university during the 1960s, including the riots that occurred the night before James Meredith was admitted to and integrated Ole Miss on Oct. 1, 1962, and then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s visit to Ole Miss.
Meek said as a student journalist with an office in the Lyceum, he had access to “both sides of the lines” during the riots.
Many of the never-before published images of that time have been kept secret for decades. Included in the collection is a string of eight photos that show James Meredith, accompanied by U.S. marshals, attending one of his first classes as a student. As Meredith takes his seat, students bolt from the class, followed by the instructor, leaving Meredith seated in the classroom alone.
“(President John F.) Kennedy made it clear that nobody was to get pictures of Meredith in the classroom,” Meek said. “So I tucked my camera under my raincoat and took pictures. I just could not allow that historic moment to pass without it being photographed.”
Will Norton, dean of the Meek School, described Meek as having “a wonderful eye for a good photo. This collection of hundreds of photos brings back the horror of those weeks on this campus, the memory of which tends to fade with time.
“Dr. Meek demonstrated great photographic skills and entrepreneurial journalism amid great danger,” Norton said. “It was a violent time, and when journalists like Bob Schieffer and Dan Rather come back to campus, they are amazed at what this campus has become despite that tragic weekend.”
Meek is thought to have been the last person to photograph William Faulkner alive, and at least 10 of the images show Faulkner riding his horses. He also did a series called “Campus Cuties,” where he photographed the prettiest women on campus for the student newspaper. Many of those women have become very prominent in business, politics and social circles, Norton said.
More than 100 of the images will be published in a book called Riot: Witness to Anger and Change by Yoknapatawpha Press and the Meek School. Publisher Larry Wells said Meek is the only photographer who has an entire body of work of the riots on campus because many photographers had their cameras destroyed.
“No one photographer told the entire story, which makes this collection unique,” Wells said. “We want this book to be an experience for young students who don’t know much about the riots or James Meredith.”
Technology keeps changing the way journalists tell stories and that has students in Professor Deb Wenger’s Journalism Innovation class experimenting with Google Glass this semester. The Web-enabled eyewear has been used by professional journalists to cover breaking events such as the Ferguson, Missouri, riots and feature stories such as NBA Draft Day through the eyes of Victor Oladipo.
Students were challenged to come up with stories that took advantage of the unique “point of view” video that Glass wearers can provide. For example, Ashleigh Culpepper and her partner Sarah Douglass had USA pole vault champion Sam Kendricks wear Glass during a practice session.
“The Google Glass story was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” said Culpepper, “being a pole vaulter myself I never have seen pole vaulting in slow motion. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.”
Journalism students Nicole Bounds and Gabriel Austin asked a dancer with RIOULT Dance NY to wear Glass during a rehearsal at the Ford Center with somewhat dizzying results.
“The most challenging thing is explaining to someone how to work Glass,” said Bounds. “I think it is especially hard because you can’t see what they are seeing on the Glass screen, which makes it hard to explain what to do next. With Glass, only the person wearing Glass can see the screen.”
Wenger says the class is designed to expose journalism students to the latest trends in journalism practice and hopes these experiments will help students understand what’s possible, as well as what’s effective, when it comes to the use of new technologies.
“You have to play around with tech and think through its applications before you can use it as an effective storytelling tool,” said Wenger. “These stories aren’t perfect, but producing them contributed to the learning process that every good journalist has to go through these days.”
When the sports website Bleacher Report first started in 2007, it was considered something of a joke in the world of sports journalism. Just about anyone could sign up and be a “reporter” for the then upstart site.
“Bleacher Report began as a platform — give us your email and you start writing,” said Bleacher Report writing program manager King Kaufman. Kaufman says the founders were simply looking for a way to give diehard fans a way to get more information about their individual teams than ESPN and other sports sites were providing.
Now, seven years later, Kaufman, who came to the Meek School to recruit writers, says Bleacher Report has made three key changes:
1. Better Writing
Since Bleacher Report let almost anyone with a keyboard and Internet access write for the site at first, the content wasn’t very strong, nor was it very reliable. As the years have progressed, Kaufman says Bleacher Report has moved on from focusing on website traffic alone to increasing the amount of quality material that’s being posted on the website.
Along the way, the path to becoming a contributor to Bleacher Report has become much more difficult. According to its website only 15 percent of applicants are hired, but Kaufman says not everyone has recognized the change.
“Your reputation lags behind reality. You’re not going to convince anyone that you’re awesome; you just have to show them. People will figure it out. There are influencers who catch on…it’s a slow process,” said Kaufman.
2. More Training
Many of the most popular writers for Bleacher Report are not trained journalists, so Bleacher Report has instituted an in-house training program. “Newsroom education” is how Kaufman describes it.
3. Rethinking the Numbers
“On the other side, we used data to learn what people wanted to read about,” Kaufman said. By catering to exactly what people are talking about, Bleacher Report has continued to have high volume traffic on their website and mobile app.
Kaufman says the goal now is to get people to come back more often and to give them the the best reader experience possible when they do.
Today, Bleacher Report is one of the top sports sites around. Bleacher Reports now ranks second, only to ESPN, in both unique desktops viewers and unique mobile viewers.
Kaufman was at the University of Mississippi to promote Bleacher Report’s Advanced Education Programs. The paid programs in sports writing and editing are open to undergraduate and graduate students.
This story was contributed by Gabriel Austin, a broadcast journalism major.
Assistant Professor Evangeline Robinson is a native from Rolling Fork, Mississippi and teaches Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) in the Meek School. You can read more of her work experience, but here are 5 reasons to get to know Robinson.
What class do you most like to teach and why?
I most like to teach IMC 204, because it’s the introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication. I really enjoy being able to help students understand the basics before they get into the other classes. For me, it’s an opportunity to share my knowledge and to help them get to the part where they are ready to move on and pursue their interest in the field.
Describe your favorite type of student?
My favorite type of student is one that is really engaged with what we are talking about and who participates actively in our discussions.
What are you working on outside the classroom that you really enjoy doing?
I’m actually in the Ph.D. program in history; I’m really enjoying having the opportunity to further my interest in that area. It is giving me the opportunity to not only advance myself in my academic pursuits, but really to open up some other areas in history that I had an interest in and am now able to pursue. Hopefully that will make me stronger as I work with my students in IMC. As I’m learning, it’s giving me new ways to teach them, which is a really good benefit of being a student as well.
Describe what type of student you were.
I’ve always been a very studious student; my grades were always important to me. I think that certainly throughout my various degrees it’s been important that I do the things that I need to and accomplish all the things that I need to.
Of all the thing you’ve done in your career, what makes you most proud?
I am most thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to impact the lives of others in some way. From the work with nonprofits I’ve done that has helped make scholarships available or has helped grant the wishes of children with a life-threatening illness to now being able to help my students reach their career goals, I’m thankful for being able to do those things.