Pinnacle, a Memphis-based air carrier, has made a generous donation in memory of Joe F. Williams Jr., who worked as corporate communications manager for the company now known as Endeavor Air. “Joe certainly believed that Ole Miss and the School of Journalism provided him with a platform to grow his talents,” said Phillip Reed, a vice president for Endeavor. “We believed in Joe and we benefited from his education and his passion for his craft.” Williams was a 1977 graduate of the University of Mississippi, with a degree in radio and television broadcasting. He was 57 when he died unexpectedly on Aug. 6, 2013. Before joining Pinnacle, Williams was a broadcaster, television and corporate communications executive. He worked as editorial commentator, producer and program host for WHBQ-TV in Memphis for many years. He had also served as communications officer for Time Warner Cable. Friends and family members established the fund at his alma mater, where his daughter, DeeAnn, is a recent graduate. Dr. Ed Meek, who with his wife, Becky, gave the endowment to create the Meek School of Journalism and New Media in 2009, joined Dean Will Norton Jr. in accepting the gift. It was added to the Joe Williams fund, created by family and friends, which will create a scholarship for Meek School of Journalism and New Media students. Donations to the fund may be sent to the UM Memory House, Box 249, University, MS 38677. Online gifts may be designated for the Joe Williams Fund at www.umfoundation.com/makeagift/main.php.
Public relations students in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media won the three top awards in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition and 10 out of 11 awards presented.
Journalism major Olivia Rearick from Glen Ellyn, Ill., won both Student Best of Show for the best entry in the entire competition and the top award in her category, called a PRism. Marketing communications major Wil Yerger from Jackson, Miss., also won a PRism. Those students won the only PRisms presented.
In addition, eight other students and their instructor, Robin Street, all won awards, which were presented at the PRAM state conference in Hattiesburg on April 25. In each category, an award a step below the PRism is the Award of Excellence, followed by the Award of Merit.
“Having 10 of our students get awards sets a record for us,” said Street, a lecturer in journalism and public relations. “It was overwhelming that the judges only chose 11 students’ work from all over the state, and ten of those were ours.
“Our students demonstrated that they excel in the diverse set of skills needed to succeed in PR such as producing quality journalism, planning strategy and conducting research. That is a real tribute to the preparation they received from all the faculty members at the Meek School.”
Winning Awards of Excellence were Lauren McMillan, a journalism major from Madison, Miss.; Madison Hill, a journalism major from Auburn, Ala.; Caty Cambron, a journalism and Spanish major from Rome, Ga,; and Street.
Awards of Merit were presented to Katie Davenport, an integrated marketing communications major from Wiggins, Miss.; Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen, a marketing communications major from Stockholm, Sweden; Bridget Quinn, a journalism major from Alpharetta, Ga.; Emily Crawford, a journalism major from Horn Lake, Miss.; and Laura Gaziano, an IMC major from Atlanta, Ga.
The students entered public relations campaigns they produced as final projects in an advanced public relations class taught by Street. Each campaign required multi-media journalism skills including writing news releases and feature stories, as well as creating video, photos, blogs and social media.
The Society for News Design: College News Design Contest announced Deeper South: Land of Plenty won second place for Multi-page News Design, behind the Chicago Art Institute and ahead of Syracuse and Missouri. Journalism students Virginia England and Kristen Ellis were the designers.
This is the third award the publication has received. The others are: SPJ regional awards — first place as best student magazine; and Best of the South — first place in the Best Magazine Page Layout Designer.
View the award-winning spread, “The Battle for the Delta’s Stomach,” and the entire magazine at issuu.com. See all of the multi-page winners on the Society for News Design website.
Meteorologists had been warning anyone who would listen about the potential for deadly storms in Mississippi and across the South, and on Monday afternoon, their predictions came true for our area.
“At the Student Media Center, students started planning for storm coverage on Sunday, and went into high gear via social media all afternoon Monday. This was the first big test for the brand-new DM staff, and they rose to the occasion,” said SMC Director Pat Thompson.
Broadcast journalism professor and interim NewsWatch 99 advisor Deb Wenger also had video journalists on standby. Shortly after 2 p.m., all the preparation proved its importance. An EF-2 tornado hit Tupelo, damaging as many as 500 businesses and 200 homes.
“Our students were amazing. They did what professional journalists do on a regular basis — cancel previous plans, gear up and go,” said Wenger.
Broadcast journalism senior Ian Cowart produced a story within hours of the touchdown.
Online, DM Photo Editor Cady Herring used photos from Thomas Graning and Ignacio Murillo to compile a photo gallery that quickly garnered hundreds of page views. Herring also quickly put together a map showing the wide path of the tornado destruction.
“New DM Editor in Chief Lacey Russell anchored the coverage throughout the night,” Thompson said. “Alli Moore got a quick baptism as new Design Editor, and Sierra Mannie contributed to the DM’s online presence. Students were tired as deadline approached Monday night, but spent time planning follow-up coverage for Tuesday.”
On Tuesday, Newswatch 99 produced extraordinary coverage of the storms in Louisville and Tupelo for the 5 p.m. newscast. Led by manager Miriam Cresswell, the show also included a graphic explainer of how tornados form, as well stories about the ways in which Mississippi residents were coming together to help the victims. Students Leah Gibson and Gabriel Austin were on the road by 6 a.m. Tuesday to cover the Louisville damage.
Russell, Graning, Herring and News Editor Logan Kirkand spent all day Tuesday in the field reporting, taking photographs and shooting video. Photojournalism professor Mikki Harris accompanied the students to help guide their multimedia reporting.
“I was so encouraged by the professional approach and demeanor the students used yesterday,” Harris said. “Logan was in people’s homes and yards not only conducting interviews, but helping. Logan said, ‘I didn’t really do that much. I helped carry a bin full of things to their car and tied a rug to the top of their car.’ Logan may not see that as doing much, but it is. He was there on assignment, interviewing, recording audio, capturing stills and video. Logan taking the time to move his focus away from a story, and focus on the people, shows tremendous skills as a journalist.”
In addition to all the work for student media outlets, former DM Editor Adam Ganucheau wrote the lead story for the New York Times’ U.S. page online. Graning’s work was used by the Associated Press throughout the day on Tuesday. Journalism student Jared Senseman’s photos were included in a slideshow produced for the Weather Channel on weather.com.
Meek School of Journalism and New Media Lecturer Robin Street, who coordinates the school’s PR emphasis, was presented the Professional Achievement Award by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi.
The award, given to one professional yearly, is the association’s top honor. It was presented to Street at a ceremony in Hattiesburg on April 25 by PRAM President Shannon Coker. Recipients “embody the highest degree of professionalism, are committed to advancing the profession and have outstanding achievements in the practice of public relations,” according to PRAM. Street was previously named PRAM’s Educator of the Year, and it is rare for an educator to be honored in the professional category. However, judges selected Street for her continued involvement in the profession, the multiple awards her work has won, and her commitment to ethics and diversity, according to Tara Burcham, PRAM vice president for awards.
“The judges said she is an inspiration to her students and other professionals,” Burcham said. “They also noted that her commitment to the field of PR is unparalleled.” Multiple former students who are now PR professionals joined in supporting Street’s nomination.
Former student Alex May-Sealey wrote, ”Her career achievements speak for themselves, but it is her enthusiasm, energy and ideas that truly make her shine as an inspiration to all. Robin is an excellent mentor and is consistently a favorite among her students and colleagues.”
Other student statements of support included, “(T)he epitome of a public relations professional.” “Trains the next generation of PR professionals while being one of the best the profession has to offer.” “A woman of integrity, keen intelligence, responsibility, calm confidence and compassion.”
“Although Ms. Street is winning this award for one year, she has practiced quality public relations for decades,” said H. Will Norton, Jr., professor and dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.
Street’s previous awards include a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America, the highest award given for PR work, and more than 30 awards in the PRAM Prism and the Southern Public Relations Lantern competitions. Her work previously won “Best in Show” from in both the Prism and Lantern competitions and twice won “Judges Choice” in the Prisms.
As the PRAM winner, Street now becomes Mississippi’s nominee for the SPRF multi-state competition.
For an unprecedented third year in a row, NewsWatch 99 won the Best Student Newscast award at the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters banquet held in Jackson Saturday night. The winning newscast featured stories previewing the LSU-Ole Miss football game and a historical perspective on the rivalry. NewsWatch 99 also won second place in Best Student Newscast for its coverage of a double murder in Lafayette County. Miriam Cresswell and Bracey Harris accepted the awards on behalf of NewsWatch.
Rebel Radio won Best Student News story for coverage of the Colonel Reb/Mr. Ole Miss controversy. Nick Andrews took the honors and was awarded a scholarship by the AP Broadcasters.
Other students received Awards of Excellence in Best Student TV Sports reporting, including graduates Sid Williams and Anna Ellingburg, who also placed in Best Student TV News Story. Kelly Scott received the award in Student Weather Reporting and Kells Johnson, Jon Monteith and Stewart Pirani placed in Student Documentary or Series. On the radio side, Nick Andrews received additional honors in Best Student Sportscast.
Ole Miss Journalism alumni Margaret Ann Morgan and Chris Harkey, both at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, took home six first place professional awards in Small Market TV. Harkey won for Best TV Videographer and Best Feature Story, Morgan won for Best Investigative Report and Best TV Reporter. Alumnus Wilson Stribling, news director at WLBT-TV in Jackson, won Best Feature Story in Large Market TV.
The program featured a tribute to the late Medgar Evers who was named a Pioneer of Broadcasting for Breaking the Color Barrier. Former CBS correspondent Randall Pinkson, a visiting professor at Ole Miss earlier this year, introduced Myrlie Evers-Williams who accepted the award.
Associate Professor Nancy Dupont serves on the Mississippi AP Broadcasters Board and is the adviser for NewsWatch 99.
For two days in late April, the Ole Miss Student Media Center became a news bureau for WTVA in Tupelo. Led by journalism professors Deb Wenger and Nancy Dupont, a team of 5 students covered the annual Double Decker Festival.
Gabriel Austin and Natalie Wood focused their Friday story on the artists of Double Decker.
The art story and another on festival music aired on WTVA’s 10 p.m. show.
“They did a terrific job,” said Wenger. “The started shooting at about noon, produced four versions of the story — one for WTVA, one for NewsWatch, one for HottyToddy.com and one for the DMOnline. Gabe anchored NewsWatch and then he and Natalie went back out for another round or reporting.”
On Saturday, a second team picked up the reporting baton at 7 a.m. to cover the Double Decker 10K. Ian Cowart and Jillian Clifton worked hard to capture the flavor of the festival’s biggest day.
Clifton says she was willing to give up her Saturday to get this kind of experience.
“It makes me feel proud to be a journalism student and to know that my work actually means something and people are actually watching it,” said Clifton.
WTVA’s news managers were so pleased with the students’ efforts that they asked to expand from two days of reporting to three. Miriam Cresswell and Gabriel Austin were tapped to cover a fundraiser for Good Food for Oxford Schools on Sunday; however, that event was postponed due to storms in the area.
The weekend reporting experience is part of the advanced TV reporting class, which is taught by both Dupont and Wenger.
Kayleigh Skinner, a senior in the Meek School, interviews Andrew Young in his offices in Atlanta, Ga. Skinner is doing a story for a depth report on the Voting Rights Act and its significance for the Delta of Mississippi today.
The Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication, which recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship, is 104 years old. Membership is a mark of high distinction and honor and is by invitation only based on outstanding academic achievement. The Greek letters mean Knowledge, Truth and Accuracy. The emblem is a gold key that symbolizes knowledge and high standards. Top Scholar plaques and a gold medallion are awarded to the undergraduate and graduate students who have the highest grade point average in their respective class. All inductees receive a certificate, a KTA key and an honor cord to wear at graduation.
Students enrolled in Jour 513: Press and the South spent the afternoon at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, and Beale Street, which was the center of the African-American community. Students are focusing their research on Freedom Summer. Front Row: Susan Shetley, Kayla Vise, Kristin Jackson, Dr. Kathleen Wickham. Back Row: Addison Moreno, Nick Eley, Nicholas Winkler,Hill Ray, Ethan Booker.
University of Mississippi students won five first-place awards and 11 finalist awards in the 2013 Region 12 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence contest. The awards ceremony was Saturday, April 12, at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
First-place honors went to the staff of Land of Plenty, the depth report produced in spring 2013, for Best Student Magazine; Phillip Waller, for Non-Fiction Magazine Article, for an article in Land of Plenty; Thomas Graning, for Breaking News Photography for a photograph in The Daily Mississippian; Katie Williamson, for General News Photography for a photograph on theDMonline.com; and Jonece Dunigan, for general news reporting for an article from her internship in Quincy, Ill. All Meek School students compete in categories for large universities with enrollments of more than 10,000. First-place regional winners automatically advance into competition for national SPJ awards. Last year, UM had one national winner and two national finalists.
Finalist certificates were awarded to The Daily Mississippian, Adam Ganucheau, Phil McCausland, Ian Cleary, Katie Williamson, Ignacio Murillo, Thomas Graning, David Collier, Tim Abram, Sid Williams and Anna Ellingburg. SPJ Region 12 includes Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee.
Representing the School at the SPJ regional conference were Lacey Russell, DM Editor in Chief for 2014-2015; Phillip Waller, yearbook editor in chief for 2014-2015; Thomas Graning, DM multimedia editor for 2014-2015; and Director of Student Media Patricia Thompson. SPJ workshop panelists and speakers included journalists from National Geographic, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.
Last week, at its 68th annual convention, the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association awarded its annual “Best in Mississippi” high school journalism awards. Over 650 students and teachers attended the convention.
Students from 39 schools across the state competed for recognition in 163 different categories involving school newspapers, web sites, yearbooks, broadcasts and literary magazines. These awards focused mainly on submitted work from throughout the school year, but also included carry-in and on-site competitions that were judged on the day of the convention.
“This was an incredibly strong year for journalism in this state,” MSPA director R.J. Morgan said. “As Common Core shifts curriculum back toward critical thinking, we’re seeing more schools invest in developing strong journalism programs. It’s the ultimate example of project-based learning.”
Tupelo High School’s student newspaper, The Hi-Times, and St. Joseph’s Catholic School’s paper, The Bear Facts, were each named Best in Mississippi in 4A-6A and 1A-3A, respectively.
Tupelo’s WTHS broadcast news program was also the Best in Mississippi winner for broadcast.
The Chatterbook, the yearbook at Ocean Springs High School (4A-6A), and Sanctus, the yearbook at St. Andrews Episcopal School (1A-3A), were each named Best in Mississippi, as well.
Jackson Preparatory School’s “Earthwinds” was named Best in Mississippi for the literary magazine division.
Oxford High School senior Marissa Morrissette was named Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year and was presented with a $250 check from the Mississippi Press Association. Her portfolio moves on to the national competition, where she will compete for $5,000 in scholarship money later this month.
MSPA also announced Jack Hall as the winner of the inaugural Orley Hood Sports Writer of the Year award, sponsored by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. MSHOF executive director Rick Cleveland was on hand to make the announcement, and Hall will be presented with a plaque later this spring at the MSHOF Pop Stars banquet in Jackson. Hood was a longtime Jackson, Miss., sportswriter and columnist who died in February after a long bout with cancer.
Terry Cassreino of St. Joseph’s Catholic School was named this year’s JoAnne Sellers Newspaper Adviser of the Year (sponsored by Mississippi Professional Educators). White Station’s Sudeshna Barman was Newspaper Editor of the Year and Tupelo’s Katherine Grace was Newspaper Staff Member of the Year.
Lafayette County High School’s Loidha Bautista was named this year’s Caroline Fair Yearbook Adviser of the Year (sponsored by Herff Jones). Maddie Klepzig, also from Lafayette, took home Yearbook Staff Member of the Year honors, while co-editors Bailey McCain and Aubrey Sanders of Oak Grove High School were named Yearbook Editors of the Year.
Starkville High School won a trio of top honors. First-year adviser Angela Hobart was named Adviser of the Year for Broadcast, while student Preston Booth was named Broadcast Staff Member of the Year. SHS assistant principal Dr. Michael Ray was selected as MSPA’s Administrator of the Year.
Rounding out the broadcast division was Oxford’s Drew Baker, who was selected as Editor of the Year.
View the full list of winners on the MSPA website.
Meek School journalism profs have been raised the program’s profile at two national conferences. Photojournalist Mikki Harris (sixth from left) was as an invited presenter for Journalism Interactive (J/i) at the University of Maryland on April 4. She demonstrated to the audience how she encourages even beginning students to take stunning photographs.
“When a student has no time, I show them how to look for reaction to action,” Harris said. For example, when covering a speech, a more powerful photograph might be created by getting reaction to what’s said instead of a speaker photo.
“If you do have some time, the key is to develop trust with your subject and get access,” Harris said.
She introduces exercises that help students see the value of spending time with the people they plan to photograph. Her presentation at the conference was filled with strong photos from Meek School students.
Deb Wenger, director of the undergraduate journalism program, is one of the organizers of J/i. She and Dr. Nancy Dupont also were on the program at the Broadcast Education Association conference in Las Vegas, April 6-9. They presented on topics as varied as the future of journalism education to on-camera delivery to the success of the student-run NewsWatch newscast. Dupont shared why Ole Miss is now one of just a few dozen journalism schools that still do a daily news program.
“Our news directors in Mississippi tell us this is what they want; they don’t really want to see stories on a resume reel that were done over a number of days,” Dupont said during her presentation.
Dupont shared advice on how to get a top-notch show on the air with journalism professors and students throughout the nation. For Wenger, encouraging the inclusion of instruction about the business of journalism was a key message in her presentation on how journalism schools need to evolve what they teach.
“For too long, journalism educators have tried to pretend that journalism is not a business, and that has sent tens of thousands of journalists out into the profession unable to help the industry evolve, flourish and remain profitable,” Wenger said.
These faculty presentations help expose the wider journalism community to the quality of the Meek School, but also allow faculty to develop their own professional and teaching skills as they learn from other experts in the field.
(From left) Curtis Wilkie, Overby Center fellow; Roy Berry, a civil rights activist from Holly Springs during Freedom Summer; Susan Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation; and Charles K. Ross, director of African-American studies and associate professor of history, discuss the lingering impact of “Freedom Summer” 50 years later at the Overby Center.
By Natalie Wood and Wiley Anderson
Once an aspiring editorial cartoonist and now ESPN Senior Vice President, Rob King, encouraged journalism students to think of their career path as a “journey” during his speech today in Farley Hall at Ole Miss New Media Day.
“Now, when I have this chance to come back and tell people ‘it’s gonna be cool,’ I do it every chance I can because I know when I go into a room that’s the one thing I know people are worried about,” King said. “And the ability to do that and give back, it’s like a gift.”
Senior Staff Writer for espn.com and ESPN the Magazine, Wright Thompson, introduced King as a dear friend, a great father and the creative mind the company needs to keep ESPN moving forward on all platforms.
“Nobody knows what the future of media is going to look like,” Thompson said. “But I feel like he might have as good of an idea as anyone.”
King began his speech by referencing recent, controversial events that have taken place on the Ole Miss campus as “mere pin pricks” in the grand scheme of things. He also reminded students that they are a central part of a very important American narrative and that these events provide a chance for them to change the world around them.
One point that King reiterated was for students to use journalism as a service opportunity in their future careers. He motivated listeners to gain as much knowledge about the business as possible and to focus on satisfying their audiences in the future.
Although King is remarkably successful now, he laughed while recalling the years that followed his graduation from college, which he referred to as “the awful in-between.” He went on to tell a comical anecdote about his first job in Danville, Ill. with the Commercial-News. After accidentally building the NCCA Basketball Tournament bracket wrong, as a graphic designer, the paper literally had to stop the presses to correct his mistake.
“And now I run SportsCenter,” King chuckled. “Use these first few years as a learning opportunity and ‘mentally unpack.’ Just because you don’t have your dream job right now, doesn’t mean that you can’t get it tomorrow. It’s going to work out, you just don’t know how yet.”
He closed by advising students to allow themselves to act their age and to look out the window and enjoy what they’re seeing along the route. King explained that ESPN gives its employees the permission “to wonder,” and that everyone in the room should do the same in order to grow a little more each day.
“Many of you are in that career chase,” King said. “Stop thinking about it like a career and start thinking about it like a journey because that will give you the chance to act your age. And you want to know something? ESPN is every bit as cool as you think it is.”
By John Monteith
Alex May-Sealey’s success has come as no surprise to her former Meek School professors and advisers.
May-Sealey worked as an Advance Associate, coordinating events for President Obama, First Lady Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, before being hired by the White House Visitors Office. May-Sealey’s path to the White House was set by a series of helpful jobs and internships that gave her experience to work in the world’s most powerful office.
“Alex possesses the magic combination of three factors needed to succeed in PR: excellent writing skills, organizational ability, and creativity” said Meek School lecturer Robin Street, who May-Sealy describes as her mentor. “Few people have all three of those factors. To this day, I recall how amazed I was at the color coded system she put together for her class notes.”
“As a student, I learned to be independent,” May-Sealey said. “I benefited from the professional academic staff that opened my mind to broader ways of thinking and approaching problems.”
May-Sealey’s journey began the summer before her junior year when she was an intern for a U.S. Senator.
The next summer she secured an internship at the Federal District Courthouse, which May-Sealey says solidified her career path. In her final year of school, she was selected for the White House Internship Program, serving in the Department of Scheduling and Advance.
After performing well in her internship, she was offered a position that was more long-term. She was offered a job as an Advance Associate.
Many current Meek School students are searching for jobs and internships. May-Sealey advises them to network and seek professional mentors in your field of interest.
“Mentors can support you, provide guidance and introduce you to people you need to know” May-Sealey said. “Make sure you always have a professional and up-to-date resume that you could email or provide on a moment’s notice.”
May-Sealey recognizes all that she learned while a student at the Meek School of Journalism at The University of Mississippi.
“The University of Mississippi taught me how to balance my personal and professional life.” May-Sealey said.
“At the University, I met many amazing and talented people with whom I developed special bonds that continue through today.”
Adam Ganucheau, editor in chief of The Daily Mississippian, received VIP treatment on a trip to New York during spring break. New York Times senior editor Greg Brock, who was managing editor of The Daily Mississippian in the 1970s and received the Silver Em Award in 2012, invited Ganucheau to tour the Times and sit in on its daily news meeting. Ganucheau was in New York to attend the College Media Association annual conference with Student Media Director Pat Thompson. Thompson moderated a panel about covering racial and sexual orientation issues on campus. Panelists were Ganucheau and Mazie Bryant, editor in chief of The Crimson White at the University of Alabama. They talked about campus controversies that went viral this past year. Ganucheau broke stories in the DM and on theDMonline.com about homophobic slurs at a campus play and the desecration of the James Meredith statue. Bryant discussed her paper’s coverage of sorority segregation and the reaction to an editorial cartoon that offended many people. All three talked about lessons learned and gave advice to students and advisers about how to plan for, and handle, coverage of sensitive issues.
James Prince, president of the Mississippi Press Association and an alumnus of the Meek School, with Jonece Dunigan at the National Press Club during her week as a fellow of the National Newspaper Association Foundation. Dunigan’s participation was underwritten by the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation.
The National Newspaper Association Foundation inaugurated the News Fellow program during NNA’s We Believe in Newspapers Summit. The purpose of the program is to develop news literacy skills in young journalists, looking at issues from a community newspaper perspective.
Fellows tackled one national issue with implications in America’s hometowns. During the two-and-a-half day program in Washington, they studied with veteran community newspaper journalists to research an issue, interview key players, work with their mentors to distinguish facts from spin and opinion (recognizing that opinion has a key role in shaping public policy), and produce a news or interpretive story for publication in hometown media.
More than 90 percent of journalism and mass communications grads reported getting at least one in-person job interview soon after graduation. Yet, a little less than 74 percent ended up getting a full or part-time job. So, what went wrong?
News anchor and reporter Byron Brown from WJTV in Jackson, Miss. says there are a number of mistakes interviewees make.
“If you do get the interview, dress for success,” says Brown. “As my father said, from your hairline to the shoe shine, make sure you are dressed for the interview.”
Brown, who was at Ole Miss for the annual Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day, says he’s also amazed at how many people forget that the interview continues outside the news director’s office.
“When you’re out in the newsroom just kind of milling around, that’s the second part of the process,” Brown says. Though you might think the tough part is over, Brown maintains that what the rest of the staff says about you after you’ve let your hair down can affect whether or not you get hired. He also urges preparation for the position.
“Know something about the company; know something about the managers you’ll be talking to,” says Brown. He also suggests it’s very important to come in able to articulate your goals and to show you’ve learned something about the community where you’ll be reporting.
The job hunt for thousands of May grads is officially on — be sure you’re one of the success stories!
Story contributed by Deb Wenger, Dir. of Undergraduate Journalism at the Meek School.
Every camera is placed with precision, every graphic discussed in detail and every shot is studied before CBS Sports puts a game on the air. For a group of Ole Miss journalism students who went behind the scenes of the Rebels-Gators basketball game, this was an eye-opener.
“To be honest, I had no idea. That’s the whole reason I wanted to do this whole thing. I always wondered where they go, talking about going from camera to camera,” Ole Miss senior Pete Porter said.
CBS Sports Director Mark Grant gave the students a tour of the production trailers, where he and his staff work up to 16 hours to prepare before the game. The group also went inside the Tad Smith Coliseum to see exactly where Grant and his crew strategically place all the cameras they utilize during the game.
According to Grant, he works in unison with 35-40 people for college basketball games, but the staff could increase depending on the magnitude of the game. To make it all work, each person inside the production trailers and arena have to communicate effectively with Grant to correctly time what people see on television.
“I’m Mark’s right-hand man, whatever Mark wants to see, visuals or full-screen graphics I put that up,” technical producer David Saretsky said.
Grant says he tries to direct the game to his own satisfaction and take into account what his bosses in New York would like to see.
“The most stressful part of my job is the pressure, the pressure of network television, millions and millions of people are watching,” Grant said. “The expectations are high with our bosses…there is zero tolerance for mistakes.”
Several of the students volunteered their time on Saturday morning to act as runners for Grant and his staff. They also got a chance to watch the live production of the Ole Miss-Florida game. For senior Ashleigh Culpepper, the opportunity now has her thinking about additional career options.
“Because of the behind the scenes experience I could honestly see myself behind the camera now as opposed to in front of it.”
In honor of the anniversary, the chapter has begun a campaign entitled “50 for 50.”
“We want to recruit 50 members in honor of the 50 years of SPJ getting on this campus,” chapter president Bracey Harris said.
Harris says this particular anniversary says a lot about the chapter’s standing.
“It shows to me that people have a reason to join SPJ. If it’s been a part of this campus for 50 years. You can’t say that about a lot of organizations on this campus, so I think that’s a really wonderful thing.”
Fifty years ago, the namesake of the university’s journalism school, Ed Meek, was part of a dozen students who became charter members of the chapter. Meek went on to serve as the chapter’s president for its first two years on campus. In 1964, the chapter was known by the name Sigma Delta Chi, and with a laugh, Meek says he cannot remember when people started calling it ‘SPJ.’
“Our vision was a principle by which we would operate, and that was to be ethical, to tell it like it is, to be honest, to always get the facts, and to insist on openness in government.”
The Society of Professional Journalist’s goal echoes these statements. According to their website, they’ve been “dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press for more than 100 years.”
As the ’50 for 50′ campaign begins, Harris’s pitch to future members of the chapter is simple: It’s all about connections.
“Just really don’t underestimate the benefits that can come from joining.”
“I look down at some of the members today, and I look at where they are. They’re still some very significant people on this list who’ve had great careers and made great contributions…If you want to really benefit from your education, get involved and develop your own network.
Ways to Join:
-Join online at www.spj.org.
-Download a form and join by mail or fax.
-Request an application by mail.
University of Mississippi students won 20 awards — including four first places — at the annual Best of the South contest banquet on Friday night Feb. 21, and on Saturday they won first place as Onsite Championship Team for their performance in contests held during the Southeast Journalism Conference convention in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Friday night was a big night for Daily Mississippian Editor in Chief Adam Ganucheau. He won three Best of the South awards:
- Special Events Reporter/Editor first place, for his coverage of the “Laramie Project” disturbance and its aftermath;
- Best News Writer second place for articles from The DM and his Daily Journal internship;
- College Journalist of the Year second place. Adam’s College Journalist of the Year award came with a plaque and $500. The College Journalist of the Year competition requires an essay about responsibility and commitment, letters of recommendation and published work.
John Monteith won first place as Best Television Hard News Reporter for several NewsWatch segments.
Virginia England won first place as Best Magazine Page Layout Designer, for her design work in the “Land of Plenty” depth report.
Tim Abram won first place as Best Opinion-Editorial Writer for a series of DM columns.
Our other Best of the South winners:
- Casey Holliday, second place for Best Arts and Entertainment Writer;
- Ignacio Murillo, third place for Best Newspaper Page Layout Designer;
- Lauren McMillin, third place for Best Magazine Writer;
- Phil McCausland, third place for Best Feature Writer;
- Kristen Saltzman, third place for Best Advertising Staff Member;
- Brittani Acuff, fourth place for Best Television News Feature Reporter;
- Ellen Graves, fourth place for Best Journalism Research Paper;
- Thomas Graning, sixth place for Best Press Photographer;
- Sudu Upadhyay, sixth place for Best Television Journalist;
- Jonece Dunigan, sixth place Best Feature Writer for articles from her internship in Illinois;
- David Collier, eighth place for Best Sports Writer.
NewsWatch won second place for Best Television Station and third place for Best College Video News Program. TheDMonline.com won fourth place for Best College Website.
There were 440 entries from about 35 universities in Best of the South. The contest year covered mid-November 2012 through mid-November 2013, and most categories required three entries from each student. In large categories with many entries, awards were given for first through 10th place.
This year’s conference was Feb. 20-22 at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. About 300 students attended the conference. SEJC includes 40 universities in seven states.
A second highlight of the conference each year is the onsite competition in which students participate in categories under deadline pressure. This is the third time in four years that University of Mississippi students won the grand championship award for the onsites. UM students were named conference champions based on points accumulated for the following awards:
- Phil McCausland, feature writing;
- Phillip Waller, news photography;
- Thomas Graning, sports photography.
- Ignacio Murillo, page design;
- Sudu Upadhyay, television reporting;
- Caty Cambron, Olivia Rearick and Katie Davenport, public relations team
- Sarah Parrish, copy editing
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, former Jackson City Council president Leslie McLemore, former state Republican chairman Jim Herring and Ole Miss political science professor Marvin King discussed the 1965 Voting Rights Act and Mississippi’s new voter ID law at the Overby Center’s program “The Sanctity of the Vote.”
“No Longer Silent,” the Meek School’s documentary on the experiences of Simeon Wright related to the 1955 abduction and murder of his cousin, Emmett Till, has been shown on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Last month it was uploaded to a clearinghouse server for educators and public broadcasters. As of this week, February program schedules for Colorado, Alaska, South Carolina, Philadelphia, and Dayton, Ohio, public broadcasters include the documentary.