The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

“PRINCE/Chancellor Jones’ humility”

Posted on: April 24th, 2015 by ewrobins

Read Meek School alumnus Jim Prince’s article “PRINCE/Chancellor Jones’ humility” at

Big wins in Vegas for Meek School

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by drwenger

SuduWinThe Meek School of Journalism is flying high for a couple of different reasons.  First, the student-produced NewsWatch 99 broadcast took home an honorable mention at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) competition in Las Vegas this week.  According to NewsWatch 99 advisor Dr. Nancy Dupont, a 4th place showing in the national contest is the highest ranking the program has ever received.

In addition to the broadcast honors, Dupont and Prof. Deb Wenger presented in multiple sessions at the conference, moderating or participating in panels on using audience analytics in teaching to job hunting for broadcast students.

Journalism students and NewsWatch 99 managers Browning Stubbs and Sudu Upadhyay also traveled to Vegas for the conference.  BEA meets annually with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) because that group attracts more than 100,000 attendees who showcase products and demonstrate techniques affecting radio and television industries.

Upadhyay and Stubbs evaluated the latest in broadcast technology, which they hope to leverage in an effort to bring home a first-place award for student newscast in 2016.

Future of journalism focus of Ole Miss New Media Conference

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by smitche3
Lewis D'Vorkin of Forbes opens the Ole Miss New Media Conference

Lewis D’Vorkin of Forbes opens the Ole Miss New Media Conference

Industry professionals and students gathered at the Overby Center recently to gain insight on the present and future of journalism at Innovate 2015, the Ole Miss New Media Conference, hosted by the Meek School.

The conference featured industry experts Lewis D’Vorkin chief product officer, print and digital platforms for Forbes Media; Hank Price, president and general of the WVTM-TV in Birmingham; and Fred Anklam, senior editor for USA Today.

D’Vorkin discussed the business and content model that Forbes has adopted for content development for both the website and magazine.

“The key to any successful company is a unique identity, an identity that works for both your audience and business,” D’Vorkin said.

D’Vorkin also discussed how Forbes is attempting to change the culture of publishing by finding more contributors that know about a specific field in great detail.

Hank Price started his presentation with the question, “Is your organization innovated?”

Price discussed the changing landscape of television and the 1970’s model of newscasts. He stated that not much has changed, just the make up of the people involved in the newscast. He made it clear that it is fundamental for anyone in the industry to start with the basics and to not be afraid of taking risks to the benefit of the industry.

Fred Anklam spoke after lunch and went into detail about the future of print in the digital world. The 1977 Ole Miss alumnus discussed the importance of both print and digital in the ever-changing world of technology and communication. Anklam also discussed the importance of relating the news to the readers of USA Today and how this has remained an important part of their corporate culture throughout the years.

“You want to be available to your audience, wherever they are, whenever they’re there,” Anklam said.

Professor Deb Wenger and instructor R.J. Morgan closed the conference with “Tech Talk.” The Meek school faculty members discussed new technologies in the field that might change the landscape for journalists and marketers alike, such as Google Glass, Apple watch and drone journalism.

– Samantha Mitchell






“Delta Jewels” Book Tour Schedule

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by ewrobins

Delta Jewels Cover copy red.View Assistant Professor Alysia Steele’s book tour schedule for “Delta Jewels” at

Read articles about the book at and

Read an article from USA Today here.

Meek School of Journalism and New Media students sweep PR competition; faculty member and graduates also honored

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by ewrobins
Public relations students in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media won every one of the awards presented in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition at the PRAM state conference April 10.  Award winners pictured here, standing, from left to right, are Cody Fullinwider, an integrated marketing communications major from Denver, Colorado; Courtney Richards, a journalism major from Austin, Texas; Nancy Hogan, a journalism major from Atlanta, Georgia; Alex Kohl, an IMC major from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Bridge Leigh, an IMC major from Hernando; Mara Joffe, a journalism graduate from Biloxi; Robin Street, lecturer in journalism who taught the students and also won a professional award; Lauren Raphael, an IMC major from Madison; and Clancy Smith, a journalism major from Saltillo.  Kneeling: Lindsay Langston, a journalism major from Dallas, Texas; Lauren Walker, an IMC major from Madison; Sydney Hembree, a double major in journalism and marketing and corporate relations from Kennesaw, Georgia; and MarKeicha Dickens, a journalism major from Olive Branch. Not pictured: Journalism graduate Melody Skinner of San Diego, California; and Mary Frances Tanner, an English major with a journalism minor from Mobile, Alabama. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

Public relations students in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media won every one of the awards presented in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition at the PRAM state conference April 10.  Award winners pictured here, standing, from left to right, are: Cody Fullinwider, Courtney Richards, Nancy Hogan, Alex Kohl, Bridge Leigh, Mara Joffei, Robin Street, Lauren Raphael, and Clancy Smith.  Kneeling: Lindsay Langston, Lauren Walker, Sydney Hembree and MarKeicha Dickens. Not pictured: Journalism graduate Melody Skinner and Mary Frances Tanner. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

Meek School of Journalism and New Media public relations students won every one of the awards presented in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition recently, including the prestigious Student Best In Show.

In addition, in the professional competition, faculty member Robin Street won the top award in her category, and Meek School graduates working in University Communications brought home four awards. All awards were presented during the PRAM state conference in Tupelo April 9 and 10.

“We set two records in this competition,” said Street, a lecturer in journalism and public relations. “First, our students were the only university students in the state to be honored. Second, the sheer number of awards we won surpassed all previous years. That is a real tribute to the preparation they received from all the faculty members at the Meek School.”

Journalism major Clancy Smith of Saltillo won both Student Best of Show and the top award in her category, called a Prism.

“Winning the Prism awards more than reassured me that my classes and projects have helped me develop the skills I will need for a career in public relations,” Smith said. “I am so grateful for the instruction I’ve received from all the Meek School faculty members.”

The students, all seniors except for two recent graduates, entered the public relations campaign they created as a final project in the advanced public relations class taught by Street. Each campaign required multi-media journalism skills including writing news articles, creating photos and video, and developing online and social media.

Five other students won Prisms in their categories including Nancy Hogan, a journalism major from Atlanta, Georgia; MarKeicha Dickens, a journalism major from Olive Branch; Mara Joffe, a journalism graduate from Biloxi; Lauren Raphael, an integrated marketing communications major from Madison; and Lindsay Langston, a journalism major from Dallas, Texas.

A step below the Prism is the Excellence Award, followed by the Merit Award. The seven students winning Excellence included Alex Kohl, an IMC major from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Cody Fullinwider, an IMC major from Denver, Colorado; and Melody Skipper, a marketing and corporate relations graduate now living in San Diego, California.

Also winning Excellence were Sydney Hembree, a double major in journalism and marketing and corporate relations from Kennesaw, Georgia; Mary Frances Tanner, an English major and journalism minor from Mobile, Alabama; Bridge Leigh, an IMC major from Hernando; and Lauren Walker, an IMC major from Madison. Journalism major Courtney Richards from Austin, Texas, won a Merit Award.

In the professional categories, University Communications staff members won five awards. A Prism award went to Assistant Director for Social Media Ryan Whittington and Producer Win Graham. An Excellence award went to PR Assistant Will Hamilton and Communications Specialist Dennis Irwin. Merit awards went to Communication Specialists Michael Newsom and Edwin Smith. Whittington, Hamilton, Newsom and Smith are all Meek School graduates.

For more information on the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, visit their website at or email

Garden a great place for father-son bonding

Posted on: April 14th, 2015 by ewrobins

By Tim Phillips

Oxford Eagle Publisher

As the days get longer and the dogwoods begin to bloom, a certainty reappears in my life: garden time with my dad is just around the corner.

Growing up in Holcomb in Grenada County, my dad’s father was a sharecropper working the land to pay for his rent and to feed his family. For many years after the Depression, people learned to live off the land and appreciate everything that they grew to eat.

Dad always had an interest in gardening and farming. While I enjoy duck hunting and playing golf, (or at least used to), my dad’s only hobby was gardening. He would always tell me that he couldn’t wait to smell the dirt for the first time after it was turned over by the tractor pulling the disk.

When my parents moved to Oxford, they purchased some land on Highway 6 East, about 2 miles outside of town. It would eventually be where we would grow up after living on Johnson Avenue Extended during our early years. 

Garden spot

On a flat piece of this land, located on Campground Road, was where my dad decided his permanent garden spot would be. There used to be an old barn on this spot and the manure made the soil fertile and well suited for gardening.

Even before we moved to the country, as I like to call it, Dad would always have a small garden on that spot. When we moved permanently, he decided to turn our small garden into a large garden. I joked with him that we were turning into truck farmers.

While I say truck farmer, we never sold any of our produce. We just fed many of our friends and family. I remember one year Dad kept an actual count of how many different families received produce out of our garden. Thirty different families enjoyed everything from fresh tomatoes to gorgeous zinnias.

Unfortunately, my older brother Dan and younger brother Andy never seemed to be able to locate the garden. Neither of them had a passion for working the soil. I wouldn’t say that I did either, but I enjoyed the time outdoors with my dad. Working with him for so many years at The EAGLE taught me so much about life, but all of our garden memories hold a special place in my heart. 

Lots of valuable help

My dad was always working, and it was difficult to find the time to get the ground disked, harrowed, and then rowed. The weather in the spring always played a part in when we could actually start planting. Roy Norphlet, Willie Morris, T.J. Holmes, Wade Smith, Wanda Phillips, Cynthia Ferguson Parkin and the late Charles Herod, all played a role in making the garden happen every year.

Even during my early days, I remember getting up at daylight and picking peas and butterbeans. The dew was still fresh and we tried to get as much done before the sweltering sun came beaming down. I remember one day the sweet corn came in and my mom got home from work late. She realized that we had over 150 ears of corn to put up. Needless to say, she wasn’t very happy.

The garden was also a way that we would get punished if we didn’t make curfew or had too much fun the night before. Nothing clears your head quicker than bending over to pick butterbeans at 6 in the morning.

As Dad’s health began to fail, the garden was something I tried to make happen just to lift his spirits. As work demands increased, it was harder to find the time to get all the work that needed to be done accomplished.

At 83 years of age, my dad’s health has declined to the point that he is mostly confined to the limitations of the house. I remember checking the mail a couple of weeks ago and there was the Burpee seed catalog. I knew how excited he would be when he saw what new seeds were offered.

Without my knowledge, Dad already had the garden mapped out that day with each row marked on a legal sheet. When I say mapped out, my dad knew exactly how many rows there were, and their exact width, and what was to be planted on each row.

As the dirt is turned over for yet another year for our garden on Campground Road, it is time to get the seeds in the ground. Thanks, Dad, for letting us share that special time together, when work and life problems seem to fade away as we worked the soil together.

Tim Phillips (’83) graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in journalism.

Published April 12, 2015, by The Oxford Eagle. Posted with permission.

Daily Mississippian wins SPJ best student newspaper award; 14 awards go to students

Posted on: April 13th, 2015 by ewrobins
SPJ OM By Damn.Graning

Winning sports photo by Thomas Graning

The Daily Mississippian was named best daily student newspaper, and University of Mississippi students won 14 individual awards in the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Region 12 competition.

UM students placed first in seven categories, and were named finalists in seven categories.

Region 12 includes universities in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. There are categories for small and large colleges, and UM students compete against students at other large universities. Entries are judged by professional journalists.

All first-place winners advance to judging for national awards, competing against first-place winners in the other 11 regions. National winners will be announced in late spring and recognized at the national SPJ Excellence in Journalism conference in September in Orlando.

The Best All-Around Daily Newspaper category required each publication to enter three newspapers from dates selected by SPJ in March, October and December 2014.

UM first-place winners are: 

Winning general news photo by Cady Herring

Winning general news photo by Cady Herring

Ian Cowart, television breaking news reporting (Tupelo tornado aftermath);

Adam Ganucheau, general news reporting (coverage of James Meredith statue incident);

Thomas Graning, sports photography (front-page DM photo after the Alabama game);

Cady Herring, general news photography (front-page DM photo from Tupelo tornado last spring);

Ji Joon Hoo, online feature reporting (grad student, children using poetry to reach elderly patients in Charleston, MS);

Jessi Hota, online in-depth reporting (grad student, Trans Mississippi on being transgender at Ole Miss);

Sudu Upadhyay, TV feature reporting (series from Togo, West Africa).

One winner and up to two finalists are selected for each category. UM finalists are:

Nicole Bounds, online in-depth reporting (depression increasing on campuses);

Ian Cleary, editorial cartoonist (DM cartoons);

Emily Guess, in-depth reporting (Shopping center displaces families);

Sierra Mannie, general column writing;

Dylan Rubino, sports writing (Just Bo, profile of Bo Wallace);

Lacey Russell, feature writing (Remembering fallen brothers, 10th anniversary of ATO fire);

Natalie Wood and Wiley Anderson, television general news reporting (cyberbullying in Oxford schools).

The awards were announced on Saturday, April 11, during the Region 12 conference at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Kendyl Noon, an officer with the UM SPJ chapter and active in student media, represented the Meek School at the conference.

We are proud of our students, and grateful to the many faculty who worked with students to produce award-winning work.

Meek School senior places 4th in Hearst competition

Posted on: April 10th, 2015 by ewrobins
Clancy Smith

Clancy Smith

An article based on her interview with Civil Rights hero and U.S. Rep. John Lewis has won honors in a Hearst competition for Clancy Smith and further enhanced the reputation of the journalism school at the University of Mississippi.

Smith, a senior, placed fourth out of 99 entries from 56 schools throughout the nation in the Personality Profile category of the writing competition in the annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

The award for the senior Journalism major was the highest for any University of Mississippi student since Ole Miss students began entering the contest in the fall of 1975.

“This is a remarkable achievement when you recognize all the outstanding graduates that Ole Miss has produced in the elite media,” said Will Norton, Jr., dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

The Hearst Foundation describes the program purpose as support, encouragement and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level. The program awards scholarships to students for outstanding performance in college-level journalism, with matching grants to the students’ schools.

Hearst Journalism Awards are considered the Pulitzers of collegiate journalism.

This honor absolutely would not have been possible without Mr. Bill Rose, Smith said. He taught the class that produces the Delta Reporting Project, “Land of Broken Dreams” that included the profile on Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia.

“Clancy Smith’s perceptive profile of civil rights icon John Lewis was a powerful, multi-layered look inside the psyche of a man very nearly martyred for the cause,” Rose said.

“In a story laden with symbolism, she told of a man who responded to hate with love, a man who clung to a gospel of hope and forgiveness even when beaten within an inch of his life. It was an artful story, taking readers through Lewis’ childhood then into the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s and finally to the halls of Congress,” Rose said.

“His guidance allowed me to be competitive in a competition that is usually dominated by much larger schools.” Smith said.

“A Meek student placing this high shows that Ole Miss has outstanding professors who work diligently with students outside the classroom as well as in the classroom,” Norton said.

“I’m just so happy that the Meek School of Journalism and New Media is getting recognition for the wonderful program that it is,” Smith said.

Smith, a Saltillo, Mississippi, native will graduate in May and plans to attend the University of Alabama to pursue a master’s degree in Public Relations.

“The one thing I do know is that I want to continue writing in a way that improves the lives of others and helps keep the public knowledgeable about important issues,” she said.


Assistant Professor Alysia Steele talks about her new book

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by ewrobins

Delta Jewels Cover copy red.Read novelist Alice Randall’s interview with Meek School Assistant Professor Alysia Steel at www.chapter16.0rg. Steele recently published Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.

New Media Conference speaker featured in The Clarion-Ledger

Posted on: April 2nd, 2015 by ewrobins

Read the article at