News

Meek School students and profs spend summer learning

Ole Miss intern Taylor Leatherwood of Long Beach and Dr. Nancy Dupont in the WLOX newsroom.

Ole Miss intern Taylor Leatherwood of Long Beach and Dr. Nancy Dupont in the WLOX newsroom.

Professor Nancy Dupont spent part of her summer immersing herself in TV news as part of a Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Faculty Fellowship at WLOX in Biloxi.  She spent a week in the newsroom, sharpening her skills in writing, reporting and videography.“It was great to be at WLOX because that’s where I began my professional career 40 years ago, and some of my coworkers are still working there.  But the most valuable part of the fellowship was meeting the young journalists who’ve agreed to help Meek students succeed,” Professor Dupont said.  “These young people are thriving in a challenging new media environment our students will face in a few years.”

Some of the journalists agreed to come to Oxford to speak to classes, while others offered to do live internet video conferences in the coming semesters.  Christina Garcia is the new 6 and 10 o’clock primary anchor at WLOX-TV in Biloxi, but her path to an on-air job is somewhat unusual.  The way she did it may be the best example of what is required for success in a 21st century newsroom.
She studied print journalism at the University of South Alabama, interned at WKRG in Mobile and was hired as an online producer at WLOX in 2011.  Since then, she learned every job in the newsroom by any means possible, making herself an extremely valuable employee.  Her advice to students is as unique as her career.

Christina is so busy that we had to talk to her while she was putting on makeup for the 6′clock show with Meteorologist Mike Reader.

 

Charbonneau joins FedEx in Memphis

Melissa CharbonneauMelissa Charbonneau has joined FedEx in Memphis as director of Crisis Communications. In her new role, she will lead the team of external communicators charged with planning for and executing external communications strategies that protect and defend the company’s reputation.  

Charbonneau most recently served as the director of media outreach for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) strategic headquarters based in Kabul, Afghanistan. There she led a team of six civilian and military staff who coordinated key leader media interactions with war correspondents (including The Associated Press, BBC, Reuters, Washington Post and others) and facilitated battlefield and press tours.

Charbonneau is perhaps best known for her many years as an on-air White House correspondent for the Family Channel and CBN News, where she landed exclusive television interviews with President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Bono, Morgan Freeman and Eli Manning.
In addition, during her time in Washington, D.C., Charbonneau served as a media event planner for The National Press Club (NPC). In this capacity, she managed a team of 15 or more journalists and public relations professionals who executed more than 50 events a year for the nationally televised NPC luncheon series.

A native of Hattiesburg, she graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor of arts in broadcast journalism and holds a master’s degree in public policy/print journalism from Regent University. Charbonneau has earned numerous awards during her career including The Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award and the Department of Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service.

During her free time Charbonneau serves as an advisor to the George W. Bush Center’s “Afghan Women’s Project” to highlight successes and advances of Afghan women. She also enjoys adventure travel such as elephant caretaking in Thailand, kayaking in Alaska and horseback riding across Ireland in addition to video and print photography, and international cuisine cooking.

Ole Miss Agency wins $2,000 award in AT&T Challenge

Students from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media placed second in a recent AT&T student competition.

Students from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media placed second in a recent AT&T student competition.

The Ole Miss Agency student marketing group won second place and a $2,000 award in the EdVenture Partner AT&T SEC Campus Brand Challenge.

The University of Mississippi students created and presented an integrated marketing campaign to AT&T to introduce and market the new SEC network on AT&T’s U-Verse services. The campaign is a part of the AT&T Campus Brand Challenge, a program designed to provide students with real-world business experience by designing and implementing an integrated marketing communications plan.

“I didn’t know that I could do so much,” said JJ Townsend, campaign strategy director for the Ole Miss Agency. “I have learned a lot about working on a marketing campaign from start to finish and everything in between. I cannot wait to see the hard work coming to life.”

The campaign was designed to increase awareness and purchase of AT&T U-verse TV and the new SEC Network, which is set to launch in August. The Ole Miss plan features several innovative and engaging tactics to increase awareness of AT&T U-verse by highlighting its features.

The campaign includes the characters Harry and Jerry. Harry has U-verse. Jerry does not. Both characters are avid SEC fans, but only one can win the title of “best SEC fan.” The campaign encourages Twitter users to select whether they are #TeamHarry or #TeamJerry by following @YTYT_OleMiss on Twitter.

Each of the six schools participating in the AT&T Campus Brand Challenge is competing for an opportunity to present its ideas to AT&T executives at the term’s conclusion.

The Ole Miss Agency is a student-run marketing agency composed of students from the UM School of Business Administration and the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. The agency branched off of the Ole Miss Marketing Association in 2013.

Members of the agency from the journalism school who worked on the project include Chun Wu, a graduate student in the integrated marketing communications program, and Tiffany Odom, a senior IMC major from Richton. Wu led and presented the research that served as the foundation for the campaign, and Odom created the public relations portion of it.

Meek School graduates excelling at WTVA

Emily Mowers and Lauren Ann McLaughlin

Emily Mowers and Lauren Ann McLaughlin

In America, you can start as an intern and wind up the boss if you have talent and don’t mind hard work. 2011 Meek School graduate Emily Mowers is proof of that.

And not only did she make that giant leap, she’s earned national acclaim in the process.

In working her way up, Mowers spent two years in WTVA Creative Services, the commercial and video production branch of WTVA Inc, in Tupelo. She and her six co-workers in the unit have been named as one of five finalists in the country for the PromaxBDA Local Awards in the category of Sales/ Demo Reel.  The PromaxBDA Awards honor design and marketing work in the advertising and promotions business.

Mowers was recently promoted to marketing and promotions director for WTVA and WLOV. She began her career less than three years ago as an intern, moving into a part-time summer replacement position before landing the full-time job.

Another Meek alumna is on the same trajectory. Lauren Ann McLaughlin is assistant director of marketing and promotions at WTVA after completing a producer internship in 2013 in the program led by Professor Deb Wenger. McLaughlin is also the Face of FOX 27.

The national winner of the Sales/Demo Reel award will be announced June 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the annual PromaxBDA Station Summit.

“Land of Plenty” honored as top in the nation

Land of Plenty“Land of Plenty,” a depth report produced primarily by Honors College journalism students, has been named best student magazine in the nation by the Society of Professional Journalists. The magazine was honored in the annual Mark of Excellence Awards contest for college journalism. One national winner, and two national finalists, are selected in each category.

Students in the depth reporting class, taught by Overby fellow and Meek School instructor Bill Rose and veteran food writer Susan Puckett, spent the spring semester and spring break in the Delta, reporting stories for the magazine on the region’s distinctive food. Neil McMillin, Lauren McMillin, Bowen Thigpen, Sarah Bracey Penn, Camille Mullins, Rachael Walker, Erin Scott, John Bobo and Phillip Waller were the students in the depth reporting class.

“Land of Plenty” was designed by a class taught by assistant professor Darren Sanefski, and photos were shot by photography students taught by assistant professors Mikki Harris and Alysia Steele. Those students included Virginia England, Ben Hurston, Katie Williamson, Alex Edwards, Ignacio Murillo, Austin McAfee, Gerard Manogin, Elizabeth Beaver, Kristen Ellis, Caroline Callahan, Petre Thomas, LeAnna Young, Jared Burleson, Paris Crawford, DJ Jones, Lauren Loyless, Lauren McMillin, Alessandra Richards, Phillip Waller and Thomas Graning.

In addition to the win for “Land of Plenty,” Daily Mississippian photo editor Thomas Graning was named a national finalist in the SPJ Mark of Excellence breaking news photography/large university category. His photo, “Charges Dropped,” was published in The Daily Mississippian from his coverage of a trial.

First-place national winners will be recognized at the SPJ Excellence in Journalism 2014 conference in Nashville in September. Last year, Margaret Ann Morgan and Stephen Quinn won a first-place national SPJ Mark of Excellence Award for their multimedia coverage of Hurricane Isaac. Last year’s depth report, “The Flood of the Century,” was a finalist in the national SPJ student magazine category.

Gift helps Joe Williams Fund grow

Dr. Ed Meek, left, and Dean Will Norton Jr. hold a $6,000 check in memory of alumnus Joe Williams with his daughter, DeeAnn, a 2014 Ole Miss graduate, and Williams’ wife, Kathy Kelly, far right. The donation was from Williams’ employer, Pinnacle, and was added to the Williams Fund, 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. Photo by Thomas Graning

Dr. Ed Meek, left, and Dean Will Norton Jr. hold a $6,000 check in memory of alumnus Joe Williams with his daughter, DeeAnn, a 2014 Ole Miss graduate, and Williams’ wife, Kathy Kelly, far right. The donation was from Williams’ employer, Pinnacle, and was added to the Williams Fund, 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. Photo by Thomas Graning

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.

Steele’s “Jewels in the Delta” featured in The Root article

Steele-Delta-Jewels-Photo-Newsletter

Annyce Campbell, 90. Photo by Alysia Steele

Read The Root’s story on Alysia Steele’s​ book proposal, “Jewels in the Delta,” at theroot.com. Steele is an assistant professor in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.​

Watch Steele’s Overby Center presentation on “Jewels in the Delta” at youtube.com.

 

Getting that job in TV news: Advice from experts

Anne-Conner Dickerson doesn’t have to much to worry about at graduation on Saturday.  Even before she walks across the stage she knows her career is underway.

wtvaDickerson took advantage of the Ole Miss Producer Internship Program in the Meek School last summer.  She learned how to be a newscast producer at WTVA in Tupelo, and the station liked her so much, they hired her full-time during the spring semester.

Though there are other students like Dickerson who already have jobs by the time they graduate, most are deep into the job hunt right now.  Dickerson spent some time talking to her colleagues at WTVA to get their best advice for getting work in TV.

     “Home work – do your home work. You should research the station and whom you are   applying to. If I get a resume that says ‘to whom it may concern’ it goes right in the trashcan, but someone who says ‘To Dave Beech’.. who knows how to spell my name correctly… that shows me that they have taken initiative on their end to do some homework, to go out of their way to find out a little bit about me, about this station, and who we are and what we are. This industry rewards self starters and if you can’t take the time to do a little bit of homework then I won’t want you in my newsroom.

-       Dave Beech, WTVA News Director

 

    “I would tell people that you have to put together a great resume reel with no mistakes in it and be confident. Always have your reason why you want to be a reporter ready because news directors will ask. Make sure your reason is unique. And, of course… You have to be ready to move far from home.”

-       Jessica Albert, WTVA Reporter

 

“Persistence. If you know you’re qualified for the job then always follow-up. If you send a tape don’t wait for them to call you. Follow-up with a phone call. Then follow-up your phone call with another call. Use each opportunity to self-promote and tell them how you’re ready to get right to work. I’ve noticed that most News Directors always stall making decisions while waiting for something better. Make them think you’re the better choice they’ve been waiting for.”

-       Dave Bauer, WTVA Producer

“In one word: networking.  I got my first job in television by passing along my resume’ to a friend who put in a good word for me.  In the TV positions following, my news directors made personal calls on my behalf to news stations for where I had applied.  Never be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone, ask a favor, or hand out a resume’.  Because a friend said, ‘Give this girl a call’ I was given a shot.  Always seize the opportunity to meet people in your field and make connections.”

-       Riley Koppa-Eversull, WTVA Producer

 

   “The first question you need to ask is which area of television you want to work in, and in what capacity. The requirements for different vocations are varied, so you need to plan your training path according to your particular ambition. On the other hand, it’s also a good idea to keep your options open. Many people find that they end up with a very different job to the one they had originally wanted. This is one advantage of beginning your training with a general media studies course – it will give you a good grounding in many different disciplines and may help you decide which you prefer. Put your application in with a resume and wait for someone to call. Be patient….”

-     Alvin “AI” Ivy, WTVA Photojournalist

Of course, one of the best pieces of advice is to get “job ready” while you’re still at school.  If  you’re interested in the job of a newscast producer, consider applying for the Ole Miss Producer Internship Program.  In addition to earning up to 3 credits, you receive a $500 scholarship and the experience you’ll need to get a job in television news.  Contact Deb Wenger at drwenger@olemiss.edu for more information.

Ole Miss students win top awards from Public Relations Association of Mississippi

University of Mississippi 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 all 11 awards presented. Pictured from left to right, are (front row) Bridget Quinn, a journalism major from Alpharetta, Ga. and Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen, a marketing communications major from Stockholm, Sweden; and (back row) Lauren McMillan, a journalism major from Madison, Miss.; Caty Cambron, a journalism and Spanish major from Rome, Ga.; Wil Yerger, a marketing communications major from Jackson, Miss.; Olivia Rearick, a journalism major from Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Robin Street, lecturer in journalism and public relations; Katie Davenport, an integrated marketing communications major from Wiggins, Miss.; Madison Hill, a journalism major from Auburn, Ala.; and  Emily Crawford, a journalism major from Horn Lake, Miss. Not pictured: Laura Gaziano, an integrated communications major from Atlanta, Ga. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

University of Mississippi 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 all 11 awards presented. Pictured from left to right, are (front row) Bridget Quinn, a journalism major from Alpharetta, Ga. and Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen, a marketing communications major from Stockholm, Sweden; and (back row) Lauren McMillan, a journalism major from Madison, Miss.; Caty Cambron, a journalism and Spanish major from Rome, Ga.; Wil Yerger, a marketing communications major from Jackson, Miss.; Olivia Rearick, a journalism major from Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Robin Street, lecturer in journalism and public relations; Katie Davenport, an integrated marketing communications major from Wiggins, Miss.; Madison Hill, a journalism major from Auburn, Ala.; and Emily Crawford, a journalism major from Horn Lake, Miss. Not pictured: Laura Gaziano, an integrated communications major from Atlanta, Ga. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

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.

Deeper South: Land of Plenty wins SND award

First two pages of award-winning spread.

First two pages of the award-winning spread.

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.

Ole Miss journalism students cover tornadoes for national, regional media

Meek School of Journalism and New Media students cover the destruction of a tornado in Tupelo, Miss., Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Photo by Mikki K. Harris

Meek School of Journalism and New Media students cover the destruction of a tornado in Tupelo, Miss., Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Photo by Mikki K. Harris

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.

Photo by Jared Senseman, April 28, 2014.

Photo by Jared Senseman, April 28, 2014.

 

 

Robin Street receives top honor from PR association

Robin Street, (on right) Meek School of Journalism and New Media lecturer, who coordinates the School’s PR program, was presented the Professional Achievement Award from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi by PRAM President Shannon Coker. The award, given to one PR professional yearly, is given for outstanding achievements in the profession of PR.

Robin Street, (on right) Meek School of Journalism and New Media lecturer, who coordinates the School’s PR program, was presented the Professional Achievement Award from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi by PRAM President Shannon Coker. The award, given to one PR professional yearly, is given for outstanding achievements in the profession of PR.

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 more information on the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, visit their website at http://meek.olemiss.edu or email MeekSchool@olemiss.edu.

Big broadcast wins for Meek School students

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.

Student awards

Featured L-R: Nice Andrews, Miriam Cresswell, Bracey Harris.

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.

Pinkston

Featured L-R: Photos: Andrews, Morgan, Pinkston, Dupont and Harkey.

Broadcast students cover Oxford for local NBC affiliate

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.

Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society 2014 Inductees

KTA Inductees 2014Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication 2014 inductees attended a luncheon in their honor April 21.

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.

 

Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society 
in Journalism and Mass Communication 2014 Inductees

 

TOP SCHOLARS
Graduate: Paul George Katool
Undergraduate: Mara Michele Lesieur Joffe

 

UNDERGRADUATE
Jonece Latrice Dunigan
Teresa Elise Hendrix
Mara Michele Lesieur
Joffe Cameron
Ellen Klass
Lauren Marie McMillin
Sarah Bracy Penn
Mary Daniel Simpson
Kayleigh Anne Skinner
Phillip Christopher Waller

 

GRADUATE
Andrew David Anglin
Edgar Paris Buchanan
Paul George Katool
Jason L. McCormick
Joya Marie McNeil
Kierra Renee’ Ransey
Tiffany Leigh-Ann Smith
Silpa Swarnapuri
Tulia Taylor
Chun Wu

Ole Miss students honored with SPJ regional awards

Student Media Director Patricia Thompson and students Lacey Russell, Thomas Graning and Phillip Waller display the 16 awards won by University of Mississippi students in this year's regional Society of Professional Journalists conference.

Student Media Director Patricia Thompson and students Lacey Russell, Thomas Graning and Phillip Waller display the 16 awards won by University of Mississippi students at this year’s regional Society of Professional Journalists conference.

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.

Breaking News Photography winning photo by Tom Graning

Breaking News Photography winning photo by Tom Graning
The following caption ran with the photo: Paul Kevin Curtis, left, hugs his attorney Christi McCoy during a press conference in Oxford on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. Curtis had been accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama. The charges were dropped Tuesday without prejudice.

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.

General News Photography winning photo by Katie Williamson

General News Photography winning photo by Katie Williamson
The following caption ran with the photo: Carter Tuck, a student employee for University of Mississippi Campus Recreation, gets covered with colorful powdered dye during the Ole Miss 5K Tie-Dye Dash in Oxford on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013.

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.

From the Meek School to the White House

Alex May-Sealey standing in front of Air Force One, the official aircraft for the President of the United Stated. May-Sealey works in the White House Visitors Office. Photo credit: Shin Inouye, Director of Specialty Media, White House Office of Communications.

Alex May-Sealey standing in front of Air Force One, the official aircraft for the President of the United Stated. May-Sealey works in the White House Visitors Office. Photo credit: Shin Inouye, Director of Specialty Media, White House Office of Communications.

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.”

 

MSPA awards excellence in Mississippi high school journalism

Oxford's Marisa Morrissette is this year's Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year.

Oxford’s Marisa Morrissette is the 2014 Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year.

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.

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame director Rick Cleveland presents St. Joseph High School's Jack Hall the inaugural Orley Hood Award for excellence in high school sports  writing.

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame director Rick Cleveland presents St. Joseph High School’s Jack Hall the inaugural Orley Hood Award for excellence in high school sports writing.

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 faculty speak at journalism conferences

Teachathon Lineup JI

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.

Alabama Media Group names David Magee editor of Birmingham magazine

David Magee photoAs editor of Birmingham magazine, David Magee will oversee the editorial operations of the magazine, which, for more than 50 years, has been the pre-eminent quality-of-life publication for the greater metro Birmingham area, celebrating the soul and culture of the region. Read more on PRWeb.com.

ESPN executive Rob King visits Ole Miss New Media Day

Rob King, senior vice president of ESPN, delivers inspirational speech to students during Ole Miss New Media Day.

Rob King, senior vice president of ESPN, delivers inspirational speech to students during Ole Miss New Media Day.

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.”

Puckett named James Beard Award finalist

susan-puckettThe James Beard Foundation, nicknamed “the Oscars of food world,” announced its awards finalists for 2014 earlier this week. Susan Puckett, a 1977 Ole Miss journalism school alumnus, was nominated in the Visual Storytelling category of the journalism awards. Her essay, “Dinin’ in the Delta,” appeared in the May 2013 issue of The Local Palate magazine with photos by Langdon Clay, a Sumner-based photographer whose work is also featured in Puckett’s culinary travelogue, “Eat Drink Delta: a Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South,” published in January 2013 by University of Georgia Press.

Last spring, Puckett co-taught the Delta Project depth reporting class with Overby Fellow Bill Rose. Over spring break, they supervised honors students as they reported stories about the dining culture and eating habits of the Delta, resulting in the magazine, Land of Plenty.

A Jackson native, Puckett now lives in Decatur, Ga., where she was the award-winning food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 19 years. She has written or collaborated on eight other books including “Citizen Farmers: The Biodynamic Way to Grow Healthy Food, Build Thriving Communities, and Give Back to the Earth” with Daron “Farmer D” Joffe, released this week by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

Other James Beard nominees include two Oxford chefs, John Currence, whose cookbook, “Pickles Pigs and Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some” (Andrews McMeel) is in the running in the American Cooking category; and Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar, who is nominated in the Best Chef: South category.

Winners will be announced May 2 and May 5 in New York.

Meek PR students among top to watch

Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen

Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen

Wil Yerger

Wil Yerger

Meek School students Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen and Wil Yeager are featured in PR blogger Arik Hanson’s  list of “17 PR students to watch.”  Read the post at www.arikhanson.com.

 

Harris produces newscasts during fellowship

braceyHarrisMeek School journalism senior Bracey Harris received hands-on experience as a producer recently when she participated in the CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Harris is one of 12 students chosen from across the country to participate in the intensive workshop led by UNC journalism faculty and professionals at Capitol Broadcasting Company’s WRAL-TV in Raleigh. The program is geared toward seniors and graduate students finishing their programs and pursuing careers as producers, reporters, photojournalists and Web editors. View the shows she produced at www.wral.com.

Harris is multimedia editor at The Daily Mississippian, a former NewsWatch anchor, and was named Best Magazine Writer by the Southeast Journalism Conference for articles published in “The Flood of the Century” depth report. Her internships include print and television work in Jackson.

 

 

Got an interview? Get that journalism job

WJTV anchor Byron Brown (holding mic) and WTVA news director Dave Beech share advice with job seekers at annual Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day at Ole Miss.

WJTV anchor Byron Brown (holding mic) and WTVA news director Dave Beech share advice with job seekers at annual Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day at Ole Miss.

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.

CBS Sports takes journalism students behind scenes of broadcast

GrantEvery 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.”

Ole Miss SPJ chapter turns 50, new campaign gets more students involved

SPJ1The Ole Miss chapter of the Society of Professional Journalism, commonly known as SPJ, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

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.”

Meek agrees.

“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.

UM students honored at Best of the South

in Lafayette, La., Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (Photo/Thomas Graning)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:

First places:

  • Phil McCausland, feature writing;
  • Phillip Waller, news photography;
  • Thomas Graning, sports photography.

Second places:

  • Ignacio Murillo, page design;
  • Sudu Upadhyay, television reporting;
  • Caty Cambron, Olivia Rearick and Katie Davenport, public relations team

Third place:

  • Sarah Parrish, copy editing

Former Mississippian editor dies at 88

Paul Newton deceasedOle Miss alumnus Paul Newton of Gulfport, Miss., passed away on February 10, 2014.  Newton, 88, was editor of The Mississippian, now The Daily Mississippian, in the 1940s.  Read his obituary at legacy.com.

Alumni Profile: Jesse Holland

By Annie Rhoades

Jesse HollandFrom journalism student, beat reporter and editor for The Daily Mississippian to writer for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C., alumnus Jesse Holland (BA 94), has led an accomplished career.

Born in Holly Springs, Holland, Associated Press race and ethnicity writer, had his sights set on Ole Miss long before he graduated from Mount Pleasant’s H.W. Byers High School in 1989. Read more at olemissalumni.com.