The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Professor Samir Husni interviewed for New York Post column

Posted on: January 7th, 2015 by ewrobins

NY Post HusniDr. Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni was interviewed for Keith Kelly’s “Media Ink” column in the New York Post.  The column that ran on Dec. 31 recapped the year in new magazines and other magazine trends of last year. Read the column at

More than 800 magazines launched in the last year

Posted on: December 12th, 2014 by ewrobins

Read the story at

Student-faculty team creates documentary on Ole Miss Engineering project in West Africa

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by drwenger

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.09.21 PMIn January 2014, two Engineering Without Borders (EWB) teams from the School of Engineering at Ole Miss returned to Togo, West Africa, to complete a school they started building for the people of the Hedome village a year before. Ole Miss Meek School of Journalism and New Media student journalist Sudu Upadhyay and professor Nancy Dupont followed the team to the West African country to document their work. Here is Sudu’s documentary that chronicles EWB’s work and tells a remarkable story of a minister trying to help his people.

The EWB organization will be returning to Togo in 2015 to work on a medical clinic for the village.  For more information about the program, contact the engineering school’s assistant dean, Marni Kendricks,


Pursuing a dream – one student who did all the right things

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by ewrobins
Laura Marcucci

Laura Marcucci. Photo courtesy of

Motivation, inspiration and knowledge – three things university professors and instructors utilize to get their points across to students. On a daily basis, students sit in class and listen to these professionals as they hand out expertise in their chosen fields, stressing what a student has to do to get a job after graduation. Many listen and follow their advice, while others may or may not understand the crucial importance of taking every opportunity and running with it.

One Ole Miss student who did listen and did all the right things is Laura Marcucci. Marcucci is an Integrated Marketing Communications major and graduates in December. And with the New Year comes a new job that is already waiting for her after graduation.  Read more on

Fork in the Road: A True Hole in the Wall|Garden and Gun

Posted on: December 1st, 2014 by ewrobins

Oxford Canteen steps outside the dining-room box

Corbin Evans, the owner of Oxford Canteen, is the spouse of Meek School faculty member Cynthia Joyce.  Read the story at


SND course offers fresh look at digital design

Posted on: November 19th, 2014 by ewrobins
SND Boot Camp

Yuri Victor instructs book camp participants. Photo credit: Samantha Mitchell

By Samantha Mitchell

 Web design continues to be an element that is avoided by many due to its perceived complexity. Digital designers Chris Courtney and Yuri Victor set out to change this perception and in the process change the outlook on digital design during the “SND Digital Boot Camp” course that was offered in Farley Hall November 14-15.

The course laid out the basic concepts and framework to digital design in the hopes of empowering people with the knowledge of utilizing the web. Victor and Courtney outlined the use of different code names for the web, such as HTML and discussed user-friendly websites that can be used to put together codes for basic website layouts.

SND Instructors

Chris Courtney and Yuri Victor. Photo credit: Samantha Mitchell

“These guys are great instructors,” said Darren Sanefski, assistant professor of multiple platform journalism. “What could be so complicated, they are able to reduce so quickly. This is a great opportunity for all of the attendees to be apart of.”

The course was free to Meek School students and faculty and Society of News Design members. It has been offered across three different countries, including Canada, China, and the United States. The designers are in the process of attaining a course placement in South America, as well.

“We’ve been traveling for three years now and we want a better web,” Victor said. “That’s when we realized that we can also move to improve it.”

Both Victor and Courtney came from non-digital design backgrounds and demonstrated the web as a series of boxes and lists.

SND Participants

Boot camp participants. Photo credit: Samantha Mitchell

Courtney discussed the mental block some may have when attempting to construct a website layout for the first time.

“People are intimidated by the web, when they should feel empowered to use it instead,” Courtney said. “They can then further understand the very devices they carry around every day.”

Empowerment and knowledge seemed to be the key concept of the course. Participants learned how to construct websites from their own devices and see it relayed back to them in real time. The course offered visual, hands-on, and tactile learning throughout the two days.

“Journalism is once again reinventing itself, which is why I want everyone to stop avoiding code just because it’s a scary thing,” Victor said. “You’re only going to get left at the sidelines if you don’t get into it.”

Meek School’s namesake donates unique historic photo collection to library

Posted on: November 17th, 2014 by ewrobins
Ed Meek 2010

Ed Meek

The J.D. Williams Library at the University of Mississippi soon will be home to a unique collection that includes never-before-seen photos of James Meredith attending his first classes at Ole Miss and what are believed to be the last photographs made of William Faulkner at his Oxford home, Rowan Oak.

Ole Miss alumnus and journalism school namesake Ed Meek has donated a collection of his images taken as a student photographer to the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and Department of Archives and Special Collections at the library.

The 1,600 images include many photos that show Oxford and the university during the 1960s, including the riots that occurred the night before James Meredith was admitted to and integrated Ole Miss on Oct. 1, 1962, and then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s visit to Ole Miss.

Ed Meek as college student

Meek as a student

Meek said as a student journalist with an office in the Lyceum, he had access to “both sides of the lines” during the riots.

Many of the never-before published images of that time have been kept secret for decades. Included in the collection is a string of eight photos that show James Meredith, accompanied by U.S. marshals, attending one of his first classes as a student. As Meredith takes his seat, students bolt from the class, followed by the instructor, leaving Meredith seated in the classroom alone.

“(President John F.) Kennedy made it clear that nobody was to get pictures of Meredith in the classroom,” Meek said. “So I tucked my camera under my raincoat and took pictures. I just could not allow that historic moment to pass without it being photographed.”

Faulkner 080

William Faulkner

Will Norton, dean of the Meek School, described Meek as having “a wonderful eye for a good photo. This collection of hundreds of photos brings back the horror of those weeks on this campus, the memory of which tends to fade with time.

“Dr. Meek demonstrated great photographic skills and entrepreneurial journalism amid great danger,” Norton said. “It was a violent time, and when journalists like Bob Schieffer and Dan Rather come back to campus, they are amazed at what this campus has become despite that tragic weekend.”

Meek is thought to have been the last person to photograph William Faulkner alive, and at least 10 of the images show Faulkner riding his horses. He also did a series called “Campus Cuties,” where he photographed the prettiest women on campus for the student newspaper. Many of those women have become very prominent in business, politics and social circles, Norton said.

Meredith On Campus

James Meredith on campus

More than 100 of the images will be published in a book called Riot: Witness to Anger and Change by Yoknapatawpha Press and the Meek School. Publisher Larry Wells said Meek is the only photographer who has an entire body of work of the riots on campus because many photographers had their cameras destroyed.

“No one photographer told the entire story, which makes this collection unique,” Wells said. “We want this book to be an experience for young students who don’t know much about the riots or James Meredith.”

Assistant Professor Robert Magee publishes persuasion text

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by ewrobins

Magee Text CoverDr. Robert Magee published Persuasion: A Social Science Approach, a textbook designed to help advanced undergraduate students and beginning graduate students become able practitioners of persuasion.

The book provides an overview of influential theories of persuasion and social influence with the goal of helping the reader understand the many ways in which people can be influenced. Along the way, the concepts are amply illustrated with practical examples from a number of fields, including health, politics, the environment, and integrated marketing communications.

People can be influenced through careful consideration of persuasive appeals or by making snap judgments of a speaker’s appearance. At other times, people’s behavior can be influenced by subtle cues in the environment, such as scents or colors, without even being aware of it. Other persuaders have harnessed the power of stories to change people’s opinions and behavior. These and many other evidence-based approaches are described in the text.

The publication is available for purchase as an electronic text from Thuze and is priced more affordably than the vast majority of texts in the field, which for Magee was important consideration in the choice of publisher. Readers can access the text on the web, smartphones, and tablets, and any notes made on one device are instantly available in any version.

Magee, the interim director of the M. A. in integrated marketing communications, has published peer-reviewed research in journals such as Media Psychology, Marketing Letters, Journal of Interactive Advertising, and Journal of Health Communication.


Journalism Innovation class experiments with Google Glass

Posted on: November 10th, 2014 by drwenger

KendricksGlassTechnology keeps changing the way journalists tell stories and that has students in Professor Deb Wenger’s Journalism Innovation class experimenting with Google Glass this semester.  The Web-enabled eyewear has been used by professional journalists to cover breaking events such as the Ferguson, Missouri, riots and feature stories such as NBA Draft Day through the eyes of Victor Oladipo.

Students were challenged to come up with stories that took advantage of the unique “point of view” video that Glass wearers can provide.  For example, Ashleigh Culpepper and her partner Sarah Douglass had USA pole vault champion Sam Kendricks wear Glass during a practice session.

“The Google Glass story was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” said Culpepper, “being a pole vaulter myself I never have seen pole vaulting in slow motion. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.”

Journalism students Nicole Bounds and Gabriel Austin asked a dancer with RIOULT Dance NY to wear Glass during a rehearsal at the Ford Center with somewhat dizzying results.

“The most challenging thing is explaining to someone how to work Glass,” said Bounds. “I think it is especially hard because you can’t see what they are seeing on the Glass screen, which makes it hard to explain what to do next. With Glass, only the person wearing Glass can see the screen.”

Wenger says the class is designed to expose journalism students to the latest trends in journalism practice and hopes these experiments will help students understand what’s possible, as well as what’s effective, when it comes to the use of new technologies.

“You have to play around with tech and think through its applications before you can use it as an effective storytelling tool,” said Wenger. “These stories aren’t perfect, but producing them contributed to the learning process that every good journalist has to go through these days.”

3 Things Bleacher Report did to rebrand

Posted on: November 10th, 2014 by drwenger
Photo by Gabriel Austin.

Photo by Gabriel Austin.

When the sports website Bleacher Report first started in 2007, it was considered something of a joke in the world of sports journalism. Just about anyone could sign up and be a “reporter” for the then upstart site.

“Bleacher Report began as a platform — give us your email and you start writing,” said Bleacher Report writing program manager King Kaufman. Kaufman says the founders were simply looking for a way to give diehard fans a way to get more information about their individual teams than ESPN and other sports sites were providing.

Now, seven years later, Kaufman, who came to the Meek School to recruit writers, says Bleacher Report has made three key changes:

1.  Better Writing

Since Bleacher Report let almost anyone with a keyboard and Internet access write for the site at first, the content wasn’t very strong, nor was it very reliable. As the years have progressed, Kaufman says Bleacher Report has moved on from focusing on website traffic alone to increasing the amount of quality material that’s being posted on the website.

Along the way, the path to becoming a contributor to Bleacher Report has become much more difficult.  According to its website only 15 percent of applicants are hired, but Kaufman says not everyone has recognized the change.

“Your reputation lags behind reality. You’re not going to convince anyone that you’re awesome; you just have to show them. People will figure it out. There are influencers who catch on…it’s a slow process,” said Kaufman.

2.  More Training

Many of the most popular writers for Bleacher Report are not trained journalists, so Bleacher Report has instituted an in-house training program. “Newsroom education” is how Kaufman describes it.

3.  Rethinking the Numbers

“On the other side, we used data to learn what people wanted to read about,” Kaufman said. By catering to exactly what people are talking about, Bleacher Report has continued to have high volume traffic on their website and mobile app.

Kaufman says the goal now is to get people to come back more often and to give them the the best reader experience possible when they do.

Today, Bleacher Report is one of the top sports sites around. Bleacher Reports now ranks second, only to ESPN, in both unique desktops viewers and unique mobile viewers.

Kaufman was at the University of Mississippi to promote Bleacher Report’s Advanced Education Programs.  The paid programs in sports writing and editing are open to undergraduate and graduate students.

This story was contributed by Gabriel Austin, a broadcast journalism major.