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Ole Miss students win 18 awards, first for Public Service Journalism at Southeast Journalism Conference

Posted on: February 20th, 2017 by drwenger

Photo courtesy Oxford Conference Center.

University of Mississippi students earned 18 awards at the Southeast Journalism Conference awards ceremony Friday night, including a first-place honor for Public Service Journalism for The Daily Mississippian’s “The Red Zone” special edition.

Daily Mississippian Editor-in-Chief Clara Turnage led the award-winning project during fall 2016. It highlighted the issue of sexual assault, which Turnage said she felt was under-reported on campus. She said many of the editors and reporters she worked with wanted to tell the stories of sexual assault that happened in their own college town.

“It’s an incredible honor to receive this award, and I couldn’t be prouder of my staff,” Turnage said. “They are so talented, and I am so blessed to work with them.”

The Best of the South contest honored work published or aired between mid-November 2015 and mid-November 2016. There were entries from 29 universities across seven Southeastern states.

Turnage won second place in the prestigious College Journalist of the Year category. She was awarded a plaque and $500.

Daily Mississippian Managing Editor Lana Ferguson won first place for magazine writing, and DM Lifestyles Editor Zoe McDonald won first place for feature writing.

Second-place awards included: Hayden Benge, page design; Billy Rainey, radio reporting; Lauren Veline, journalism research paper.

Third-place awards included: Lauren Layton, TV feature reporting; Daniella Oropeza, TV hard news reporting; Clara Turnage, special event reporter; Lana Ferguson, news writing; Marisa Morrissette, graphic design; Jake Thrasher, editorial artist.

Other individual winners included: Julia Grant, fourth place, op-ed writing; Ellen Spies, fourth place, advertising; Brian Scott Rippee, eighth place sports writing.

The Daily Mississippian, the only daily newspaper in the contest, won fifth place as best newspaper, and theDMonline.com won third place for best website. NewsWatch Ole Miss, a daily live newscast, won fifth place as best TV station.

The Southeast Journalism Conference also includes onsite competitions, where students competed in 15 categories to produce content with tight deadlines. Georgia State University took first place in the Grand Championship Team Category. Belmont University placed second, and Southeast Louisiana University claimed third place. As the host university, Ole Miss could not participate in onsite competition.

Conference speakers included Meek School faculty and journalists- including alumni- from The New York Times, Clarion-Ledger, ESPN’s The Undefeated, the Associated Press, Mississippi Today, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, E.W. Scripps, the Miami Herald, and other media companies.

Middle Tennessee State University tied for fifth place in the Grand Championship Team Category this year. Faculty adviser for the MTSU paper Sidelines Leon Alligood said his students have been to five SEJC conferences together.
“We come every year,” Alligood said. “My expectations were high, and I’m happy to say they were met.”

Bryce McNeil, assistant director of student media at Georgia State University, hosted the conference two years ago in Atlanta.

“I was especially overwhelmed by how positive the speakers were in spite of so many clashes in the media,” McNeil said.

He said this year he brought 29 students to Oxford, which is the biggest group yet to represent Georgia State at SEJC. He said these conferences have a lot to offer to journalism students.

“First, the camaraderie is invaluable,” McNeil said. “And they leave knowing their profession really does matter.”

Harding University will host the next SEJC in 2018. Faculty adviser Katie Ramirez said this was her program’s first time visiting Oxford.

“I think they’re all ready to move here,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”

The University of Mississippi Student Media Center hosted this year’s conference. Its theme was “Spotlight on Storytelling: Watchdog Journalism in a Mobile World.” Meek School Assistant Dean Patricia Thompson was this year’s SEJC president.

Will Norton, dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, said he was truly proud of the Ole Miss students who participated in the conference.

“Assistant Dean Thompson and her staff and the students of the Student Media Center provided a wonderful weekend for those attending and communicated excellence to everyone who attended,” Norton said.

Thompson said among the highlights for her during the conference were Jerry Mitchell’s keynote banquet speech, the support and help from Meek School faculty and other departments on campus, and the recognition of Ole Miss students’ work.

“They are full-time students who work as journalists for hours every day and night because they care about our campus and community,” Thompson said.

This story was originally published on thedmonline.com.

 

Meek Hosts Southeast’s Top Journalists for Conference

Posted on: February 17th, 2017 by jheo1

Hundreds of student journalists from across the South piled into Farley Hall for the 2017 Southeastern Journalism Conference Feb. 16-18. Friday’s lineup included such powerful speakers as New York Times Reporter Daniel Victor, Matt Miller, Talent Acquisition Leader, for E.W. Scripps Co., and Jesse Holland, Associated Press Race and Ethnicity Reporter.

Some of the best and brightest college journalists in the country are here to learn, compete and meet with recruiters.  Workshops focus on skills and issues that journalists need to maser and confront in their careers.

The conference includes an awards ceremony, honoring excellence in reporting and storytelling, as well as work produced on-site in timed competitions.  To see more of what the 2-day conference includes, check out the full schedule: https://sejc.org/conference/schedule/.

Alumni members of the LGBT public are asked to participate in a panel

Posted on: February 13th, 2017 by jheo1

The Meek School will host It Starts with MEek, a weeklong series of programs and communications to celebrate diversity and inclusion of people of all races, ethnic origins, religions, disabilities or sexual orientation.

The program coordinators are seeking alumni who are members of the LGBT public to speak on a panel about their experiences while they were at Ole Miss and in their careers. The alumni panel will complement a panel of LGBT students, staff and faculty members at Ole Miss.

Alumni who might be willing to participate in the panel, scheduled sometime April 19-21 or 24-25, are asked to contact Robin Street at rbstreet@olemiss.edu for more information or to volunteer.

More details on all the events will be announced later. 

The Meek School will host It Starts with Meek, a weeklong celebration of diversity and inclusion, in April. Organizers are seeking alumni who are members of the LGBT community to speak on a panel. Pictured here is the opening ceremony of a similar program four years ago.

Overby Center to Salute Mississippi’s 200th Anniversary

Posted on: February 3rd, 2017 by jheo1

In recognition of the 200th anniversary of Mississippi’s statehood the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss will put special emphasis on Mississippi programs during the spring semester.

“The people and events in Mississippi’s past provide an interesting glimpse into our state’s future,” explained Charles Overby, chairman of the center, in announcing the line-up.

The first of six events – “How Deep is Mississippi’s Commitment to Education?” — will concentrate on one of the most controversial issues in the state. Rep. Jay Hughes, an Oxford Democrat who has been outspoken in his criticism of the administration and the legislature’s approach to education, will be joined by Bracey Harris, an education reporter for the Clarion-Ledger, in a conversation on Friday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m.

Using the slogan “It ALL starts with education” for his frequent emails to constituents and other interested parties, the first-term legislator has closely tracked bills involving educational issues and sharply faulted a new formula devised by a New Jersey firm hired by the Republican leadership to determine levels of state aid for various school districts in the state.

“Jay Hughes has become one of the most urgent voices in the legislature,” said Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie. “Our program is designed to give him an opportunity to expand on his thoughts – while offering members of our community a chance to question him during a Q & A session.”

The program – like all Overby Center events — is free and open to the public. Arrangements are being made to provide parking in a lot adjacent to the Overby auditorium. Following most of this spring’s programs a reception will provide an opportunity for members of the audience to mingle with special guests.

Other events on the Overby agenda this spring:

Friday, Feb. 17, at 1:30 p.m. – “Assault on the Media.” Four prominent Mississippi journalists will talk about a growing hostility toward the press. Overby Fellow Bill Rose will moderate a panel discussion that includes Jerry Mitchell, a prize-winning investigative reporter at the Clarion-Ledger; the newspaper’s popular cartoonist Marshall Ramsey; Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting; and Kate Royals, another award-winning education reporter for Mississippi Today.

Wednesday, March 8, at 6 p.m. – “Revisiting Jefferson Davis and J.Z. George: U.S. Capitol Relics?” William (Brother) Rodgers, director of programs at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History; Marvin King, an Ole Miss political science professor; and Charles Overby will consider the question of whether the subjects of Mississippi’s two statues in a capitol hall for all 50 states are appropriate today.

Monday, March 27, at 6 p.m. – “Mississippians Say the Strangest Things.” David Crews of Oxford has compiled a collection, “The Mississippi Book of Quotations,” and will talk with Overby about the new publication, his choices in it, and his long-time interest in memorable lines by people from the state.

On a date in April to be determined later – “The Free State of Jones.” Retired Federal Judge Charles Pickering, a native of historic and colorful Jones County, will join Overby and others in a discussion about the breakaway movement during the Civil War, a fascinating piece of Mississippi history that was recently celebrated in books and a movie.

Monday, April 24, at 6 p.m. – “Racial Politics in Memphis.” Otis Sanford, an Ole Miss journalism graduate who writes a column for the Commercial Appeal and teaches at the University of Memphis, will talk about his new book, “From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics,” with Overby and Wilkie.

Considering the future of journalism

Posted on: December 8th, 2016 by jheo1

Featuring remarks from Richard Gingras, vice president of Google News, and Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news and editorial director at NPR, the Nov. 15 program explored the “disruption” of news and journalism by major technology companies. The discussion took place in the Newseum’s Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater, and was moderated by Jeffrey Herbst, president and CEO of the Newseum and Newseum Institute.

Posted on November 16, 2016 by 

“Mississippi Votes: Looking Back, Moving Forward” Documentary

Posted on: November 29th, 2016 by jheo1

“Mississippi Votes: Looking Back, Moving Forward,” a documentary project of two reporting classes at the Meek School of Journalism & New Media, will debut at 1:00 p.m. December 1 in the Overby Center auditorium. The half-hour documentary looks at the recent 2016 elections from a Mississippi perspective, focusing especially on the key topics of immigration, voter ID and millennials.

The documentary is a combined project of JOUR 578 and JOUR 377 under the direction of Dr. Brad Schultz and Dr. Kathleen Wickham. Their students spent the semester interviewing dozens of figures around the state both before and after election night.

For more information, you can contact Dr. Schultz (bschultz@olemiss.edu) or Dr. Wickham (kwickham@olemiss.edu). There is a multitude of other in-depth stories available at:
http://election2016.olemiss.edu/

Alumni Update: Selena Standifer (’01)

Posted on: November 29th, 2016 by jheo1

Meek School alumnus Selena Standifer, deputy director of public affairs at the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) in Jackson has been selected as one of the Mississippi Business Journal’s top “50 Leading Business Women.”

Standifer, a resident of Brandon, will be featured by the publication in the September 30 issue and profiled as one of Mississippi’s leading women making a difference in business and community. As a part of the Class of 2016, she will be honored in February at the “Business Women of the Year” luncheon at the Hilton Conference Center, Jackson.

“I am thrilled to see Selena representing MDOT through this important recognition,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “For someone who displays such strong professional character and commitment to the agency and the state she serves, this recognition is well deserved.”

standifer_selena_headshotIn her job with MDOT, Standifer works with employees throughout the state including District Engineers, the Mississippi Transportation Commission and Education Outreach Programs on litter prevention and safety. As Deputy Public Affairs Director, she assists with audits, budget, human resources and facilities management for the Public Affairs Division, and coordinates activities for Civil Rights and Emergency Preparedness.

A native of Smithville, Standifer is involved in planning and managing special events for the agency and works with other state agencies, businesses, cities and counties on collaborative projects and publications. She supervises three Public Affairs departments: Media Production, Map Sales and Customer Service.

“We are proud of Selena for receiving this career achievement and appreciate the Mississippi Business Journal acknowledging her hard work and service to the citizens of Mississippi,” said Jarrod Ravencraft, public affairs director.

Standifer received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Mississippi in Oxford and has 14 years of experience in communication, public relations and marketing. She has worked in tourism, health care, non-profit and state government. Her key career accomplishments include marketing a new $20 million Women’s Center in Amory and serving as a spokesperson on The Weather Channel for the American Red Cross, Washington, D.C.

Standifer has been honored with awards for her work from the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF), Public Relations Association of Mississippi(PRAM) and the Mississippi Hospital Association. She is a member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Subcommittee on Communications, SPRF, PRAM, Young Professionals Alzheimer’s Advocates and United Way.

For more information, visit http://msbusiness.com/digital-magazines/50-leading-business-women-in-mississippi-digital-magazin/.

Careers in Non-Profit Communications

Posted on: November 29th, 2016 by jheo1

Four alumnae of Meek School classes spoke on a panel about their careers in non-profit communication to the PR Case Studies class taught by Robin Street on Nov. 3.

Pictured, left to right, are: (front row) Kate Rosson, communications manager for staff and volunteers with The American Cancer Society Global Headquarters; Laura Doty, marketing and communications manager for the Memphis Zoo; Susan Christensen, PR director for the Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson, Miss.; (back row) Street; and Jane Lloyd Brown, liaison for strategic partnerships at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

non-profit-panel

The women presented examples of projects they have worked on, then talked generally about their jobs. In the final portion, they answered questions from students on topics ranging from what salary they make to what challenges they have faced and what career advice they could offer.

Brown, Rosson and Doty are all Street’s former students. Rosson and Christensen have B.A. degrees in journalism. Rosson also has a master’s degree from Ole Miss in leadership in higher education. Brown and Doty hold B.B.A. degrees in marketing communications. Doty also has a master’s degree in advertising and public relations from the University of Alabama.

Election Eve Visit Brings Back Memories of Ole Miss Presidential Debate

Posted on: November 7th, 2016 by drwenger
debatebanner-brown

The executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Janet Brown, and former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat signed two of the debate banners that were flown on campus prior to the 2008 debate in Oxford.

Janet Brown, long-time executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates returned to the Ole Miss campus on November 7 to talk about one of the most exciting and challenging election seasons in American history. Brown shared her views on the importance of the debates to the democratic process and described how other countries are watching and learning from the U.S. political debate example.

Her visit also provided a chance for her to reconnect with former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat, who led the university’s successful bid to bring one of the 2008 debates to the Oxford campus.

The luncheon at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics brought together a number of faculty and distinguished visitors, including Susan Spencer of CBS and her husband Tom Oliphant, late of the Boston Globe and PBS News Hour.

Meek Prof Becomes First to Achieve Academic Honor at UK University

Posted on: November 7th, 2016 by drwenger

dr-wenger-web-5-meeksiteA love of learning and a willingness to try new things are two key characteristics of Dr. Debora Wenger’s approach to her life and career. For that reason, it didn’t come as a big surprise to the dean of the Meek School of Journalism & New Media when Wenger asked about getting her doctorate in journalism at Kingston University in London.

“Absolutely,” Norton said. “The European doctorate includes an option for PhD by Publication, enabling you to integrate your existing published scholarship and produce an accompanying dissertation that will both itemize your contribution – and probably set your research agenda for the rest of your career. This is truly important for the Meek School.”

Dr. David Rogers, formerly Head of the School of Humanities at Kingston University and now Director of the Kingston Writing School, first invited Wenger to consider applying for a PhD by Publication during a visit to Mississippi as part of his efforts to initiate the study abroad link that now exists between the two universities and to discuss ways in which their respective journalism departments might collaborate. Wenger made her application to Kingston’s doctoral program in early 2015 and will be officially awarded the Department of Journalism and Publishing’s first ever PhD by Publication in January 2017. According to the Kingston website, the degree recognizes applicants who have “undertaken and produced research, and developed their research skills and subject knowledge to doctoral level.”

Dr. Alison Baverstock, the chair of Wenger’s PhD committee, says that the scholarly validation of work that has a relevance to both the workplace and the academy, through PhD by Publication, has a particular significance.

“For profession-oriented disciplines such as journalism, and in my case publishing, the combination we offer students of professional practice at the highest level, along with academic thinking, is the ideal basis for seeking employment,” said Baverstock. “We teach students key practical skills that they can put into use immediately, but also develop their ability to think and plan – leaving them able to function in their chosen industry now, but also in future to work around, and hopefully solve, problems in the workplace that we don’t even yet anticipate.”

Dr Rogers adds that “it was a great pleasure to have the chance to work with Dr. Wenger and to learn more about her research. Like the University of Mississippi, Kingston University takes pride in its commitment to degree programs that combine traditional academic analysis with practice and professional-based skills. Having such a respected and widely published academic journalist such as Dr. Wenger, whose research focuses on the vital interface between the academy and industry necessary for pertinent curriculum development, choose to complete her PhD with us not only testifies to that shared commitment but also validates the PhD by Publication degree as a way to enhance it.”

Wenger, herself, found the process both challenging and rewarding.

“Getting a doctorate has allowed me to reflect on the nature and importance of scholarship,” said Wenger. “The process has made me more enthusiastic than ever about pursuing the answers to questions that are relevant to the profession and the academy.

Wenger’s thesis focused on the intersection between professional practice and university teaching. Her external examiner was Prof. Chris Frost, former head of the Association for Journalism Education in the UK and current director of the Centre for Responsible Journalism at Liverpool John Moores University. The internal examiner for Kingston was Prof. Normal Clarke, a widely published author on the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  Baverstock, who co-founded the graduate publishing program at Kingston, said their evaluation of Wenger’s thesis is significant in adding validation of work that spans both the profession and the academy.

“Its complete acceptance – meaning no changes required at all, which is very unusual in the UK – confirms not only the influence she exercises in both her profession and her institution, but also the role model offers her students – in being willing to subject her work to scrutiny, and stand up for what she believes. We also think it’s highly significant that her work has been validated in the UK, and covers research carried out within the US and Europe; truly summing up the international contribution she has made.”

Wenger will attend Kingston’s graduation ceremony in January and says she will likely be thinking during the ceremony about something Baverstock once wrote to her in an email.

“Aged 87 Michelangelo wrote on a piece of work ‘Ancora imparo’ – which translates as ‘I am still learning’. It’s always good for students to see that their professors are learning too.”