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UM Journalism Professor Presents Katrina Archive Work at UCLA

Posted on: October 19th, 2016 by jheo1

A professor at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media will present her work to discover and republish an archive of lost blogs, emails and other online writing from the years after Hurricane Katrina on Friday (Oct. 14) at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Cynthia Joyce is editor of “Please Forward: How blogging reconnected New Orleans after Katrina,” an anthology released Aug. 29, 2015, the 10th anniversary of the storm. The anthology mined blog posts and widely circulated emails from more than 75 blogs and online websites, many of which are no longer live. It weaves an intimate narrative of the first two years after the storm and the lives of the people who lived through it.

cynthiajoyce2-768x431“The contributors to this anthology were so generous in allowing us to resurface their reflections from such a difficult part of their lives,” Joyce said. “We pulled those up and put them into print.

“Those posts – and the original blogs they were excerpted from – also deserve to be discoverable in an online context. Working with Archive-It made that possible.”

Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005 near the Mississippi-Louisiana state line, killed 1,833 people in five states, including 231 in Mississippi. It’s often referred to as the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history.

Joyce is participating in the “Dodging the Memory Hole: Saving Online News” forum at UCLA’s Young Research Library, hosted by Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri. She is part of the lightning round of participants, in which each panelist has three minutes to deliver their message.

Will Norton, dean of the Meek School, said Joyce’s colleagues are proud of her work.

“Cynthia Joyce is a first-rate journalist who brings years of work at the cutting edge of new media to her presentation at UCLA,” Norton said. “It says a lot about the Meek School that our faculty members are making presentations at prestigious institutions with other pioneering innovators.”

Joyce and the others involved in the anthology project used Archive-It, a web archiving service of Internet Archive used by more than 450 libraries, archives, universities, governments and researchers to collect, preserve and provide ongoing access to cultural heritage materials published on the web.

The anthology, which was published by University of New Orleans Press, will also be accessible and searchable online via the Internet Archive’s Archive-It database later this year. Jefferson Bailey, director of web archiving at Internet Archive/Archive-It, is also presenting at the conference.

“The web is the most significant publishing platform of our era, democratizing the ability to document our lives and communities for a global audience,” Bailey said. “Yet content on the web is highly ephemeral, often eluding the traditional process of historical preservation.

“We are excited to be able to collaborate with researchers like Cynthia Joyce, who bring local expertise and community knowledge, and work together to identify, archive and provide access to these historically valuable resources so that they remain available long into the future.”

Meek School Faculty Members Honored at SPRF Lantern Awards 

Posted on: October 3rd, 2016 by jheo1

Two Meek School faculty members were honored recently for outstanding public relations projects during the 2016 Southern Public Relations Federation Lantern Awards program.

Lantern awards are presented at three levels in multiple categories. The highest award in each category is called the Lantern, followed by Awards of Excellence and Merit.

Both Andrew Abernathy (pictured left) and Robin Street (right) are faculty members in the Integrated Marketing Communications program, and members of Oxford/Ole Miss chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi.

Abernathy, communications specialist for the UM School of Education, is teaching one class as an adjunct. He won a Lantern in the brochures category for Opportunity Starts Here, a view book for prospective education graduate students. Abernathy is also a Meek School alumnus, earning a B.A. in 2008 and M.A. in 2010.

Robin Street, senior lecturer, received two Awards of Excellence. One was for an opinion column she wrote titled The IHL gets an F in Public Relations, and the other was for a multi-media news release. Street has taught in the Meek School since 1990 and actually taught Andrews in introductory Journalism and Public Relations classes.


Meek School’s Wenger tapped to be part of Google News Lab’s US Training Team

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by drwenger
Associate Professor Deb Wenger in Google's Android Sculpture Garden after completing Google News Lab training in Mountain View, California.

Associate Professor Deb Wenger in Google’s Android Sculpture Garden after completing Google News Lab training in Mountain View, California.

Whether it’s mapping a series of local crimes or monitoring breaking news in another country, Google News Lab provides tools that can help make that job easier for a journalist. Yet, significant numbers of reporters, editors, producers and news managers know relatively little about the breadth of Google’s journalistic toolkit.

“It could be using Photo Sphere as an entrée into immersive storytelling or using the data sets provided free to newsrooms via Google Consumer Surveys – the bottom line is that journalism organizations can use these tools to find new stories or tell stories in new ways,” said Debora Wenger, head of undergraduate journalism in the Meek School.

Wenger recently took part in an in-depth training session at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. She met with some of the company’s news product experts to learn about the journalistic capacity of tools like Google Earth Pro and Google Trends.

As Google News Lab indicates on its website, the company worked with the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Association, to identify professionals able to teach Google digital news tools at conferences, workshops and newsrooms throughout the nation. Google and SPJ are committed to training as many journalists as possible in the effective use of their tools in reporting stories.

“Our target is 100,000 journalists trained this year – either in person or online – in the U.S. and globally,” said Nick Whitaker, head of training and development for Google News Lab.

Wenger is one of the trainers already on board for the new program, but Whitaker hopes to expand the trainer list in the future. Wenger says the opportunity to become a trainer gives her a chance to do two things she loves.

“There’s nothing I like better than learning about tools that can help make our storytelling better, and when I can get the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with professional and student journalists, that’s just great.”

Meek School profs take research to AEJMC Southeast Colloquium

Posted on: March 15th, 2016 by cjoyce

Two Meek School professors recently presented their research at the 41st Annual Southeast Colloquium of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the premier association of communication educators, students and media professionals. The conference was hosted by the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication.

Robert Magee, assistant professor and director of the IMC Graduate Program, presented the paper “Interactivity on U. S. House of Representatives’ Homepages: The Relationship with Congressional Norms.” Magee also served as discussant for the Open Division research panel on “The Changing Influence and Role of Social Media.”

Assistant Professor Cynthia Joyce presented the paper “Surf’s Up: Deep-diving through Hurricane Katrina’s Unsearchable Digital Past,” which won the Top Faculty Paper award in the History Division.

LSU Josh Grimm and Meek School Cynthia Joyce

Dr. Josh Grimm of LSU’s Manship School awards Assistant Professor Cynthia Joyce with the History Division’s Top Faculty Paper Award.

UM journalism professor selected for Humanities Council honor

Posted on: February 4th, 2016 by ewrobins

steele2A prize-winning University of Mississippi journalism instructor is the 2016 recipient of a prestigious award from the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Alysia Burton Steele, assistant professor of multimedia, will be presented the Preserver of Mississippi Culture Award on Friday (Feb. 12) at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson. The award, which recognizes an individual or organization for extraordinary efforts to protect and promote the cultural traditions and assets of the state, is in recognition of Steele’s book, “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom” (Center Street, 2015). The invitation-only awards program begins at 6:45 p.m.  Read more …

Dr. Samir Husni presents “Hottest Magazine Launches of the Year” at min awards

Posted on: December 4th, 2015 by ewrobins

Husni 2015 min awardsmin hosted its annual Most Intriguing Awards Celebration on Thursday, December 3 at New York’s Grand Hyatt to honor this year’s Most Intriguing People in Media, Rising Stars and the Hottest Magazine Launches of the Year. The 30 magazine launches were selected by Dr. Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, Director of the Magazine Innovation Center at The University of Mississippi, and honored new magazines, from Catster to Mornings with Jesus.

The premier categories honored Editor and Publisher of the Year. Catherine Cassidy from Taste of Home was chosen as Editor of the Year and was introduced by fellow colleague and Most Intriguing recipient, Bonnie Kintzer from Trusted Media Brands. Accepting the award for Publisher of the Year was Steven Grune from Allrecipes. Also at the awards celebration, Dr. Husni revealed “THE” single hottest launch as Simple Grace.

Mr. Magazine’s 30 Hottest Consumer Magazine Launches of 2015

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni on the future of magazines on South Africa’s eNCA’s “Maggs on Media”

Posted on: September 21st, 2015 by ewrobins

T.D. Jakes releases video on “Delta Jewlels”

Posted on: August 27th, 2015 by ewrobins

Watch Bishop T.D. Jakes video on Assistant Professor Alysia Steele’s book “Delta Jewels” at

Article by Dr. Kristen Swain chosen for presentation in Atlanta

Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by pchurdle

“News Blackout and Social Media Invisibility after Toxic Transportation Spills” by Dr. Kristen Swain has been selected for an oral presentation during the National Public Health Information Coalition’s annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media, Aug. 11-13 in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit: nchcmm.nphic.

Vanessa Gregory receives Mississippi Arts Commission Fellowship

Posted on: July 2nd, 2015 by pchurdle

University of Mississippi assistant professor of journalism Vanessa Gregory has been awarded a $4,500 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the $1.61 million in grants the Commission awarded in 2015-2016 and will be used to support Gregory’s creative work as a nonfiction writer. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The arts in Mississippi are now being recognized as a key component to economic development and as a driver for creative strategies for the growth of our communities,” said Dr. Tom Pearson, Executive Director of MAC. “Individual artists play a vital role as really the backbone of this movement, and it is an honor for this agency to be a part of their professional growth.”

Gregory’s work has appeared in Harper’s, The American Prospect, and Garden & Gun, among other places. She studied journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and specializes in narrative nonfiction. “MAC’s fellowship is essential for supporting the type of in-depth journalism that might not otherwise make it into mainstream media outlets,” Gregory said.

The Mississippi Arts Commission is a state agency serving residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is the funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources. The agency serves as an active supporter and promoter of arts in community life and in arts education.

For information from the Mississippi Arts Commission, please contact Susan Liles, 601/359-6031 or