The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Deeper South: Land of Plenty wins SND award

Posted on: May 2nd, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: April 30th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by elwalke1

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

Posted on: April 26th, 2014 by elwalke1

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

Posted on: April 22nd, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: April 8th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: April 8th, 2014 by elwalke1

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.