The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

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Reunited

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 by elwalke1 No Comments

Morgan-Gregory-and-Lauren-McMillinMeek alumni Morgan Gregory and Lauren McMillin recently reunited at the Atlanta Falcons training camp. Gregory works with the Falcons as corporate partnerships seasonal assistant. McMillin attended the camp with the Tennessee Titans.

Meek School professor spends summer learning

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: June 10th, 2014 by elwalke1
Melissa Charbonneau

Melissa Charbonneau

Melissa 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

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: May 30th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by elwalke1

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

Posted on: May 13th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: May 13th, 2014 by elwalke1
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

Posted on: May 8th, 2014 by elwalke1

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

Posted on: May 2nd, 2014 by elwalke1
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.