The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

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Archive for the ‘Student News’ Category

OxfordStories.net gives students opportunities to publish their work

Posted on: February 5th, 2016 by ewrobins
Class 1. Front row, from left: Allison Fazio, Ashley Gambrel, Hannah Simmons, Lana Ferguson; middle row, from left, Shelby Nichols, Jac Bedrossian, Chloe Riley, Elizabeth Wilks Parry, Kara Knapik; back row, from left, Herbert Moore, Connor Heitzmann, Tyler Bullard, Rachel Anderson and Carson Horn.

Class 1. Front row, from left: Allison Fazio, Ashley Gambrel, Hannah Simmons, Lana Ferguson; middle row, from left: Shelby Nichols, Jac Bedrossian, Chloe Riley, Elizabeth Wilks Parry, Kara Knapik; back row, from left: Herbert Moore, Connor Heitzmann, Tyler Bullard, Rachel Anderson and Carson Horn.

In the fall of 2014, Oxford Stories, at OxfordStories.net, was launched as part of a Journalism 271 class in the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media. A course was designed incorporating the website to enable multimedia journalism students to publish their work and share it via social media. After the first semester, the site ended with approximately 5,000 page views.

Last semester, two classes of Journalism 271 multimedia news reporting students teamed up to contribute to Oxford Stories with a goal of reaching 20,000 page views. Students not only exceeded their goal, they doubled it. The fall semester of 2015 ended with 48,720 page views.

There were also new course developments. Adjunct journalism instructor LaReeca Rucker, who created the course, worked with Stephanie Rebman, editor of The Oxford Eagle; HottyToddy.com editor Callie Daniels; and Ed Meek, namesake of the UM Meek School of Journalism and New Media, to publish student stories in their publications.

Meek, who was also a UM assistant vice chancellor for public relations and marketing, an associate professor of journalism, and the owner of Oxford Publishing Inc., is the creator of HottyToddy.com, a website geared toward Ole Miss fans and alums.

Class 2. Front row, from left: Meagan Robinson, Ariel Cobbert, Haley Renschler, Elizabeth Darcey; middle row, from left, Lynecia Christion, Bryce Dixon, Olivia Morgan, Austin Ivy, Brian Romski, Alice McKelvey, Dominique McGhee; back row, from left, James Lott, Desmen Ison, Nate Larkin, Austen Derrick, Emily Schrimsher and Kennedy Johnson.

Class 2. Front row, from left: Meagan Robinson, Ariel Cobbert, Haley Renschler, Elizabeth Darcey; middle row, from left: Lynecia Christion, Bryce Dixon, Olivia Morgan, Austin Ivy, Brian Romski, Alice McKelvey, Dominique McGhee; back row, from left: James Lott, Desmen Ison, Nate Larkin, Austen Derrick, Emily Schrimsher and Kennedy Johnson.

Last semester, students were asked to turn in their work on OxfordStories.net with the possibility of having it additionally published in The Oxford Eagle or on HottyToddy.com. OxfordStories.net functioned as a news distribution service with editors from The Oxford Eagle and HottyToddy.com selecting content from the website to republish in their respective publications.

Almost every student had one or multiple stories published by the local media, and some of the student stories published in The Oxford Eagle were picked up by the Associated Press and distributed to newspapers across the country.

Last semester, students wrote a variety of stories about the homeless, nutrition, healthcare, Syrian refugees, UM athletes, student business owners, bullying, the impact of social media, the UM Gospel Choir, and the use of students as confidential informants.

Other topics included UM’s decision to lower the state flag on campus, construction developments on Old Taylor Road, college tuition, adoption, parking woes, cultural appropriation, the environment, religion, racism, Black Lives Matter, the Ku Klux Klan on campus, and local musicians and artists.

“When I initially began designing the class, I knew I wanted to find a way to work with local media,” said Rucker. “Once the local editors got on board, everything seemed to work symbiotically. We are grateful that the editors of The Oxford Eagle and HottyToddy.com have been so cooperative and supportive of UM students. Because of them, many students have been able to obtain professional news clips.”

Rucker said one of the class goals was to create a real-world environment for student journalists so they can understand how the news gathering and writing process works.

“In this interactive setting, they were able to learn as students and become professional writers earning bylines in a real newspaper,” she said. “Some were even lucky enough to have their work recognized and picked up by the Associated Press, an impressive student feat. That was evidence that we were on to something with Oxford Stories.”

Students are assigned 5-10 stories over the semester, a video package and a column.

“Oxford Stories is also a way for students to learn about the power of social media, while taking the content they produce more seriously,” Rucker said. “Their name is on every story published, and in an Internet and new media age, their stories have almost as much power to travel the globe as a story written by a large daily newspaper. It also gives them an incentive to do good work. Otherwise, their stories will not make it on the Oxford Stories site.”

Not every story makes the cut – only the best ones with all of the required elements. Rucker said using the website is also a way for students to easily turn in their work, and it encourages them to stick to deadlines, because the website records the exact time and date stories are entered into the system.

“Students are taught the basics of WordPress so that they may submit their work,” she said, “and since WordPress is a popular blogging and website tool, they learn how to work with multimedia using a content management system.”

The class is also designed to be fun.

“Students are part of a staff, and teamwork is encouraged,” Rucker said. “At the end of the year, we hold an awards ceremony, and students are rewarded with certificates, ribbons and medals for a semester of hard work.”

For motivation, students are told an awards ceremony will be held on the last day of class modeled after the Mississippi Press Association’s annual awards ceremony. Awards were given out last semester based on WordPress website statistics and analytics of the students’ most well-read stories. Each student received an award for their best work, with some students taking home top honors as reporters and writers of the year.

Last semester’s winners were:

Rachel Anderson – 2015 Oxford Stories Social Justice Reporter of the Year
Chloe Riley – 2015 Oxford Stories Reporter of the Year
Dominique McGhee – 2015 Creativity Award
Alice McKelvey – 2015 Music Writer of the Year
Olivia Morgan – 2015 Oxford Stories Reporter of the Year
Brian Romski – 2015 Social Media Reporter of the Year
Bryce Dixon – 2015 Best Feature Reporter Award
Elizabeth Wilks Parry – 2015 Social Media Reporter of the Year
Jac Bedrossian – Best Business Story
Tyler Bullard – Best Video Story
Ariel Cobbert – Best Photographer Award
Allison Fazio – Best Health Features Writer
Lana Ferguson – Best In-Depth or Investigative Reporting
Ashley Gambrel – Best General Interest Column
Connor Heitzmann – Best Visual Artist and Photographer Award
Carson Horn – Best Student Stories Reporter
Kara Knapik – Best Business Feature Story
Chandler Lewis – Best General Interest Column
Herbert Moore – Best Business Feature
Shelby Nichols – Best Religion Columnist
Molly Randles – Best Crime Story
Hannah Simmons – Best Environmental Story
Lynecia Christion – Best Sports Columnist
Elizabeth Darcey – Best Student Feature Reporter
Austen Derrick – Best Multimedia Feature Story
Desmen Ison – Best Campus Stories Reporter
Austin Ivy – Best Multimedia Story
Kennedy Johnson – Best Arts Reporter
Courtney Kamm – Best Video and Broadcast Story
Nate Larkin – Best Religion Reporter
Kailen Locke – Best News Reporter
James Lott – Best UM Athletics Reporter
Haley Renschler – Best News Reporter
Meagan Robinson – Best General Interest Column
Emily Schrimsher – Best Student Feature Story

Meek School student wins logo design contest for international music competition

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 by drwenger

When pianists from around the world are tickling the ivories in Oxford at the 2016 World Championship Old-time Piano Playing Contest this spring, student Rachel Gholson should be tickled about playing a role in the competition’s success.
Gholson designed the festival logo as part of an assignment in her Creative Visual Thinking class, taught by Emily Bowen Moore.

“Ian Hominick from the music department approached me earlier in the semester about having my students design a new logo identity system,” said Moore.  Dozens of students submitted logos, but Gholson’s stood out for Hominick.

“What I liked best about Rachel’s logo was the simplicity and effectiveness of her design.  It was not overly ornate, possesses a striking layout with font and gets the message across in a simple manner.  It is also versatile and can be reworked for different concepts,” he said.

Bowen says the design will be used for promoting the contest across all of their multimedia platforms.

The international piano contest is in its 43rd year, but this is the first time it will be hosted in Oxford.  The festival is set for Memorial Day weekend and will include the university and Oxford communities.

Meek School student writes about flag controversy for NBC

Posted on: October 29th, 2015 by cjoyce

Ann-Marie Herod writes about flag removal for NBC BLK The recent decision to remove the MS state flag from campus thrust Ole Miss once more into the national media spotlight — but this time it was students leading efforts for change, as well as leading media coverage of the events.

In a powerful essay written for NBC News, “Your Heritage is Hate: Take Down the State Flag at Ole Miss,” Meek School student Ann-Marie Herod lamented what the flag has meant for her personally as an ambassador for the university:

“There was a time where we were not wanted at this University. To some that may have been fifty years ago, to others that may have been just a few years ago, and for me it was just last week…every week I face the challenge of convincing students why they should come to Ole Miss. It makes my job ten times harder when I have to convince minority students to see beyond the confederate flags that are literally in every tent during home games.”

Read the full essay here.

 

Mary Elizabeth Kakales and Heather Nielson experience life on the Hill

Posted on: October 28th, 2015 by ewrobins

By Marlen Polito

Neilson and Kakales 2015

Mary Elizabeth Kakales and Heather Nielson

Mary Elizabeth Kakales, Miss Ole Miss 2015, and Heather Nielson, 2015 Homecoming Queen, share more than a love for the University of Mississippi. Kakales, a public policy leadership major, and Nielson, an integrated marketing communications major, both had the opportunity to intern on Capital Hill in Washington D.C., last the summer.

“It is not every day that you get to see the people leading our nation in action,” said Nielson, a native of Oxford, Mississippi.

Nielson worked for Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. Her internship consisted of giving tours, answering phone calls, and meeting presidential candidates. One of the many things Nielson enjoyed at the Hill was hearing the concerns of Mississippians and the issues people faced on a daily basis.

“Working there this summer really made me appreciate what all our senators do for our state,” Nielson said.

Kakales, who is from Memphis, Tennessee, worked for the U.S. House of Representatives and Tennessee Congressman Stephen Fincher.

“It is so fast paced. There’s so much to do, so much to see,” Kakales said. “I learned more than I ever anticipated about how our government works and about current events.”

Kakales had the opportunity to go to briefings, receptions and different events.

“It was crazy. I walked outside and saw the Supreme Court during a major court hearing,” Kakales said. “We got to experience history.”

Nielson said that several experiences helped prepare her for her internship, including watching briefings and hearings online, attending her communications law class, and learning how to write and format a press release.

“The thing that prepared me the most for my internship was being involved with Associated Student Body on campus,” Nielson said.

Nielson’s favorite part was being able to meet so many influential people.

“I rode the senate subway with the Majority Leader of the Senate, got to meet presidential candidates and make new friends that I keep in touch with everyday,” Neilson said.

Multimedia student team covers Katrina Anniversary on Gulf Coast

Posted on: August 29th, 2015 by drwenger
Ji Hoon Heo and Maggie McDaniel cover the recovery of the seafood industry in Mississippi on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Ji Hoon Heo and Maggie McDaniel cover the recovery of the seafood industry in Mississippi on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Some opportunities for learning are just too good to pass up; that’s why six Meek School students and two profs packed up their bags and loaded up with gear for a trip to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and the Hurricane Katrina 10-year anniversary.

“On the Ole Miss campus, we’re recognized as students covering Ole Miss events, but here we had to get credentials, figure out logistics and work under the same constraints and with the same expectations as professionals,” said student Brittany Clark.

The student team included Clark, Payton Green, Sereena Henderson, Ji Hoon Heo, Maggie McDaniel and Quinton Smith. They covered stories from President George Bush’s visit to thank local first responders, to the resilience of one coastal church to the comeback of the area’s casino and seafood industries.

“It’s astonishing that people fought to rebuild; they stayed because this is their home and they love the place so much that they’re willing to take the risk that this could happen again,” said McDaniel.

For professors Deb Wenger and Nancy Dupont, it was a chance to help students learn strategies for reporting in unfamiliar territory and on tight deadlines.

“These Katrina stories are emotional, and it’s important that our students learn to cover people with painful memories, “ Dupont said. “They’ve learned that this weekend, and they exceeded my expectations.”

Student Quinton Smith ended up on crutches right before the trip, but he refused to stay home.

“I just realized how good of an opportunity this kind of reporting trip is,” Smith said. “Hurricane Katrina is not something that affected my family personally, but we were all broken up about it and we would watch video from the coverage every night, so I just wanted to be a part of it.”

For graduate student Ji Hoon Heo, it was a chance to learn more about Southern culture.

“It also gave me an opportunity to work with other students in the Meek School,” said Heo. “The journalism graduate program is small, so every time I get a chance to work with other students, it’s a pleasure.”

Sereena Henderson is from Pass Christian, Mississippi – a small town that hit Katrina particularly hard.

“It meant a lot of me to be able to be down here during the 10th anniversary and be able to talk with people who shared similar experiences,” Henderson said. “Listening to people’s stories helped me remember some of my own; it was an emotional time for me.”

The student stories aired on the student-run NewsWatch99 and on the DMOnline. Payton Green is the NewsWatch99 news director, who is also from the Mississippi coast.

“I was a kid when it happened so there wasn’t anything I could do to help back then; now, this is my way to do something, to report on the recovery that we’ve made,” said Green.

Wenger says anyone looking to hire terrific young journalists should look no further than this crew.

“Every one of these students worked hard and produced professional quality work. If there are employers on the hunt for solid multimedia journalists, this is a great list to pull from.”

L-R: Sereena Henderson, Brittany Clark, Nancy Dupont, Quinton Smith, Maggie McDaniel, Deb Wenger, Payton Green, Ji Hoon Heo.

L-R: Sereena Henderson, Brittany Clark, Nancy Dupont, Quinton Smith, Maggie McDaniel, Deb Wenger, Payton Green, Ji Hoon Heo. Meek School students and professors cover Hurricane Katrina Anniversary in Biloxi, Aug. 28-30, 2015.

Big wins in Vegas for Meek School

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by drwenger

SuduWinThe Meek School of Journalism is flying high for a couple of different reasons.  First, the student-produced NewsWatch 99 broadcast took home an honorable mention at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) competition in Las Vegas this week.  According to NewsWatch 99 advisor Dr. Nancy Dupont, a 4th place showing in the national contest is the highest ranking the program has ever received.

In addition to the broadcast honors, Dupont and Prof. Deb Wenger presented in multiple sessions at the conference, moderating or participating in panels on topics such as using audience analytics in teaching and job hunting for broadcast students.

Journalism students and NewsWatch 99 managers Browning Stubbs and Sudu Upadhyay also traveled to Vegas for the conference.  BEA meets annually with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) because that group attracts more than 100,000 attendees who showcase products and demonstrate techniques affecting radio and television industries.

Upadhyay and Stubbs evaluated the latest in broadcast technology, which they hope to leverage in an effort to bring home a first-place award for student newscast in 2016.

Meek School senior places 4th in Hearst competition

Posted on: April 10th, 2015 by ewrobins
Clancy Smith

Clancy Smith

An article based on her interview with Civil Rights hero and U.S. Rep. John Lewis has won honors in a Hearst competition for Clancy Smith and further enhanced the reputation of the journalism school at the University of Mississippi.

Smith, a senior, placed fourth out of 99 entries from 56 schools throughout the nation in the Personality Profile category of the writing competition in the annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

The award for the senior Journalism major was the highest for any University of Mississippi student since Ole Miss students began entering the contest in the fall of 1975.

“This is a remarkable achievement when you recognize all the outstanding graduates that Ole Miss has produced in the elite media,” said Will Norton, Jr., dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

The Hearst Foundation describes the program purpose as support, encouragement and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level. The program awards scholarships to students for outstanding performance in college-level journalism, with matching grants to the students’ schools.

Hearst Journalism Awards are considered the Pulitzers of collegiate journalism.

This honor absolutely would not have been possible without Mr. Bill Rose, Smith said. He taught the class that produces the Delta Reporting Project, “Land of Broken Dreams” that included the profile on Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia.

“Clancy Smith’s perceptive profile of civil rights icon John Lewis was a powerful, multi-layered look inside the psyche of a man very nearly martyred for the cause,” Rose said.

“In a story laden with symbolism, she told of a man who responded to hate with love, a man who clung to a gospel of hope and forgiveness even when beaten within an inch of his life. It was an artful story, taking readers through Lewis’ childhood then into the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s and finally to the halls of Congress,” Rose said.

“His guidance allowed me to be competitive in a competition that is usually dominated by much larger schools.” Smith said.

“A Meek student placing this high shows that Ole Miss has outstanding professors who work diligently with students outside the classroom as well as in the classroom,” Norton said.

“I’m just so happy that the Meek School of Journalism and New Media is getting recognition for the wonderful program that it is,” Smith said.

Smith, a Saltillo, Mississippi, native will graduate in May and plans to attend the University of Alabama to pursue a master’s degree in Public Relations.

“The one thing I do know is that I want to continue writing in a way that improves the lives of others and helps keep the public knowledgeable about important issues,” she said.

 

2014-2015 Student Media managers: diverse, accomplished, driven to succeed

Posted on: March 4th, 2015 by ewrobins
Lacey Russel walks down the street in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (DM Photo | Cady Herring)

Lacey Russell walks down the street in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (DM Photo | Cady Herring)

Phillip Waller on the field at Vaught- Hemingway stadium on Oct. 4, 2014 on the campus of the University of Mississippi. (Phillip Waller | The Ole Miss)

Phillip Waller on the field at Vaught- Hemingway stadium on Oct. 4, 2014 on the campus of the University of Mississippi. (Phillip Waller | The Ole Miss)

Sudu Upadhyay

Sudu Upadhyay at Newswatch 99

Madelyn Mohr

Madelyn Mohr at Rebel Radio

Lacey Russell

Her first story made it into The Daily Mississippian, and then her second story made it on the front page, above the fold, and the rest, as Lacey Russell said, is history.

“I remember Instragramming my front page, and I thought maybe I have a knack for this,” said Russell, a junior journalism major from Tupelo.

“I had no idea it made the front page until somebody Tweeted at me. I was totally shocked, and I geeked out, and then I told my mom. That’s what confirmed that this is what I’m supposed to do — that feeling of gratification, knowing that all my hard work paid off.”

Russell was named editor-in-chief for the 2014-2015 school year.

“The selection committee was impressed with Lacey’s multiple platform experience, in print, TV and digital media,” said Patricia Thompson, student media director and adviser for The Daily Mississippian.

“Lacey had a tough act to follow, given the success of last year’s DM staff, but she has led her team to produce outstanding journalism — great in-depth articles, great design, great photography and great headlines.”

Some of the highlights from Russell’s tenure so far have included the front page after the football’s team victory over Alabama and a moving 10-year anniversary piece on the fire at the ATO fraternity house.

“People stop me on campus to tell me how much they have enjoyed reading The Daily Mississippian,” Thompson said.

Russell’s passion remains reporting and getting out in the field and getting to hear people’s stories and then telling their stories. She had an internship at WTVA-TV in Tupelo during winter break her sophomore year, and this year, she was one of 10 students selected to participate in a School of Journalism and New Media international journalism reporting course in Ethiopia during Winter Intersession.

Russell has faced her share of challenges as editor-in-chief. It has not only made her a stronger editor, writer and reporter, but also a stronger person.

“It’s hard to keep up with everything,” Russell said. “Being a 20-year-old college student and balancing class and also being responsible for a paper that’s circulating to thousands of people every day, it’s tough. People like to point the finger at the editor, and that used to bother me. I used to take it really personally. But I have really developed a thick skin through this job. Not much gets to me anymore.”

Russell has not made definite plans for her senior year and beyond, but she said she plans to remain involved in student media. She has applied for several summer internships. She also had some words to the wise.

“Get involved,” Russell said. “This is so essential for your career. You have to have experience. I know on my resume I have my experience before I have any of my education. It’s so important to do something and come out of college with work you have to show for it for your employers. And the SMC is a great place to get involved. There’s so much opportunity over here.”

She added: “There are going to be days where you don’t want to get out of bed and there are days where you will have stayed up until 5 a.m. working on the paper or working on your schoolwork, but hang in there and it will all be worth it one day.”

 

Phillip Waller

Phillip Waller is one of 10 outstanding seniors selected for the 2014-2015 Hall of Fame, one of the university’s highest honors.

Waller has worked as a photographer, editor and writer for The Daily Mississippian and The Ole Miss yearbook. This year, he is editor-in-chief of The Ole Miss.

A journalism and public policy leadership double-major in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Waller traces his interest back to his aunt, Cynthia Ferguson, who used to be journalism instructor at Oxford High School, and before that, she worked for the Oxford Eagle.

“She got me interested in this idea that students could produce good work, and that the opportunities you have as a journalist are unmatched with any other profession,” Waller said.

His interest in journalism started with photography, growing up in a family where photography was something fun to do, something to relax, something to record a memory, and for him, it started with a simple point-and-shoot camera. He traces his serious work to the purchase of his first SLR camera, which he used all through high school.

“It starts with an interest, and then developing that interest, reinforcing that interest and then having a support group there,” Waller said. “My experience is not unique, but it’s something I’m blessed to have. I’m very thankful.”

Among his favorite things as a journalist, Waller said, are the opportunities for hands-on learning – experiencing events such as a sporting event or a theater production up close and personal with unmatched access. His work as a journalist has earned him a first-place Society of Journalists regional award for Best Non-Fiction Magazine Article, and first place in the On-Site News Photography Competition at the regional Southeast Journalism Conference.

“The student media center has reinforced the things I knew I already loved, and it allowed me to explore those with the resources and the capabilities that the center offers,” Waller said. “It has also provided me with a support group that can teach me skills and place me out there with opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Student Media Director Patricia Thompson said that Waller has been a key player at the Student Media Center for several years. The Ole Miss annual has a reputation as one of the top yearbooks in the country, and this year’s book will continue that tradition, she said.

“Phillip is that rare person who excels as a writer as well as a visual journalist, so he was a perfect choice to be editor-in-chief of the yearbook,” Thompson said. “He’s active on campus, very plugged-in, and that has made a big difference. I have been particularly impressed with Phillip’s outreach and use of social media to broaden the awareness of the yearbook. He’s one of our top students academically, he’s a good manager, and he’s creative and full of ideas. That’s a great combination.”

As a student manager, Waller said his charge is not only to make the best publication, but also to pay it forward and help the next generation succeed.

“You want to make sure if you have a skill you know you spent a lot of time learning, that you make that skill that much easier for the next person to learn and give them that much higher of a position to start from for the next year,” Waller said. “When you have that talent pipeline in place, when you have people working to make sure the next generation is moving forward, then you can have an excellent publication.”

Looking to his future, Waller said he was drawn to journalism because of the strong communications education and training. He sees a career related to his two majors, perhaps in a political campaign capacity, adding that he has tried to remain flexible and keep his options open. Last summer, he had an internship in Washington, D.C., as a press intern in the office of Sen. Roger Wicker and as a digital intern at the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“I’m definitely excited about the possibilities out there for me because I have been prepared for them here,” Waller said. “I have the flexibility and the skills, and I know how put myself out there because I have had this experience working in the Student Media Center. That’s going to serve me well in whatever I do.”

 

Sudu Upadhyay

Sudu Upadhyay is not one to settle. Whether it has been as a videographer assistant for Ole Miss athletics, sports anchor and reporter for Newswatch 99, or the station manager for the student-run TV show, Upadhyay strives to be the best.

Most freshmen aren’t ready to take on a leadership role, but Upadhyay proved himself to be the exception to the rule, excelling not only as an anchor and reporter, but also as the co-sports director on the way to becoming station manager as only a sophomore.

“Sudu doesn’t shoot for the ordinary,” said Nancy Dupont, faculty adviser for Newswatch. “He wants everything to be extraordinary. He’s not going to settle for anything.”

Upadhyay is a broadcast journalism major from Oxford, said was involved with athletics productions in high school.

“I met Stewart Pirani, then the (NewsWatch) student manager, when I was a senior in high school,” Upadhyay said. “I was shying away from student media. I was focusing more on the athletics production side, and he told me, if I really wanted to get into sports reporting, this was something I needed to check out.”

Upadhyay came in and shadowed for a few days and fell in love with the fast-moving news environment.

After winning two awards in a regional competition where he was pitted against students from universities across the Southeast United States, Upadhyay was offered a job by a television director in Louisiana, who was stunned when she found out he was just a freshman.

“If people are looking at me this way as a freshman, I can’t imagine what I could do being more involved, so that’s what made me get involved and stayed involved at Newswatch,” Upadhyay said.

Upadhyay was recently notified that his entry in the prestigious Hearst journalism competition placed in the Top 20 nationally. His entry included a four-part series from Togo, Africa, and a stand-up about the science of tornadoes – all of which aired on NewsWatch last spring, when he was a freshman.

“Someone that extraordinary needs an outlet very quickly,” Dupont said. “He wandered over here, and everybody saw what he could do, so they put him to work immediately.”

The highlight of his time so far as station manager, Upadhyay said, has been the Ole Miss-Alabama football game, which the Rebels went on to win 17-10 over the top-ranked Crimson Tide.

“The Alabama show was a focus from the beginning of the year,” Upadhyay said. “We said, if Ole Miss was undefeated going into the Alabama game, that was going to be our biggest show and that was what we are going to enter for an Emmy. That was the biggest show, and it went smoothly.

“After that, I got burned out, but then I thought, ‘We had one good show. Now, we have to follow it up. We can’t be a one-trick pony with one great show and then fall off.’ We already had a spectacular show. If people saw that, they need to see that same standard or a higher standard of Newswatch every day, so that’s what keeps me going and keeps me trying to make better shows.”

One of the changes the hard-working NewsWatch staff has made this year is the addition of frequent live feeds.

Looking ahead to next year, Upadhyay plans to work as an anchor and reporter for Newswatch, and pursue other opportunities for professional and campus internships.

 

Madelyn Mohr

Madelyn Mohr, a senior accountancy major from Houston, Texas, rose through the ranks at Rebel Radio, from “DJ Mad Dog,” to production director, to station manager. She loved music, so she followed her passion.

“Since I have been able to stand, I have liked to sing,” Mohr said. “Classic rock is my favorite genre, and I remember my dad was always playing that. In middle school, I played the French horn in band for four or five years, and then I started playing the guitar and singing in restaurants. I got into music, and I loved that, and Rebel Radio made sense, so I pursued it.”

As the station manager for the 2014-2015 academic year, Madelyn oversees a staff of more than 30 students.

Rebel Radio is one of only a handful of college student-run commercial FM radio stations in the country. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and boasts a signal stretching nearly 40 miles across North Mississippi.

“It’s the hidden gem of the SMC,” Mohr said. “If you love classic rock music, you can apply as a DJ and do your own classic rock segment. If you want to get involved with production work or get involved with businesses, you can do that too. You can also program music into the system and work with the Adobe Audition program to create commercials. If you want to work in the radio industry, you can get a lot of hands-on experience here.”

Her experience at Rebel Radio, Mohr said, has helped her see not just radio, but the entire music industry. As part of her accountancy degree program, she is currently in Houston as an intern with Ernst and Young.

Mohr is interested in pursuing a master’s degree in music business and then a career as a general manager of a radio station, or something along those lines.

Rebel Radio adviser Roy Frostenson said that Mohr’s internship in January and February allows her to successfully combine her accounting and music backgrounds.

“That is an example of how her love for music, nurtured by the SMC and Rebel Radio, is shaping her career choices,” Frostenson said.

Whether you’re an incoming student or a current student, a journalism major or a non-journalism major, Mohr made a pitch for Rebel Radio and the Student Media Center.

“If you love music, this is the place on campus to go,” Mohr said. “No other place on campus is going to let you plug in your computer or your phone and have your own playlist and play what you want and talk about the artists or festivals in the music industry.”

Meek School students named SEJC champions

Posted on: March 2nd, 2015 by ewrobins
Photo by Cady Herring, Daily Mississippian Photo Editor

Photo illustration by Cady Herring, Daily Mississippian Photo Editor

University of Mississippi students won 26 awards in the annual Southeast Journalism Conference, and for the fourth time in five years, they were honored as the first-place Onsite Championship Team.

This year’s conference was hosted by Georgia State University from Feb. 26-28 in Atlanta. Two separate awards ceremonies were held: Best of the South, which honors student work published or broadcast from November 2013 through November 2014, and onsite competitions where students compete on deadline in 17 different categories.

Sudu Upadhyay and Cady Herring – both sophomores – each won two first-place awards. Herring, who is Daily Mississippian Photo Editor, was named Best Press Photographer in the Best of the South contest, and won first place in the onsite news photography contest. Upadhyay, who is NewsWatch Station Manager, was named Best Television Journalist in Best of the South contest, and he and senior NewsWatch anchor Gabriel Austin won first place in the onsite Television Reporting team category.

Other first-place winners were:

  • Ellen Whitaker, first place in the onsite page layout competition. Whitaker is a DM Design Editor.
  • Sierra Mannie, first place in the onsite op-ed writing competition. Mannie is DM Opinion Editor. Read the column at theDMonline.com.
  • Adam Ganucheau, first place for Best Special Event Reporer/Editor in Best of the South. Ganucheau broke the news in February 2014 that the James Meredith statute on campus was found draped with a noose and a flag with Confederate symbols, and the award was for his news coverage as well as editorials and enterprise, including an interview with James Meredith in Jackson. This is the second year in a row that Ganucheau won first place in this category. Ganucheau is former Daily Mississippian Editor-in-Chief. He graduated last May, and is working as a reporter for AL.com in Birmingham.

Other students who won awards were:

  • Clara Turnage, second place for Best Feature Writer in Best of the South. Turnage is DM Lifestyles Editor.
  • Sarah Parrish, second place in the copy editing onsite competition. Parrish is DM Managing Editor.
  • Shawna Mackenzie Hicks, second place in the onsite media ethics competition. Hicks is DM Copy Chief.
  • Payton Green, second place in the onsite current events competition. Green is NewsWatch News Director.
  • Miriam Cresswell, second place for Best Journalism Research Paper. Her paper was titled “The Disappearance of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner and the Media’s Response,” and she wrote it for “The Press and The Changing South” class taught by Dr. Kathleen Wickham. Creswell, former NewsWatch Station Manager, graduated last May, and is working as a producer at WAAY-TV in Huntsville.
  • Lacey Russell, third place for Best News Writer in Best of the South, and honorable mention in the onsite feature writing competition. Russell is DM Editor-in-Chief.
  • Dylan Rubino, third place for Best Sports Writer in Best of the South. Rubino is DM Sports Editor.
  • Allison Moore, third place for Best Newspaper Page Layout Designer in Best of the South. Moore is a DM Design Editor.
  • Ian Cleary, fourth place for Best News-Editorial Artist-Illustrator. Cleary is DM cartoonist.
  • Gabriel Austin, fourth place for Best TV Hard News Reporter in Best of the South. Austin is a NewsWatch anchor.
  • Amy Hornsby, sixth place for Best Advertising Staff Member in Best of the South. Hornsby is Rebel Radio Interim Station Manager.
  • Browning Stubbs, sixth place for Best Multimedia Journalist. Stubbs is NewsWatch Sports Director, DM basketball beat writer, and a Rebel Radio sports DJ.
  • Kendyl Noon, ninth place for Best TV News Feature Reporter. Noon is a NewsWatch anchor and DM Online Editor.

NewsWatch Ch. 99 won third place for Best College Video News Program, and fourth place for Best College TV Station. The Daily Mississippian won sixth place for Best College Newspaper, and was the only daily newspaper honored. TheDMonline.com won tenth place as Best College Website.

Best of the South had 523 entries from 33 universities. About 200 students from across the southeast competed in the onsite competitions.

More than 45 universities in seven states are members of SEJC. The 2016 conference will be at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. In 2017, the conference will be here at the University of Mississippi.

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, mckendri@olemiss.edu.