The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

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Meek School journalism professor featured on ‘Hardball’ with Chris Matthews

Posted on: May 30th, 2018 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi journalism professor Ellen Meacham recently appeared on “Hardball” with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GckzdnAkPSE

In the video, Meacham details Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to the Mississippi Delta in 1967 in her new book Delta Epiphany: RFK in Mississippi.

Meacham’s book, published by University Press of Mississippi, examines the history, economics and politics of the Delta and how those factors influenced the lives of people whom Kennedy met there during that visit.

The book was inspired by a description from fellow journalist Curtis Wilkie’s memoir of Kennedy in a dark shack trying to speak to a toddler who was paying more attention to crumbs on the floor.

“I wondered about the impact it had on Kennedy, because it’s mentioned as an important moment in all of his biographies,” Meacham said. “The next question I had was, ‘What happened to the baby?’”

After seven years of searching, Meacham found and interviewed children from the four families Kennedy encountered on his visit, including that toddler.

“As I got into the research, I realized pretty quickly that there was a big part of the story that had not been told,” she said. “Most of the contemporary news accounts and later historians had only looked at RFK on the stage. The people who were living the lives that moved him so were more of a ‘poverty stage set.’”

Meacham wanted to tell the stories of those people.

“It became very important to me to bring those families into the light and find out how they came to be in that place at that time, what struggles they faced and their accomplishments since,” she said. “I think it brings more balance.

“It’s not just a story of a hero or a saint, it’s about a real person meeting real people.”

The book also features about a dozen photos, including the cover, that are published for the first time.

“The photographs were essential to telling this story,” Meacham said. “They brought such a vivid realism that showed the impact of the visit on Kennedy in a powerful way.”

A working journalist for more than two decades, Meacham used her experience as a newspaper reporter in Mississippi, which gave her access to contacts within both politics and journalism in the state, putting her in a unique position to tell these stories.

“Ellen Meacham is a talented and perceptive journalist who recognized, nearly a half-century after the fact, the great impact of Robert Kennedy’s brief trip to the Mississippi Delta in 1967,” said Wilkie, a UM associate professor of journalism and fellow of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

“It was a mission that changed his life, the tortured history of that region and the nation’s attitude toward hungry people in America. Though Ellen was not old enough to have been there, her investigation of the story has brought it back to life, and it is an example of her valuable work.”

Note: Most of this article was written by Christina Stuebe, from University Communications.

Street speaks to members of College Public Relations Association of Mississippi

Posted on: May 24th, 2018 by ldrucker

Senior Lecturer in Public Relations Robin Street spoke to members of the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi May 21 at Holmes Community College – Ridgeland. PR staff members from all four-year and community colleges in the state can join.

Street spoke about the It Starts with (Me)ek anti-stereotyping campaign she and 30 students put on at the Meek School. Street’s former students and other Meek School alumni were well represented. Alumni Mary Margaret Turner Busby and Barin von Foregger organized the conference.

From left are UM alumni with Street in the college where they work as communication specialists. Front row: Steve Diffey (Holmes), Donna Thomas (ICC), Street and Julie Bauer (NWCC).

Second row: Natalie Davis (Co-Lin), Mary Margaret Busby (Holmes), Pam Starling (Ole Miss), Barin von Foregger (Holmes). Third row:  Nell Luter Floyd (Millsaps), Cathy Hayden (Hinds) and Sarah Sapp (Ole Miss).

Thompson named executive director of Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications

Posted on: May 21st, 2018 by ldrucker

Patricia Thompson, assistant dean at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, will be the new executive director of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Thompson will succeed Susanne Shaw, a professor at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas, who has been executive director of ACEJMC for more than 30 years.

ACEJMC’s headquarters will move to the University of Mississippi. Thompson will continue in her role as Meek School assistant dean for student media and assistant professor, and she will hire staff to help with ACEJMC and student media duties.

“ACEJMC is very fortunate to attract a journalist and journalism educator of Pat’s caliber to serve as our executive director,” said Peter Bhatia, editor of the Detroit Free Press and ACEJMC president. “She will build on the incredible accomplishments of Susanne Shaw and lead us forward in working to help journalism education remain essential and up to date.”

ACEJMC is responsible for the evaluations of professional journalism and communications programs at colleges and universities. There are 118 accredited programs, primarily in the United States, but also in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, the UAE, Qatar and New Zealand. The executive director reports to the Accrediting Council and works closely with officers of the council and the Accrediting Committee.

Shaw said she is pleased the council offered the job to Thompson. “She has outstanding experience and is an excellent choice to be ACEJMC executive director,” Shaw said.

Thompson has been involved in journalism accreditation for more than two decades, serving on site teams, serving two terms on the ACEJMC national committee, and as a member and chair of the ACEJMC appeals board. She has served the accreditation organization as a professional journalist and as a journalism educator.

“This is the perfect next step in my path as a journalist and professor passionate about journalism since I was 11 years old,” Thompson said. “Susanne has been an outstanding, inspirational executive director for ACEJMC, guiding it for many years through the massive changes in media and in education. Her name is synonymous with upholding standards for college journalism and mass communications programs. It won’t be easy to follow in her footsteps. I look forward to learning from her and from Council President Peter Bhatia as I move forward to take over.”

Before she joined the Meek School faculty in 2009, Thompson was an award-winning journalist who worked for many years as a writer and editor at newspapers, including The Washington Post and The San Jose Mercury News. She was an assistant professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she taught classes and ran journalism programs.

In addition to her work leading the Student Media Center and advising The Daily Mississippian and theDMonline.com, during the past nine years she has worked with students on projects that have won state, regional and national journalism awards. She has taught writing and editing classes, chaired and served on Meek School and university committees, and served as president of the Southeast Journalism Conference.

“The naming of Pat Thompson as executive director of ACEJMC demonstrates the respect faculty in the Meek School have earned,” said H. Will Norton Jr., dean of the Meek School. “Pat is a highly regarded journalist and educator who has raised the profile of the Meek School.”

Thompson is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She was a Presidential Scholar, a Curators Scholar, inducted into the Kappa Tau Alpha journalism honor society and the recipient of numerous other awards and honors.

Around 400 students graduated in May from Meek School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: May 20th, 2018 by ldrucker

It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but this month, the Meek School of Journalism and New Media sent several hundred students out into the real world who will be pursuing their dream jobs.

More than 400 Meek School students graduated from the University of Mississippi this May, and these integrated marketing communications students and future journalists are starting a new chapter in their lives.

There were 402 Meek School graduates, including those who earned master’s degrees in journalism and IMC. Of those, 328 walked in the graduation ceremony.

Photo by Andrew Long

The speaker for the graduation ceremony was Dick Starmann, who graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1968. A Midwest native, Starmann carefully investigated universities throughout the nation and came to Ole Miss in the mid-1960s because of the uncommon Department of Journalism that offered a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism in the School of Business. He went on to become a leading global communications/marketing executive.

Starmann has practiced crisis management in the United States, Asia and the Pacific Basin for 30 years. As a senior officer and member of McDonald’s Corporation’s top management, he was in charge of worldwide communications and led the company’s global Crisis Management Response & Preparedness team from 1981-1998. He was an officer of the McDonald’s Corporation for 19 of his 27 years with the company.

Photo by Andrew Long.

Starmann has firsthand, on-the-ground management experience with health issues and food- and air-borne illnesses, and he has developed terrorist command and control plans for American companies in the United States, Europe and Asia.

He was a first lieutenant and paratrooper in the U.S. Army Special Forces in Vietnam from 1968-1970. He also is a former member of the board of directors of the San Diego Padres professional baseball team.

Photo by Andrew Long.

He was a senior advisor to the late Joan B. Kroc, widow of McDonald’s Corp. founder, Ray A. Kroc. Upon her passing in 2003, Starmann was co-trustee of Mrs. Kroc’s estate headquartered in San Diego, California.

He has lectured on crisis management at Dartmouth, Purdue and the universities of Nebraska, Mississippi and Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, he is a speaker in the MBA program and former chair and current member of the Advisory Council for the College of Business. In 2006, the Kroc Institute at the University of Notre Dame, inaugurated a Research Chair in Peace Studies in his honor.

After Starmann’s speech, Meek School Dean Will Norton, Ph.D., addressed the audience of graduates and their friends and families.

“Mothers and fathers, we thank you for lending your sons and daughters to us these last few years,” he said. “We trust that the significance of their years at Ole Miss and the Meek School will be with them every day for the rest of their lives.”

Street honored for making University of Mississippi more inclusive for LGBTQ students

Posted on: May 11th, 2018 by ldrucker

Robin Street, senior lecturer in journalism, has been recognized once again for her work to make the University of Mississippi more inclusive for all students.

The Allies Program recognized Street as the 2018 faculty recipient of the Vicki Mahan Ally of the Year Award. The award was created in 2015 to recognize the work of Vicki Mahan, who was retiring from the university. She created and ran the Allies Program for more than a decade.

The award recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make the university a welcoming, accepting, and inclusive place for LGBTQ students, faculty and staff.

Street, who organized and led a program last year called It Starts With MEek that promoted diversity and inclusivity, shares the award this year with Vice Chancellor Brandi Hephner Lebanc, the staff/administrator recipient.

Street is pictured with Kevin Cozart, operations coordinator, for the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies.

‘Mr. Magazine™’ Samir Husni named as one of four 2018 Franklin Luminaire Award winners

Posted on: May 3rd, 2018 by ldrucker

Idealliance and Printing Industries Alliance have announced that the Meek School’s own Dr. Samir Husni -“Mr. Magazine™” – has been named one of four winners of the 2018 Franklin Luminaire Awards.

Husni, of the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media, Chris Harrold of Mohawk Fine Papers, Rebecca Pappas of BizBash Media, and John G. Sommers, Jr., of Allied Printing Services will be recipients of 2018 Franklin Luminaire Awards.

The awards, which recognize exceptional professionals for their positive contribution and service within the media and graphic communications industry, will be presented at the annual Franklin Luminaire Awards event Oct. 17 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Event sponsorships are available and are offered at early bird rates through July 31.

“The annual Franklin Luminaire Awards event provides an opportunity for professionals from every sector of our industry to come together and recognize the contributions of incredibly talented and dedicated individuals who have proven their commitment to excellence,” said Meghan Milkowski, co-chair of the Franklin Luminaire Committee and vice president of Operations-Print Group at Dow Jones.

Franklin Luminaire Committee Co-Chair Steve Drew, of the Sales Executive-Magazine Group at LSC Communications, said they look forward to honoring the four outstanding industry professionals and expressing their appreciation for their singular contributions to the industry during the awards program.

“Some 400 industry members attend this event each year, a testament to the strength of our industry and the contributions made by our honorees during their careers,” he said.

Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at The University of Mississippi. He is also professor and Hederman Lecturer at the university’s School of Journalism and New Media.

As Mr. Magazine™, he engages in media consulting and research for the magazine media and publishing industry in the United States and across the globe. Husni has written books and presented seminars on the future of print in a digital age. His latest book, Print Proud Digital Smart: The Book of Quotes, was published in March of this year.

Chris Harrold is vice president and creative director at Mohawk Fine Papers in Cohoes, N.Y., where he has responsibility for brand management, strategic market development, and creative direction for the company’s product and marketing campaigns.

Harrold joined Mohawk in 1990, holding positions from sales to marketing, and played a pivotal role establishing Mohawk as a market leader in digital printing. He is a Lynda.com author and speaks extensively on the role printing and paper play in design.

Harrold holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from the State University of New York Oswego and an MFA degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology College of Imaging Arts & Sciences.

Rebecca Pappas is vice president of production, customer service, and audience development at BizBash Media in New York. She previously served as director of publisher relations at Qmags, where she worked with more than 50 publishers to manage the production, distribution, and marketing strategies of the digital editions of some of the industry’s largest B2B media companies, and as director of circulation and manufacturing for BZ Media, a multi-title publisher in the IT space, where she worked with the newly formed BPA Worldwide’s Digital Task Force to help formulate digital edition audit rules and requirements.

John G. Sommers, Jr., president and CEO of Allied Printing Services, Manchester, Connecticut., grew up in and around his family’s business, working through school vacations to learn the printing industry from the “ground up.” He studied business finance at Stonehill College.

After graduation, he joined the family business earlier than planned because his father, company president and CEO, felt the business needed him to make an immediate impact during the economic recession. He worked in all internal departments at Allied, followed by outside sales, and was named president in 2011, shortly before his father’s untimely passing in 2013. Since that time, Allied has grown significantly and consistently reinvested in new equipment and technology under his leadership.

Idealliance, a global thought leader in the graphic communications industry since 1896, is a non-profit industry organization with 11 strategically located offices around the world. Idealliance serves brands; content and media creators; manufacturers; service providers in mail, marketing, print and packaging; and material suppliers and technology partners worldwide.

Meek School magazine students visit Meredith Corp. in Birmingham

Posted on: May 2nd, 2018 by ldrucker

Samir Husni, Ph.D., also known as Mr. Magazine, recently took six magazine students with him to visit the Meredith Corp. in Birmingham, publisher of Southern Living, Coastal Living, Cooking Light and Food & Wine.

They spent a day with magazine editors and toured the famous test kitchens.

Sid Evans, editor-in-chief of Southern Living and Coastal Living, and Hunter Lewis, editor-in-chief of Cooking Light and Food & Wine magazines reviewed and commented on the magazine students’ magazine ideas.

The one-day trip ended with an hour and a half meeting with the director of human resources at Meredith in Birmingham, Carole Cain. Hannah Willis was one of the students who attended.

“Throughout the day, we toured their incredible food studios, seeing shoots in progress and talking to food studio professionals,” she said. “People from all parts of the four magazines (Southern Living, Coastal Living, Food & Wine, and Cooking Light) came and talked to us about the day-to-day working of their magazines. It was an incredible opportunity to see the industry up close.”

Willis said she learned a lot.

“Most importantly, I learned that this is a constant job that requires an individual to stay on top of all trends while creating excellent content and navigating the differences between their print and digital platforms,” she said.

Lana Ferguson, editor-in-chief of The Daily Mississippian, the University of Mississippi’s campus newspaper, said students met and interacted with different people in charge of different parts of the magazines and brands.

“We toured the infamous Time Inc. Kitchen Studio and saw the behind-the-scenes making of recipes, videos, and even .gifs,” she said. “And throughout the rest of the day, we met with experts in areas from social media, travel, video, food and more.”

Ferguson, who said she remembers flipping through the pages of Southern Living magazine before she could read, said she was surprised by some of the things she learned during the tour.

“As someone who has interned with a magazine and held editor roles in a newspaper, I thought I had an idea of how these legacy brands were run, but this experience was eye opening,” she said. “I now know some of the intricate details and effort that goes into every page of a magazine, the scheduling of production months in advance, and the developing of digital pieces that supplement the already-established print products.

“A lot of the people we spoke with mentioned ‘the reader is your boss,’ and that reminded me of how I got into journalism to serve people, and most of them did too, so I really appreciated that as well.”

Student Brittany Abbott said she was impressed by many things, including the building.

“We saw the Time Inc. test kitchens that are on the top floor paired with the camera studios for the magazine work,” she said. “We also saw the basic building process from beginning to end for the magazine.”

Abbott said she learned it takes a team to make a successful magazine like Parents or Southern Living.

“Everyone had a very specific job and a time to do that job,” she said. “They worked together so well. It was wonderful. I’m so grateful I got to go.”

Meek School graduate who works at Harper’s Bazaar returns for a visit

Posted on: May 2nd, 2018 by ldrucker

Ignacio Murillo, a 2014 Meek School of Journalism and New Media student, returned to the school to speak to students last week enrolled in the classes of Ann Day Becker and Debbie Hall.

Murillo works for Harper’s Bazaar, America’s first women’s fashion magazine, based in New York City.

According to a 2017 HottyToddy.com article, Murillo was born in Mexico, but moved to Horn Lake, Mississippi when he was 10. He dreamed of moving to New York City after graduating college, but didn’t think that dream would actually come true.

Read the article to learn more about how his dream became a reality.

Meek School is proud of regional campus students

Posted on: May 2nd, 2018 by ldrucker

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media is proud of students enrolled in classes on our regional campuses.

Here is a photo of two integrated marketing communication DeSoto campus graduates at a recent ceremony.

From left, student Billy Wilson, IMC regional campus leader Pattie Overstreet-Miller, and student Jessica Huff.

UM graduate talks public relations with Meek School students

Posted on: April 27th, 2018 by ldrucker

Students in Robin Street’s Public Relations Techniques class met with Reade Tidwell, who works in corporate communications with Chick-fil-A, this week. Tidwell spoke and answered questions, especially about her role as the head of internal communications for the national company. Tidwell, a University of Mississippi Business School graduate, is originally from Clarksdale.