Archive | JMC Dept.

The News celebrates 90 years

Posted on 06 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Doc McGaughey, left, Ryan Brooks and Ann Landini share memories at The Murray State News reunion in October.

The first issue of The College News can be seen here.

John Mark Roberts, left, and David Ramey look through some of the old issues of The Murray State News they helped produce in the 1985-86 school year. The paper celebrated its 90th anniversary with a newsroom reunion prior to the Homecoming football game.

Issues of The News from August 2012 to present can be found online on the paper’s Issuu channel at this link.

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Class gains real world sales experience

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Students in the fall semester JMC 426 class sold over $14,000 in advertising to support the 2018 edition of Gateway Magazine, a product of The Murray State News. From the left they are: Row 1 – Mary Katelyn Hayden and Mary Kathrine Curtis; Row 2 – Instructor Robert Valentine, Savanna Hatfield, Jessica Wellington, Katelyn Suitor; Row 3 – Morgan Rutledge, Laura Miller, Brittany McClain; Row 4 – Ali Alajmi, Austin Carner, Rachel Solomon; Row 5: Mohammed Alshatti, Chandler Cochran, Patrick Wadlinton, Aziz Liu, and John Bivins. (Not shown: Joe McMahon, Sydney Cline)

The spring semester class will sell ads to make possible the use of a smartphone app to provide directions, schedules and enrollment information for the 2018 Summer Orientation program. JMC 426 students regularly bring in more than $30,000 each year to support MSU print products used in enrollment and recruitment activities.

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Outstanding students recognized at annual honors banquet

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

The top graduating seniors were recognized at the department’s annual honors banquet. From left: Kyara Roberson, advertising; Abby Siegel, public relations; Shelby Smithson, journalism; Dr. Debbie Owens, chair; Adam Loehr, TV production; Alissa Sommerfeldt, public relations; and Brandi Gooch, graphic communications media. Allie Douglass, outstanding graduate student, is not pictured.

Seven graduating students were recognized as the top students in their majors at the JMC department’s spring honors banquet April 26. Those receiving this recognition were Kyara Roberson, Shelby Smithson, Abby Siegel, Alissa Sommerfeldt, Adam Loehr, Brandi Gooch, and Allie Douglass.

Roberson was named the outstanding senior in advertising. She was a graphic communications technology minor. She had served as a social media intern for Bundles for Queens. Roberson was a member of Ads Club.

Smithson was the top student in journalism. She was a TV production major and journalism minor.

She had an internship with WPSD Local 6. On campus she worked as a reporter and co-host of “Roundabout U” and as a co-host and co-producer for “MSU 2Nite.”

She was a member of TV Club, Alpha Gamma Delta, Campus Activities Board and The Winner’s Circle.

Siegel was one of two outstanding seniors in public relations. She also majored in nonprofit leadership studies. She was an organizational communications minor.

She worked as news editor for The Murray State News and as a writer for Gateway Magazine. She was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, Honors Student Council, Baptist Campus Ministry, Racer Rowing, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, president of Wave with Living Waters for the World, and a Peace Corps ambassador.

Sommerfeldt was one of two outstanding seniors in public relations. She was an advertising minor. She had public relations internships with Murray State’s Alumni Association and the University’s Office of Development.

Her off-campus internships included Caterpillar Inc., VoiceBox Media and Owensboro’s RiverPark Center.

She was a residential advisor in Elizabeth Hall and a Summer O counselor. She served as president and vice president of the Public Relations Student Society of America, participated in the University’s Student Ambassador program, and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Loehr was the outstanding student in TV production. He was a theatre technical/design minor.

He was active in the TV Club.

Gooch was the outstanding student in graphic communications media. She was an art/graphic and web design minor.

She was a freelance graphic and web designer.

Douglass was named the outstanding mass communications graduate student. She had received her bachelor’s degree in graphic communications management/photography from Murray State in 2012.

She had worked as a photographer for the Paducah Sun, a public relations specialist for Murray State, and was the University’s visual communications coordinator.

She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Leadership Women, MSU Residential College Task Force, and the Elizabeth College advisory council.

In addition to the top seniors, the departmental clubs and organizations recognized the achievements within their groups. Kappa Tau Alpha inductees were named during the banquet.

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Anderson named adviser for The Murray State News

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Stephanie Anderson defended her dissertation in June. Her committee included, from left, Melony Shemberger, Teresa Clark, Anderson, and Robert McGaughey. She completed her doctorate in August.

Dr. Stephanie Anderson has joined the JMC department as an assistant professor in the journalism sequence and advisor for The Murray State News.

Anderson received all three of her degrees from Murray State. She earned her bachelor’s in electronic journalism in 2004 and her master’s in mass communications in 2008. She recently completed her doctorate of education in August 2017.

Anderson at her hooding ceremony

Anderson was a member of the inaugural cohort of the College of Education and Services’ P20 and community leadership doctoral program. This is the second doctoral program offered at Murray State.

Anderson specializes in the area of trauma journalism. Her dissertation topic, How to educate collegiate journalists to cover and cope with traumatic events, has already been integrated into her JMC 398 Reporting for Broadcast and Online Media course. She will present her findings at the Kentucky Press Association conference as well as the Broadcast Education Association’s national conference in 2018.

After working in television news in Paducah and Albuquerque as a producer and assignment editor, she transitioned to public relations in the casino entertainment and non-profit industries. Before beginning her career in academia, she worked in advertising sales for newspapers and magazines in Illinois and Kentucky.

Anderson began teaching as an adjunct in the JMC department in 2010, teaching at the Paducah campus as well as the main campus.

She is a lifelong member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and currently serves as the communications advisor. She was the recipient of the L.J. Horton Journalism Scholarship, which is what originally brought her to Murray State in 2000. In 2015, she was awarded the Vincent T. Wasilewski Award from the Broadcast Education Association.

She is married to Robert Anderson and has two stepchildren.

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Workshop draws high school student media to campus

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

MSU President Dr. Bob Davies welcomed the students and faculty attending the High School Media Workshop. Students were able to choose from a number of workshop topics related to student media.

The department’s annual High School Media Workshop attracted 284 students and advisers from 10 high schools to campus Sept. 22.

Students and their advisers were able to choose from a variety of sessions of interest to those working with their school’s yearbook, newspaper, TV station or website.

Sessions included: how to tell what’s CRAAP and what’s not, asking the hard questions: how to get anyone to talk to you, crafting an effective ad, capturing the game: sports still photography, latest trends in memory books, InDesign basics, designing a mass media website, a celebration of media arts: video awards and celebration, advertising sales, leadership and group communication, you can get paid for writing (careers in the media), feature writing, “going social” (media that is), looking good in print, broadcast announcing, and curating content with Storify–a trend in news story creation.

Students were able to tour The Murray State News and participate in a number of breakout meetings related to different sections of a newspaper.

Prior to the sessions an awards ceremony recognized the top entries in a variety of fields.

First place winners in the newspaper contest were: news writing, Calloway County; feature writing, Evansville Mater Dei; reviews, McCracken County; personality profiles, Calloway County; editorial and opinion, Calloway County; sports writing, Calloway County; photography, Calloway County; illustrations and graphics, McCracken County; column, Calloway County; page one design, McCracken County; feature design, Calloway County; sports design, Evansville Mater Dei; and overall design, Calloway County.

First place winners in the video contest were: news/feature package, Calloway County; sports package, Graves County; news/feature program, Calloway County; sports show, Murray; and digital shorts, Ft. Campbell.

First place winners in the yearbook competition were: best feature, McCracken County; best sports feature, Mater Dei; best sports section, Ft. Campbell; best school life section, Ft. Campbell; best cover, Mater Dei; and best overall, McCracken County.

Click here for newspaper winners, video winners,, and yearbook winners.

High schools attending the workshop were Ballard Memorial, Calloway County, Christian Fellowship, Fort Campbell, Graves County, Mater Dei, McCracken County, Murray, St. Mary, and Trigg County.

Andrew Buhler, Jostens publishing manager and JMC alum, told students about the latest trends in yearbooks.

Departmental faculty/staff conducting sessions for the workshop included: Dr. Stephanie Anderson, Chris Haynes, Orville Herndon, Dr. Marcie Hinton, Gross Magee, Brent Norsworthy, Dr. Debbie Owens, Dr. Kevin Qualls, Dr. Melony Shemberger, Elizabeth Thomas, Robert Valentine, and Gill Welsch.

Outside professionals assisting in the workshop included: Debbie Battinger, The Paris Post-Intelligencer, Andrew Buhler, Jostens; Shelley Street Byrne, The Mayfield Messenger; Jeremy McKeel, MSU Digital Media Services; and Dana Statton, MSU Libraries.

According to Workshop Director Leigh Wright, the 2018 High School Media Workshop is scheduled for Sept. 28.

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The News excels in annual Ky. Press Association contest

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

The Murray State News received 17 awards at the Kentucky Press Association Convention in January. The paper’s 2016 Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers awards were:

Best General News Story, first place–Abby Siegel;
Best Ongoing Extended Coverage Story, second place;
Best General News Picture, third place–McKenna Dosier;
Best Sports Picture, second Place–Jenny Rohl;
Best Sports Picture Essay, third place–Chalice Keith;
Best Special Section, first place;
Best Graphic, second place–Austin Gordon and Gisselle Hernandez;
Best Graphic, third place – Austin Gordon;
Best Lifestyle Page, second place–Gisselle Hernandez;
Best Front Page, first place–Connor Jaschen;
Food and Alcohol Ad, first place–Spencer Price;
Furniture Ad, certificate of merit–Austin Gordon;
Group Promotion, certificate of merit–Alex Hilkey;
Best Use of Color, first place–Spencer Price;
Best Ad Series, first place;
Holiday Greeting Ads/Misc., certificate of merit–Austin Gordon; and
Creative Use of the Newspaper, second place–Austin Gordon.

Ryan Alessi and Joe Hedges were co-advisers of the paper for the spring 2016 semester. Stephanie Elder Anderson became The News’ adviser in the fall 2016 semester.

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Students attend storytelling workshop

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Three JMC students attended a storytelling workshop featuring Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute at the spring meeting of the Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters.

During the workshop, Tompkins showed students how to create videos on their phones, how to create easy social media graphics from their phones and how to craft effective broadcast news stories.

Tompkins, a Fredonia native, attended Murray State University before transferring to Western Kentucky University. His career as a reporter and news director extended from Paducah to Nashville, Tenn. He is now the senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Participating students were Emily Hancock, a sophomore television production major from Bumpous Mills, Tenn.; Allison Laski, a senior television production major from Lexington, Ky., and Ashley Traylor, a sophomore television production major from Birmingham, Ala.

Dr. Melony Shemberger and Leigh Wright, assistant professors of journalism, accompanied the students.

Additionally, Wright began her term as a board member for the Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters during the meeting.

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Media pros share experience with seniors

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Media professionals visited campus to talk with seniors in the JMC department. Some of the participating professionals are, front row from left: Lauren Ruser, Kim Hamby, Meredith Krones, Bob Norsworthy, Tab Brockman, Miranda Ochsner, Matt Wilham, back row from left: Chris Lovorn, Beth Klasskin, Roger Seay, Denham Rogers, William Amos, Collin Buckingham, Spencer Nowell, Jeremy McKeel, Hawkins Teague, and Dr. Debbie Owens.

 Seniors had a chance to meet and talk with professionals in their respective majors Oct. 26. The annual event began with panel discussions for each of the department’s majors. After the panel discussions, students met with the professionals in a “speed interview” reception. 

Professionals participating in the advertising panel were Robert Norsworthy, executive in residence for Murray State’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Miranda Ochsner, media strategist for HLK in St. Louis, and Matthew Wilham, junior strategist at Bisig Impact Group in Louisville, Ky. Dr. Bob McGaughey, retired department chair, was the moderator for the advertising panel.

Denham Rogers, director of marketing for Hutson, Inc. in Murray, and Chris Lovorn, vice president of sales for Quad/Graphics, were the professionals who met with graphic communications media students.

Journalism students listened to the perspectives of Beth Klasskin, executive producer of Spectrum News in Louisville, Ky., Roger Seay, news director at KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Hawkins Teague, managing editor at The Murray Ledger & Times. Leigh Wright was the moderator for the journalism panel.

Majors in public relations gained insight from William Amos, special events coordinator for the City of Mobile, Ala., Tab Brockman, superintendent of Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation in Hopkinsville, Ky., Kim Hamby, public relations director for the Mayfield, Ky., Independent School District, Meredith Krones, social media strategist for Humana in Louisville, Ky., and Lauren Ruser, digital media strategist for Second Street in St. Louis. Dr. Tim Vance was the moderator for the public relations panel discussion.

Television production majors heard from Collin Buckingham, a freelancer in the film industry from Glendale, Calif., Jeremy McKeel, director of Digital Media Services at Murray State University, and Spencer Nowell, producer for WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky. Dr. Kevin Qualls was the moderator for the TV production panel.

Gill Welsch was the coordinator for Meet the Pros. The 2018 Meet the Pros program is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 1.

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Chair chronicles a year of accomplishments

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

We continue to make progress in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. In the last year, we’ve experienced two academic program reviews, a departmental retreat, new faculty hires and numerous accolades. Here are a few highlights:

Dr. Bella Ezumah is the new graduate program director.


Dr. Stephanie Anderson has settled into her appointment as assistant professor and adviser to The Murray State News.

Dr. Sonya Noruwa, J.D., joins us as an assistant professor and 2017-18 Provost Diversity Fellow. She teaches both introductory and intermediate undergraduate courses.

Chad Lampe, MS ’08, and WKMS station manager, joins us as an adjunct to teach a special topics course titled, “Podcasting: Telling a Human Story.”

Advertising instructor Gill Welsch received MSU’s Distinguished Service Award.

Broadcaster Amy Bryan Watson, ‘89, received an MSU 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Melony Shemberger held a 2017 Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy Fellowship.

JMC faculty are making progress
Another successful round of workshops brought high school journalism and broadcast students to campus, hosted Google training sessions for faculty, students and journalists, and brought professionals on campus to interact with JMC students during Meet the Pros and Gravure Day.

Faculty won “Bring Learning to Life” grants which will enhance their ability to teach using digital technology.

This summer, a team of JMC faculty and a graduate student collaborated with Kendall Hunt publishing company to produce a curriculum-specific version of an undergraduate textbook for Contemporary Mass Media, a required core course for all our majors.

Additionally, faculty presented their research at ACA/PCA, AEJMC, BEA and MAPOR, to name a few.

We’ve rebooted our undergraduate curriculum. Faculty have renamed several courses that reflect the types of industry-skills that our JMC students are both learning and producing. Revamped titles include Advertising Capstone: The Campaign; Advanced Multimedia Reporting; Collaborative Journalism Capstone; PR Capstone: Cases and Campaigns; Capstone in Media Production. We’re further integrating Graphic Communications Media into the core curriculum for all majors through a newly designed co-requisite course, Introduction to Digital Imaging.

Graduate faculty worked with deans in the Bauernfeind College of Business to design an accelerated mass communications master’s degree program.

At our JMC departmental retreat in November, faculty explored ideas to develop an extended summer workshop for area high school media advisors and students. Participants also addressed strategies for increasing our efforts to promote diversity and inclusiveness throughout the curriculum, which we generally do practice. However, faculty agreed that in order to better emphasize these issues to our students, diversity-related items should be clearly identified in course syllabi. We will revisit the current departmental diversity plan in order to determine where new challenges might arise. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) Diversity and Inclusiveness Standard includes matters of race, gender, physical (dis)ability, gender preference, culture, class and globalism. Ultimately, we want to establish a consistent approach to meeting, if not, surpassing this standard.

JMC students are making progress
Our students won awards and garnered recognition from organizations such as Kentucky Press Association, Kappa Tau Alpha JMC Honorary Society, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

They presented research at venues such as MSU’s Scholar’s Week and AEJMC.

During 2017 Homecoming weekend, students and staff and alumni of The Murray State News celebrated its 90th year of excellence!

Our students remained engaged in communities both at home and abroad. They held internships at regional and national media outlets. They earned jobs in the industry or sought advanced degrees.

Just as many other institutions of higher education are regrouping in order to meet the challenges of budget cuts and declining student enrollment, we are exploring opportunities to generate revenue via grants, workshops and new program offerings.

Our enthusiastic JMC Ambassadors will hit the recruitment trail in 2018 with a student-produced brochure and video campaign.

So, with all that’s happened this year, thank you for supporting our program, the JMC Foundation, and for keeping the Racer tradition at the forefront of your thoughts.

You’re helping us keep pace with the technology-driven changes in classroom delivery and the industry-level training that our students need in order to succeed in their fields. This is where their media careers begin. And as an alum of JMC, your support helps us continue to grow future generations of media professionals. Now, that’s progress!

We look forward to hearing from you in 2018!

Debbie Owens
interim chair

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Department upgrades TV master control

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

The JMC department upgraded the TV-11 studios during the summer. High definition equipment was installed in master control. Future plans include updating the studio lighting..

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