Archive | JMC Dept.

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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PR 360 focuses on advertising, PR students

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Dr. Bob Davies, president, Murray State University, welcomed attendees to the department’s PR 360 program on March 30. The day-long event provided a variety of workshops, seminars and career-related activities primarily for public relations and advertising students.

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Ads Club participates in NSAC

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Members of the MSU Ads Club wait their turn to present in the district round of the 2016 National Student Advertising Competition operated by the American Advertising Federation.  The competition assignment asked AAF college chapters across the U.S. to develop a marketing and advertising plan that sells Snapple tea and fruit drinks in the Midwest, South and West.  Pictured are presenters (from left) Alex Scira, Kiara Austin, Austin Gordon, Rick Elver, and Jacquelyn Patterson.  

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Gravure Day brings professionals to campus

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Stephanie Masco, director of content development, Savant Learning Systems, Inc., was one of the speakers for Gravure Day on April 1. This annual event gives graphic communications media students the opportunity to learn from industry professionals.

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The News nominated for Pacemaker

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

The Murray State News was recognized at the ACP conference as a nominee for the Pacemaker Award. Representing The News at the conference was Stephanie Elder, adviser; Ashley Traylor, staff writer; Gisselle Hernandez, features editor; and Connor Jaschen, editor in chief.

The Murray State News was recognized in October as one of the top collegiate newspapers in the country.

The News was named one of 30 finalists for the coveted Pacemaker award from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP). ACP gives the award out to four categories of publications: online, newspaper, yearbook and magazine. Teams of professionals judge the entries based on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics, according to the ACP website.

This is not the first time the student publication has been recognized for this top honor. The Murray State News won the Pacemaker award in 2004 and was last nominated in 2006.

The work of the 2015-16 staff of The Murray State News puts the newspaper in the top 1 percent in the United States, according to the Associated Collegiate Press.

Connor Jaschen, editor-in-chief, Gisselle Hernandez, features editor, Ashley Traylor, staff writer, and Stephanie Elder Anderson, faculty adviser, represented Murray State at the ACP national conference in Washington in October to accept the finalist award.

The News representatives attended dozens of sessions at the conference as well as toured the White House and the Newseum.

They also had the opportunity to hear speakers such as Donna Brazile, Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman, Bob Woodward, one of the two journalists responsible for breaking the Watergate scandal, and Edward Snowden, the former intelligence officer who revealed in 2013 that the NSA was seizing private records of billions of U.S. citizens.

Stephanie Elder Anderson met Bob Woodward at the ACP national conference.

Jaschen, Traylor and Hernandez toured the White House as part of the conference events

After listening to Washington Post journalist, Bob Woodward speak, Elder Anderson was honored to meet the award-winning author and have him sign her copy of All the President’s Men, a book she uses to teach investigative journalism in her courses.

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Students study health issues

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Students in JMC 597 Advanced Reporting delved into the world of health care reporting for their spring and fall 2016 projects.

The spring 2016 class examined the challenges far western Kentuckians face when dealing with health insurance. Stories ranged from newsfeatures about people who could not afford insurance premiums to podcasts about recent action by the state legislature regarding several health care bills. Their site is

The fall 2016 class undertook the challenge of examining mental health resources in far western Kentucky. Students produced newsfeature stories, podcasts and multimedia in-depth stories on their site:

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Shooting survivor gives perspective on media coverage

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Missy Jenkins-Smith, front left, visited the Reporting for Broadcast and Online Media class to give her perspective on dealing with the media following a traumatic event.

“I choose to be happy,” tells the story of Missy Jenkins-Smith being shot in the Heath High School shooting in 1997 and how she has since overcome the tragedy.

Jenkins-Smith was one of the five students injured in the shooting and author of the book, “I choose to be happy.” She was shot in the shoulder, where the bullet grazed her spinal cord, paralyzing her from the chest down.

Dec. 1, 1997 changed Missy’s life, but she chose happiness in the midst of the trauma.

Students in the JMC 398 Reporting for Broadcast and Online Media course spent the last few weeks of the fall semester learning about trauma journalism.

Jenkins-Smith visited the class to tell her story as well as give her perspective on what it was like dealing with the media as a survivor during a traumatic event.

She said when she was leaving Lourdes Hospital and being transferred to another facility, she had to have two police officers guarding her.

“I remember being attacked by the media as they were trying to pull me on a stretcher from the hospital to the MRI.”

It was not just her that endured the media frenzy but her family as well.

“As she (her sister) was leaving the hospital, a cameraman got in her face and said-tell us what’s going on,” Jenkins-Smith said. “I wish they would have just given me space…realizing personal space is one of the big, big things.”

She detailed another event with a major talk show host.

“I felt like a news story and that was upsetting,” Jenkins-Smith.

Although she shared negative experiences with students on what not to do in traumatic situations, Jenkins-Smith also described some of the positive encounters with the media.

She recalled Charlie Gibson from Good Morning America as being compassionate and not just worried about getting the top story.

“He seemed like a person… it wasn’t just about the news story,” Jenkins-Smith said.

She gave advice to the students about how to best deal with trauma survivors and victims.

“I felt like some of those people (journalists) that had been in it (journalism) for so long lost that part and it wasn’t about the person anymore…remember they are people too,” she said.

Jenkins-Smith is a Murray State alumnus who married her college sweetheart, Josh in 2006. They have two children, Logan and Carter.

She is a school counselor in Murray and continues to speak to students of all ages around the country about her story, gun violence and bullying.

“Having Missy speak during our class was very inspiring,” Alicia Steele, JMC 398 student said.

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Broadcasting students visit WPSD

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

JMC 398 Reporting for Broadcast and Online Media students visited WPSD Local 6 in Paducah to get a first-hand look at how a news station operates. The field trip was another example of the department’s emphasis on experiential learning.

Students in JMC 398, Reporting for Broadcast and Online Media, visited WPSD Local 6 in October as part of the department’s experiential learning.

Students had the opportunity to watch the 6 p.m. newscast live in the studio as well as in the producer’s booth giving them a first-hand look at how a news station operates.

Students toured the newsroom and talked with station employees.

Students were able to try out the set’s green screen.

Kelsey Grapperhaus, senior journalism major from Troy, Illinois, said the experience brought what she has learned in the classroom to life.

“Visiting WPSD gave me a real-life perspective on what it’s like to be a journalist in the broadcasting field,” Kelsey Grapperhaus said. “I was able to gain hands-on experience that I could not have gotten behind the desk.”

After the newscast, anchor, Jennifer Horbelt spent time answering questions from students and sharing her path from college to a career in journalism. Reporters, producers and photographers took a few minutes out of their night to discuss their roles at the station and took questions from the students.

Stephanie Elder Anderson, course instructor and former WPSD employee, also gave the students a tour of the station.

In the course, students learn how to report for broadcast news as well as online media. From creating news packages to utilizing additional story elements for news websites and social media, students produce content they can add to their portfolios.

Elder Anderson has been taking students to WPSD as part of this course for the last four years.

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