The Alcorn State University Mass Communications Department hosted its annual Media Day in the Gold Room of the Clinton Bristow Dining Facility on March 23, 2016 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm. This year’s theme was “Media Moving the Masses.” The event featured panelists from various media outlets around the state who gave students tools for success in the field of broadcast journalism.
Guest panelists included Therese Apel, Breaking News Reporter for the Clarion Ledger; Roosevelt “Kip” Smith, Chief Photographer at WJTV-Channel 12; Timothy Cristler, District Chair, Advisor and Instructor at Hinds Community College in Utica; Jackie Hampton, Publisher of the Mississippi Link newspaper; Cedric Tillman, Videographer and Freelance Photographer for the Vicksburg-Waren School District; Xhevrije West, Writer and Editor for The MReport in Dallas, Texas; and Beunkka Davis, Mass Communications graduate student at Howard University in Washington, DC.
Students, faculty and staff listened to the panelists as they gave advice on how to be successful in the media industry. The event was broken down into two sessions for students to listen to panelists Apel and Smith discuss the roles in their day-to-day experience and how they handle those challenges. Therese Apel led Session A which focused on finding the right place and time for the best story angle while Kip Smith led Session B which focused on how to use video to tell compelling stories. Both emphasized to the students to find angles that other reporters may not.
“It’s easy to write a story and turn it in but being a good reporter is more than that,” Apel said. “It’s about going the extra length to create something people will want to read.”
Lunch was served before Keynote Speaker, Melissa Faith Payne, Alcorn alumnus, award winning journalist and news anchor for Fox 40 in Jackson, spoke to the audience. She explained how she got her start in the media industry and encouraged the students to make their work their passion.
Awards and special recognition were given to the guests as well as the students for their hard work and dedication in the Mass Communications Department. Dr. Cynthia Scurria, Chairperson of English, Mass Communications and Foreign Languages, gave the closing remarks and thanked everyone for their participation in the event.