Archive for April, 2013

AP awards group pic with autocorrect

Shawn Stiff, Kourtney Paige, Reyanna Stowes, Lanis Leggett and Zion Pyatt won awarded in the Associated Press contest on April 20.


By Lynda LeDean

A select group of  students from Jackson State’s University Department of Mass Communications shone brightly at the 2013 Associated Press Awards at the Mississippi Children’s Museum on April 20.

This year’s ceremony brought together outstanding student and professional broadcast talent from throughout the Magnolia State. Representatives from Jackson State University, along with University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi, attended.

Students competed in the categories of Best College Radio and Best College Television with subcategories for each genre. Winners within the JSU Mass Communications Department were sports reporter Reyanna Stowes and Shawn Stiff for the shows “Sports Hub” and “Before the Whistle.”

“This is an honor for me to win these awards and especially as a sophomore,” Stowes said. ” The awards really motivate me to work even harder towards my goal of becoming a sports reporter for ESPN.”

Also placing in the competition were Zion Pyatt and Andrew Nomura for the news story “ Nolan Ryan Henderson Candle Light Vigil,” a piece that honored the memory of the slain JSU student.

Documentary and feature story winners were students Cammrynn Stith and Lanis Leggett for “We Did It” and “Love for the Green,” which chronicled Stith, who is a member of the JSU Lady Golf Team and her love of the sport. Leggett, who served as director of the piece, was also named the first recipient of the $500 Timothy R. Brown Scholarship Award for the Jackson State University Department of Mass Communications.

“It feels great to be recognized and awarded when doing something that I love,” Leggett said. “I am always thankful to God for everything. I thank Dr. (Sunny) Fridge for having confidence in me to participate in this competition. Also, I am very thankful to my video partner, Cammryn Stith, for collaborating with me on both projects.”

The evening’s big winner, Kourtney C. Paige, took home awards in numerous radio categories including sports, feature story and newscast for WJSU radio. Under the direction of news director L.A. Warren, Paige has won several Associated Press awards and was honored at the ceremony as the first student to receive the $500 Timothy R. Brown Scholarship Award for Radio.

Dr. Sunny Fridge, director of programs and manager of TigerTV, encourages students to participate in the statewide competition each year as a way to show their skills in broadcast journalism on a nationally recognized platform.


Feature Story 3rd Place. Kourtney C. Paige, WJSU, ” Stamps Burgers.”

News Story 1st Place. Kourtney C.Paige, WJSU, ” Mississippi State Student Death”; 2nd Place. Kourtney C. Paige, WJSU, “Hurricane Isaac Entergy”

Newscast 2nd Place. Kourtney C. Paige, WJSU, “Newscast (10-26-12)1”; 3rd Place. Kourtney C. Paige, WJSU, ” Newscast (12-3-12).”

Sportscast, sports story or sports program: 3rd Place. Kourtney C. Paige, WJSU, ” (12-12-12).”

2012 Timothy R. Brown Scholarship Award for Radio: Kourtney C. Paige of Jackson State University.

Best Documentary 1

Best Documentary 2





Posted in Award, Students

By Shannon Tatum
Blue & White Flash/Graduate Student

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and digital media were the focus of Jackson State University’s Department of Mass Communications annual Mass Comm Day celebration: “Creating and Engaging in a Digital World,” held April 18 at the Mississippi e-Center@ JSU.

Panel discussions were conducted by distinguished media practitioners, some of whom where JSU mass communications alumni. They included JSU alum Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin, CEO of OurGlass Media Group; Jason Thompson, vice president of marketing for Fahrenheit Creative Group; Alex McDaniel, social media editor for The Clarion-Ledger; JSU alum Jessica Simien, entertainment blogger; JSU alum Kristian Weatherspoon, digital media specialist for Mississippi Public Broadcasting; and Thomas Broadus, director of interactive and new media for The Focus Group.

Newspaper veteran Wanda Lloyd, whose experience includes USA TODAY, the Freedom Forum and mid-sized daily  newspapers/websites, shared insight from her 20-plus years of journalism experience during the day’s luncheon.

She stressed that having a good foundation built on the basics — such as good writing, critical thinking and accuracy, are important in every media platform.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Award, Students

Shannon Profile PicShannon D. Tatum, a graduate student in the Jackson State University Department of Mass Communications, will be inducted into Phi Kappa Phi on April 23, 2013.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective college honor society for all academic disciplines, according to its website.

Graduate students must rank in the top 10 percent of their class to be accepted to Phi Kappa Phi.

Tatum, who will earn her master’s degree in May, works as the administrative/production assistant in the JSU Office of Student Publications.

Posted in Award, Students

By Dr. Sunny FridgePoynter_group_pic

I recently enjoyed four great days of training at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. During spring break, I had the opportunity to take part in the Multidimensional Journalist seminar from March 12-15, 2013.

A few of the highlights included sessions on how to write more effectively across platforms; strategies for maintaining accuracy, fairness and balance in deadline writing; doing ethics in the digital age; and one of my favorites, how to “Pimp  Your Job.”  The seminar was led by Tom Huang, Dallas Morning News Sunday and enterprise editor, and Kelly McBride,  senior faculty for ethics, reporting and writing.

The Multidimensional Journalist seminar helped me to focus on what it will take to be more effective at teaching, inspiring and motivating my students to learn the skills that will make them successful in the real world. Since the seminar, I have joined the Poynter Alumni Facebook page and LinkedIn group, which gives updates from Poynter faculty and other alumni on new books, new teaching and new insights on journalism and the media.


This seminar rekindled my passion for storytelling, and I also was encouraged by my new colleagues to begin blogging again. My goal is to continue to tweet, grow my social media brand, and post on my Fridge Notes blog  at least two times a week, if not more.