Group APphoto with Fridge








Jackson State mass communications students and faculty were among the winners at this weekend’s Mississippi AP Broadcasters annual awards presentation.  The MAPB honored the state’s best in professional and college broadcast journalism on Saturday evening, April 26, at the Capitol Towers building in downtown Jackson. First, second and third place winners were announced at the banquet.  Juniors Octavius Lawson, Derrick Walton, DaShawna Wright and graduating senior Tiara Lavender won first place in the Best website category for their work for TIger TV.  Graduating senior Crystal Killingsworth took home first place for best radio newscast.  Killingworth has spent the spring semester as an intern at WLEZ radio doing daily news updates.  Senior Kourtney Christopher Paige, who has placed in the last three AP contests, this year placed third in the best radio feature category and received honorable mention in the best newscast radio category.  December 2013 graduate Gabriel Babineaux won 2nd place for a spot news story he did on the JSU-Grambling homecoming game.   Mass Comm faculty Dr. Sunny Fridge, is a frequent contributor for WJSU.  Two of her stories with WJSU news director L.A. Warren won 2nd and third place in the best radio sound and best spot news story categories.  "I am very proud of all of our students and loved collaborating with L.A.," said Fridge, who is also a board member with MAPB.

The MAPB also honored civil rights leader Medgar Evers posthumously as the 2014 MAPB Pioneer.  The award recognizes individuals who have broken color barriers in tv and radio newsrooms across the state.  “Mr. Evers was a true trailblazer for African Americans and the broadcast industry,” said MAPB President and WLOX news director Brad Kessie. The tribute included an inspiring video by retired CBS Correspondent and 2010 MAPB Pioneer honoree Randall Pinkston. The report, which was Pinkston’s final story for CBS, was aired in May 2013 and tells how Medgar Evers made a significant impact on the efforts of African Americans to have a voice on Jackson TV.


Kessie also said many of today’s journalists are not aware it was Evers who fought the WLBT establishment and finally got the forum he desired, so his point of view could be heard on Jackson’s airwaves, or that his efforts paved the way for Pinkston and other African Americans to appear on local stations in Mississippi and across the country.  Pinkston presented The 2014 MAPB Pioneer award, which was accepted by Ever’s wife Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams.



































College Competition Results:

Octavis Lawson, Tiara Lavender, Derrick Walton and DaShawna Wright – 1st place Best Website TigerTV

Crystal Killingsworth  1st place best newscast- RADIO-  Daily news on WLEZ

Kourtney C. Paige honorable mention best newscast – WJSU Radio

Kourtney C. Paige 3rd place best feature WJSU Radio

Professional: Radio

Dr. Sunny Fridge, L.A. Warren and Kourtney C. Paige- 2nd place- Best Sound – “2013 Year in Review”.

Gabriel Babineaux, L.A. Warren and Dale Morris- 2nd place WJSU Radio- JSU Grambling Homecoming Game

Dr. Sunny Fridge, LA Warren – 3rd place spot news story WJSU Radio for an interview conducted via phone with JSU alumnus Dr. Sitole in South Africa on reaction of the death of Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.

Dr. Robert Franklin and L.A. Warren – 3rd place  WJSU for Best Documentary or stories.

For a complete list of AP winners click here.


Posted in Award, Faculty, News, Students

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

Several Jackson State University mass communications students soon will be able to add “award winning” to their resumes. They are finalists for the prestigious Associated Press Awards College Competition.

Seniors Lanis Leggett and Cammrynn Stith are among the top three finalists in the "Best Feature" and "Best Documentary" categories for their productions ("Love of the Game" and "We Did It").

TigerTV Sports Director Shawn Stiff and sports anchor Reyanna Stowes are finalists in the Best Sportscast/Program/Story category.  Their entries are up for two out of the three awards in that category (Sports Hub and Before the Whistle).

Other schools competing include the University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State University and Alcorn State University.

The first-, second- and third-place winners will be announced during the 2013 Mississippi AP Broadcasters annual awards presentation, which honors the best in broadcast journalism by television and radio broadcasters across the state.

The event will be held Saturday, April 20, 2013, at the Mississippi Children’s Museum in Jackson. Also, new this year, there will be a job fair before the event so students have an opportunity to network and have their portfolios critiqued.

Posted in Award, Students

JSU mass comm students excel outside classroom

February 26th, 2013 by masscomm

Jade Hewitt and Andrew Nomura

Jade Hewitt and Andrew Nomura

By Taylor Bembery

Jackson State University mass communications students were recently awarded opportunities to perfect their writing and broadcast skills as a result of excelling in their field.

Jade Hewitt, Andrew Nomura, Shawn Stiff and Michelle Hill Simon are using their mass communications skills to take them to another level.

Hewitt, a junior from Jackson, Miss., and Nomura, a senior from Carson City, Calif., will represent JSU at the 2013 21st Annual NABJ Multimedia Short Course sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists.

The program runs March 20-23 in Greensboro, N.C. The program is designed to help students perfect their camera, editing and newscasting skills.

Stiff, a junior from Jackson, Miss., and Simon, a JSU graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in mass communications at JSU, have been given an opportunity to blog for Jackson Voices.

Jackson Voices is a project of The Clarion-Ledger newspaper and The Maynard Institute, which supports diversity in American journalism. The nine-month program was created to put the power of storytelling in the hands of Jackson residents with the goal of elevating voices not often heard, particularly within the African-American community.

The program will enable people from the community to report on what they think is most important. If you would like to keep up with their blog entries you can visit

Posted in Award, Students

Tiffany Edmondson

Mass comm senior Tiffany Edmondson of Jackson, Miss., was selected to participate in the PBS Newshour Inauguration Multimedia short course.

Edmondson earned a free trip to Washington, D.C., Jan. 18-22. She also will participate in a four-day multimedia production camp.
Edmondson was among 14 students nationwide selected to participate. More than 45 students applied for the program.

Posted in Award, Internships, Students

Hewitt wins NBC Universal scholarship

December 12th, 2012 by masscomm

Jade Hewitt


Mass comm junior Jade Hewitt, a native of Jackson, Miss., recently received the NBC Universal scholarship, a sponsor of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The scholarship award totaling $6,200 will be paid in two distributions of $3,100 per semester.

This scholarship was open to all students attending a historically black college or university. Other criteria included a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 and a choice between two essay questions. Hewitt chose “What inspired you to pursue a degree in your current field of study and what impact will it have on our society?”
Hewitt said she was honored to receive the scholarship. “College tuition is steadily increasing, and I need as much financial support as I can possibly get to cover the costs of following my dreams,” said Hewitt, 20, who grew up in West Columbia, Texas. “It’s a blessing and I’m grateful.”
Hewitt has a concentration in multimedia journalism and a minor in biology. She aspires to become a news anchor for CNN and an activist/advocate for women and children.

Meredith, Flippin-Wynn win award

December 12th, 2012 by masscomm

Dr. Judy Alsobrooks Meredith and Dr. Monica Flippin-Wynn won Best of Session in October 2012 at the International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research Conference in Biloxi, Miss.

Their double-blind, peer-reviewed presentation was titled, “A Reflective Look Back: In Their Own Words: The Experiences and Perceptions of Journalists Who Reported on the Civil Rights Movement.”

Posted in Award, Faculty, Research