By Kachelle Pratcher
MC Senior

Andrew Nomura, a May graduate, is a new reporter/multimedia journalist for WAFB Channel 9 in Baton Rouge, La., thanks to multiple internships that allowed him to get a jump start on his career and an aggressive job search.

“If you want to get in this business, just know that you must be proactive," said the Los Angeles native. "What you put in, is what you get out of it."  

Nomura, 22, made every second count as a student, taking advantage of every opportunity to work on a story, build his portfolio, and meet potential employers. He interned at both WJTV Channel 12 and WAPT Channel 16, and volunteered for TigerTV, JSU-TV and WJSU 88.5FM, serving as a reporter, anchor, producer and weekend personality.  

Nomura’s eager attitude helped him land his first media job. He made the drive to Louisiana in February to sit down with the news director.

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Posted in News, Students

Faculty, students make “connections” on WLEZ

January 19th, 2014 by masscomm

By Jermaine McClinton
English/Journalism Senior

WLEZ team

  A new talk show has hit the airwaves, courtesy of WLEZ Radio.  JSU Connections debuted in May and broadcasts live from the Mississippi e-Center on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., said Sunny Fridge, assistant professor and co-creator of the show, which is also streamed live on 

The non-commercial station, which plays a mix of music ranging from jazz to New Orleans fare, offers programming opportunities to the public and covers the Jackson metro area. WLEZ is owned by Edward Saint Pe, who moved his Weathervision operation to the e-Center in Aug. 2012.

 “We were approached by e-Center Executive Director Dr. William McHenry, who had been talking with Mr. Saint Pe about collaborations,” said Fridge. “Dr. McHenry asked us if the Mass Communications department would like the opportunity to produce a radio program, and without hesitation Dr. [Monica] Flippin-Wynn and I both said ‘yes’, and the rest as they say is ‘history.’” Flippin-Wynn, former interim chair, is also an MC assistant professor.

Fridge teams up with a group of MC students to host the show each week, delivering local, state, national and world news, as well as interviews and commentary.

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Posted in Faculty, News, Students

Judy Meredith elected to Fulbright Board

January 19th, 2014 by masscomm

By Dominique Lewis
MC Senior

Seventeen years after becoming a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, Judy Meredith has been elected to the prestigious organization’s National Board of Directors, as well as its Diversity Task Force.

An assistant professor in the department since 2008, Meredith said she is thrilled by the appointment because the Fulbright Association takes diversity seriously, as does she.

“My hope is to be a catalyst for students in Mississippi to have the opportunities I’ve had as a Fulbright Scholar,” said the former television station general manager, anchor and reporter. “I hope to, as a board member, reach out to young people and tell them about the Fulbright program and how it can make a difference in their lives.”

Meredith, the only Mississippian on the board, will spend the next three years conducting workshops at HBCU’s throughout the state. She will serve January 1 until December 31, 2016.

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Posted in Faculty, News, Students

Journalist Hunter-Gault advises students

January 17th, 2014 by masscomm

Charlayne Hunter Gault and mc dept

Mass communications students and faculty met internationally renowned journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault during the 45th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Convocation.  Hunter-Gault was the event's keynote speaker on Jan. 17 at Jackson State University. 

Hunter-Gault, who along with Hamilton Holmes integrated the University of Georgia in 1961, has more than 40 years in the journalism industry, including 20 years with PBS as a national correspondent for Newshour with Jim Lehrer.  She has also served as chief correspondent in Africa for CNN, was a special correspondent for NPR and was the first black reporter for The New Yorker magazine.  
The audienceMore than 1,000 people attended the event at the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, who was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.  Hunter-Gault encouraged the audience to find a better way to keep the values of  the civil rights leader alive.   “I ask you today to commit, to walk and never get weary, from the streets of Jackson, Miss., to South Africa and to countries east and west,” Hunter-Gault said.  After her speech, the trailblazer gave advice to aspiring journalists.

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Posted in News, Students

Department celebrates new Mac labs

January 12th, 2014 by masscomm

JSU Provost James C. Renick

The MC Department and the Mass Comm Advisory Board hosted Media Day in November at the Mississippi e-Center@JSU.

Fifty new 27-inch iMac computers were purchased for the department's editing lab and two writing labs.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the media lab featured remarks from JSU Provost James C. Renick; Dr. Emmanuel Ngwainmbi, chair of the Department of Mass Communications; and College of Liberal Arts Dean Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr.

"Our faculty, staff and administrators work so hard to ensure that students at Jackson State have the very best in technology along with the very best instructors," said Renick. "Today, we are cutting this ribbon as a symbolic gesture of growth and development."  

Potter agreed.  "This is a new beginning for us here in in the College of Liberal Arts, more specifically the department of Mass Communications."

MC advisory board president Olivia Thomas was the moderator for a panel discussion.  Panelists included MC advisory board member and Jackson Free Press Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd; WJSU News Director L.A. Warren; 16 WAPT Meteorologist Brittany Bell; and WLBT Sports Director Rob Jay.  There was a presentation of student videos. More than 60 students from several high schools also attended the celebration. 

Mass Communocations-15

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Posted in News, Students


Posted in 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.

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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