Alumna Allyson Bird has roiled the waters of newsrooms with two
succinct sentences: "I don't think the Internet killed newspapers.
Newspapers killed newspapers." She goes on to explain in
her "Sticky Valentines" blog post last month that "the
vanity of a byline was keeping me in a job that left me physically
and emotionally exhausted, yet supremely unsatisfied." Money,
not surprisingly, was a factor, too.
Her "Why I Left News" post has generated hundreds of
responses. Many concurring; some differing. The dialogue on the
blog and across the spectrum of media musings is worth reading
and contemplating. It's at http://allysonbird.com/2013/03/19/why-i-left-news/
I remember Allyson when she arrived as a freshman journalism
major, already gifted with the capacity to ask good questions and
turn the responses into even better writing. After her 2005 graduation,
I saw her stories occasionally and felt she was in an ascendant
career. So, I was a bit surprised, though not astonished, to learn
she had not long ago left the Charleston paper and taken a job
in fund raising. Fund raisers need to be as persuasive as journalists.
Career changes — arrived at via that proverbial fork in the road
which Yogi Berra paradoxically advises us to take — are the 21st
century norm. I'm here because of one that involved leaving the
newsroom for, in part, the classroom. My move provoked no national
discussion. More power to Allyson.
But here's the irony, as she herself describes it in a subsequent
"I never have experienced such a poignant response to anything
I've written. The blog post is 1,457 words with one photo, decidedly
less digestible than cat memes and screaming goat videos. Yet thousands
of people read it, shared it and responded to it."
Cat memes and screaming goats. That's why I've always liked Allyson
At that posting, she reported that 165,000 people had read her
original post, a circulation many of today's condensed daily newspapers
would be thrilled to have. That's the message to newspaper publishers
and to us in today's myriad of media possibilities. Let's not kill
the newspapers, nor let them be killed. If they want to morph through
new delivery systems, that's fine. What we are really saying is
let's not sever the lines of access to vital information.
There are plenty of journalists still practicing the profession
they love, even if they don't love every moment or everyone in
it. Did we ever?
Each fall, scores of freshmen come to us eager to become journalists.
They need to hear what Allyson Bird has to say. She was one of
them not all that long ago. What I can add is that Allyson was
a good journalist and, I expect, will be every bit as good at fund
raising. Communication skills are transferable to a breadth of
Library and Information Science graduate student Bella Wenum has
been selected for a summer internship with the Archives of American
Gardens within the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C. Wenum
is the third School of Library and Information Science student
to receive this internship.
In her position, Wenum will process collections and gain archival
experience, and she hopes to assist in outreach efforts, especially
through social media. The 10-week internship begins June 3.
Senior advertising student Maddie McDowell was recognized in CMYK
magazine's "55 New Advertising Creatives" showcase for
her campaign for Sailor
Jerry Spiced Rum. McDowell worked with
fellow intern Natalia Fredericks to design the campaign while interning
for The Richards Group in Dallas over the summer. McDowell and
Fredericks are one of three undergraduate groups recognized in
Alumnus returns to campus to discuss business journalism
Former deputy managing editor of Fortune Magazine Hank Gilman,
'75 journalism, paid an extended visit to the J-school in March
as part of the Baldwin Business Journalism Initiative. Gilman spoke
to business journalism students, touching on the future of journalism,
career options and the keys to journalistic success. Read
the full story online
Carolina News wins first "Best All-Around Newscast" award
The USC Carolina
Magazine won "Best
All-Around Newscast" in the Society of Professional
Journalists' Southeast regional awards. This is the first
time Carolina News has won this recognition. The newscast, "Alcohol," was
produced by broadcast students Krista Bagley, Sam Davis,
Lauren Fulp, Kim Gaffney and Maggie Winterfeldt.
Individual students won across
the board for their television news pieces: Kyara Massenburg
won first place in the television feature category for "The
Three Little Bears;" Hannah Moseley took second in the
same category for "Spina Bifida: Thomas Clark's Story;" Mike
Wadsworth's "Lakeisha Sutton" won second place
in the television sports reporting category; Krista Bagley
took third place in television general news reporting for "Fake
IDs;" Jacob Fisher got second place in television feature
photography for "Radioiodine Therapy;" and Chelsea
Parler got third in the same category for "Celtic Festival."
The two first-place winners will
move on to the national competition. National winners will
be announced in late spring.
Nominations open for SJMC alumni awards
Please consider nominating a candidate for Distinguished
Alumni or Outstanding Young Alumni! Deadline to nominate someone
is April 15.
The Distinguished Alumni are alums of the School
of Journalism and Mass Communications who have graduated in 2002
or earlier. Outstanding Young Alumni have graduated in 2003 or
Nominations are easy! Just think of someone who
has made an impact in his or her career or community. You can
even nominate yourself. Fill out this quick form and the SJMC
faculty will consider nominations, voting on the finalists. All
awardees are recognized at the alumni dinner in the fall. Nomination
Dr. Shannon Bowen, public relations, "What
are the best ways to show the C-suite that it is worth investing
in measurement?" PR
Tara Buehner, visual communications instructor, Ana
mass communications doctoral student, "If everyone with a
camera can do this, then what? Professional photojournalists' sense
of professional threat in the face of citizen photography," Visual
Each year the American Advertising Federation honors professional
clubs that demonstrate excellence in education. Professor
Bonnie Drewniany, advertising, honorary lifetime board
member of the AAF of the Midlands, wrote the report documenting
how the club's education initiatives touched a wide constituency
including students, educators, advertising professionals, legislators
and the Columbia community at large. AAF of the Midlands, which
competes with other national clubs with 100-249 members, also won
first place for its diversity and membership, second place for
its public service and third place for government relations. It
has been named Club of the Year.
Dr. Augie Grant gave the keynote address, "Convergence and
Disruption: The New Research Paradigms," to the Annual Research
Symposium at the University of Tennessee on Feb. 27. Dr. Grant,
along with co-author Jeff Wilkinson, professor and director of
the journalism program for Houston Baptist University, also delivered
two talks, "The Future of Media Education" and "The
Next Frontier: Neo-Journalism and Neo-Community," on March
1 to the Academic Innovation Exchange at the National Religious
Broadcasters (NRB) Association. On March 2, Grant and Wilkinson
delivered a talk, "Exploiting New Media Technologies," to
the broadcasters in attendance at the NRB convention.
Dr. Daniela B. Friedman, health promotion, education and behavior, Dr.
Andrea Tanner, journalism and mass communications, and
Eleasa Van Slooten (Honors College and Arnold School of Public
Health student), "Are we getting the health information we need
from the mass media? An assessment of consumers' perceptions of
health and medical news," Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet.
Dr. Ran Wei, public relations, "Power distance
and online organization-public relationship building: a comparative
analysis of US and Chinese corporate website," Chinese Journal
Media & Civil Rights History Symposium
by James Chamberlain
"Citizenship schools" created by South Carolina educator Septima
Clark, many of them off the beaten path, quietly paved the way
to the ballot box for hundreds of thousands of African-Americans
in the South during the civil rights movement. Clark's work was
a focus of the second Media & Civil Rights History Symposium
hosted by the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in March.
Dr. Katherine Mellen Charron, the symposium keynote speaker, described
how Clark used her background in education to establish the citizenship
schools in myriad communities to help adult African-Americans become
literate, which would ultimately allow them to vote. Dr. Charron
is an associate professor at North Carolina State University and
the author of Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark. It
is estimated that after partnering with the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, whose increased budget allowed the citizenship
school program to spread throughout the South, that as many 700,000
African Americans became registered voters, primarily during the
1960s. Dr. Charron's critically acclaimed biography not only relays
Septima Clark's story in detail, but through its telling highlights
the importance of education in the history of civil rights, as
well as the role black women played in that history. An irony of
the 1965 Voting Rights Act is that it made literacy tests for voters
unconstitutional and lessened the role for Clark's purposeful schools.
The biennial three-day symposium brought together more than 50
professors and researchers from Texas to Colorado to the United
Kingdom. The symposium focuses on the various roles that the media
played in the history of the struggle for civil rights.
At the symposium, the 2013 Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Media
and Civil Rights History Award was presented to Dr. Carol Stabile,
from the University of Oregon, for her article, "The Typhoid Marys
of the Left: Gender, Race and the Broadcast Blacklist."
Award, named for the former journalism professor and his late wife,
is given to the best journal article or chapter in an edited book
on the historical relationship between media and civil rights published
during the previous two years.
Dr. Stabile's article dealt with
the chilling effect that the "anti-communist" blacklisting
of the 1940-50s had on the intersection of entertainment and civil
rights — especially the impact it had on the careers of African-American
actress/musician Hazel Scott and white actress Jean Muir.