Seasoned journalists spread knowledge to students during Media Day 2016

The Department of Mass Communications at Alcorn State University held its annual Media Day 2016 Wednesday, March 23 in the Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Facility. Seven panelists who represented The Clarion-Ledger, Natchez Democrat, WJTV News Channel 12, Mississippi Link Newspaper and FOX 40 shared their experiences in journalism with Alcorn mass communications students. As trained media professionals in the mass communications field, the panelists gave tips on how to excel as journalists. Alcorn alumna and FOX 40 News Anchor Melissa Faith Payne served as the keynote speaker.

According to Payne, every journalist, news anchor and producer should research the story in which they are working on.

“Everything you do will be seen by someone. People are watching you when you least expect them to be.”

Payne said that the impression you present to employers, colleagues and the community allows you to gain the trust of your viewers.

“Your social media footprint is a window into your lives. That window allows people to see who you are. Journalist are the gatekeepers of information.”

According to Payne, you must keep digging and digging until you have the most accurate information needed to cover a story.

“It feels amazing to come back to Alcorn to speak with up and coming young journalist about this vast field.”

Cedric Tillman, an Alcorn alumnus who earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, stated that, “Your work represents you. The work that you produce will reflect the type of worker that you are.”

According to Therese Apel of The Clarion-Ledger, students should not be afraid to start their career at a smaller company. She encouraged the students to “be yourself and don’t change for anyone. Who you are is what makes your work unique.”

When speaking on the importance of hard work, WJTV New Channel 12’s Kip Smith said, “If you do the work, everything else will be in your path. Dedication to your craft will allow you to prosper in your field.”

Being yourself and having integrity were two topics that were spoken of the most amongst the panel. Jackie Hampton from the Mississippi Link Newspaper spoke about having integrity in the journalism business.

“Your work and actions will represent you. Have integrity about your work. Not only should you have integrity about your work, but you should also have a passion for what you do.”

  • Media Day resized.jpg
  • Melissa Faith Payne resized.jpg