Students learn from seasoned journalists at Media Day

Aspiring journalists in Alcorn State University’s Department of Mass Communications and Port Gibson High School gained information that would benefit their future media careers.

The department’s annual Media Day event was held Wednesday, March 29 in the Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Facility Gold Room. This year’s theme was “Media Matters: Striving for Accuracy.” Students were able to earn key points about media from seasoned panelists.

Therese Apel, breaking news reporter for The Clarion Ledger, advised students to use the various social media platforms to break live stories. Apel said that telling live stories is a way of connecting with the audience.

“Make your voice active by telling the story as it transpires,” said Apel. “You can reach a broad audience by using social media live platforms. People would rather watch the story unfold and get their information quickly. That way, they wouldn’t have to wait for all of the details to be released on the news or in the newspapers. It’s always great when you can get the viewers’ emotions into your story.”

Kip Smith, chief photographer at WJTV Channel 12, spoke about the importance of objective reporting when dealing with emotional stories.

“When I have to film stories of families who have suffered from a loss of a loved one due to a homicide, it hurts,” said Smith. “When that happens, you have to be objective and not let your emotions get the best of you. As a reporter, you have to put your emotions aside when telling stories.”

The panelist had a wealth of knowledge to pass along to the students. The advice given spanned from getting internships, staying active in the field and being comfortable in all media outlets.

“Do an internship so that you can be familiar with how media works,” said Derek Rogers, general manager of WCBI-TV in Columbus, Mississippi. “Doing an internship and seeing if you can adapt to all of the new changes will show you if you’re in the right profession or not.”

Perfecting the craft while looking for an internship or job is key to staying sharp as a journalist. Jackie Hampton, publisher of the Mississippi Link Newspaper, encouraged the students to always exercise their skills.

“Submit stories to local media outlets while you’re looking for an internship or job,” said Hampton. “Be factual, and maintain your integrity while doing and submitting stories. Showing publications what your journalism strengths are can open doors for you.”

Media Day 2017 ended with an awards ceremony honoring Alcorn’s mass communications students for their hard work in breaking campus news.

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