August 20, 2014  

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Southern Miss to Honor Distinguished Alumni at Journalism Symposium

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Jamie Bates

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) will host its fourth annual symposium Thursday, Nov. 18, “Journalism at a Crossroads: How it Was, How it Is,” in the Thad Cochran Center on the Hattiesburg campus. 

The symposium will include the induction of 10 distinguished journalists into the Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame. This event was created in 2006 to give the School of Mass Communication and Journalism a way to honor its most distinguished graduates as well as other Mississippians who have excelled as media professionals and educators.

“It’s a very impressive group,” Chris Campbell, director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism, said of the inductees. “These are remarkably talented people who have had a major impact on journalism in the South and across the country.  It’s nice to be recognizing their accomplishments. Plus, they make great role models for our students.”

The symposium will begin at 9:30 a.m. with panel sessions featuring hall of fame inductees in the Thad Cochran Center, room 218. The first session will look back at Mississippi journalism with a focus on the 1960s. The second will look at the current state of the news industry, including its economic challenges and the impact of new technologies. The symposium is free and open to the public.

The 2010 MCJ Hall of Fame induction luncheon will be at 12:30 p.m. in Cochran Center Ballroom III. Tickets are $35.

Three prominent Mississippi journalists will be inducted posthumously:  Frank Buckley, former chair of the Southern Miss journalism department; Ace Cleveland, longtime university sports information director; and Pic Firmin, former editor of the Delta Democrat Times and The Sun Herald.

Seven living alumni will be inducted:

James Batesis a Southern Miss graduate and accomplished photojournalist.  Bates currently works for The Sun Herald in Biloxi.  His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning Star, Shock!, U.S. News & World Report, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, People and many other publications.  Bates was named a finalist in the international 2002 Gordon Parks Photography Competition. His work documenting the Ku Klux Klan in the 21st century has been exhibited in Europe, and his interest in human behavior sets the stage for unique perspectives captured on camera.

Jinx Coleman Broussardis the William Dickinson Distinguished Professor in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. She previously taught and served in a variety of positions at Dillard University, including co-chair of the mass communication department from 2004-06.  Broussard was the first African-American to earn an undergraduate degree in journalism from LSU, where she also earned her M.A.  She earned her Ph.D. in mass communication at Southern Miss. Broussard is the author of “Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: Four Pioneering Black Women Journalists,” which was published in 2004, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. She is the owner and president of Jinx Broussard Consulting and Public Relations, Inc.

Teresa Pace Collieris director of live operations for Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB), overseeing news and public affairs, radio operations and live television.  She joined MPB in 1994 as a public affairs producer, where she was co-creator and producer of Statewide Live, a live weekly public affairs program. She also produced MPB’s hour-long legislative program, Quorum.  Collier is the recipient of several Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters awards for public affairs reporting and was news director when MBP won two national Edward R. Murrow awards for feature and hard news reporting.  She serves on the board of the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Association and on the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Advisory Board.  She holds a degree in communication from Southern Miss.

Kevin Cooperwas hired as a staff photographer at The Natchez Democrat after graduating from Southern Miss in 1993. He joined “The Sun Herald” in 1995 as a staff photographer, and his work earned the C.P. Liter award for photojournalism given by the Mississippi and Louisiana Associated Press Managing Editors Association. He became publisher of The Ironton (Ohio) Tribune in 2002, working there until returning to Natchez in 2006, first as associate publisher and later publisher. His work in Ironton and Natchez has earned numerous state, regional and national awards. He continues to serve as publisher in Natchez and also a vice president for its parent company, Boone Newspapers Inc. of Tuscaloosa, Ala.  He is a member of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Advisory Board.

Allan Nationis the editor and publisher of The Stockman Grass Farmer magazine, an international publication that covers management-intensive grassland enterprises for producers of pasture-raised livestock. A native of Greenville, he started his journalism career at age 16 as an agricultural reporter for the Delta-Democrat Times. While a student at Southern Miss, he served as the editorial cartoonist for The Student Printz and worked in the advertising department at WDAM-TV. He served as art director at WDAM after graduation until he was later hired to open a branch office of an advertising agency in Jackson. He bought the Mississippi Valley Publishing Company in 1977 and has spent more than 30 years publishing his magazine and consulting and speaking on grassland farming. He is the author of nine books, including a history of food production in Southeast Mississippi, “The Moving Feast”, published in 2009.  He is a member of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Advisory Board.

Henry “Hank” Priceis the president and general manager of WXII-TV, the NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is also senior director of Northwestern University’s Media Management Center in Chicago. Price spent four years as vice-president and general manager of WBBM-TV, the CBS-owned television station in Chicago.  He spent twelve years with the Gannett Company in a variety of positions, including president and general manager of KARE-TV in Minneapolis. In 1995, Price was given a Gannett Excellence in Management Award.  In 2010, he was given the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Contributions to Broadcasting.  A native of Gulfport, Price holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Miss. He is a member of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism Advisory Board.

Randy Swanis a Hattiesburg native who began his television career in 1976 as morning anchor and reporter for WDAM-TV. In 1982, he was named news director and main anchor. Except for a five-year stay at WABG-TV in Greenville, where he served as station manager, news director and anchor, Swan has spent his entire television career at WDAM and is a living hometown legend. He has covered everything from the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government in 1979 to a number of major natural disasters and hurricanes, including Hurricane Camille in 1969. Swan was elected into the Mississippi Associated Press Hall of Fame in 2006. He is a 1970 graduate of Southern Miss.

Proceeds from the luncheon will support three funds established in the School of Mass Communication and Journalism in the names of former professors Frank Buckly, Gene Wiggins and Ed Wheeler.

Symposium sponsors include Aramark, Cities West Publishing, the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters, the Natchez Democrat/Boone Newspapers, Raycom Media, the South Mississippi Electric Power Association, the Sun-Herald, the Southern Miss College of Arts and Letters and the Southern Miss Alumni Association.

For more information or tickets, Mandy Nace at Amanda.Tilley@usm.edu or call 601.266.4258.