MIPA reinforces value of journalism skills for students exploring college and careers

Posted on: April 21, 2017

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Haley Kluge decided to be a journalist at age 10. Rory, her favorite TV character from Gilmore Girls, worked as a student editor and writer at Yale University. Kluge wanted to be just like her.

So when it came time to pick electives at Grand Ledge High School, Kluge enrolled in journalism 101. That first class, she says, started a four-year odyssey that spanned working as a contributor and editor of her school newspaper and yearbook, and culminated in her decision to study journalism at Michigan State University.

Kluge's passion for the press grew into a real-life understanding of what it takes to gather and present news and information. And much of what she learned, she says, was solidified by the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA): a statewide program for high school student journalists, teachers and advisers housed and coordinated by the MSU School of Journalism.

"MIPA gave me that backbone in scholastic journalism and ethics that is so valuable as a high school student," says Kluge, now a senior in the MSU School of Journalism. "It allowed me to get so much more value from my journalism education and exposure to different things than simply a normal classroom experience."

Building a strong core

Today, Kluge is wrapping up her bachelor's—a journey characterized by internships at high-profile media companies including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and the New York Times. She stays involved with MIPA by working in the program's office and helping coordinate the association's annual summer camp.

"Because of MIPA, I was already a step ahead of my peers when I started college," she says. "I was exposed to so many things, and still use the skills I learned in MIPA summer camp to this day."

MIPA Executive Director Jeremy Steele says students like Kluge represent the ultimate goal of the nonprofit organization: to spark young people's interest in journalism, and to prepare them for college and careers in journalism or other fields. Composed of scholastic journalism teachers and advisers and their students, MIPA promotes and recognizes excellence in high school journalism through training and educational resources, conferences, contests workshops and a summer camp on the campus of MSU.

"We're seeing a new appreciation for journalism and what it teaches," says Steele. "High school journalism classes are essentially a 21st century civics class. And they embody virtually all of the standards schools implement in English classes—including how to write in different styles like commentary and non-fiction and how to interview and research."

About 170 high schools and middle schools across the state are members of MIPA. This includes 300 student media outlets and 220 teachers. Students at those member schools typically enroll for courses or electives that involve the production of yearbooks, newspapers, broadcast video, and other forms of digital and contemporary media. MIPA also is a resource for high school journalism teachers.

Similar to an athletics or music organization, MIPA provides opportunities for members to participate in events—in this case, a variety of conferences, training sessions and workshops for journalism students, advisers and teachers. About 2,000 teachers and students attend a fall conference in Lansing each year, and another 1,500 come to the MIPA Awards each April to showcase their work. Winners are selected from more than 4,000 entries.  In the summer, an average of 350-400 students attend a five-day camp at MSU, enabling them to work with professional journalists and journalism educators in areas like design and graphics, photography, digital media, advertising, production and writing.

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Huron High School senior Lyna Ikharbine was among nearly 80 students from five schools who participated in a one-day workshop on the MSU campus in March. Ikharbine is enrolled in yearbook production class at her school, and says she takes journalism electives to learn more about design and how to express ideas.

"I'm strengthening my communication skills and learning how to write non-fiction," says Ikharbine. "I'm also learning how to write persuasively and without bias."

Huron High School junior Gena Harris says she was drawn to study journalism after she guest wrote articles for her school newspaper on the Black Lives Matter movement and the recent Trump travel ban.

"I enjoyed the process of researching, interviewing and writing the stories," she says. "It allowed me to understand what different people and races go through. I also saw that certain parts of journalism could be applied to other classes I'm taking, like law."

Steele acknowledges that while many students get their start on journalism careers through high school programs, many others don't.

"The core of what journalism teaches—researching, writing and visual communicating—are things kids can take with them to college or on any career path they're headed down," Steele says. "And there is a lot of research that shows that kids who are involved in scholastic journalism are more civically involved and active in their communities."

MIPA was founded in 1921 and has been housed at the Michigan State University School of Journalism since 1982. To learn more about MIPA, click here.

By Ann Kammerer

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ComArtSci freshman visits New York City through Field Experience course

Posted on: April 6, 2017

ashleyreedJournalism freshman Ashley Reed wasted no time gaining experience in the media industry.  She spent her first college spring break touring New York City with fellow classmates on the NYC Field Experience - Media Production trip with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. ComArtSci offers six different field experiences designed to help students explore career options and network in their field.

“This trip was a huge eye-opener for me as a freshman, because I wasn’t completely sure of what I wanted to do when I came to MSU,” Reed said. “But going to New York put things into perspective for me and helped me see that I can pursue the dreams that I have.”

The trip took students to various media companies, ranging from coverage of music, radio, video — you name it. They met with executives that work in the business, as well as Spartan alums, who explained day-to-day life as professionals in the city.

A love for media at a young age

Growing up, Reed knew that she wanted to be involved in the media industry. She always imagined having her own television show. She decided that majoring in journalism would allow her to explore all of her media interests.

“My favorite part of the trip was seeing people do what they love,” Reed said. “I know in my family, most people who did or didn’t go to college, aren’t doing what they love to do. Going on this trip, I am now more hopeful that I can do what I love to do, especially going as a freshman and knowing I will still have more guidance.”

When Reed was around eight years old, she started singing and songwriting. She began with short stories, which turned into poetry, which turned into songs.

“After I started doing this, I just wanted to keep creating more things,” Reed said. “I really opened up and wanted to know what else I could create. I started making little music videos and getting into cameras. Everything I created, I had to figure it out by myself.”

Her senior year of high school, Reed started The Belle Society, which is a women empowerment group. She started the social media pages for the society and produced videos and facilitated photo shoots, too.

“This is where I self-taught and learned how to do most of this stuff. This society was also a way for my peers and me to lift each other up,” Reed said. “My love for all things media came in high school.”

Seeing opportunity in the city

Reed says she would love to be the female version of Ryan Seacrest one day. In fact, her biggest take-away from the trip was that dreams like this one are actually possible.

“One of the most memorable moments from that trip was meeting an alum that now works at MTV,” Reed said. “It was great to hear how he started as an intern and then came back to work full time.”

The students also visited an alumnus that is working as a news reporter at ABC News. He allowed the students to come back and watch his team in action.

Reed said it was great to be around media professionals and to see MSU alumni making an impact in such a large city.

If she could do anything, she would want to be a singer, songwriter, television personality and producer — she would do it all.

“I love hosting and producing videos, but sometimes it’s hard for me to just focus on one thing,” Reed said. “The possibilities and options of the media industry have always just grabbed my interest.”

By Meg Dedyne

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Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s Programs Offer Undergraduates Connection to Higher Education at MSU

Posted on: March 31, 2017

bamaStudents in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University are offered unique experiences and opportunities during their undergraduate years. From top-tier faculty to international competitions, state-of-the-art technology, innovative learning spaces and reoccurring networking events, it’s no wonder that many students want to stick around to continue their education.

With the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s programs at Michigan State University, undergraduate students from across ComArtSci – including journalism, advertising + public relations, communication and media and information – can apply to complete their master’s degree in just one year.

The programs allow students to use nine credits from undergraduate courses toward receiving their master’s degree – cutting the two years often required to receive a master’s in half.

Constantinos Coursaris heads the Department of Media and Information’s Linked B.A.-M.A. program. He said the faculty who contribute their knowledge and resources to the program are a major advantage for students to consider when thinking about applying.

He added that students learn “the professional demands of not only today’s, but also tomorrow’s, workplace that leverages the power of media and information – from game design and the creative arts, to user experience and the management of information and communication technologies.”

In the classroom, Linked B.A.-M.A. students often apply their growing knowledge and skills to hands-on work created for real-world clients. Celina Wanek is currently enrolled in the media and information program for media management and said working with her classmates to develop client-ready projects for organizations outside of Michigan State University has been her favorite part.

I would highly encourage (other students) to apply,” said Wanek. “It's definitely a full year of work but knowing that it's just a year and being almost done is incredibly rewarding.”

Linda Good, director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations, said these programs are for students dedicated to the pursuit of higher education and aiming to increase their value as professionals in their industries.

“As they seek positions that may not require a master’s degree, having the master’s degree gives them an edge over students that don’t have it. They’ve only added a year, basically, to their studies and they enhanced their knowledge base, their experience base and their network by completing the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s degree (program).”

For more information about all of the Linked B.A.-M.A. programs, click here.

By Savannah Swix

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Five new members to be inducted to Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame

Posted on: March 28, 2017

MI-Journalism-Hall-of-Fame-300x82The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame will induct five new members on April 9, 2017, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, on the campus of Michigan State University.

Michigan State University’s School of Journalism has housed and administered the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame since 1985, and is an equal partner with co-sponsors from non-profit journalism associations from across the state, acknowledging journalists for outstanding contributions in journalism.

“This is an important occasion to recognize those who have advanced the legacy of a free and responsible press and who have inspired others to improve the quality of the profession,” said Lucinda Davenport, Director of the School of Journalism. “Induction memorializes extraordinary and clearly outstanding careers.”  

Five new members will be inducted, including medical journalist Patricia Anstett, investigative reporter Stephen Cain, business reporter John Gallagher, combat photojournalist David Gilkey and publisher Mary Kramer.

The banquet will be held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, beginning with a reception at 5 p.m. followed by dinner and inductions at 6 p.m. Reservations for the banquet can be made online. For more information about the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, its inductees and members, click here.

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Journalism student interns at KOFY-TV in San Francisco

Posted on: March 24, 2017

leeThis past summer, journalism senior Cynthia Lee accepted an internship with a local TV station in San Francisco called KOFY-TV. She was able to use interview and networking techniques she learned at MSU to prepare for and obtain the internship.

Lee was the station’s only intern, covering promotions and productions. She learned how the television market works and how the industry is changing. She also gained a better understanding of just how important teamwork is, especially in times of change.

“I gained so many valuable skills through my internship, especially being on the other side of the country and having to figure out everything on my own,” Lee said. “For example, I didn’t have design experience, so I just had the mindset of being willing to learn and work hard.”

Being the only intern at the station, Lee had to learn how to connect with and target a different demographic. She used this opportunity to learn from others at the station, who had years of experience.

Lee said her favorite project was helping out with the productions for the Pride Parade in San Francisco.

“It was really different and fun,” Lee said. “We had to stay up for hours to create notecards by hand, but to have had the chance to watch and help out with live events was really cool.”

Her internship helped her to discover what she does and doesn't want to do in her future career.

“I really like being in front of the camera,” Lee said. “I recommend letting the right people at your internship know the intentions of what you want to gain from the internship and to take control of your own learning experience. I wanted to build up my reel, and I told them this. You just also have to be prepared to prove yourself.”

Production appeals more to Lee, as she likes to be active and in the field. She found that working on promotions is more office work, but she is grateful for having both of those experiences in one internship.

“I also learned how life would be post-college and if I got a job out-of-state,” Lee said. “I would be commuting to work every day and I would be in a new area. Learning how to start fresh somewhere and how to adapt was great. It wouldn’t be so scary if I had to do that again.”

Since her internship, Lee has been working to continue to improve her skills through projects.

“I like productions and producing a lot,” Lee said. “I am creating a web series right now and trying to finish that up, as I want to have it done by April.”

The web series is based on her friend group’s experiences in college.

When considering internships and job opportunities, Lee suggests that you express to yourself, and even to the people you’d work with, what skills you are looking to build and what experiences you’d like to have.

“I would just really emphasize to be clear on what you want to gain when you obtain an internship,” Lee said. “Especially when you do phone interviews, always sound enthusiastic; pay attention to those little details about yourself. Above all, use all of the opportunities and resources MSU has to offer.”

By Meg Dedyne

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How to Spot Fake News: Educating the Next Generation of Journalists

Posted on: March 21, 2017

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In an effort to educate students on “fake news”, faculty from the School of Journalism in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences are working to include fake news topics in their courses, teaching students to understand the definition of fake news and its different applications.

A big part of sniffing out real news from the fake is learning how to detect misinformation and promote media literacy.

“Our graduate-level social media class (JRN 821) has four weeks dedicated to 'fake news',” said Rachel Mourao, assistant professor in the School of Journalism. The class covers “misinformation, verification and political discussions on online networks.”

Students are taught to analyze how misinformation spreads on social networks, as well as strategies on how to detect and debunk false stories. But, that may be a tough job to accomplish.

It can be difficult to say with certainty whether something is 100% fake news right now. According to Mourao, some sites are not only in the business of fake news, but also post several real news stories with an added layer of opinion. Others are one-hit wonders, but never gain traction again.

“It is fairly common for them to just aggregate news stories from mainstream media and add a twist, like a sensational headline that actually never delivers. It is an issue that is much more complex than saying 'this is real' and 'this is fake,'" said Mourao.

Fake news is something the faculty and students at ComArtSci are working together to combat. A handful of faculty from the college, including Mourao, met for a roundtable discussion in March to discuss fake news with graduate students. Many are leading the charge on how to spot and fight fake news.

“The round table brought together so many different perspectives on this issue,” said Mourao. “It looks like we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to media effects and information processing. I look forward to the outcomes of all the research that is being conducted here.”

Though not a topic that can be fixed overnight, Mourao is working with a group of researchers to uncover the different types of fake news and their conceptual distinctions. This includes analyzing the impact of fake news on news media trust and building a taxonomy of false or misleading news articles.

By Nikki W. O'Meara

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ComArtSci Faculty and Alumni Rank Top 5 in AEJMC Competition

Posted on: March 20, 2017

fountain-pen-1851096_1280The votes are in! Two research teams of faculty and alumni from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences came out on top in a quest to receive the 2016 JMCQ Outstanding Research Article Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The ComArtSci faculty team includes Brendan Watson, professor in the School of Journalism, and Steve Lacy, professor emeritus in the School of Journalism. The two were recognized for their article “Three Decades of Reliability in Communication Content Analyses: Reporting of Reliability Statistics and Coefficient Levels in Three Top Journals.” The article details their study of “reliability reporting in content analysis articles in three flagship communication journals.”

The second team includes alumni Brian Bowe, Ph.D. in journalism and media and information, and Jennifer Hoewe, M.A. in journalism. Their work, “Night and Day: An Illustration of Framing and Moral Foundations in the Oklahoma Shariah Amendment Campaign,” studied the “constitutional amendment banning judicial use of the Islamic moral code called ‘Shariah Law,’” and how moral foundations shaped people’s opinions about it.

The individual articles for the two teams of researchers were nominated for the 2016 JMCQ Outstanding Research Article Award and made it to the top five. The articles are now in the running for the outstanding article winner, which will be announced in the coming months by the AEJMC.

To mark their award, the winning articles are now available to read for free until March 31, 2017.

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Innovative Smithsonian Research Summit Successfully Hosted by MSU School of Journalism

Posted on: February 27, 2017

JRN_Summit_1Global scholars, researchers and artists from the Smithsonian Latino Center, the technology industry, and academia came together on Feb. 23-24 for the 2017 Smithsonian Cultural Digi Summit. The global industry gathering was hosted by the MSU School of Journalism at the Immersive Media Studio in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

The annual summit brings together the world’s leading minds to share presentations, hands-on workshops with cutting edge technologies covering animation, virtual reality, mobile interaction, augmented reality and mixed realities. The emphasis was the use of groundbreaking technologies, many still in the confidential development stage, to represent the Latino Dance Project and Smithsonian Latino Collections.

The Latino Dance Project is collaboration between Smithsonian Latino Center, the MSU School of Journalism, and Latino dance ethnologists, cultural anthropologists and choreographers.

JRN_Simmit_2Industry summit participants included MSU School of Journalism strategic partners Noitom Perception Neuron, Reallusion, Viar360, Sinewave Entertainment, and Zappar. The Smithsonian Latino Center is also part of MSU Journalism’s growing partnership alliances in Immersive Journalism. Google made a special presentation to the group on “Humanizing Digital”.

Faculty from the Berklee College of Music, University of California-Riverside, and the MSU School of Journalism participated in the summit.

JRN_Summit_3“The MSU School of Journalism continues to redefine the field for the 21st century by being at the forefront of research and technology for Immersive Journalism,” said Michigan State Prof. Stacey Fox, who organized the summit and is the Animation, Mixed Realities and Immersive Worlds faculty leader in the School of Journalism. “We are excited, and thankful, to have such amazing strategic partners who are so generous with their knowledge and technology. They have donated over $645,000 of in-kind hardware and software to the School of Journalism for our students to utilize in their story production.”

The summit was sponsored by Target with Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

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Spencer gets drafted for his dream job early in the game

Posted on: February 21, 2017

Jamal SpencerSometimes in order to pursue your dream, there comes a sacrifice. In recent journalism grad Jamal Spencer’s case, this meant making the decision to leave Michigan State University early, back in 2009, to pursue his aspiration of becoming a sports reporter through a once in a lifetime offer.

People ask him, “Was it worth it?” Following his dream meant giving up undergraduate experiences and prolonging the process of earning a bachelor’s degree.

“It was incredibly difficult,” said Spencer. “Only one man in my family had graduated from college and that was my father. So, attending MSU was a blessing and receiving my diploma was the goal, but as my academic career progressed I realized the importance of job experience and networking.”

As a Detroit native, Spencer jumpstarted his career by working as a sideline reporter and production assistant for Fox Sports Detroit. After this, in spring 2011, he was able to finish a couple more credits toward his degree before taking off for his next job in Fargo, North Dakota where he later became Sports Director. Years after, he reached a point where he wished to move closer to home. Fortunately for him, the perfect opportunity arrived. Spencer packed his bags and moved back to his home state as the newest Sports Director at WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids.

“I was granted a few career opportunities that I felt I couldn't pass up and I promised my parents I'd return to get my degree, which I did in the fall of 2016,” said Spencer. “My parents joke that it was like getting drafted into pro sports after your junior year.”

How it all started

Spencer said that his entire athletic background consisted of a strong passion for baseball. However, once he realized that he wasn’t going to grow up to be a major leaguer, he decided to drop his bat and pick up a career that still involved talking about them.

“My mother and I would visit my grandma often and she always watched the 6 p.m. news,” said Spencer. “Sitting there quietly, I figured that if she’s giving these news anchors this much respect then this might be a career path worth following. I’m glad I did.”

As the Sports Director of WZZM 13, Spencer is responsible for production, film and editing content daily for the local sportscast. He is also the anchor for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. sportscasts Monday through Friday. In addition, he takes the time to search for local stories that will appeal to the same target audience and engage them on a personal level through social platforms.

“I try to do as much as possible everyday.” said Spencer. “I went back to MSU in 2016 and took two classes in East Lansing during the summer, then finished with another class in the fall, all while working my full-time job as Sports Director in Grand Rapids.”

Forever a Spartan

Being a Spartan is more than just wearing green and white. Students and alumni take a pledge to remain passionate, devoted and have grit while earning their degree and using it to succeed in their fields. For Spencer, his undergraduate years at MSU were, without a doubt, the best years of his life thus far.

“It was amazing,” said Spencer. "The campus was changing and I made lifelong friends, many in the ComArtSci building. I lived in the Sparty’s on the first floor. My favorite JRN class was Ethics of Journalism taught by Manuel Chavez, who is a tremendous professor and made our class feel like a family for a semester.”

Spencer continued to discuss his highlights in ComArtSci. “The most helpful resource was without a doubt my professors. Geri Zeldes, Folu Ogundimu, Manuel Chavez, Bonnie Bucqueroux all cared about my well-being as well as my academic success. They stressed the importance of focus and L.A. Dickerson stressed the importance of internships, and both of mine led to jobs that got me to where I am today. The ComArtSci staff was by far the most helpful resource in helping me reach my goals.”

For more information about resources at ComArtSci that will assist you, click here.

By Emmy Virkus

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Michigan State School of Journalism Adds Reallusion Animation to growing strategic partnership group

Posted on: February 16, 2017

MSU_JRN_Reallusion
The Michigan State University School of Journalism is excited to announce a new strategic partnership with Reallusion, a Silicon Valley-based animation and software content developer. The company is helping outfit the new Immersive Media Studio, located in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, with their full production pipeline of 2D and 3D animation software and plug-ins for motion capture.

The MSU School of Journalism is the cutting-edge home students to learn non-fiction Augmented and Immersive storytelling. Students in the School of Journalism’s animation courses are blending reporting traditions with new digital tools, allowing them to capture motion, puppeteer facial expressions and lip-synching in real time to characters. The School of Journalism’s Animation and Comics Storytelling in Media courses and minor are open to all Michigan State undergraduates, with no prerequisites, to enable exposure and collaboration in the creative technology mediums.

“The students are so excited to work with the Reallusion software pipeline,” said Stacey Fox, MSU’s professor of animation, mixed realities and immersive journalism. “The tools give them the industry type of production experience they can use to move from initial storyboard to full animated film, as well as 360 degree film production, which also fits in with MSU Journalism’s Immersive initiatives. The additional plugins also allow for the students to utilize the motion capture hardware generously donated from Perception Neuron, one of our other strategic partners.”

The power of setting scenes, documenting emotion, and relaying information is one of the most ancient of human traditions, dating back to pre-historic petroglyphs drawn in caves. Technology has evolved, but the innate desire to share experiences and moments will always remain central to the human experience.

"Reallusion is honored to partner with the Michigan State University School of Journalism,” said Reallusion Vice President John Martin. “MSU Journalism’s progressive curriculum engages students with Reallusion's 2D & 3D real-time animation, motion capture, and production technologies that will equip students with vital industry experience.  The six courses currently offered at the School of Journalism leverage iClone, Character Creator, CrazyTalk Animator and popVideo as tools to learn and apply innovative media production skills that are at the forefront of television, film, virtual reality, and interactive media.”

For more information on the School of Journalism Animation and Comics storytelling in Media Minor: https://www.msuanimation.com

MSU JRN Students Live Motion Capture to Character with Reallusion and Perception Neuron: https://youtu.be/t0DdbNoY4Hg  

For more information on Reallusion: https://www.reallusion.com

 

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