Ole Miss hosts 31st Southeast Journalism Conference

Posted on Feb 16 2017 - 9:03pm by Blake Alsup

More than 300 students and advisers from seven Southeastern states have registered for the 31st Annual Southeast Journalism Conference being hosted by the University of Mississippi this weekend.

Speakers and panelists lined up for the event will span the journalism career spectrum with broadcast, print, digital and social media specialists ranging from the New York Times and ESPN to the Associated Press and Google. 

New York Times reporter and former social media editor Daniel Victor will present on using social media as a reporting tool from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Overby Center Auditorium.

Associated Press journalist and author Jesse Holland will present on his experiences from writing news to writing nonfiction to writing about superheroes from 10:45 a.m. to noon in the Overby Center Conference Room 249.

Several others, including resident Ole Miss professors Deb Wenger and Ji Hoon Heo, will present on modern journalism multimedia tools.

AP sports reporter David Brandt, The Undefeated’s Aaron Dodson and Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace will be a part of a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities of sports journalism and will answer questions from 11 a.m. to noon in Farley Auditorium.

During the conference, which runs Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon, two regional awards ceremonies will be conducted. Jerry Mitchell of The Clarion-Ledger is the keynote speaker for the Best of the South awards banquet.

The Best of the South awards honor work published, aired or posted in 2016. Categories include Best News Writer, Best Features Writer and Best Magazine Design, as well as awards in radio and television reporting.

Awards will also be given out for on-site competitions that begin Thursday. Awards will be given in 15 different categories for work produced under deadline pressure during the conference, like taking photographs at an Oxford Film Festival event or writing a coverage story of Thursday night’s basketball game.

The conference is held in a different location in the Southeast every year, and this year, the university has the honor of hosting for the first time since 2008.

“Hosting a conference like this requires a ton of work spread over more than a year,” said Patricia Thompson, assistant dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and the 2017 SEJC president. “We agreed quite a few years ago to have the 2017 conference here, and there are so many things you can’t control or predict when you say OK to hosting a conference years in the future.”

Thompson said no one expected the Student Union to be closed for construction at the time the conference was scheduled. She also said there are many variables but you have to plan for the best and go with the flow.

“The bottom line is we have a great schedule of workshops and presentations,” Thompson said. “We have volunteer help from many students and faculty. Our visitors are looking forward to coming to Oxford, and we are proud to show off our campus, our school and our student media.”
For the full schedule of events, check out thedmonline.com for more information.