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.

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

Posted on: March 21, 2017

fake news

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

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

 

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

New Learning Spaces Up Experience and Professional Skills for ComArtSci Students

Posted on: February 13, 2017

JRn top photo
Immersive experiences within new spaces at the MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences are empowering students with the acumen they'll need to excel in competitive, tech-driven media careers.

The college's new Spartan Newsroom and Immersive Media Studio invite students to collaborate, gain real-life experiences and build professional skills. The newsroom welcomed its first students in fall 2016 and went "live" during the General Election, while the immersive studio opened for classes in January 2017. The innovative, cross-functional spaces equip students for 21st century jobs by engaging them in the development and delivery of news, animation, game design and immersive interactive media content involving motion capture, augmented and virtual realities.

"Having the experience to work within a professional pipeline facility will make a student's transition into a real-world situation smoother and more successful," says Stacey Fox, professor of animation, mixed realities and immersive journalism in the MSU School of Journalism. "It also teaches students the importance of respecting a production space."

JRN_Motioncapturre_5The expansive learning spaces sit in the middle of the first floor of the ComArtSci building. Students and faculty are free to move seamlessly from one area to the next when producing or creating content, or when working on collaborative media projects. Many high-activity areas and broadcasting studios are viewable through glass walls, giving passers-by a Today Show experience.

Fox says students often remark on how lucky they feel to have such a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility in which to produce new works. She adds that the new space and studio places ComArtSci on the forefront alongside major universities like Arizona State University, California Institute of the Arts and New York University in offering curriculum and training in global media production.

"Our space is unique in that it has the latest in motion capture and learning technologies for classroom collaboration, production and immersion," says Fox. "Spartans and the general public are able to see the whole process in real time when they walk by and look through the floor to ceiling glass windows."

Learning by doing, learning with others
30247841723_acc38f1105_z
Julie Dunmire was in the initial group of students to experience the power of the new spaces. The broadcast journalism student worked in the newsroom on Election Day 2016, and was the first person to read a live report from the news anchor desk. Dunmire currently takes a class in the newsroom and sometimes interacts with students from other ComArtSci disciplines who are learning and working within the immersive spaces.

"News is not in 'silos' anymore," says Dunmire. "We have to stop thinking about ourselves as 'photojournalists' or 'writers' or 'anchors' because we will all have similar tasks and roles in a digital age."

Like Dunmire, other students believe that what you learn in a traditional classroom is far different than what you can learn in an immersive or real-world environment.

Media and Information undergraduate Michael Grassi focuses on 3D animation studies and is applying his craft through the immersive studio. His big take-away, he says, is learning to operate advanced motion capture systems and apply motion capture files to 3D animation.

"The new systems we have access to are professional grade equipment, and the products professionals use to make a living," says Grassi. "Knowing how to operate them and having access to their benefits as a college student preparing for the professional workplace gives us invaluable experience. It shortens the learning curve potential employers would face if they were to hire us."

JRN_Motion_CaptureCreative Advertising undergraduate Michael Cagney echoes the sentiment. Cagney is continuing to learn the ins and outs of the studio's motion capture system, and has begun to integrate motion capture skills into his other animation abilities. Those experiences, he says, have strengthened his confidence, and are shaping the direction he will take when he graduates in May.

"I've learned how to operate the motion capture system for myself and for others in a professional setting," he says. "I would like to pursue a job in animation and possibly mocap."

In addition to applying their skills in news, animation and motion capture arenas, students and faculty can design and produce virtual reality broadcasts and 360 animation renderings for immersive storytelling. The center opens up possibilities for cross-campus collaborations in almost any area, including those underway in athletics, health and medicine and theatre.

"Along with offering our courses in the space, we will also be utilizing the immersive media studio to host events such as game design jams, animation festivals and this February the Cultural Digi Summit in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center. We will have industry leaders in technology and culture in residence for two days utilizing the new spaces," says Fox. "It's a very exciting time to be at the MSU School of Journalism and ComArtSci."

By Ann Kammerer

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Award-winning MSU film student pursues passion in New York City

Posted on: February 9, 2017

livLiv Larsen had an extraordinary senior year at Michigan State University — to say the least. The former journalism student, with a minor in documentary film studies, along with her crew produced a documentary called “From Flint” that won a student academy award in 2016.

In May, Larsen moved to New York City to fulfill her passion of working for a production company at 4th Row Films. As a production intern, she was assigned three documentaries to work on. She came up with different ideas for the director and tried to put her spin on the little details when she saw an opportunity. She even got to attend a few of the shoots.

“I really got to see first hand how different people interview,” Larsen said. “The director’s style was different from my style and I was able to see how to set up the whole production in the real world.”

She excels at the logistics behind the shoot, “Whether it’s applying for grants, setting up the location or making sure everyone’s on the same page; I really enjoy these aspects,” said Larsen.

Larsen claims that her favorite part of the internship was collaborating with other interns.

“The interns pretty much got free reign to give ideas,” Larsen said. “It was great to have that group and connection, in case we wanted to collaborate on future projects together.”

To her surprise, after completing her internship in New York City, Larsen found herself wanting to try her hand in independent filmmaking. After completing her award-winning documentary in Professor Bob Albers’ class, she thought she wanted to work for a large production company, shooting films, but realized that she had a desire to pursue her own personal film style.

“I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for my student film,” Larsen said. “After it won a Student Academy Award, our crew filed to work with an actual distribution company, which is amazing.”

Larsen said no member of her crew had actually been to Flint before creating this film. The main task of the film was to see how they could get involved with the community of Flint and make an impact.

“After doing basic internet research, we met with a few people, which turned into more people,” Larsen said. “The film started to unfold and the community of Flint embraced us with open arms. Our crew just took it one step at a time. The whole thing was a puzzle we put together, since we only had a semester to do it. It was so rewarding at the end.”

Currently, Larsen is still living in New York City, pursuing her dream of independent filmmaking. She's doing freelance work, which involved working on a project for Netflix, and currently producing another independent documentary film.

Her interest in documentary filmmaking evolved over time as she added new skills and learned more about the field.

“I have always been involved in the arts as a kid,” Larsen said. “Then I came to MSU and I had my journalism major, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with just that. After joining Telecasters and SideShow, I wanted to get more involved.”

Larsen always liked documentaries because they went further into telling stories and resonated with people a little more. She enjoys how one documentary can cover so much and bring out the layers of an issue.

She said the difference between her crew’s coverage of Flint and every other major news outlet was their angle. The networks were covering the city of Flint based on the government. Larsen and her crew covered Flint based on the people.

“Everybody can relate to someone else,” Larsen said. “You can emphasize with someone and try to understand their tragedy. Everyone has a story worth telling. So to me, it’s a mission to find these stories that are untold and tell them in a way that’s never been done before.”

By Meg Dedyne

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Journalism alumnus shares stories of adventure and inspiration in his latest book

Posted on: February 8, 2017

51AHBfJ+4+L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Some people wait their entire lives to do the things they said they always wanted to try – like fly a plane, canoe through the Everglades, or ride in a hot air balloon. Michigan State University journalism alumnus Chuck Werle (‘58) wants to help people check off goals on their bucket list and encourage them to add new ones they’d never thought about before.

In between life as an award-winning public relations professional, Werle made the time to travel. He’s visited all 50 states and 11 countries, where he shared unique experiences with family and friends, and even attended local events, like the World Chicken Plucking Championship in Spring Hill, Fla.

In 2015, the seasoned traveler released his book A Lifetime in Reverse: What’s on YOUR bucket list?  Werle said his goal is to inspire people to think about their bucket list in a new way by inviting people to read about a few of his adventures, including some he took with his wife and sons.

The book is divided into two parts: “Mine” and “Yours.”

“The first part of the book is all about my experiences over 30-some years, and then the second part of the book is briefer,” said Werle.

The second part lists 70 events or experiences that a person could have done, and can still do, in their life. The list includes five different categories – personal, humor, adventure travel, career/occupation, sports and hobbies – with goals like stage a surprise party, donate blood and more.

Werle’s inspiration for the book came from the well-known film “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Released in 2008, the movie tells the story of two dying men who set out to accomplish the things they never got around to doing before they were diagnosed with cancer.

“It was all about, from their standpoint, (the) crazy things that they wanted to do that were really dangerous and they just had a great time, so they just kept adding to the list, so to speak,” said Werle. “I thought for years about that and I said, ‘You know, it’s a shame they only wanted to do all that stuff down the road instead of all the things that might have happened to them during their lifetime’.”

The more he thought about it, the more his thoughts gelled into a book idea. Werle submitted a pitch to Amazon Create Space and was offered a deal. One year later, the book was complete.

Today, Werle lives in North Carolina, where he’s been for the last 17 years. He helps other authors and writers by editing and promoting their work. He is also writing his third nonfiction book, this one is about crisis communication – his area of specialty in the field of public relations. In fact, the last time Werle visited East Lansing, he had been invited to speak to public relations and journalism students about his work in crisis communication.

Are you trying to find the motivation to take chances and seize extraordinary opportunities? Check out Werle’s book and more on his website.

Share via these networks:
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail