OXFORD, Miss. – Students at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media have been gaining valuable work experience through partnerships with print and broadcast media outlets across the state.
Each year, about 60 students participate in newspaper reporting trips on which they spend a weekend writing stories or shooting photos for different papers. Broadcast students also have been working on pieces for Tupelo’s WTVA-TV and a local news website as part of the program.
In September, several students went to the Leland Progress newspaper and wrote pieces that will be used to create a magazine for visitors and newcomers. The students brought a fresh perspective, as many of them had never been to the small Delta town, said Stephanie Patton, editor and publisher of the Progress. That perspective is particularly useful for the magazine, which is also geared toward people who may not have been there before.
“It’s a great program, not just for the communities and the benefits Leland gets out of it, but it’s great for the students to get out and see different parts of Mississippi they haven’t been exposed to and also have this interaction with real business and city leaders,” Patton said. “That’s great real-world experience that you can’t always get inside a classroom.”
While in Leland, the students did a piece on Muppets’ creator Jim Henson’s ties to the area, the blues music scene and other stories.