Journalism Professor Honored by Professional Association

Debora Wenger recognized for her service to journalism education

Debora Wenger

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi journalism professor Debora Wenger has been honored for her service to journalism education by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The association’s Electronic News Division has chosen Wenger as a recipient of the 2018 Larry Burkum Service Award. Wenger is an associate professor of journalism and assistant dean for innovation and external partnerships at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

Besides her roles at the university, Wenger is a trainer for the Society of Professional Journalists through its partnership with the Google News Initiative, and she has educated journalists around the country.

“For me, personally, this award is recognition that the academy values work that is focused on supporting and maintaining quality journalism,” Wenger said. “I love teaching and I love staying connected to the many great journalists who work hard to keep our communities and our country informed about issues that matter. It’s an honor to be recognized for service to this vital profession.”

A former reporter, anchor and news manager at numerous television stations, Wenger focuses on multimedia journalism practice and education. She regularly contributes research findings to academic and professional publications on the topic.

Wenger has taught journalism courses at Ole Miss since 2009.

“The Meek School has many faculty who focus on work that helps make our teaching and our disciplines stronger,” she said. “Whether it’s research into best practices, training for practitioners or turning out graduates who are job-ready, our school values those contributions.

“This award offers outside recognition that strong industry ties are vital to successful journalism and communication programs everywhere.”

Wenger is being honored alongside Deborah Potter, founding director of NewsLab and former correspondent, anchor and program host at CBS, CNN, PBS and local television and radio stations. NewsLab, an online journalism training center, was transferred to the operation of the UM journalism school last year.

“Dr. Wenger has been a crucial player in the development of the Meek School,” said Will Norton, the school’s dean. “She has used her network of professionals and academics to enhance the reputation of the Meek School and its faculty. She sets rigorous standards in the classroom and works diligently to support faculty.”

The award is named for Larry Burkum, who served as the association’s secretary, newsletter editor and webmaster from 1995 to 2005. The Electronic News Division will honor Wenger and Potter in August in Washington, D.C., at the AEJMC annual conference.