Drone Studies “Take Flight” at the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies.
The School of Journalism and Media Studies faculty has several projects exploring opportunities and challenges of remotely piloted aircraft for our field. Five JMS faculty (Bates, Kilker, Larson, Mullen, and Venger) will present a panel entitled “Drones and Media Studies: A Multi-dimensional Look at the Past and Future” summarizing their research at the Broadcast Education Association Annual Convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 12-15. In addition, this Spring Stephen Bates is co-teaching a “Drone Law” course with the UNLV Law School, and Julian Kilker is teaching a JMS graduate course on “Media, Privacy, and Surveillance” that includes a section about drones. The JMS program is also planning an upcoming talk in the Emerging Technology Lab on drone journalism—stay tuned!
Virtual Rebel Reaches Status of Registered Student Organization
By Elizabeth Gardner, journalism undergrad
The Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity approved Virtual Rebel as a Registered Student Organization this semester, allowing the site’s developers to expand and grow readership with new resources.
Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies sponsors Virtual Rebel as a strictly online news site and portal for student work. Registered Student Organizations are university-recognized clubs that include at least five active students and a full-time faculty advisor.
“Virtual Rebel’s becoming a Registered Student Organization is a new level of awesome,” said Kim Ulmanis, managing editor. “The status will help us grow and become more visible in our community.”
As a new RSO, Virtual Rebel is eligible for funding through the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. CSUN, as an undergraduate student government, has a Ways and Means Committee that has the power to allocate money to RSOs.
Dr. Gregory Borchard, Virtual Rebel’s faculty advisor, has sought funding to strengthen the website’s presence online.
Ulmanis plans to use funding to increase website functionality by implementing improved search functions and modified graphic features.
Virtual Rebel now also has the opportunity to take part in the Student Involvement Fair and set up a table in the Student Union at the beginning of each semester.
Students, faculty and UNLV alumni are encouraged to publish stories and build their portfolios.
Greenspun Professors Commemorate Nevada’s 150th Birthday
Two Greenspun School faculty members are featured in UNLV’s Nevada 5 series of historical essays commemorating the state’s 150th birthday.
Associate Professor Stephen Bates recounted five of Nevada’s most memorable cases involving freedom of speech < http://news.unlv.edu/article/my-nevada-5-free-speech>.
Associate Professor Julian Kilker contributed a photo essay on Walking Box Ranch, once the home of silent film star Clara Bow < http://news.unlv.edu/article/my-nevada-5-images-walking-box-ranch> .
Greenspun Grads Rake in the Prizes
Congratulations to the Greenspun grads who were winners in this year's Nevada Press Association Contest < http://www.nevadapress.com/nevadapress.com/2014_awards.html> !
Among the top honors was the Journalist of Merit prize for Urban Weeklies for Mark Adams at Las Vegas Weekly
A first place winner was feature writer Michael Lyle at the Review-Journal, who took home several other awards.
Other grads who took honors (some with multiple prizes) include Caitlyn Belcher, Ray Brewer, Glenn Cook, Sean DeFrank, Jack Johnson, Jorge Labrador, Valerie Miller and PJ Perez, as well as grad student Matt Ward.
The Boulder City Review won the General Excellence Award for community newspapers in the past year when Arnold Knightly was editor and Jack Johnson was the reporter. Steven Slivka is the reporter there now.
Associate Professor Julian Kilker received a third place prize for a photo essay in Vegas Seven.
In addition, Greenspun School benefactor Brian Greenspun was inducted into the Association's Hall of Fame.
Prizes were announced at the Nevada Press Association’s banquet in Las Vegas on Sept. 20.
JMS Student News Website Succeeds in Drawing Increased Visitor Use
Virtual Rebel, a news portfolio site for students in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, has quickly reached a bounce rate of 40 percent, a remarkable achievement for only three semesters since its launch, according to Gregory Borchard, executive editor.
Virtual Rebel serves as the JMS school’s official exhibition of pieces from its students, showcasing work such as feature stories, photojournalism galleries and broadcast clips, including subjects such as local news, politics and sports.
Michael Vendivel, who designed the site as part of his work as a master’s student, evaluated the bounce rate for his graduate studies thesis. Bounce rate is a measurement of how long each visitor spends digging through the site’s content. The longer visitors tend to explore the various stories the lower the bounce rate. With a bounce rate of 40 percent, it means that 60 percent of Virtual Rebel visitors are sticking to the site.
“We made good progress this year in working toward a converged media platform with the new Studio G section, added photos, and related content, and plans with KUNV-FM to link streaming radio content,” Borchard said.
The website had humble beginnings as a blog-like page titled “East Paradise.” From 2007-2009, it operated on the fundamentals of civic journalism in which citizen reporters worked to submit their own stories.
In January 2013, the site underwent a complete overhaul thanks to Vendivel’s work.
Gone was the site’s blog-like feel. Then, came a logo design representative of the university, and the coding necessary to create the individual tabs and pages.
Although Vendivel is set to graduate from the university this spring, Virtual Rebel administrators seek to use his work as a foundation for continued excellence. They plan to continue making daily student work additions and working towards a fully converged media platform.
“Our goal for the next year will be to focus on increasing the site's ‘stickiness,’ which is making sure readers who visit read more than just one story alone,” Borchard said.
For more information about Virtual Rebel, visit http://virtual-rebel.com, or contact Greg Borchard at 702-895-4868.
JMS students get rare opportunity to discuss breaking news in real time
By Julian Kilker
Please join us to discuss "Breaking News -- Understanding what's happening right now with Ukraine, Russia, and the US" over the next two weeks, held as part of the Jour 313 photojournalism course in the Emerging Tech Lab, room 1120, at 10 a.m.
JMS students, staff and faculty are welcome to participate in discussing how media and politics (and sports) are intertwined in the "Crisis in Ukraine" (as the New York Times puts it in today's lead story).
This opportunity just came together this morning as a few speakers generously moved their schedules around. We now have an impromptu speaker series. (We're "nimbly pivoting," in today's lingo...more like a news bureau than a university.)
For background, take a look at thus "Crisis in Ukraine" section on the front page of the nytimes.com. The Atlantic's In Focus and Boston.com's Big Picture, usually good visual sources, have been quiet about Eastern Europe in recent days. Unless there's nothing newer, I recommend looking at these entries:
Thursday, March 6, at 10am in the ETL room 1120
Virtual Rebel Website Showcases Wider Range of Content
By Sean Wyatt
With its newly redesigned format, the Virtual Rebel website encourages students to grab their notebooks and find a story.
Virtual Rebel is an online-only news source produced by the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies. Students and other members of the university community contribute stories for the site.
"The big idea behind Virtual Rebel from the get-go was that if you were someone on the other side of the planet and you wanted to find out what the students in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies were doing, you could just pull up one link and it would all be there," said Greg Borchard, executive editor.
When first launched as Virtual Rebel in August 2012, the site averaged about one new story a day. Since then, it has grown to four to five stories a day on average. During final exams week, the daily amount of content increases even more as some students are offered extra credit for publication on the site.
Faculty of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies help edit the content that is published on the page. Stories are submitted via e-mail and reviewed before publication.
The site also has some exciting plans for the future.
"We have had this in the works for a while now -- that's our Studio G section on the site." Borchard said. Studio G is a live newscast that airs five days a week and features broadcast students.
Studio G broadcast stories have begun to be featured on Virtual Rebel, and Borchard plans to update faculty and students about an increased online presence for student-produced news shows.
For additional information about Virtual Rebel, visit http://virtual-rebel.com/about
JMS Students Awarded Tony & Linda Bonnici Scholarships
By Jessica Zimmerman and Greg Borchard
Deserving UNLV and UNR students celebrated excellence July 25 upon discovering they had won the prestigious Tony & Linda Bonnici Broadcast/Communications Scholarship.
The award includes a full year of tuition and a guaranteed broadcasting internship. Events scheduled for August 17 will publicly announce the recipients during the Eighteenth Annual Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame Gala.
The Tony & Linda Bonnici Broadcast/Communications Scholarship is sponsored by The Tony & Linda Bonnici Scholarship Fund (TLBSF) and the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation (NBF). Established to support promising broadcasters, the foundation promotes journalistic ethics and societal responsibility among broadcasters.
UNLV undergraduates — Sylvia Alvarado, Dena Banning, Karina Gaytan, Christina Jones, Alaina Leadbeter, and Crystal Muguerza — who either major or minor in Journalism and Media Studies, and JMS graduate student Jessica Zimmerman won 2013-2014 awards. They were joined by two UNR students.
"I can only say that I’m extremely blessed, grateful, and thankful that I was chosen," said Alaina Leadbeter, a JMS student focusing on broadcast. "I cannot thank the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation and Tony and Linda Bonnici enough for this helpful and amazing opportunity."
Applicants were submitted transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an essay about why they wanted to be broadcasters, explaining how the profession can better serve society. They were then interviewed thoroughly.
Selected recipients — students enrolled in a broadcast or a related communications program — receive the scholarship and internship with the requirement that they volunteer at several fundraising events held throughout the year.
UNLV’s Rebelation Media Advances to Nationals
by Irene Williams
Gabriel Lapuz, Kristina Guerrero, Rebecca Koonce, Lisa Coruzzi, Brianna-Jayde Anderson, Kayla Agnello, George Machado. Photo Credit: Peter Suh
Faculty and students in the Journalism and Media Studies program are still buzzing with pride over a first place District 15 finish in the National Student Advertising Competition.
The Rebelation Media team received top honors in District 15 for a campaign they presented in Fullerton, Calif., April 25, 2013. The win was a first for students in the program, as they bested eight other universities. The students are now headed to the national competition June 5-8 in Phoenix to compete against 16 other first place district winners.
"Congratulations to our team for besting USC, UCLA, and other major universities," said Dr. Daniel Stout, JMS director. "A panel of professional judges deemed UNLV’s written campaign and oral presentation to be the best. Kudos also go to Dr. Kathy Callahan and Dan Schott as advisors."
JMS faculty Kathy Callahan and Dan Schott advised the team, heading a class of 37 students to develop a strategic and competitive strategy for the competition. The class tackled a complete integrated marketing campaign, including research, strategy, media budget and schedule, creative concepts, social media, in-store promotions and community outreach, and public relations. Students developed a 20-page plan book and 20-minute presentation for this year’s client, Glidden Paint. The requirements of the class are extraordinary, including 20 to 30 hours a week outside of regular meeting times. “There's almost nothing about this competition that's like anything students have experienced in a typical class,” Callahan noted.
She recalls the excitement and joy the students experienced when the heard the news of their victory.
“The suspense was palpable as the district coordinator announced third place: California State Fullerton; then second place, USC,” Callahan said. “And finally and very slowly with dramatic pauses, ‘the winner of the 2013 District 15 championship -- that will go on to represent the district at the national finals -- is the University of Nevada.’ The announcer hadn’t even finished saying ‘Nevada’ when everyone on the team was on their feet, jumping up and down, cheering, hugging each other.”
The announcement validated late nights, intensive preparation, and submitting work that met the demanding professional standards of the competition, Callahan said.
“The moment that the team was announced as the winner was incredibly exhilarating,” she said. “It’s a highlight of my career and something I’ll always remember, and I’m sure the team members will as well.”
What made the Rebelation Media campaign stand out compared to the other universities? Callahan said it was the extensive research on the target audience and the client company, Glidden Paint, that led to a solid strategy. The students developed a solid campaign based on understanding the customers of Glidden Paint.
Gabriel Lapuz, one of the five students who presented on stage and a member of the creative group, was recognized along with two students from other universities with a special “Creative Ink Difference” award for his work on the creative concept and executions in the campaign.
“It takes a wide variety of skills to create this type of campaign: project management, teamwork, copywriting, graphic design, print production, film production and editing, research and analysis, critical thinking, media planning, presentation skills, understanding emerging trends in creative and media,” Callahan said. “It can only happen with dedication, persistence and commitment to the project and to your teammates.”
For students who may want to consider being part of the experience next year, she advised: “Be prepared for the most demanding, and most rewarding, experience you'll have in college. You’re very likely to learn things about yourself you didn't know you could do.”
If you would like additional information about the JMS campaign class, please contact Kathy Callahan at email@example.com.
National Winner Maria Jose Flor Agreda
by Irene Williams
Maria Jose Flor Ágreda
Journalism and political science major, Maria Jose Flor Ágreda took first place in the national case study competition at the Washington Media Scholars Foundation. Over 200 students competed: Maria and fellow student Jami Vallesteros won the National Excellence in Media Award, receiving $3,000 in scholarship money each, and a trophy.
What made Maria and Jami’s case study stand out? She believes they provided much more than what the case called for. They provided extras such as campaign fundraising ideas, written handouts, and a detailed PowerPoint presentation.
The competition was an incredible experience for Maria; she learned advertising strategies from various experts in political campaigning. They visited Politico, The Washington Post, The Daily Caller, Kantar Media, Google, CQ Roll Call, among others and learned from their business models.
Maria was pleased to have the advertising experience as she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in media and politics. Her advice to future contestants is “not to procrastinate, practice a lot, and seek help and feedback. Also an outside perspective into the project can prove to be an invaluable asset, and I highly recommend it.”
For additional information click on the UNLV News Center link. UNLV News Center Link
Nevada Broadcasters Foundation Scholarship
by Irene Williams
The Nevada Broadcasters Foundation awarded three JMS students prestigious full tuition scholarships including a paid in-station internship in the candidates' medium of choice. The awards come from the Tony and Linda Bonnici Scholarship Fund.
Winners were undergraduates: Freshman Dena Banning, Senior Honey Love, and Senior Rommel Santiago. Awards are based on academic achievements, persistence, and dedication.
Dena Banning was honored and grateful for receiving this scholarship. As an incoming freshman, it’s a relief to be able to focus more on her studies, instead of worrying about working to pay tuition. Her dream is to utilize media for humanitarian purposes, and shed light on animal rights and cruelty. Her advice to students is to “find what drives you. Passion is what makes effort worthwhile. Never allow others to discourage your dream and accept fault as a means of growth.”
Honey Love was also thrilled. As a single mom with a three-year-old daughter, it has been exceptionally challenging to continue the path of higher education without family nearby. However, this scholarship makes things easier for Honey, especially financially. It’s also an opportunity to network at her internship. Her dream job is to host her own travel show to educate TV audiences about third-world countries and their lifestyles, cultures, and beliefs.
She encourages future applicants to apply because “nothing in life is handed to you; if you really want something you have to go for it” says Honey. She has had to balance life, school, work and motherhood; however she is driven and does it to provide a better future for herself and her daughter.
This scholarship was a dream come true for Rommel Santiago, a senior. Not only does it help financially, but he was also offered a job at Lotus Broadcasting in the process. During his interview with the NBA Foundation Board members, he was introduced to the program director for Lotus Broadcasting. Soon he was offered a job as an on-air assistant for one of the local radio stations. He is extremely grateful for the opportunities NBA has provided, and is eager to continue to grow with his new job.
Past scholarship winners- Sedinam Kakrada, Rachel Johnson, and Adrienne Lefebvre have greatly benefited from this award. They all have received internships in different TV stations and are on the right track for their careers.
For more information on upcoming scholarships and internships see our website. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter to receive additional information.
Projects: Las Vegas beyond the stereotypes
by Julian Kilker
These project photographs from the Journalism 313“documentary photography” course demonstrate a cross-section of perspectives and techniques explored by students asked to show Las Vegas beyond its common stereotypes—of excess, materialism, and a lack of community or concern for the environment.
Award-Winning JOURNALIST and author joins UNLV's Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies as Visiting Professor Alicia C. Shepard, Former NPR Ombudsman
Award-winning media critic Alicia C. Shepard has spent three decades as a newspaper and magazine reporter, author and university journalism professor. She brings an expertise in writing, speaking and teaching about how the news media works -- or doesn't. UNLV President Neal Smatresk said, "We are thrilled to have someone of Ms. Shepard's experience and abilities join our Journalism and Media Studies program. Her hire exemplifies our commitment to building strength in an outstanding program and providing our students with a world class education."
In her most recent job, she spent nearly four years as National Public Radio Ombudsman, where she explained NPR to the listeners and the listeners to NPR. Her commentary on NPR's firing of news analyst Juan Williams, sparked national discussion in 2010. The Washington Post, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune have published her ideas on journalistic practice and ethics.
Shepard is author of the critically acclaimed book, Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate, which explores the lives of two of America's most famous journalists and their impact on the profession. Shepard is a preeminent expert in a crucial era of investigating reporting. According to former Newsweek correspondent Michael Isikoff, "Alicia Shepard has written a brilliant biography of two giants of American journalism."
She is co-author of Running Toward Danger: Stories Behind the Breaking News of 9/11, which documents the role journalists played in our Democracy on that fateful day. She has won the National Press Club's top media criticism award three times.
"We are delighted she's joining the Greespun School," said Director Daniel Stout. "Alicia is a champion of quality journalism and an influential media critic of national scale." She will teach media ethics courses and be involved with KUNV, UNLV's public radio station. Shepard has also taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Georgetown University, and American University.
Traveling widely, Shepard sailed with her family through the South Pacific for three years on a 32-foot sailboat. This summer, before joining UNLV, she plans to do a seven-day bike ride across Iowa.
For more information contact Director, Daniel Stout via email firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 895-5957.
East Paradise Site Acquires New Editor, Plans Name Change
by Alexa Medrano
East Paradise, a website housed in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, has secured a new Web Coordinator and will rebrand the site as part of the transition.
The non-profit site has branched out from civic journalism based reporting on the Paradise area of Las Vegas to more student-covered events and stories about the UNLV community.
Michelle Aikin, Editor and Web Coordinator, graduates spring semester. The transition in editors will take place over the summer under Jessica Zimmerman, the new Editor, and JMS Professor Gregory Borchard.
"We're not tearing it down and starting over," Borchard said. "We're tuning up the focus."
Zimmerman and Borchard intend to rejuvenate the website through developing a new name that better expresses East Paradise's content. In addition, the team at East Paradise plans to incorporate more multimedia within the site, including links, audio and video to accompany the stories featured on the website.
Zimmerman said she wants to promote the website and showcase student work under a new name, a new layout, and a revised focus fall 2012.
A unique attribute of the site is that it covers events neglected by area news outlets, Aikin said. East Paradise reflects the spirit of the community through student reporting, all the while giving them the opportunity to be published.
Professors Bates and Kilker Win $15,000 in Faculty Opportunity Awards
by Irene Lopez
Julian Kilker photo by Aaron Mayes
UNLV President Neal Smatresk has announced that two members of the Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies faculty, Associate Professors Julian Kilker and Stephen Bates, have been given Faculty Opportunity Awards. Together they will receive $15,000 for their future research.
Of the 13 grants awarded in the Scholarly and Creative Works category, the Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies was one of only three departments across UNLV to receive more than one.
Director of Journalism and Media Studies, Professor Daniel Stout said, "These awards reflect the scholarly and creative excellence of the Greenspun faculty. These colleagues are having influence far beyond the borders of the campus."
Professor Kilker is documenting cultural artifacts in the Mojave desert using night and low light photography. The award will allow him to continue his work, already exhibited by the National Park Service in California, at the Barrick Museum at UNLV, and in Geneva, Switzerland, by focusing on Walking Box Ranch, the former home of silent movie star Clara Bow. The immediate goal is to provide documentary images for education and research projects related to the ranch, while the longer-time goals are to experiment with imaging techniques under extreme conditions. "Starting out from an interest in the act of 'driving by' desert locations, this project has grown into an exploration of interactions between the fragile desert environment and its visitors, and of techniques to better document these challenging locations," said Professor Kilker. "Using low light techniques allows me to better control the imaging process, almost as if I were in a laboratory setting; this grant will allow me to invest in equipment to further improve and explore this process."
Stephen Bates photo by Irene Lopez
Professor Bates is writing a book about a leading critique of the American press from the 1940s. Chaired by Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, the Commission on Freedom of the Press featured a dozen of the most prominent public intellectuals of the era, including playwright Archibald MacLeish and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.
According to Professor Bates, journalists and journalism educators mostly denounced the group's 1947 report, A Free and Responsible Press, because of its criticisms of the press. But the report's influence has grown with time. Still in print after 65 years, it's assigned reading in some schools of journalism. It forms the basis of the "social responsibility" theory of the press, he said. "I first wrote a monograph about the Hutchins Commission in the 1990s, and I've always hoped to expand it into a book," said Professor Bates. "This grant will enable me to study Commission members' papers and other relevant materials in archives at Yale, Duke, the University of Chicago, and elsewhere. It will be a much more comprehensive project as a result."
For Professor Bates, it's a historical study with contemporary relevance. "The Hutchins Commission addressed some of the fundamental questions in our field," he said. "How does the press serve American democracy? Can the government improve its performance through regulation, or are there better alternatives? We're still looking for answers."
Congratulation to both professors, we are proud and look forward to their future research. To contact Professor Bates email him at Stephen.Bates@unlv.edu. For Professor Kilker email email@example.com.
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