News and Events

The Department Newsletter Meeman Matters 

Click here to read the April 2017 issue.
Click here to read the December 2016 issue.
Click here to read the August 2016 issue. 

University of Memphis Announces Linda and Steve Simon Family Fellowship

Simon Family
Attending an event celebrating the Linda and Steve Simon Family Fellowship were (from left): Donna Nathan, Trish Morris, Fay Jason, Linda Simon, Brenda Gordon, Carolyn Berkowitz, Marcia Nathan and Carolyn Kusper.

June 15, 2017 - The University of Memphis has announced the Linda and Steve Simon Family Fellowship. A strategic investment to advance the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, this gift creates a signature professional faculty position for outstanding early career faculty in public relations.

Endowments for faculty positions provide support and recognition to those who have earned distinction in the field, the classroom and the community. Investing in faculty to ensure the integrity and quality of academic programs is of the highest importance to the UofM.

"Gifts such as this help us to attract and retain nationally and internationally renowned scholars from diverse backgrounds to the University of Memphis," said President M. David Rudd. "I sincerely appreciate the vision of the Simon Family to strengthen our ability to support young, dynamic faculty."

Linda Simon earned her bachelor of science in elementary education from the University in 1970. Steve was highly regarded as a public relations pioneer and visionary who earned his journalism degree from the UofM in 1969. Steve used his experience as press secretary for the mayor of Memphis and at several executive positions at PR agencies in Chicago to launch S&S Public Relations Inc. in 1978. The firm specialized in franchise PR and evolved to support the booming technology industry at the birth of the Internet. With multiple offices across the U.S., the newly incorporated SSPR, LLC is a nod to his namesake and thrives on his legacy. The company has grown its client base by adding numerous prominent brands across many successful and contemporary industries.

The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media has approximately 325 undergraduate majors and 40 graduate students. Its programs focus on applied journalism to help students learn the concepts and skills to be effective news, public relations and advertising professionals.

For more information, contact Katherine Goliver, director of development for the College of Communication and Fine Arts, at or 901.678.4372. 

Research Colloquiums and Twitter ChatS

The Department planned three Research Colloquiums for the 2017 Spring Semester in order to engage graduate students and faculty in research efforts.

  • Time: noon on February 24, March 24 and April 21
  • Place: Room 212, Meeman Journalism Building

Graduate students must attend one of the Research Colloquiums as required by graduate courses. Those who cannot attend the Colloquium may watch it online via BlueJeans or Facebook Live.

The Department also planned two twitter chats for graduate students in the 2017 Spring Semester. One was on 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 24 and the archived chat record is posted here thanks to graduate assistant Audrey Chaney’s efforts. The other is to be on 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 19 using the hashtag #meemangrad.

Professor Otis Sanford and Dr. Tom Hrach Books
Books published by Professor Otis Sanford and Dr. Tom Hrach. Details are below. 

Professor Otis Sanford Newly Published Book "From Boss Crump to King Willie"

This book From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics, published by the University of Tennessee Press, chronicles the political history of Memphis from the 45-year reign of Edward H. Crump as the boss of Memphis to the election of Dr. Willie W. Herenton as the city’s first black mayor. The book explains in vivid detail how African Americans in Memphis fought for nearly a century for political acceptance and inclusion. From Ida B. Wells’ crusade against lynchings to the civil rights movement, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the rise of black political leader Harold Ford and finally the election of Dr. Herenton, this book tells the story of Memphians and the people they entrusted with political power throughout the 20th century.

Dr. TOM HRACH Book "Riot Report" Released 

Journalism faculty member Tom Hrach released his first book, The Riot Report and the News: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America this past September. The book is an examination of the 1968 Kerner Commission developed its media criticism, which is considered a milestone in the history of journalism. The book offers a critical look at the report and offers some praise for the late Otto Kerner, governor of Illinois, who was the commission's namesake. The book was published by the University of Massachusetts Press.

May 5-16 China Mass Media Study Abroad Program

When: May 5 to May 16, 2017
Where: Xi'An & Beijing, China
What: visiting the China Daily headquarters in Beijing and other local newsrooms, meeting Chinese journalism students and faculty, learning ancient history and diverse culture, touring century-old historical sites and cultural relics, and enjoying great food
Application Deadline: March 1, 2017
Contact person: Dr. Jin Yang

Feb 28, 2017 Norm Brewer First Amendment Lecture

National Public Radio executive Keith Woods is the featured speaker at the 2017 Norm Brewer First Amendment lecture, an annual event dedicated to highlighting issues of free speech and free press. Woods has been vice president in diversity in news and operations at National Public Radio since 2010.  The annual lecture started in 2011 and it is named for the late WREG commentator Norm Brewer who died in 2010 after decades reporting and commentating in Memphis.

When:  Feb. 28 Reception 5 p.m. Lecture 6 p.m.
Where: River Room at the University Center



Roxane Coche received the "Eye of the Tiger" award during the Memphis-South Florida football game at the Liberty Bowl on Nov. 12, 2016 in recognition for her outstanding efforts in taking 14 journalism students to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Coche joined the faculty in the fall of 2015 after completing her doctorate in mass communication at the University of North Carolina. She is a sports journalist and also is faculty adviser to Tiger News.