Converging News

In this issue of Converging News:

Bitten - Barbie Chamber’s research into the “Twilight Saga” phenomenon

Pickens Plan - Texas Tribune kicks off its college tour with T. Boone Pickens at Tech

From On-line to Orchestra - MCOM student’s internship experience

PR in the City - Tech PR Club travels to Dallas

The Hype with H1N1 - Morris Lectureship Speaker Debates Media’s Role During the H1N1 Epidemic

Changes in the College - College merges journalism tracks

MCOM Achievements


Barbie Chamber’s research into the “Twilight Saga” phenomenon
By Hannah Moore

Girls and women alike have crazed over the “Twilight Saga,” a teenage fantasy love story with vampires and werewolves.

With 15 years of experience in advertising, marketing and public relations, and a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech in advertising, Barbie Chambers, a doctoral student in the College of Media & Communication, was fascinated by what she called the Twilight phenomenon.

“I started asking myself, ‘Why is it such a big deal for someone who is 38 years old and for someone who’s 18?’” Chambers said. “And I’m also very interested in brands and brand fans, and why people have this loyalty beyond all reason toward a brand.”

Chambers said she hopes to discover the sociological and psychological aspects behind Twilight fans in order to apply her research to other brands for marketing and advertising purposes.

“I think this is going to be a long process. I don’t know that after I do this initial stuff that I’ll have anything earth-shattering yet,” she said. “What I want to do is understand this so I can apply it to other brands and look at the ‘fandam’ and brand fans in other areas. There’s a lot of literature in marketing and advertising about loyalty and about how loyalty doesn’t exist. But this is something that is a little different.”


Pickens Plan
Texas Tribune kicks off its college tour with T. Boone Pickens at Tech
By Hannah Moore

The Texas Tribune, an on-line political news organization, hosted an all-day lecture and discussion series at Texas Tech University in association with the College of Media & Communication April 13.

The College Tour began with keynote speaker T. Boone Pickens, billionaire and businessman, in conversation with Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune. Smith questioned Pickens about his good health and success, and the Pickens Plan, a plan to remove American dependency on foreign oil.

Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner and Hector Uribe, Democratic opponent for Land Commissioner and former state senator, followed in a discussion with Smith regarding politics.

The tour was wrapped up in a discussion about the future of journalism with Smith and Tribune reporters, Reeve Hamilton, Elise Hu and Matt Stiles. Mass Communications students were invited to participate in the discussion and ask questions of the Tribune staff.


Dr. Jerry Hudson, T. Boone Pickens, Evan Smith,
& Provost Bob Smith

From Online to Orchestra
MCOM student’s internship experience

by: Ashley Pennington

In the past year, Josh Ramos not only discovered his future career, but also he found a new appreciation for music through his internship with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.

Ramos learned of his first internship opportunity with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra from a previous intern, Alex Timplet, who recommended him for the Web support intern position. 

“Alex said they were a really good organization to work for and that she learned a lot from them,” Ramos said. “They give you projects to work on, so it’s a really good learning experience.”

Ramos, a senior electronic media and communications major from Houston, said he enjoys Web design and the concept of making codes. 
As a Web support intern, Ramos said he works underneath the Lubbock Symphony’s marketing director, Val Brown, who gives him directions about any site maintenance, changes and additions to the Web site. Ramos also is included in the symphony’s marketing meetings and brainstorming sessions.

“We talk about doing Facebook or an advertisement in the Daily Toreador,” Ramos said. Ramos said he enjoys that his internship is unique. Although he works behind a computer Monday and Wednesday afternoons, he also attends and works during all Lubbock Symphony Orchestra concerts and events.

Ramos said he enjoyed working his first event, the Susan Graham concert. He gained experience working in the ticket booth and serving as an usher.

“Now that I have attended a concert, I would like to go again,” Ramos said. “The performances are amazing, and I continue to gain more interest the longer I have been there.” 

Anthony Galvez’s Electronic Media Communications 3315 course struck a tune with Ramos. While studying a Web site design program, Dreamweaver, Ramos discovered his passion for Web design.

“Tell me what you want to do,” Ramos said, “and I know I can write a code for it.” 

Ramos said he is thankful for Galvez’s advice and that of his other classmates. He said their guidance has directly influenced his future career path.

PR in the City 
Tech PR Club travels to Dallas
By Ashley Pennington

Tech PR Club Students

Students often wonder what working for a trend-setting in-house public relations department or national public relations agency would be like. Last Friday, 12 Texas Tech PR club students got a special glimpse into their possible future careers.
Vice President of the Texas Tech PR club Lance Reese, a senior public relations major from Mesquite, Texas, organized the group’s trip to Dallas.

“Clubs and organizations should really take advantage of these types of trips because it gives them a real world look at what public relations is really about,” Reese said. “There's only so much a textbook can teach you, and then you have to experience the environment yourself.”

Texas Tech mass communications alumna, Linda Rutherford, hosted students for a tour of the Southwest Airlines headquarters. Southwest’s living history displays and unique culture captivated students. 
Jaren Anderson, senior public relations major from Arlington, said he enjoyed visiting Fleishman Hillard and Southwest Airlines.
“Southwest's culture was unlike anything I've ever seen. The fun atmosphere truly made it feel that each person wanted to get up and go to work each day,” Anderson said. “They have an attitude other companies should strive for.”

That afternoon, students visited Fleishman Hillard’s Dallas office, followed by Neiman Marcus' corporate headquarters. Ginger Reeder, the vice president of corporate communications and official spokesperson for Neiman Marcus, provided one-of-a-kind insight into branding, reputation promotion and successful in-house public relations and marketing efforts.

Texas Tech PR also hosted its first networking event with public relations professionals in Dallas and alumni from Texas Tech. Terry Young, director of marketing and communications with Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union, discussed the power of effective public relations and job-hunting tips.

The Hype with H1N1
Morris Lectureship Speaker Debates Media’s Role During the H1N1 Epidemic
By Ashley Pennington

Robert Logan, senior staff member for the U.S. National Library of Medicine, was the keynote speaker at the ninth annual Morris Lectureship April 15 at the Lubbock Country Club.

Logan’s presentation, “Overkill, Hype and Accuracy,” focused on the media’s initial coverage of the H1N1

crisis. He discussed whether the media overhyped the situation or helped prevent a national epidemic of the H1N1 flu crisis. Texas Tech University Professor Tom Johnson asked Logan to speak because of his unique outside position as a former journalist and his inside experience working for the National Library of Medicine.

 “Logan has a different perspective — somebody who knows about the media, but also has experience in health communications, and is very knowledgeable about health issues,” Johnson said.

Johnson acknowledged the lecture on H1N1 is important because he believes the media, while causing some undue concern, may have to some degree helped prevent the health crisis from becoming a real pandemic.

Dr. Tom Johnshon and Robert Logan


Changes in the College
College merges Journalism tracks
By Ashley Pennington

The College of Media & Communication will now offer one journalism degree to incoming freshman -- no longer offering distinctions of print, online or broadcast, effective fall 2010.

Journalism department chairman, Randy Reddick, who has a doctorate in journalism from Ohio University, said the journalism faculty, in association with the college's National Professional Advisory Board, believed changing the curriculum was the logical next step from modifications in 2004.
“The entire curriculum is multi-platform,” Reddick said. “All students will have an understanding and experience with print, video and Web.”
Reddick said this change responded to the realities of today’s work place. News organizations need people who have multi-platform experience.  

“The idea is we want all of our students to understand the strengths and limitations of each platform,” Reddick said. “When you understand that, you know how to best tell a story in each platform. You should take advantage of the environment that is best to tell your story.”


MCOM Achievements
  • The 2009 Texas Tech University student American Advertising Federation Competition team's videos used in their student campaign have won two regional silver ADDY awards. The ADDY Awards are the largest creative competition in the country with about 55,000 local entries competing in 200 cities coast to coast. Winning an ADDY at the district level is the second step in competing for a National ADDY award.
  • The College of Media & Communication has another Pulitzer Prize winner. Tod Robberson, a 1981 journalism graduate, is part of a Dallas Morning News team receiving the 2010 Pulitzer for their editorials, deploring the stark social and economic disparity between the city's better-off northern half and distressed southern half.
  • University Housing awarded Robert Peaslee, assistant professor of EM&C, and Robert Wernsman, instructor of Journalism, with the “Professing Excellence” Award. There were 10 outstanding instructors recognized for their dedication and commitment to student learning, nominated by students. Dr. Bill Dean, associate professor of mass communications, was also recognized for his "Last Lecture" presentation to students.