Category Archives: Assignments

Caption Writing Exercise

You must write a caption for each of the photos shown here. Total of 13 photos that need captions.

The caption must consist of these elements:

  • “Lead in”or tagline: (2-3 words of bold type) (Photos 1-9 can use the same lead-in or tagline)
  • One sentence description of photo subject written in present tense.
  • One sentence description of event written in past tense.

Here’s an example:

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Nature’s Classroom — Local botanist Charles Rose explains how to distinguish species of trees by leaf patterns. He led a group of outdoor enthusiasts on a wildflower walk at Bull Skull Hollow last Tuesday.


Points: High School Journalism Workshop  & Exodus Release Party 11 @ 8 points each. Captions for the  other 2 photos  are worth 12 points each because you must look up the information and synthesize it. Total of 112 points.

Captions must be written in complete sentences. Use correct grammar, spelling, and AP Style for dates, titles, abbreviations.

Type your captions on a Word document and print to turn in. Make sure to put your name on the paper.

Length: Minimum of 25 words, 100 word maximum for each caption. Use http://www.wordcounter.net/

I’ve noted general information about the overall event after the main header for the photo collection. Information about each specific photo in the space BEFORE the photo. I’ve separated photos and info by inserting lines.

Event: Samford High School Journalism Workshop

When: September 8, 2011

What: Attended by 300 area high school students and journalism / yearbook advisers

1. Who: JMC Department Chair Dr. Bernie Ankney & NBC-13 reporter Chris Pollone, keynote speaker

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2. Welcome by JMC Department Chair Dr. Bernie Ankney

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3. Ankney, introducing the schools in attendance.

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4. Who: Kaitlyn McCulley, alumnus of Samford JMC, reporter, CBS-42

Topic: Broadcasting Basics: Analyzing a TV News PackageIMG_4052


5. Who: Carla Jean Whitley

Managing Editor, Birmingham magazine

Topic: Magazine Journalism

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6. Who: Dr. Dennis Jones, Samford JMC professor who teaches in the magazine track

Topic: Introduction to Newspaper Layout

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7. Who: Marty Swant

Reporter, The Birmingham News

Topic: Intermediate Newspaper Reporting

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8. Who: Dr. Jon Clemmensen

Samford JMC professor

Topic: Starting & Publishing a Literary Journal

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9. Who: Donovan Harris

Samford JMC alum and member of JMC Advisory Council

‎Director of Design and Production at The Progress Farmer Magazine

Topic: Introduction to Magazine Design

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Exodus Magazine Publication Party

April 30, 2014

10. Who:

Left: Erin Shaw, Design Assistant

Right: Anna Cox, Editor in Chief

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11. :

Left: Staley McIlwain, Photo Editor

Right: Logan Heim, Editorial Assistant

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Wendell Berry at Samford

12. Who: Wendall Berry

When: February 27, 2012

What: http://www.samford.edu/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=21474842311

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#BoneVoyage Party

13. Shelby County Humane Society Shelter Partners Program

When: November 12, 2011

More info here: http://www.shelbyhumane.org/shelter-partners.php

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Summarize, write, edit, tweet: Part 2

Same as last week:

Write tweets for these 5 stories–after you’ve read the story and are certain you know what it’s about. Stay within 100-120 characters.

It’s important to correctly summarize the story. Be careful about misplaced modifiers.

Spelling counts.

Write in the active voice.

Eliminate unnecessary words.

50 points

Use http://wordcounter.net

1. http://www.businessinsider.com/when-is-the-2014-solar-eclipse-2014-10

2. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/10/which_one-loss_team_is_best_es.html#incart_m-rpt-2

3. http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/New-survey-details-vast-scope-of-teen-dating-abuse-5842984.php

4. http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/nebraska-high-school-guns-in-yearbooks

5. http://www.ragan.com/PublicRelations/Articles/48909.aspx

Example tweets for JMC 300 Lab October 23, 2014

For JMC 300 Lab: October 16, 2014

Week 8: Writing in the active voice.

Subject – verb – object.

Omit unnecessary words.

Twitter is a great resource to learn how to write actively, directly and succinctly.

Assignment Directions:

Read each of the following articles and write a tweet in the active voice that summarizes a key point from the article. Your tweet should be a sentence that both summarizes the actual content and would most likely cause the reader to click to read more. Avoid click-bait phrases, though. Keep your tweet at no more than 120 characters to allow room for a link and possible retweets.

Use this tool: http://www.wordcounter.net/ to count the number of characters.

Practice Articles:

http://mashable.com/2014/10/16/grover-and-kid-president-socktober/

http://online.wsj.com/articles/presenting-the-nfls-biggest-camera-hogs-1413414195?mod=trending_now_1

http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/16/6987711/the-media-awful-job-explaining-ebola-and-clipboardman-is-proof

Once you are sure your tweet is 110-120 characters, copy and paste the tweet into a Word document with your name on it.

Use the number that corresponds to the article to number your tweets.

1. Article: http://www.al.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2014/10/cooler_weather_has_wildlife_on.html

2. Article: http://samfordcrimson.com/?p=5283

3. Article: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/10/teaching-math-to-people-who-think-they-hate-it/381125/

4. Article: http://www.futurity.org/most-teens-have-easy-access-to-meds/

5. Article: http://grist.org/cities/why-minneapolis-beautiful-bike-freeways-are-totally-the-best/

6. Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/06/heavily-armed-drug-cops-raid-retirees-garden-seize-okra-plants/

7. Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/steve-vaillancourt-ann-kuster_n_5977090.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

8. http://chronicle.com/article/In-Taste-of-Autonomy-Sports/149385/

9. https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/10/16/coursera-expands-specializations

10. http://mashable.com/2014/10/16/fcc-butt-dialing-911/

Alabama PRSA Student Summit

The Alabama PRSA Student Summit was recently held on February 12 at the Alabama Power headquarters in Birmingham. The summit brought together PR practitioners from throughout the state and PR students from colleges in Alabama and Mississippi. Events for the day included discussions on social media, resume building, and finding a job. Participants were also able to take a tour of the PR department at Alabama Power.

One of the most significant takeaways from my time at the summit was how prepared I felt during the sessions. For example, the first session on social media discussed the importance of using social media and looked at new and innovative techniques for reaching customers and audiences. All of these tips were extremely important, and almost all of these tips were previously discussed in my JMC classes. Throughout the day, the examples that were given and the ideas presented were all a part of my curriculum at Samford. I left the summit feeling more confident in the education I have received in the JMC department and at Samford.

The summit’s keynote speaker was Julia Hood, who works with Haymarket Media. Hood talked about the importance of seizing opportunities in the public relations field. More specifically, her advice for PR practitioners was to:

  • Follow your passion. Whatever it is, there is a need for communications.
  • Don’t fear the off-road, or the U-turn.
  • Embrace your public life in communications.
  • Mentor, and be mentored.
  • Travel everywhere.
  • Build relationships, not contacts.

Each of these pieces of advice was important in its own way, and Hood’s presentation was a beneficial part of the summit. She provided advice for real world public relations that is applicable both today and in the future.

Overall, the PRSA Student Summit was a day well spent. I had the opportunity to learn more about PR, meet professional PR practitioners, and meet other PR students from other colleges in the Southeast. The day provided a unique look into the life of real world PR.

Things Just Got A Little Hotter On Samford’s Campus

On Tuesday April 17th, Samford University presented a screening of the documentary Hot Coffee sponsored by the Cumberland School of Law. The documentary centers around tort reform and the McDonald’s lawsuit of 1994. There were about 90 people in attendance and convocation credit as well as lunch was offered. Dr. Martin’s Public Relations class first learned about the documentary from, guest speaker, Stacy Smith. After a brief viewing of the documentary, we as a class, along with Ms. Smith, brainstormed on ideas to successfully promote the screening around campus. Our class then became responsible for making our peers aware of the screening. Our tactics differed from running ads in The Crimson, to hanging up posters, to informing Samford’s Greek Life about the documentary. As a personality for Samford’s radio station, WVSU, I was put in charge of creating a pubic service announcement to air on the station. The PSA I ended up writing was : The Cumberland school of Law will be hosting a screening ofthe documentary Hot Coffee Tuesday,April 17th from 11-1. Convo credit is available and lunch will beprovided to the first 80 students in attendance. That’s Hot Coffee Tuesday, April 17th from 11-1 in the grandroom of the Cumberland School Law. I then relayed the PSA to Andy Parrish, the general manager of WVSU to air during station identification breaks.

Chris Davis Presentation

ImageChris Davis of Fi-Plan Partners spoke to the JMC 492 class on Friday April 13. His experience in numerous fields of work taught him the things that he truly enjoyed in a job. After years of bouncing around in these various professions he finally landed at Fi-Plan partners as their Director of Integrated Communications. Davis’ presentation had one main focus and it was SEO and the intricacies that go in hand with it.

One big thing that he stressed was white hat and black hat SEO. As a company you want to make sure that you are using proper techniques to work with search engines to make sure you are at the top of your respected searches. If you do partake in black hat SEO you will be buried in search results and your company will have almost no exposure.

Another key point he had was that you need to work with Google and other search engines to have your website crawled as often as possible. This will help you climb to the top of the search engine results.

The last thing and probably the one I had the least knowledge of was the use of links and how they can affect your SEO.

“No one is successful without affecting people”- Chris Davis