Communication Department Events

Media Ethics Conference 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Keeping It Fresh & Professional!

Mark your calendars! On this day, students will be able to connect with the best of the best in the field of communication!

There will be four panels featuring the "who's-who" in this market, who have tremendous experience in the fields of public relations, broadcast journalism, web design, production, & sports news! See list of panelist below.

Topics will include "Breaking News: Balancing Accuracy, Ethics,and The Scoop", "Professionalism & Integrity in Social Media", "How to Outbreak Breaking News in a Twitter World", and much more! Come out and network!

Non-communication majors are welcome to attend. The conference will be held in the Belhaven University Student Center Theater, 1500 Peachtree Street, Jackson, MS 39202.

For more information, please contact Dr. Elayne Hayes-Anthony at or 601-968-8715. This event is sponsored by Dr. Elayne Hayes-Anthony and the Belhaven University Communication Department.

Belhaven University will be live tweeting during the conference! Follow them at @BelhavenU to stay updated even if you can't make it!

Media Ethics Flyer 2014

Public Relations

Panel Title: "Professionalism & Integrity in Social Media" (9:00-10:00 AM)

Sheila SkipperSheila Skipper, Director of Communication, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association

Sheila Skipper joined the Mississippi Manufacturers Association as director of communication in June 2004. She is responsible for writing and/or editing MMA's four online newsletters, maintaining the MMA Web site, and communicating with the media and other MMA constituencies.

Sheila is an accredited public relations professional with experience in the areas of corporate, higher education, nonprofit, health care and travel. Before joining MMA, she was director of public information and adjunct faculty member at Belhaven University. From 1992 until 1999, she was manager of corporate communication for ChemFirst Inc. (formerly First Mississippi Corp.).

Sheila earned her bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in public relations from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Sheila is a past president of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and PRAM Central Chapter, and a former board member of the Southern Public Relations Federation. She received her professional accreditation in 1990. She was named PRAM Central's "2004 Outstanding PR Professional of the Year ÔøΩ Advanced Practitioner."

News Directors

Panel Title: "Breaking News: Balancing Accuracy, Ethics,and The Scoop" (10:00-11:00 AM)

Randy BellRandy Bell - Clear Channel Radio

Randy Bell is completing his 39th year reporting the news for the Jackson stations owned by Clear Channel. In that time he has covered nine governors, four major hurricanes, three devastating floods, dozens of deadly tornadoes and countless political scandals.

He is a past-president of the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Bell was a charter member of the MAPBA's Hall of Fame. He continues serving as a board member for the Radio-Television Digital News Association, representing Mississippi, Louisiana,Alabama and Arkansas. He is a past chairman of the association's programs committee.

Since 1994, Bell has won 21 national Edward R. Murrow Awards from RTDNA.

Bell is a founding member of the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information. For ten years, during the legislative session, he hosted "Quorum", a live weekly television show featuring House and Senate leaders on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Bell serves as chairman of Mississippi's Emergency Alert System,and in that role, helped develop the state's AMBER Alert program. He is a board member of Safe Kids Mississippi.

Bell is a frequent panelist discussing radio news for school and college classes, non-profit organizations and state agencies. He participates in several charity golf and softball events each year.

He has been married to retired elementary principal Pat Bell for 41years and they have two children and five grandchildren.

Wilson StriblingWilson Stribling - Assistant News Director, WLBT

Wilson Stribling was born and raised in Jackson. After living in Memphis briefly in the 1980s, he returned to graduate from St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Ridgeland. He then spent two years at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and two years at the University of Mississippi, where he graduated with a degree in marketing. It was at Ole Miss that he got involved in television, working nearly every day at the campus station.

After working as a marketing assistant and TV producer for the Memphis Pharaohs Arena Football team, Wilson moved to Sherman, Texas, in 1995 where he was weekend anchor/reporter for KTEN-Channel 10. A year later, he moved north to Youngstown, Ohio, to serve as morning anchor at WKBN-Channel 27.

He returned to Jackson in January, 1998, where he began working as a freelance reporter at WLBT while pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at Millsaps College. His biggest assignment came in June, 1998, covering the Luke Woodham murder trials in Philadelphia and Hattiesburg for WLBT and NBC affiliates across the country. It was at the Philadelphia trial that Wilson met Jennifer Sentilles, who was serving as a field producer for another station. They were married three years later in September, 2001.

Wilson traveled to Dresden, Germany, in October 2003 to get a first-hand look at the items coming to Jackson for the Glory of Baroque Dresden exhibition. He and photographer Carlos Spann produced a five-part series of reports before the exhibition's public opening. Wilson also wrote and produced WLBT's hour-long 50th Anniversary Special with archival clips and interviews to celebrate and remember the station's fifty years on the air. He kept his nose in the archives by producing the daily "Mississippi Flashback" segments on the morning news and Midday Mississippi.

Wilson left the anchor desk in April 2009 to step into his new role as WLBT's assistant news director. He was named news director in March 2013 after longtime news director Dennis Smith's retirement. He now leads a team of about 75 journalists who comprise Mississippi's largest television/digital newsgathering operation.

Jason StevensJason Stevens - News Director, WJTV TV 12

Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, I fell into the news world by accident. Having graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1999 with a BA in Telecommunications, I was accepted and attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. I was on track for my Masters of Fine Arts. Circumstances being what they are sometimes, I soon found myself back in Lexington in need of a job. I landed at WTVQ 36, an ABC affiliate, as a part-time tape editor. About 3 months later, I was promoted to news producer. Not knowing what that meant, or what it entailed, I soon found myself producing a 2-hour morning show. And I loved it.

For the next 6 years I would learn news producing at WTVQ. However, I needed a new challenge and accepted the position of News Director at WNEG in Toccoa, Georgia. After a year at WNEG, I accepted a new job back as Executive Producer at LEX 18, the NBC affiliate in Lexington. I spent another 4 years as Executive Producer before deciding I wanted to return to the news director ranks. In June 2013, I became the News Director at WJTV News Channel 12.

My news philosophy is simple. I believe in weather, hard news, breaking news and dominating social media. We are working every day to achieve these goals and to make WJTV News Channel 12 the choice for news in the Jackson market.

Kevin LightfootKevin Lightfoot - Executive Producer 16 WAPT NEWS

Kevin Lightfoot, executive producer 16 WAPT NEWS. Jackson, MS. Kevin is a native of Somerset, New Jersey. He graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Kevin started his career at News 12 New Jersey while in college, as a production assistant. He worked in Orlando, Florida at NBC affiliate WESH-TV, as a production assistant, association producer, and producer. He worked as a producer and now executive producer here in Jackson, at WAPT. Kevin is also president of the Jackson Association of Black Journalists and a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists.


Panel Title: "How to Be an Ethical Leader While Establishing an Effective Work Environment" (11:00 AM ÔøΩ 12:00 PM)

James CromwellJames Cromwell - Vice President/General Manager, WJTV News Channel 12 (Jackson) & WHLT CBS 22 (Hattiesburg)

Wm. James Cromwell is Vice President / General Manager of WJTV News Channel 12, in Jackson, and WHLT CBS 22 in Hattiesburg, both CBS Television Network affiliates owned and operated by Media General. Mr. Cromwell has held his current position since 2011, having served previously, from 2009, as Director of Revenue, with oversight responsibilities of the stations' sales organization. In addition to the CBS affiliates, WJTV operates The CW Network affiliate for the Jackson market, and the Antenna TV Network affiliate, both broadcast on WJTV's digital subchannels.

Mr. Cromwell's career has included several sales management positions at television stations in Atlanta, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Birmingham.

Mr. Cromwell holds a Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting degree from the University of Florida.

Dan ModisettDan Modisett, General Manager, WLBT TV 3

Personal Background
Date of Birth: November 24, 1950 (Jackson, MS)
Married: Lisa
Two children: Joe and Nick
Two Granddaughters, Isabella and Evie, and One Grandson, Rhett
Live in Clinton, MS
Active Member of Morrison Heights Baptist Church

Vice President and General Manager: 1990-Present, WLBT-TV Jackson, MS
General Sales Manager: 1984-1990 WLBT-TV Jackson, MS
President and General Manager: 1980-1984 KNAZ-TV Flagstaff, AZ Flagstaff, AZ Capitol Broadcasting
Account Executive: 1977-1980 WJTV Jackson, MSCapitol Broadcasting
Account Executive: 1974-1977 WSLI AM-FM Jackson, MSCapitol Broadcasting

Master of Business Administration: 1974 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
Bachelor of Science Business Administration: 1972 Mississippi College Clinton, Ms

Past Chairman of the Board - Mississippi Association of Broadcasters
Past President - Jackson Broadcasters Association
Past President - Greater Jackson Ad Club Past Chairman of the Board - Better Business Bureau

Board Member:
Baptist Health Systems ÔøΩ Treasurer
Mississippi Blood Services
Transformation Jackson

Mississippi CEO Of Integrity Award
Silver Medal Award - American Advertising Federation
Lifetime Membership - Mississippi Association of Broadcasting
Marvin Rueben Editorial Award ÔøΩ Mississippi Association of Broadcasters

Staurt KellogStuart Kellogg - President/General Manager of 16 WAPT-TV

Stuart Kellogg is President/General Manager of 16 WAPT-TV, where he just marked his 22nd anniversary with the station. His TV background is in news and marketing. He was News Director at KXAS-TV in Dallas before moving to Jackson. He's also run news departments at KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City and WALA in Mobile, Alabama. He was Assistant News Director at WWL-TV. He's also held on-air and news management jobs at WKRG-TV in Mobile and WNYS-TV in Syracuse. Kellogg also spent two years as a news and marketing consultant for Frank N. Magid, Associates, the largest news research and consulting firm in the nation. He graduated from Syracuse University with a broadcast journalism degree and graduated with honors from Wesley Biblical Seminary in May of '06.

Kellogg serves as a Trustee for Belhaven University and on the Jackson State Media Advisory Council. He is also a board member for New Way Mississippi, a prison ministry in Jackson, the Salvation Army and YBL, a business ministry organization.

Stuart's wife Beth retired after teaching public school for 34 years and now owns her own PR firm and Speakers' Bureau. Son Matthew is married to Amy and is Senior VP at Community Trust Bank. Daughter Allison, a former Miss Mississippi, is married and living in LA where she works in the entertainment industry with her husband Will. They've blessed Stuart and Beth with granddaughter Madison Faith and grandsons Liam and Deacon. Stuart and Beth are members of Ridgecrest Baptist Church where Stuart is an ordained deacon and teaches Sunday School.

Ken WindhamKenneth E. (Kenny) Windham - Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment

Kenny Windham is the Market Manager for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, a world-wide multi-faceted company. Kenny has 50 years of experience in the broadcast business having begun his career while a student at Provine High School. He attended Jackson Public Schools, Hinds Jr. College, and is a graduate of Mississippi College. Kenny is a 40 year veteran of the Army Reserve having served in various military positions and retired with the rank of Colonel. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom having mobilized in 2003. He has been involved in many non-profit organizations having served as the President of The Mississippi Food Network, The Central Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Cross, and The Greater Jackson Advertising Club. He has also served as the Board Chair of the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters, The Make-a-Wish Foundation of Mississippi, and Mississippi Blood Services. Kenny continues to serve on the boards of Mississippi Blood Services and The Capital River Chapter of The American Red Cross and previously served on the board of the Mississippi Society for Disabilities.

Kenny is married to his wife Trish and they have one son and daughter-in law, the parents of their beautiful 5 year old granddaughter Rainey.

Jeff RussellJeff Russell - Senior Partner/President, GodwinGroup

For the last two decades, Jeff Russell has worked as a strategic marketing planner for a variety of accounts focusing on bringing creative solutions to marketing problems primarily in the fields of banking, healthcare, energy and economic development. Jeff brings an unmatched depth of understanding to all facets of the economic development industryÔøΩserving an integral role in helping guide the State of Mississippi to its win of Nissan's $1.6-billion Canton manufacturing plant. Over the past 28 years, Jeff has helped guide and assist GodwinGroup clients such as Nissan, Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Power, Baptist Medical Center, Hancock Bank, Trustmark Bank, and PlainsCapital Bank, Dallas.

Working in partnership with GodwinGroup clients, Jeff understands both the operational and marketing communications aspects of achieving quantifiable results to advance clients' marketing objectives. Jeff has an MBA with an emphasis in marketing. He became a GodwinGroup stockholder in 1990 and assumed responsibility for the agency's brand management staff in 1992. In addition, within the agency he also functions as a senior counsel by providing insight and thinking for a variety of clients across industries.

Brian TolleyBrian Tolley - Executive Editor and Director of Audience Growth and Engagement, The Clarion-Ledger

Brian Tolley is the executive editor and director of audience growth and engagement at The Clarion-Ledger, a position he has held for two years. Tolley has been in the media industry for 30 years, including stints as the top editor of newspapers in North Carolina and Louisiana.

Sports Media

Panel Title: "How to Outbreak Breaking News in a Twitter World" (1:00-2:00 PM)

Adrian JonesAdrian Jones, Red Laser Technology

Technically, I am a sophisticated IT Project management professional with a strong background in planning and in directing projects across multiple platforms and systems. Equally important, I have a proven success record in managing worldwide IT / logistics in developing project teams, utilizing excellent analytical, communication, leadership and organizational skills. As a capable leader, I am able to relate highly technical information across learning levels. Also, I can accurately evaluate issues and develop appropriate solutions to ensure prompt resolutions. After all, it is imperative to offer valuable experience forging strategic partnerships and building consensus across multiple organizational levels to achieve the project's goals.

Adrian Jones founded RedLaser Technology in May 2002, a small business in Mississippi. It is incubated with the Mississippi Business Innovation Center located in Jackson, Mississippi at the Mississippi e-Center. The services include, but it is not limited to, IT staffing support services and augmentation (smart sourcing), custom software development, implementation and integration of web design, and web-based programming. RedLaser specializes in web-based solutions that empower clients with the most innovative, secure, and dynamic applications for software design and deployment, network management, and database management. Yes, we utilize standardized program management best practices and cutting edge technologies to support our products and custom solutions for our clients. However, Our state of the art workflow processing system is developed to reduce steep project costs while affording clients the same high-end development services of the larger enterprise systems.

RedLaser Technology has grown from approximately twenty clients within its first year of business to over eight hundred and growing. In the meantime, some of our past and current clients and projects are FEMA (Trailer Management System), ERP System Oracle System for the Washington Metro Airport Authority (sub contractor for IBM), National Science Foundation (Virtual Conference scheduling System), Mississippi Development Authority (MS Interactive Training Application), Mississippi Technology Alliance (Database), Jackson State University, Jackson Public Schools (Web-Based GPS Tracking System), City of Jackson Mississippi (web portal), Siemens(Oracle Financials), Health Assurance (MSDOC Inmate Health Tracking System), Interactive Map for Mississippi Department of Employment Security, and Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center (Created a patient flow Kiosk System).

Rick ClevelandRick Cleveland, Executive Director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum

Rick Cleveland began his new duties as the executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on May 1, but he is no stranger to Mississippi sports or Mississsippians.

A native of Hattiesburg, Rick he is the most decorated sports journalist in Mississippi history. In more than 40 years as a sports editor and columnist, he won scores of state, regional and national awards for his writing and reporting. In 2011 he became the first sports writer ever to be honored with the prestigious Richard Wright Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Excellence. Previous winners include such authors as Eudora Welty, Richard Ford and Willie Morris.

Cleveland, the author of three books, also received the Distinguished Mississippian Award from the Mississippi Press Association's Education Foundation in 2000.

Mitchell WilliamsMitchell Williams, Pinebelt Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Area Director

Prior to being hired with FCA, Mitchell worked at WDAM-TV for 27 years, serving as sports director for 20 of those years. While at WDAM, the sports department was cited by the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters for excellence on 40 different occasions including Best Sportscast in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009.

The creator of the award-winning SportsJournal, Mitchell helped WDAM provide coverage for over 15,000 different sporting events during his tenure. A cheerleader for young people and a former recreational sports coach, Mitchell has hosted a retreat for leaders of his area's football teams every spring for over a decade. Beginning in 2012, Pinebelt FCA along with a number of community sponsors host a similar retreat for the female leaders of high school campuses in the Pine Belt. He attended North Forrest and Southern Miss, where he lettered every year in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. He was inshrined in the USM Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. He and his wife Shelia are the parents of four boys. They are members of Grace Temple Church.

Kyle TaitKyle Tait, Mississippi Braves Broadcaster
(Panel Moderator)

Kyle Tait was named the radio broadcaster for the Mississippi Braves in March of 2011 at just 22 years old, a quick rise into the minor league broadcasting ranks after graduating from Georgia Tech just a year earlier. In all, he has worked in sports radio for the better part of a decade in minor league baseball, college baseball, college basketball and sports talk radio.

In his career, Tait has called play-by-play for three ACC baseball tournaments, three NCAA baseball regionals, a Southern League playoff appearance, and two games at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. In 2012, he founded and hosted "The Kyle Tait Show" on WSFZ AM-930 in Jackson, MS. Along the way, he has picked up a network of broadcasting and sports entities that matches any broadcaster in his generation.

Prior to moving to Mississippi in 2011, Tait had called Atlanta home since his prep school days, but he was well-accustomed to a traveling lifestyle being the son of a Navy Chief. Born in London, he had lived in Florida, Guam and West Virginia by his eight birthday native of Snellville, GA and a 2010 graduate of Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Business Management, Tait makes his home just outside of Jackson, MS with his wife Megan and his two dogs, AJ and Indy.

Brad ConawayBrad Conaway, Digital Content Manager, WLBT

Brad Conaway has been working in the digital media world for about 3 years now, first at WFIE in Evansville, IN, and now at WLTB in Jackson, MS.

After graduating from the University of North Texas in Denton, he began his career in local news as a studio cameraman, then editor, then newscast producer, then Executive Producer at KLTV in Tyler, Tx.

He quickly found out that his love of storytelling was a great fit for a job in a newsroomÔøΩ and there he also learned his most important lesson: put the audience first.

He spent another couple of years producing a morning newscast at WFAA in Dallas, and then decided it was time for something completely different.

He was given the opportunity to become the Digital Content Director at the NBC affiliate in Evansville and decided to give it whirl. It all worked out. While not very knowledgeable about many of the technical aspects of the job, the concentration of figuring out what the audience wanted to see, and giving them a place to see it turned out to be a pretty successful strategy.

Brad now lives in Jackson with a feisty but friendly little shelter dog named Gilda.