March 5, 2013 (Jackson) - Ethics in the media are rarely discussed in public and many times overlooked, but Belhaven University is initiating the conversation and has put together a panel of the top broadcast news professionals in the state to meet with high school, community college and university students.

This gathering of media professionals on Thursday, March 7 is one of the biggest panels of public relations, broadcast and media representatives in Mississippi and starts at 9:00 a.m. in the Belhaven Student Center Theatre.

The panel will discuss ethics in their respective public relations, broadcasting and media management fields. A sports broadcasting panel is the newest addition to this year panel and will feature sport specialists from around the state. Dr. Elayne Hayes-Anthony, Professor & Chair of the Communication Department, said, “We are very excited about this year’s media ethics conference and we will have a wide genre of media professionals attending. In addition, we will be making a special announcement regarding the inclusion of Sports Broadcasting to the Belhaven Communication Department’s curriculum.” The four panels will include:

Public Relations Directors
Crisis Communication in Public Relations, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Mick Bullock, Director of Communications, Governor Phil Bryant
Shannon Coker, Director of Advocacy and Communication, Mississippi Hospital Association
Sherri Hilton, Assistant Treasurer and Public Affairs, Lynn Fitch
Shelia Skipper, Director of Communication, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association

News Directors
Maintaining Ethics in an Evolving Media Market, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Emily Wagster-Pettus, Chief Political Writer, Associated Press
Ben Hart, News Director, WAPT TV 16
Randy Bell, News Director, Clear Channel
Wilson Stribling, News Director, WLBT TV 3

Media Managers
How to Select Media Employees in the Digital Age, 11:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Jimmy Cromwell, Vice President/General Manager, WJTV-12
Stuart Kellogg, General Manager, WAPT TV 16
Dan Modisett, General Manager, WLBT TV3
Kenny Windham, General Manager, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment
John McKie, Vice President, Managing Partner, The Godwin Group
Kristen Weatherspoon, Digital Media Specialist, MP

Sports Professionals
The Impact of Social Media on High School/College & Professional Sports, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Rick Cleveland, Executive Director of the Mississippi Sports Hall Of Fame and Museum
Scott Little, Athletic Director at Belhaven University
Sekou Smith, Senior Analyst/NBA Digital, Turner Broadcasting Company
Kyle Tate, Mississippi Braves


Belhaven University stands among select Christian colleges and universities and has been repeatedly named one of “America’s 100 Best College Buys." The University offers 30 academic majors across a full spectrum of disciplines as well as a variety of graduate programs. In addition, Belhaven has achieved the distinction of being among only 30 universities nationally accredited in each of the major arts – music, theatre, visual art and dance. All programs are taught from a Christian worldview perspective and are guided by the mission to prepare students academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Belhaven University serves over 3,700 students offering undergraduate and graduate degrees on its residential campus, an online degree program, and graduate and adult degree programs in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, and Atlanta.