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Dept. of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media

C The


within the department

Spring 2013

You have to understand political TV ads to understand democracy these days. - Chet Edwards

Chet Edwards discusses campaign advertising with journalism students last fall semester.

by Linda Wilkins

“You can’t win a major campaign without running effective television ads,” said Former U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas. Edwards explained the importance of campaign and other types of ads when he spoke to journalism students on Nov. 5 in the Castellaw Communications Center. Edwards said people have the potential to be more informed if they understand the types of

SNEAK PEAK within the department Chet Chats About Ads


Faculty Facts


Stower’s Powerful Insight 2 Star Guests


the alumni report Grads Value Experience 4 Where Are They Now?



Chet Chats About Ads

ads that are released for campaign purposes. “You have to understand political TV ads to understand democracy these days,” Edwards said. Campaign ads have gained power among politicians, Edwards said. Politicians often change their political stance because they fear becoming the brunt of attack ads if they vote for a particular idea or law. The context of campaign ads is essential to their success, Edwards said. “TV advertising has to reflect the major themes or messages of the campaign,” he said. Edwards said there are three essential parts to designing campaign see Edwards, page 3


Stower’s Powerful Insight By Anisa Magallanes and Makenzie Meyer

On Tuesday, October 23, Carlton Stowers, award winning author and renowned journalist, visited the Castellaw Communication Center to discuss his recent projects and experiences. “You got to put a little bit of yourself in the story,” Stowers told the students. Most of his stories came from his personal interests: mysteries, unique sporting teams and crime. “A crime committed is like throwing a marble into a very still pool of water and watching as the rings expand outward,” Stowers said. He always tries to capture his readers by giving the perspective of the families and victims affected. “If you have not evoked some kind of emotion out of your reader, if you don’t get that, then there’s something missing.” Trying to grasp each of his characters’ emotions takes time and patience, but also allows him to dig deeper. “The greatest reward you get for being journalist is that it’s a license to be nosy.” Stowers has developed his own technique for good writing. His habits include waking up early and “tinkering” with his work from the day before. Baylor Professor Kevin Tankersley agreed with Stowers. “Write something, let it rest and make changes after.”

“A crime committed is like throwing a marble into a very still pool of water and watching as the rings expand outward.” - Carlton Stowers

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Baylor Journalism


Faculty Facts


(continued from page 1)

ads. The politician must be clearly identified, the politician must identify his or her opponent, and he or she must respond immediately to attack ads against his or herself. Edwards then identified three types of ads: positive ads, attack ads and responses to attack ads. Positive ads include two types: general ads that say “I’m a good guy” and ads that target specific issues. These ads are intended to paint the politician in a positive light. With attack ads, the politician hopes to hurt the campaign of his or her opponent by causing voters to think negatively about his or her opponent. Reponses to attack ads must be immediate. A Politician that is the brunt of an attack ad must clearly define his or her stance on an issue so that voters understand his or her viewpoints over what the attack ads portrayed. Edwards finished by giving these keys to a good campaign ad: have a clear and concise message and use repetition to engrain that message into the minds of voters.

Dr. Marlene Neill

- Graduated with a Ph.D. in advertising from UT-Austin in August.  - Wrote a journal article based on interviews with 30 senior public relations practitioners from 10 American states and Australia for the December issue of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics: Neill, M.S., & Drumwright, M.E. (2012). “PR professionals as organizational conscience,” Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 27 (4), 1-16. - Elected to a director position with the board of the Central Texas Chapter of PRSA for 2013. - PRSA Nominating Committee (2012) participated in meeting in Chicago to select slate of national officer for 2013.

Prof. Robert Darden

- Completed Volume I of “Nothing But Love in God’s Water: The Influence of Black Sacred Music on the Civil Rights Movement” (tentative title) for Penn State University Press (set to appear in 2014) - Addressed the Northwest Rotary Club of Waco in November. - Invited to deliver the keynote address at Elon College’s Religion and Media conference in April 2013. Four encyclopedia articles published: - “Gospel Music,” New Grove Dictionary of American Music, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. - “Gospel Music,” “Rhythm & Blues,” and “Soul Music,” World Book Encyclopedia, New York: World Book, 2012-3.


Star Guests


ESPN reporter Holly Rowe (right) spoke to Maxey Parrish’s Writing for Media Markets class and Kevin Tankersley’s sportswriting class on Nov. 16. Author and blogger Christine Warren (left) spoke to Kevin Tankersley’s sportswriting class on Oct. 5. Warren wrote the book “Paddlefish,” which told of her taking part in and finishing the Texas Water Safari, a 260-mile canoe race from San Marcos to the Texas Gulf Coast.

PAGE Three

the alumni report

Grads Value Experience by Ryan Mull

The Baylor chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America hosted a discussion panel featuring recent graduates of the Journalism department at Baylor University. Nearly 30 students attended the seminar held in Castellaw Communications Center at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Graduates Kristina Ballard, Brittany Black, Kate Williams and Colton Wright offered advice to the students on subjects ranging from activities to do while still in school to negotiating a contract for a first job. Each graduate currently works in the general field of public relations, but their diverse job descriptions allowed them to offer differing points of view to the students. Each graduate agreed about the importance of internships in the process of landing a job. “Internships are invaluable for getting a job,” Black said. “Even though you might not get paid, you can gain pieces for your portfolio and also great experience that will help you in the future.” Wright said that another crucial element when looking for a job is to remain patient because the right job does not always emerge right away. He used his time doing freelance work before he landed the job he currently holds. “Be willing to take on many projects that could lead to other opportunities and expand your skills,” Wright said.

Pictured left to right: Colton Wright, Brittany Black, Kate Williams and Kristina Ballard.

Where are they now: Jenna Williamson Communications Specialist at Southwest Airlines

Jenna Williamson (left) develops communication for the 8,000 plus Southwest Airlines pilots across multiple channels. She works closely with the leadership team to execute department communication strategy and formulate proactive and reactive communication pieces. “I’m lucky to get to use the research, writing and creative skills I learned as a journalism major on a daily basis. I enjoy working with a group of people who take pride in what they do and are eager to help me learn and grow. And of course, I love being able to travel,” Williamson said.


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