Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication Dean Mira Lowe and Professor Jeffrey Wilkinson spoke at the Broadcast Education Association On-Location conference, held at the University of South Carolina on Oct. 19-21.
Lowe co-presented the “Making Magic Happen on the Civil Rights Trail: The UF-Florida A&M Story” session along with University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications senior lecturer Hebert Lowe.
The Lowes, two faculty advisors and 11 students from FAMU and the University of Florida traded the traditional spring break experience to report from several locations along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail in April 2023. The group named themselves UFxFAMU:1963.
“This multi-state trip dedicated to exploring Civil Rights landmarks was a transformative experience for our students,” says Lowe. “It’s critical for students to learn about these historical events, understand how they are relevant to current events, and how to accurately report them.”
The 25-minute documentary about the team’s journey was shown in the session followed by a half-hour discussion. The Lowes shared their experiences teaching at their respective universities and the intersection of media and race.
Wilkinson spoke about changes in media education at a session titled “Are we teaching broadcasting and broadcast journalism in a way that reflects the direction of the industry?” The panelists shared their expertise about educating the next generation of journalists while reimagining the future of collegiate student media.
“As media change, we always have to balance teaching technology with people skills,” says Wilkinson. “Interviewing someone who doesn’t want to talk to you is the essence of critical thinking. I think we teach that better than any other major on campus.”
Almost one hundred scholars attended the conference, including representatives from other HBCUs like Clark Atlanta, Southern University and North Carolina A&T.