MCJR Week Program

by Octavia R. Johnson -

MCJR Week panelist on stageThe Mass Communication and Journalism Department provided the best of the best to Norfolk State University for the 2022 MCJR Week. The theme was “Vision Cast 2022: The Fusion of Legacy and Futurism.”

The week-long experience brought MCJR students and alumni together with workshops, career-building sessions, live panels, networking and inspirational speakers. Most of the audience and participants were in student organizations like the National Association of Black Journalists, National Broadcasting Society, Spartan Echo Newspaper and the General Production Team.

“I was able to network with the guest speakers whom most were NSU Alum. They were extremely nice and understanding. They did not sugarcoat anything in regard to their journey. I learned a lot from each and every one of them,” NABJ NSU President Jamie Borden said. 

NSU Alumnus Jawn Murray returned to campus and spoke to students about the entertainment industry and directing his upcoming daytime talk show, Sherri, hosted by Daytime Emmy-winner Sherri Shepherd. 

“This is a bit of a pivot for me because it’s primarily behind the scenes opportunity and I have spent the majority of my career being in the forefront,” Murray said. “I’m so excited to be in front of the daytime TV space… being able to work in it and help lead the ship that is going to be ushering in this new era of talk TV is really great and I’m excited about it.”

The highlight of MCJR week was CEO of EBONY and Jet Magazine Michele Ghee, who was the speaker for the Awards Luncheon. 

Ghee’s speech was filled with inspiration and provided insight into how she started in the media field and as CEO for a historic Black-owned magazine. 

In her words, “Going from invisible to invincible.” 

She expanded her career by living an introspective lifestyle, informing and improving herself within the media field, utilizing innovation, investing in other people, and creating an impact for not just herself but for others.  

Students received the opportunity to speak with Ghee, and her light lit up the room as she took pictures with students and even answered a few questions about how to prepare to someday own their own businesses.

“You don’t have to wait for corporate America to give [the CEO title] to you,” Ghee said. “You can be a CEO of your own company, it’s really important for you to understand the business of generating revenue and you need to further understand financial models. You also need good people to help this rise, you can’t do this by yourself.” 

Chalemagne the god talking to students at NSU MCJR Week 2022The most exciting speaker to participate in MCJR was The Breakfast Club Radio Host Charlamagne Tha God. The event was open to the public.

Charlamagne also did a private Q&A with the mass communications and journalism students.

The MCJR Department also thanked many alumni for participating in MCJR Week for the different panels. One major media business guru was alum Leon Carter, editorial director for talent at The Athletic.

As a former member of the NSU Spartan Echo Newspaper, Carter also received the opportunity to see the newspaper’s office and talked with the students about his memories of working in the newspaper when the office was smaller.

Students coming together with well-known media professionals and alumni made the fusion of legacy and futurism worthwhile to all.