SSU Presents The Southern Regional Press Institute


Savannah State University’s (SSU) Department of Mass Communications will host the 63rd annual Southern Regional Press Institute (SRPI) Feb. 20-21, 2014. “Social Media in a Global Society: Ethics, Urgency and Accuracy” is the theme of the two-day mass media conference that will include more than 30 workshops on using social media to cover breaking news; writing for public relations; sports writing; magazine writing; digital photography; graphic design; digital storytelling; audio, film and television industries; and advertising. In addition to the professional workshops, the high school and college students attending will take part in workforce readiness training, career counseling and networking opportunities for jobs and internships.

“The Southern Regional Press Institute has a strong history of training students from universities and schools Reuben Cannon Rene Marsh throughout the Southeast,” said Wanda Lloyd, chair and associate professor of the Department of Mass Communications at SSU. “It is important that this year’s program will focus on the important topics of social media and ethics because these themes are being debated and practiced by media professional across the globe.” Lloyd, who is in her first year as department chair, is a Savannah native and product of the SRPI.

The institute opens at 9 a.m. on Feb. 20 in the Kennedy Building auditorium with a panel discussion moderated by Susan Catron, executive editor of the Savannah Morning News.

Panelists include Steve Buttry, digital transformation editor, Digital Media First; Professor Phelps Hawkins, Department of Mass Communications, SSU; Kenneth Irby, senior faculty and director of community relations and diversity programs, Poynter Institute; and Renee Marsh, aviation and government regulation correspondent, CNN. Marsh will also conduct a workshop entitled “Working at CNN: What’s it Really Like?”

Reuben Cannon, legendary film producer and casting director, will engage students during the Milledge/ Owens Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 21 in the King-Frazier Student Center ballroom. Cannon, the first African-American to head Warner Brothers’ television casting department, launched Bruce Willis into stardom, casting him in the television series “Moonlighting.” Cannon has cast nearly 100 television series, madefor TV movies and motion pictures, including “The Color Purple.” In the summer of 2004, Cannon began collaborating with a young playwright and actor turned director, Tyler Perry. Reuben Cannon Productions (RCP) formed a production alliance with Tyler Perry Studios (TPS), which has garnered both record-breaking box office grosses and television ratings.

A diverse group of local, regional and nationally known journalists and media professionals will instruct workshops. Included among them are Bob Butler, president of the National Association of Black Journalists; Kimberly Starks, Georgia Lottery media manager; Tatia Adams Fox, senior vice president, Warner/ADA Marketing; Traci Adams, vice president, Urban Promotions, Epic Records; Serena Garcia, communications director, AARP-Georgia; LaBarbara Bowman, media diversity consultant; Michael Trammel, CEO, Melart Entertainment; and Nichele Hoskins, former fitness editor, Heart and Soul Magazine.

Local presenters will include a corps of professionals from Savannah Magazine; Savannah Tribune; Savannah Morning News; WJCL-TV/ Fox 28; WTOC-TV; WSAVTV; Carriage Trade Public Relations; Memorial Health University Medical Center; city of Savannah; Clear Channel, 94.1 The Beat; and more.

For other information, contact Reginald Franklin (, director of the 63rd SRPI, or Novella Cross Holmes (, special projects coordinator, at 912-358- 3378 or 912-358-3290.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.