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School of Media News Archive


A note from Ron DeMarse, director of the WKU School of Media:
Good afternoon!
As many of you are aware, discussions regarding a potential merger of the School of Media and the Department of Communication have been ongoing since late Spring. This is not a decision we want to make lightly – nor do we want to pursue it without the feedback and support of our alumni. Over the Summer, an exploratory committee drafted the attached memo, outlining many of the benefits and challenges of a merger. I’m eager to hear your thoughts on the details outlined in the memo or – more importantly, perhaps – your general thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of the proposal.
If you still have close contacts within the School, I encourage you to reach out to them to engage in this discussion and offer your feedback. If not, please feel free to send your thoughts to me directly (ron.demarse@wku.edu). And please watch this space for information about open forums and Q&A sessions with the dean that are being planned for this Fall.
To the extent you’re willing and able, thank you for being a part of this process. /schoolofmedia/documents/final_report_merger_exploratory_committee.pdf


image of students in atrium of jody richards hall

In a WKU Living Learning Community (LLC), students with similar academic or social interests live together on a residence hall floor and participate in activities tailored to their specific majors or interests. 

Our incoming freshman in Broadcasting, Journalism or Photojournalism will live together in Normal Hall and have shared experiences and classes. More information linked above.

The LLC preference section of the housing application is now closed. However, if you would like to be considered for a LLC, please email llc@wku.edu


Laurel Deppen

Broadcasting senior, Laurel Deppen, leads the WKU Herald through unprecedented times



 Hearst award


Western Kentucky University alum Silas Walker (May 2020) won first in the Hearst PJ Competition and finished sixth in  Hearst Multimedia.

WKU PJ senior Chris Kohley won third in the Photojournalism competition.

WKUPJ alumna Michelle Hanks (May 2020) placed ninth in the Multimedia competition.

WKU wins Hearst photojournalism championship

Congratulations to WKU’s School of Media for winning the Hearst Journalism Awards Program’s Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition for the fourth straight year and 26th time in the past 31 years. In the Photojournalism II – Picture Story/Series Competition, Lily Thompson, a senior from Paoli, Indiana, finished second, received a $2,000 award and qualified for the semifinal round of judging.

Ron DeMarse announced as Interim Director for School of Media


Ron DeMarse

Ron DeMarse, who has been a part of the SoM faculty since 2007, was selected  as interim director of the program beginning July 1. Prior to accepting the interim director position, DeMarse had been a professor and curriculum coordinator for the broadcasting and film departments. Before coming to WKU, DeMarse was a freelance videographer and a film and broadcasting professor at Valdosta State University.


WKU School of Media finishes second overall in Hearst competition


Hearst Award poster with images of student winners


School of Media’s Senior Gallery online

The WKU School of Media is proud to present our senior gallery show representing the hard work accomplished by our 2020 graduating class. Congratulations to these talented students and we wish them the best of luck as they continue on into their careers!


School of media grad list


WKU School of Media Photojournalism grads win Hearst Awards

Congratulations to Kendall Warner and Mhari Shaw who placed fifth and sixth in 2019-2020 Hearst Journalism Awards Program’s the Multimedia Innovative Storytelling and Audience Engagement Competition



WKU School of Media partners with WKU Public Radio in management of WWHR-FM

WKU School of Media announces a new partnership with WKU Public Radio regarding the management of WWHR-FM, WKU’s student-run radio station.

Public Radio is responsible for the management, operation, and broadcast programming of the station effective February 1, 2020. The station will continue to serve as an educational lab overseen by the School of Media Broadcasting program faculty. Students will continue to produce news programs and gain valuable broadcasting experience.

 “This partnership with WKU Public Radio will expand the range of skills and learning experiences of student broadcasters by providing additional professional opportunities and mentorship. This is a win for our students and the School of Media,” stated Dr. Larry Snyder, Dean of Potter College of Arts & Letters.



WKU SoM student places 7th in Hearst Radio News & Features

 The William Randolph Hearst Foundation has announced the finalists selected in the 2019-2020 Journalism Awards Program’s Radio News and Features competition:

Seventh Place, Natalie Turner, Western Kentucky University


WKU School of Media cancels upcoming open house and other events

The upcoming gallery exhibit, Gaines Lecture Series and open house for the 10th anniversary of the Film program have all been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. More information will be posted as the situation develops.





WKU Journalism Major, Annalee Hubbs, wins ACES Bill Walsh Scholarship

Photo of annalee_hubbs




 WKU School of Media Film students win College Student Production Awards

The first award went to "Dirty Laundry" for Best Long Form - Fiction.
"Come Up for Air" also picked up awards for Director Tori Mills and Cinematographer Haley Meyers. This marks the second year in a row that the film program has won Student Production Awards.
 The College Student Production Awards are presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Ohio Valley Chapter


Ashlea Moses and Jordan Crabbe

Ashlea Moses (left) editor of Come Up for Air and Jordan Crabbe (right) production designer for Dirty Laundry


 WKU 5th overall in 2019 Hearst Journalism Awards Program

WKU won the Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition for the 25th time in the past 30 years

 hearst award 


 School of Media students place in the Kentucky Associated Press and Kentucky Broadcasters Association contest

Best Public Affairs

Madison Martin - First Place, Western Kentucky University - "Recycling a Challenge for Off Campus Students"


Best Sports Coverage

Sam Yaw and Zachary McGovern – Second Place, Western Kentucky University – "Extra Point Homecoming Special"


Best News Story

Olivia Eiler – First Place, Western Kentucky University – "Warren County House Fire"


Best Television Reporter

Olivia Eiler – First Place, Western Kentucky University


Best Newscast

Western Kentucky University


Best Public Affairs (Radio)

Olivia Eiler – Second Place, Western Kentucky University – "WKU Campus Debate"


 Best News Story (Radio)

Natalie Turner – First Place, Western Kentucky University – "International Music"


Best Radio Reporter

Natalie Turner – First Place, Western Kentucky University



 Society of Professional Journalists Region 5 Mark of Excellence Awards 

spj awards

 WKU wins 2018 Hearst overall national championship

Hearst Award Medallion


Grads of WKU School of Media win Pulitzer Prize


pulitzer, seven days of heroin

2005 Graduate Cameron Knight and 2006 Graduate Cara Owsley were part of the Pulitzer Prize winning team at The Cincinnati Enquirer for local reporting. The Photojournalism grads credit their time at WKU as crucial for their success in their fields. Owsley is the Director of Photography at the paper and Knight is a crime beat reporter. See the project at : https://www.cincinnati.com/pages/interactives/seven-days-of-heroin-epidemic-cincinnati/



The School of Media at WKU is ACEJMC accredited for majors in Broadcasting, Journalism and Photojournalism.



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 Last Modified 8/25/22