Dr. Pete Smith, associate professor in the Department of Communication at Mississippi State University (MSU), will serve as one of at this year’s Media Day.
Smith received his Bachelor’s in Communication from MSU in 1993, then attended Auburn University in 1995 and received his Master’s in Communication. Smith earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the School of Mass Communications and Journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Smith’s career has consisted of serving as a consultant for HBO and independent filmmaker Aviva Kempner. He co-founded of the Starkville Free Press, a student produced digital alternative newspaper which ran from 2013 to 2015.
Smith plans to bring a slightly different perspective to Media Day, both professionally and personally. His incredible work experience is unique enough that he believes he can give students a different take on mass media.
Before Smith returned to teaching after working with the Starkville Free Press, he worked as a media specialist for the Madison County Library System. In this position, he coordinated publicity for the five libraries in the county as well as wrote all press releases, job descriptions and other related materials. Smith has also published a book and is developing his own work.
“I am the author of ‘Something on My Own: Gertrude Berg and American Broadcasting, 1929-1956’,” said Smith. “This was the first and only biography of broadcasting pioneer Gertrude Berg.
“I am currently working on a biography of broadcasting union labor leader and blacklisted performer Philip Loeb,” continued Smith, “As well as projects involving the news framing of Mississippi politician Evelyn Gandy and Norma Fields, the first woman journalist in the state of Mississippi to cover the state capitol.”
At the Department of Communication at MSU, Smith teaches Introduction to the Mass Media as well as two upper division courses: Mass Media and Society and Writing for the Media.
Smith was attracted to the mass communications field because he thought it was important to understand the news and had the goal of teaching others. He wants students to see how messages are mass-produced and also finds it important to teach how messages are disseminated and consumed.
“Mass communication has impacted my life greatly,” Smith said. “Being a student, professor and practitioner of mass communication has taught me to be a better consumer because of the knowledge I’ve gained in how messages are produced.”