“A Wing and a Prayer” airs this Sunday at 3 p.m. on WUFT-TV

Published: April 16th, 2015

Don’t forget, “A Wing and a Prayer” airs this Sunday at 3 p.m. on WUFT-TV. The hour-long documentary tells the virtually unknown story of World War II aviators who raced against the clock in 1948 to prevent a second Holocaust.

The film was written, directed and produced by Boaz Dvir, an alumnus of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications and a faculty member at Penn State University. It features exclusive interviews with operations leader Al Schwimmer and other American Jewish and Christian pilots who volunteered to fly transport and combat aircraft for Israel during its 1948 War of Independence.

It also features Dean Emeritus Ralph Lowenstein, who spent his spare time for 30 years archiving the American participation in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Lowenstein, who at 18 volunteered for Israel’s armored corps during that war, served as the film’s historical consultant. He was later a U.S. soldier during the Korean War.

The film’s other College connections include Tim Sorel, who served as director of photography.

American Public Television (APT) is releasing the film on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. Nearly 100 public broadcasting stations around the country will broadcast “A Wing and a Prayer,” which is narrated by William Baldwin (“Hawaii-Five-O,” “Parenthood”).

“A Wing and a Prayer” features firsthand accounts of daring escapes and heart-pounding action by Schwimmer and members of his group, including chief pilot Sam Lewis and Christian radio operator Eddie Styrak. Styrak, arrested by the British for trying to bring Holocaust survivors into the burgeoning Jewish state had to escape prison to join Schwimmer’s operation.

Schwimmer’s recruits thought they were done fighting after WWII, which ended in 1945. Yet Schwimmer convinced them to risk their lives and U.S. citizenship to give the newborn Jewish state a fighting chance in the 1948 Arab-Israel War, the stage for which was set six months earlier when the United Nations voted to partition British-controlled Palestine.

The morning after Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, five well-equipped Arab armies invaded. The Jews’ return to their ancient land appeared short-lived. Only a miracle or an ingenious plan could save them.

Schwimmer’s plan called for eluding the FBI and outsmarting the U.S. State Department by creating a fictitious airline, buying war-surplus aircraft and smuggling in surplus Nazi weapons from behind the Iron Curtain. As a result, the Israeli air force in 1948 was English-speaking, with mostly American pilots.

Schwimmer and his American volunteers helped reshape history. Yet history books have ignored them. “A Wing and a Prayer” fills in that missing chapter.

Category: General news

RTDNF offering seven scholarships – deadline April 30

Published: April 16th, 2015

The April 30 application deadline for RTDNF’s fall 2015-spring 2016 scholarships is less than two weeks away!

RTDNF is offering 7 scholarships for undergraduate students of digital or electronic media, including the prestigious $10,000 Ed Bradley Scholarship for student journalists of color. Awards are also available for students of sports journalism, students from or studying in the Bay Area, and students with particular financial need, as well as 4 fellowships for early career professionals.

We hope you’ll continue to share these opportunities with your students, give them an extra nudge to apply, or consider writing a recommendation letter for a student in your life.

Complete details and the online application can be found here:  http://rtdna.org/content/scholarship_info#.VS_O9FyG6-I.  Feel free to email me with any questions or for printable flyers, brochures, or sharable graphics with all our award details!

Category: Scholarships

Elite Daily | UF seeks contributing writers and executive board members

Published: April 15th, 2015

ED-social logoElite Daily, a major online publisher targeting millennials, is coming to UF.

Currently, the new Elite Daily | UF program is looking for both contributing writers and executive board members.

As a contributing writer, you would be pitching article ideas, writing three articles a month for the Elite Daily site and editing with the executive board, as well as writers at the Elite Daily headquarters in New York City. If you are interested in being a writer, email jpdebonis@gmail.com.

ED | UF is also accepting applications for the three remaining spots on the executive board (which you can get internship credit for). Applications are due April 18 at 6 p.m. To apply visit: http://goo.gl/forms/27vAWIa2HL

The positions:

  • External Vice President

○ Establish relationship with two programs outside of journalism school (academic partnerships)

  • The EVP will be the lead point of contact for these relationships
  • Coordinate the co-hosting of at least one event per semester
  • Establish 2 relationships with not-for-profit organizations on campus or in surrounding area
  • Chairman of Partnerships
    • Working with External VP to build and maintain relationships
      • The Chairman of Partnerships will be the lead point of contact for nonprofit organizations
      • Coordinate the co-hosting of at least one event per semester
    • Find and establish two partnerships for the following year
      • Partnerships include student organizations, academic partnerships, nonprofit organizations, or another relationship that you deem aligns with the Elite Daily brand
    • Chairman of Communication
      • Onboarding 20 additional writers per semester
        • Will build a creative user acquisition strategy with HQ
        • Hold 2 interest meetings per semester
      • Facilitating the chapter’s social media
        • Build social media strategy with HQ
        • Create and maintain social groups (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
      • Content distribution
        • Build strategy with HQ towards being able to amplify published writers’ content on campus through different outlets (radio, television, etc.)

Qualifications for the Executive Board

  • Passionate people with creative ideas
  • An interest in getting involved on campus and working with other organizations
  • Strong editing skills, who would be comfortable working with contributors
  • Must be able to attend the bi-weekly meetings, as well as the executive board meetings (schedule of those are TBD)

If you have any questions or comments, email Jaclyn at: jpdebonis@gmail.com.

Category: Internships

Ledger Media Group hiring reporters, editors

Published: April 14th, 2015

The Ledger Media Group in Lakeland, Fla., has openings for four positions – two entry level reporting jobs and two assistant editor positions:

A cops reporter, entry level
A second reporter, mostly like a city beat reporter, entry level
An assistant metro editor, preferably someone who has handled investigative reports and projects
An assistant metro editor who would oversee features and the weekend entertainment guide

If you are interested, please contact Lenore Devore, Editor, at lenore.devore@theledger.com

Category: Career resources, Jobs

New course in Hebrew Translation for Political Communication offered this fall

Published: April 14th, 2015

New Course in Fall 2015: ANT/POS/JST/HBR4930: Hebrew Translation for Political Communication [no language prerequisite].

Hebrew translation has been volatile, provocative and controversial already since 1536, when William Tyndale was executed for his translation of the Bible. In contemporary politics, the proliferation of media and increased mobility between media, as well as the possibilities and the need to transmit information quickly and cheaply in the electronic age, create new challenges and new forms of translation.

The translator, on his/her part, is repeatedly called upon to stitch together a fragile cultural and linguistic make-up of a “global village” that is constantly falling apart at the seams. In the context of the Middle East and global communication, this course will use theory in translation, media and culture to discuss the ways in which the seemingly neutral act of translation serves as a highly contested vehicle for communication (and miscommunication) in Israel and the Middle East.

Category: General news

Los Angeles Times wins 29th annual Brechner Award

Published: April 14th, 2015

2014-15 Brechner Award

Sandra Chance, Paul Pringle, Ron Li and Dean Diane McFarlin

The Los Angeles Times has been named the winner of the 29th Annual Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award for its investigative series. The award-winning series titled: “Lifting a Cloak of Secrecy,” details the fight for access to information about ownership of the Los Angeles Coliseum.

UF’s College of Journalism and Communications Dean Diane McFarlin presented the $3,000 prize to the Times’ Ron Li and Paul Pringle at the Florida Free Speech Forum’s annual Buddy Davis award luncheon on April 13, 2015.

“The reporters used public records to reveal how Los Angeles city officials were making secret deals to turn ownership of the Coliseum over to the University of Southern California, a private institution, said Sandra Chance, executive director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information. “Their reporting led to indictments, hard-fought court battles and a ‘blistering rebuke’ of the government and its tactics by the judge who found multiple violations of the law and ordered $415,000 to cover legal expenses.”

The annual award was established by the late Joseph L. Brechner, an Orlando broadcaster. Previous award winners include the AP, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The St. Petersburg Times, the Lakeland Ledger, The Dallas Morning News, the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel and the Houston Chronicle.

Category: Uncategorized

Join UFSPJ for their last meeting of the semester

Published: April 14th, 2015

spjlogo-for-headerJoin the Society of Professional Journalists for a Skype chat with UF alumna Marissa Gainsburg on Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m.

Marissa, a UF J-School grad, is currently the assistant fitness editor at Women’s Health magazine, where her responsibilities range from writing multiple stories per month to representing the brand at media events to trying out new fitness classes/products.

She is a former copy editor and features writer for Cosmopolitan, the largest women’s magazine in the world, where she contributed to the magazine for two and a half years. Before she began her career, Marissa was an intern at Allure and SELF magazines.

Our discussion with her will involve learning about the magazine business and the difference among big magazine companies in NYC, what magazines are looking for now and how students can best prepare themselves for what lies ahead.

Pizza will be provided during our meeting at Weimer 3032. Please arrive on time as our chat with Marissa will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

Category: Uncategorized

Telecommunication alumni winner of the National Geographic WILD TO INSPIRE filmmaking competition

Published: April 13th, 2015

This fall, Felipe DeAndrade will be traveling to Africa.

The 2012 telecommunication production graduate is the winner of the second annual WILD TO INSPIRE filmmaking competition. National Geographic WILD presents this award, in partnership with the Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF) and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).

As the winner, DeAndrade’s wildlife adventure will be shared through a variety of media, including video diaries, photos, social media and more, as part of an online companion to Nat Geo WILD’s signature Sunday night nature series, “Destination Wild.”

Working with National Geographic and traveling to Africa have been two aspirations in his life.

“It was like my two biggest dreams wrapped up into a delicious slice of life pie,” he said.

While UF typically isn’t regarded as a film school, DeAndrade said the telecommunication production track gives you more than you need to go out and learn on your own.

“UF paved the way for more accomplishments because it was always my dream school, once I got into there and once I started my career path, it made me feel like I could do anything I want.”

Three piece of life advice from DeAndrade:

  1. Know what it is that you want, so many times it is hard for people to answer that question. Know what you want and how you are taking the steps to get those things. It’s ok to not have the answers and figure out who you are, but what’s not ok is to not be trying.
  2. Don’t be afraid to take chances. So many times people are their own worst enemies. They talk themselves out of things and list a hundred reasons why not to do something. We are naturally careful, it’s ok to be unsure and afraid, but you have to use that energy and turn it into a positive. It is a way that can push you instead of holding you back.
  3. Live passionately; don’t be afraid to do exactly what you want to do in life. What you’re supposed to be doing will find you. The things that you care about and feel like you’re making a difference in the world will get noticed. You will find a way to make a living out of it.

Category: Uncategorized

Gainesville Grub Writing Opportunity

Published: April 13th, 2015

Do you love food? Do you love Gainesville? Do you love the written word?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, look no further. Let your passions unite in the most delicious way possible: Gainesville Grub.

Gainesville Grub is a site that thinks about Gainesville’s food scene like you do. Grub provides a free, fun and uncensored look at what Gainesville’s eating. If the way to your heart is through your stomach, let Grub feed your curiosity and your appetite. The fare is fresh and the perspective is fresher.

Grub is looking for creative (and hungry) local writers to share the stories of Gainesville’s food scene.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of the founding team of writers, please send one local food-related writing sample and an answer to the question “What does food mean to you?” to GainesvilleGrub@gmail.com.

Category: Internships

Gotham Gators Summer Intern Mentoring Program

Published: April 13th, 2015

image002The Gotham Gators, University of Florida Alumni Association’s NYC chapter, are putting together mentoring and networking opportunities for summer interns in NYC!

If interested, please contact Sam Young and Taylor Phaneuf at outreach@gothamgators.com with the following information:



Year of Graduation




The Gotham Gators also offer a ‘Summer in the City’ Intern Scholarship each year. More Details can be found on our website at www.gothamgators.com/scholarship

Application Deadline: April 24

Category: Internships