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Mitch's Media Musings - April 2020

Mitch's Media Musings

March 16 - April 15, 2020


Needless to say, the COVID situation is dominating all media coverage. We're going to try to note general trends and specific issues in the media this month.

Journalists: With the COVID-19 Coronavirus heavy in the news this month, we have a number of sources available for interviews.

We've added a way for you to find COVID sources in our Mitch's Media Match expert database. Log into the database ( and go to the "search for experts" section. Select the keyword "COVID-19" and search. You should get a list of potential sources. Email me or call if you're not sure how to log in. ( or 404-861-4769.)

I've selected a few and noted contacts for each. There are more in the database if you search as noted above.

  • Goizueta Business School: Profs. Tom Smith, Usha Rackliffe and Ray Hill can talk about the general economic impact. Dan McCarthy can talk about how subscriber based companies are being affected. Nicolay Osadchiy can talk about the impact on the supply chain. Brian Goebel can talk about the impact on small business. Other professors can address more aspects. Contact: Kim Speece,

  • Emory University has a number of sources who can talk about the medical side. Contact: Gana Ahn,

  • Sterling Seacrest Partners: Doug Rieder and talk about the concept of "business interruption insurance" and John Miller can talk about telemedicine. Contact: Kim Speece,

  • Morris Manning Martin: Edgar Bueno and Meredith Caiafa can talk about legal aspects of the pandemic. Contact: Terri Thornton,

  • Familes First. This nonprofit is offering a range of services during the pandemic including behavioral health and counseling, adoption services and post-adoptive support, foster care support, support for pregnant and parenting teens and more. Contact: Chris Slaughter,

  • Healing Waters: Amanda Gorecki is registered nurse practitioner. Contact: Kaitlyn Luppino,

Some general observations:

  • Television stations - Reporters are more amendable to doing interviews via Facetime Live, Zoom or Skype. Anchors are distancing themselves on set, reporting from different studios, or from their homes.

  • Some journalists have outdone themselves with cool setups (Ron Jones and Virginia Prescott come to mind).

  • Many reporters (and most TV and radio reporters) aren't going into their stations at all but simply working from home and meeting their photographer(s) at the site of news stories.

  • We're seeing a high demand from media for stories about every aspect of the COVID pandemic. Not just health, but how nonprofits are reacting, places of worship, restaurants, small businesses, etc.

Unfortunately, the economic effects of the pandemic are already being felt in our media industry. Several local reporters have been laid off:

  • Clayton/Henry News - Joe Adgie, Darius Goodman, Robin Kemp (look for her now at

  • Gwinnett Daily Post - Sports writers David Freidlander, Christine Troyke

  • Neighbor Newspapers - Tom Spigolon, Christine Fonville, Bill Baldowski

I've heard numerous accounts of reporters being sick with mild or severe cases of COVID-19. Some have been public about it and some have not. I've decided not to get into detail about each person, but needless to say this is affecting reporters as well as the "general population."

I've seen many remarkable ways that reporters are getting their jobs done. Zoom and Skype seem to be two of the most popular tools for recording interviews. But if you're the interviewee, there are a few tips that I'll be sharing this week. I'll be doing a Facebook Live "how to" with two local TV reporters sometime this week. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for details.

Our weekly "4 Questions Journalist Spotlight" feature is being tweaked. Instead of the usual format, I'm going to do a series of video interviews with local journalists talking about their coverage of the pandemic. We'll tape these via Zoom with these four questions: 1) How are you reporting currently? 2) Tell me about a recent story that had meaning for you, 3) What's the funniest thing that's happening while working in the last month? 4) What's been the most challenging thing about working during the pandemic?. If you'd like to record one of these with me, shoot me an email at

Mitch's Media Musings


Around the Rings - Ed Hula is available for interviews regarding the status of the Tokyo Olympics. As of now, the Games have been postponed until 2021 .

Atlanta Business Chronicle

  • The weekly Chronicle TV show is on hiatus, so host Crystal Edmondson is writing a lot of stories for print and web.

  • Dyana Bagby joins as a staff writer. She's going to be covering economic development long-term.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • The paper is allowing free access to its e-edition (usually behind a paywall).

  • The AJC has started a Coronavirus newsletter.

  • The weekly Friday "Go Guide" is now being called the "Do Guide."

  • The paper is looking for positive stories for their Inspire Atlanta feature.

  • Look for changes in their editorial pages to reflect the pandemic situation.

Georgia Public Broadcasting

  • GPB has started a CoronaVirus News & Resources feature. Link:

Marietta Daily Journal - The paper announced on April 5 that it is moving from printing seven days a week to five days a week.

Oz - The magazine will not distribute print editions of its current issue. It's available online at


  • They're been doing some live specials in conjunction with NPR national. Atlanta is particularly relevant since we have the CDC here.

  • Reporter Sam Whitehead has been working on a new daily podcast about the pandemic called "Did you wash your hands?" You can listen at


  • Christine Sperow joins, anchoring a new 4:30 p.m. newscast. She comes to Atlanta from WBTV in Charlotte.


  • The station's Atlanta & Co. show is on temporary hiatus.

  • The station is doing a new, probably temporary, news show at noon.

News from the PR Dept.

  • Trevelino/Keller created a toilet paper exchange program. Details:

  • The directory of local media, Leff's Atlanta Media (, is being offered for free to nonprofits during the pandemic. Contact for details.


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