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Mitch's Media Musings July 2021

Mitch's Media Musings

June 16 - July 15, 2021


Congrats to Atlanta-based AP photographer Mike Stewart, who was among a group of ten AP photographers who won the Pulitzer Prize this year in the Breaking News Photography category! More at

Atlanta-based freelance writer Karon Warren, along with six other members, was honored by the American Society of Journalists & Authors with the 2021 Exceptional Service Award for their leadership and heroic efforts on behalf of freelance writers in the fights against California’s AB5 and the PRO Act. California’s AB5 law and the pending federal PRO Act legislation contain the ABC test, a 1930s worker classification test that misclassifies freelance writers and millions of other independent contractors in hundreds of professions (including public relations, videographers, graphic designers and more) as employees. To learn more about the efforts to combat the use of the ABC test in the PRO Act and all labor, tax and employment law, visit

4 Questions Journalist Spotlight - Check out our latest interviews with the AJC's Joseph Ferguson, the Appen Media Group's Carl Appen and Sydney Dangremond, Decaturish's George Chidi, Carol Niemi with the Reporter Newspapers, Rana Cash with the Savannah Morning News, and Maria Boynton with WVEE and WAOK! You can watch in video format or listen to audio: You can also find our podcasts on just about any podcast platform (Apple, Amazon, Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc.).

Associated Press - Congrats to Bill Barrow who's received a Fellowship from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. 22 journalists were selected worldwide for a year of on-campus study. Barrow is a national political reporter based in Atlanta. For his Fellowship, he'll examine the intersection of movement and party politics in the US, focusing on the institutional structures and prevailing social dynamics that are reshaping Democratic and Republican alliances in the early 21st century. More:

Awards - Lots of awards this month. I'm linking to the winners here where that info is available.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Reporter Josh Sharpe won the Livingston Award, which recognize the best reporting by professional journalists under the age of 35. Sharpe was recognized for "The Imperfect Alibi," "an extensive investigation into a 36-year-old double murder of Harold and Thelma Swain in Camden County on the Georgia coast." Details in this article by the AJC's Scott Trubey:

  • The AJC is seeking an enterprise reporter to cover news and issues impacting Georgia residents. The position will include a strong focus on environmental reporting and may include a secondary specialty area or other enterprise reporting, to be determined upon hire. Details:

Atlanta Voice

  • Madeline Thigpen joins as education reporter.

  • The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) has elected Janis L. Ware to serve as First Vice Chair for a second term. Ware previously served as NNPA's treasurer, before being elected as First Vice Chair in 2019. NNPA is the largest Black media organization in the U.S., consisting of Black media outlets across the country.

Black News Channel

  • Maria White Tillman moves from WABE to the BNC as writer/producer.

  • Cory Anne Azumbrado Charles joins as Senior Global Editorial Producer.

Marietta Daily Journal

  • Madison Hogan returns to journalism as lifestyle editor for the MDJ and Cobb Life magazine. She's also the editor of the Cobb Business Journal.

NBC Atlanta - Congrats to Blayne Alexander on the birth of her daughter, Sage Milan Bailey!


  • Health reporter Sam Whitehead's "Did you wash your hands?" podcast is moving from twice a week to once a week. More:

  • Lisa Rayam takes over as host of the podcast "Political Breakfast," taking the reins from Denis O'Hayer


  • Jonathan Stacey joins the Fox5 Storm Team. He's worked in Tennessee, Florida, and North Carolina.

  • Former reporter Emilie Ikeda has moved to NBC News as a correspondent. She'll report across the NBC News and MSNBC platforms.


  • Crystal Bui joins as a general assignment reporter. She was last KSTP in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

  • Melissa Stern departs the station. Check out her Facebook page for details:

WSB Radio


  • Ashli Lincoln joins as an investigative reporter, replacing Nicole Carr. She comes to Atlanta from KMOV TV in St. Louis. She also worked for Fox23 in Tulsa, WJCL TV in Savannah, and was a Special Projects Researcher for WSB TV back in 2012-13.

  • Mike Petchenik departs for a position as Communications and Content Director for Healththrive, a healthcare technology company whose mission is to "help older adults live at home with dignity and purpose while reducing the stress, strain, work, and worry for their family members." His last day was July 1.

WXIA TV/11Alive

  • Chenue Her switches to a morning reporting beat Wednesday - Sunday. And he adopted a labradoodle!

  • Joe Ripley takes over Chenue's nightside shift.

  • Former web producer Chris Buchanan is now a Digital Producer at News19 (WLTX) in Columbia, South Carolina.

(The) Woodstock LIfe - Check out this new site focused on events and lifestyle in the Woodstock area ( Oh, and because I know you were going to ask: this site was designed by the talented Laurie Michaelson at LHM Strategic (

News from the PR Dept

  • Dwayna Haley has been named the new Brand and Communications Officer for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. More from (of course!) Maria Saporta:

  • Jennifer Pifer Bixler joins the PR team at Porsche Cars North America.

  • The Georgia Entertainment PR Alliance ( is working with the University of Georgia to promote their new MFA in Film, Television, and Digital Entertainment.

  • Leff & Associates is working with 42West, a new event venue on the West Side of Atlanta, run by two partners event veteran Lauren Pelissier and Atlanta Hawks star Kevin Willis. More:

  • Former Atlanta Business Chronicle staffer Mark Meltzer joins Hope-Beckham PR.



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