MediAtlanta provides journos tools to bypass tech road blocks and build new ones

By Sharon Dunten, SPJ Region 3 Assistant Regional Director

Badges welcomed MediAtlanta guests

MediAtlanta, the SPJ Region 3 conference and state host SPJ Georgia, presented a min-convention of sorts with a wide variety skill-building opportunities from learning how to fly a drone with SPJ Florida’s Brandon Ballenger to diving into long-form narrative writing with Suzanne Van Atten. The conference highlights included a two-hour workshop with Yumi Wilson, a LinkedIn expert, challenging participants to re-evaluate and re-structure their LinkedIn pages and also use the resources available through the page.

Maggie Lee presented “Newsroom Hacks That Don’t Require Coding.” Photo by Ellen Eldridge.

Journos also had two experts in navigating through Google and data-gathering tools on Oct. 29 with Maggie Lee presenting “Newsroom Hacks That Don’t Require Coding” and “How Google News Lab Can Help You – For Free” presented by Daniel Petty.

In addition, journos were provided 10 tips on reporting LGBT issues with Dyana Bagby.

From the left: Dan Whisenhunt, Mark Thomason and Dr. Carolyn Carlson speak at the Fannin Focus Report session on Thomason’s arrest for filing a open records request. Photo by Sharon Dunten

A popular session, “Fannin Focus Report” was an extensive panel discussion about the arrest of Georgia journalist Mark Thomason, publisher of the Fannin Focus, Blue Ridge, Ga. Two SPJ Georgia members, Dan Whisenhunt and Dr. Carolyn Carlson, also joined Thomason during discussion. Whisenhunt and Carlson were instrumental in insisting that the Georgia judge who jailed Thomason step down from a judicial watchdog group. The judge did eventually step down.

SPJ Florida’s Brandon Ballenger shows WGXA Macon’s Emily Swecker to fly a drone at Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta. Photo from social media.  


Journos gather in front of SPJ Georgia’s banner at the MediAtlanta conference at the Hyatt Downtown on Oct. 29. Photo supplied. 
Suzanne Van Atten provided a two-hour workshop on narrative nonfiction writing at MediAtlanta on Oct. 29 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Sharon Dunten
Journos gather for lunch in downtown Atlanta during MediAtlanta. Supplied photo
Nydia Tisdale films Fannin Focus Report session. Photo by Sharon Dunten








Watch out for more information on next year’s SPJ Region 3 conference by connecting with or joining the SPJRegion3 Facebook page and Twitter pagemedia-sign-with-spjga-sign