By Sharon Dunten, SPJ Region 3 Assistant Regional Director
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.
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.
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.