ROUNDUP for today

Staff reports | Week of Aug. 23 – 30, 2019

SHIFTING MEDIA LANDSCAPE: North Carolina-based Restoration NewsMedia will participate in the University of North Carolina-Knight Foundation Table Stakes Newsroom Initiative. Restoration Media is one of many cohort organizations in the program that are attending a strategic planning session at the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media in Chapel Hill.

Organizers designed the yearlong program to help news outlets improve their products and remain profitable in a shifting media landscape.

BECOME MORE AWARE: World Suicide Prevention Day is Tuesday, Sept. 10. Science Talks provides an educational webinar series for journalists presented by Wiley in partnership with the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). The next webinar, Science Talks with The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Suicide Prevention and Awareness, will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019,at 11 a.m. EST.

CHANGE AND ADJUST: The Covington News of Covington, Georgia for the first time printed its weekly issue this week at its sister publication, The Jackson County Sentinel in Scottsboro, Alabama. Jackie Gutknecht, editor and publisher of The Covington News, wrote about the new arrangement in this editorial. In May, The Covington News owner Patrick Graham bought three Alabama newspapers, including The Jackson County Sentinel

ADJUST AND CHANGE:  Daily newspapers The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette in Bluffton, South Carolina, will stop printing Saturday issues beginning Nov. 9. The publisher stated in August that it will print a weekend edition that includes expanded newspapers on Fridays and Sundays. 

FLORIDA MAN: Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times journalist, will speak Aug. 31 at the Jacksonville Public Library about his 2016 book and New York Times best-seller, “Oh Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.” Pittman wrote his book about reporting on quirky news from the Sunshine State. 

Deborah Yetter

COVERING CHILD ABUSE: Louisville Courier Journal reporter Deborah Yetter can be heard Friday on the listener-supported WFPL’s weekly public radio show “In Conversation” to discuss her recent investigative series on child abuse. Tune in at 11 a.m. to noon EST on Friday, Aug. 30, on 89.3 FM, Louisville Public Media with Rick Howlett.

Yetter’s five-part series focused on Kentucky’s unfortunate ranking as the No. 1 state in the nation for instances of child abuse and neglect. 

MAN SPENDS 21 YEARS IN JAIL WITHOUT TRIAL: Commonweal Magazine, an independent journal of opinion edited by lay Catholics, writes about why a Mississippi man who was accused of murdering four people in a small-town furniture store in 1996, and why he has spent twenty-one years in prison awaiting trial after trial. The case has gone all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Clarence Thomas

Their opinion piece and The New Yorker article also reveals how Justice Clarence Thomas’ speculates that the Supreme Court heard Flowers’s appeal only “because the case has received a fair amount of media attention,” a mistake that, in his view, “only encourages the litigation and re-litigation of criminal trials in the media, to the potential detriment of all parties—including defendants.”

Alysia Steele

PHOTOS TELL MISSISSIPPI HISTORY: The work of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media assistant professor Alysia Steele will be the focus of an upcoming Meridian, Miss. photo exhibit along with the work of Mississippi photographer Betty Press in Through the Looking Glass: Life in Mississippi. It will run from Friday, Aug. 30 to Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020.

CLIMATE CHANGE TOPIC WINS AWARD: Environmental Health News is one of six finalists for the prestigious Doris O’Donnell Innovations in Investigative Journalism Fellowship.

EHN’s proposed project would investigate climate-related environmental injustice in rural Virginia and North Carolina coasts—a region with increased flooding and extreme weather impacts, dwindling newspapers, and the largest population of color at risk of a catastrophic storm outside of New Orleans.

NEW HIRES: Matthew Arrojas will be a hospitality reporter for the south Florida Business Journal, Miami, Fla.

Marcello Cuedra starts at WUFT News as a reporter this August.

WebMD has named Katherine Dillinger as a writer/editor, Atlanta, Ga.

Debra Goldschmidt starts a new position as a planning manager for CNN, Atlanta, Ga.

The position of senior web editor at Katz Networks (E.W. Scripps) was given to Beth Hemphill. Katz is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.

Richard Hyatt will be a television commentator at WLTZ NBC 38 and CWGA-BAMA, Columbus, Ga.

Sarah Nagy starts her job as associate producer at WESH 2 News, Orlando, Fla.

Nick Papadimas received the position as a multimedia reporter for the Carolina News & Reporter, Columbia, SC.

Leon Purvis starts a position as morning anchor and MMJ at WDAM TV in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Cole Rogers starts a new position as a sports reporter at the Forsyth County News.

Jessica Ward received the position as a staff writer for Tempo News Digital, Sarasota, Fla.

PROMOTION: Jacqueline Lawson was promoted to lead relay at ESPN.

HAPPY RETIREMENT: Tom Loftus, a veteran newspaperman announces that he is retiring from the Kentucky Courier Journal effective Oct. 1.

SIGN UP TO ATTEND: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will hold a data workshop at Excellence in Journalism 2019 in San Antonio, Texas on Sept. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is an open house workshop.  Come, talk with data experts, use the tools, and develop story ideas at Better Data for Better Health: A Journalist’s Workshop. This is an open house workshop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 5. (CONTACT SPJ)

  • The prevalence and significance of suicidal and self-harm behavior in young people.
  • Key risk factors for suicide and self-harm behavior.
  • Diverse evidence-based and evidence-informed suicide preventive interventions.
  • How journalists can best report on suicide/self-harm to strengthen suicide prevention. 

The one-hour webinar will include time for questions and answers. Science Talks webinars are complimentary to journalists:

Register for Science Talks here!

COLLEGIATE NEWS: The University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism is implementing a required class to use the smartphone into its new curriculum. The Digital Storytelling class will teach students how to use their smartphones as an essential journalism tool for filming and audio recording.

Edna Anne Rutland, a graduate from Macon, Ga., won the 2019 Diversity Scholarship Award from the National Press Club. She’s been taking journalism courses since ninth grade, including college courses at George Mason University in Virginia, Wake Forest in North Carolina, and Mercer University in Georgia.

CONGRATS: Will Norton Jr., dean of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, has been honored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication with its Presidential Award.

CONGRATS ON INTERNSHIPS: The Laurinburg Exchange, North Carolina, welcomes its newest college intern this week when Octavia Johnson joins the newsroom staff.

The Osprey Observer had five interns that completed work for the publication this summer. They include: Jordyn Kalman, University of Florida; Sean Crumpacker, Hailey Le Roy and Jasmine Haroun, Newsome High School, Florida; and Nur Suleiman, Florida A&M University.

NEW COLLEGIATE HIRES: Mark Shavin starts a journalism lecturer position at Georgia State University, downtown Atlanta, Ga.

ALABAMA, GEORGIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, FLORIDA, LOUISIANA, TEXAS, TENNESSEE JOURNO NEWS: If you or your newsroom would like to submit news about a journalist or newsroom, an award given, an “in memorial” statement, or a retirement, send information to Please include a phone number with information.

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