Weekly Roundup

The Weekly Roundup provides a wrap up or “Roundup” of various journalism news of the South every Friday on SizingUpTheSouth.com

We are always looking for good articles, books, podcasts and documentaries about journalism and the South. Here are some that caught our attention this week:

May 24 – 30, 2019

“When asked what social media news consumers dislike most about getting news on social media, concerns about inaccuracy top the list, followed by concerns about political bias and quality of the news.” – Pew Research Institute


Greenville, South Carolina, fallen journalists WYFF anchor/reporter Mike McCormick and Photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer’s names and photos were on display this week at the Journalists Memorial at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. They will be added permanently to the memorial on June 3.

Through the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, RTDNA is awarding broadcasting anchors and producers scholarships to attend the 2019 Anchor and Producer Leadership Summit in Chicago, IL from July 10 – July 12,  2019. Ten scholarships were awarded two journalists from the South including: Jazmin Bailey, Morning Anchor, WESH 2 – TV; and Gina Jordan, Morning Edition host, WFSU-FM, Florida Public Radio, Tallahassee, Florida.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp spoke at the Georgia Press Association Conference amidst public protests and the film industry’s outcry against the abortion bill passed in Georgia.

U.S.Today is reporting that Gannett is in deal talks with GateHouse, Tribune and McClatchy due to speculation over how it fought off a hostile takeover by MNG Enterprises.

The Eagle Eye, the Parkland Stoneman Douglas student newspaper, were recognized by the Pulitzer Prize Board at a special luncheon in New York City on May 28 for their work memorializing the 17 students and staff that were killed Feb. 14 and also how the staff chronicled the student activists who rose to national exposure after the shooting.

Cory O’Donnell, engagement editor at News-Press (South Florida) is spotlighted and answers questions about his career in journalism and how “journalism keeps the fabric of the community strong.”

Former Dayton Beach News-Journal Photojournalist Lola Gomez photos will be on display at the Orlando Museum of Art’s Florida Prize in Contemporary Art exhibition. Her photos depict life for an undocumented immigrant in rural Volusia County, the recovery in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and the fatal opioid overdose in Volusia County.

After leaving the broadcast news industry due to low pay and high stress, Valeria Sistruck had an idea: To build  a message board, RateMyStation.com where journalists can post “a tool to come and tell the truth.” She receives between 40,000 to 60,000 visitors per month.


Columbia Journalism Review contributor Abby Rabinowitz discusses why climate change still doesn’t get the headlines  and there is a need for more creative, personalized stories are needed to engage readers.

The annual RTDNA/Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University Newsroom Survey shows in a 2019 survey that several positive developments for local news: More radio and TV stations are producing more news, hiring more staff, investing in investigative and community-service reporting and adapting to changing technology.

The U.S. Justice Department’s seizing of journalists’ phone records while Barack Obama was president was more extensive than previously reported.


Maad al-Zekri, Yemen’s first journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize tells why he wasn’t able to join his colleagues in NYC and celebrate this important achievement because he was denied entry to the United States.


The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) shares a podcast addressing, “When are student newspaper budget cuts unconstitutional?”

May 17 – May 24, 2019

“The mission is called Breaking News … Breaking News has a clear goal: kill a reporter. A journalist bribed a cop and will pick up a briefcase from the cop,” the mission says. “The briefcase is full of sensitive documents. Make him famous in a different way.” – Washington Post writes about one objective of a new video game: To kill a journalist, May 19, 2019


New hires and promotions:

Jenna Oden has joined the LaGrange Daily News as a general assignment reporter. The Daily News is located in mid-central Georgia. Oden is a graduate of Troy University, Alabama.

More news:

  • WKMG-TV, a CBS-affiliate in Orlando, has announced after its three year effort to change the texting and driving law in Florida, it has seen a new bill signed into law. This Florida new law will make texting and driving a primary offense, which allows law enforcement to stop motorists who are texting while driving and write them citations.
  • The Peabody Awards, which is headquartered at Grady School of Journalism and Mass Comm, University of Georgia, announced its winners in a New York City ceremony.
  • Columbia Journalism Review’s Alexandria Neason writes about how national news coverage about abortion laws caused confusion about what was now legal and what was not legal in regard to abortions in such states as Alabama and Georgia, who implemented restrictive laws or banning of abortions in their states.
  • GateHouse Media announces layoffs: Newsrooms affected by the layoffs include the Tuscaloosa News, Alabama; Lakeland Ledger, Florida; Daytona Beach News Journal, Florida; Daily Commercial, Leesburg, Florida. 
  • 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley releases his new book this week, “Truth Worth Telling” and signed books at the Atlanta Press Club on May 23. He also talked to CBS46 Atlanta (video). Furthermore, Pelley will receive the RTDNA Paul White Award at the Excellence in Journalism in San Antonio, Texas, in early September.


59th Annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards Program will celebrate:

  • Four student journalists from the University of Florida and one from Auburn University are finalists for the 2019 Hearst National Championship for National Writing, Photojournalism, Radio, Television and Multimedia. The finalists: Eduardo Medina, Auburn University, Writing Finalist; Mackenzie Behm, University of Florida, Multimedia Finalist; Dolores Hinckley, University of Florida, Radio Finalist; David Jones, University of Florida, Grace King, University of Florida, Television Finalists. Winner will be announced in San Francisco June 1 – 6.
  • 2018- 2019 Hearst Intercollegiate Winners – Broadcast Radio & TV: $10,000 First Place, University of Florida
  • $10,000 Award in the Intercollegiate Multimedia Competition: Fifth Place: University of Florida; Tenth Place: University of South Carolina
  • Hearst Multimedia Team Reporting/News competition winners named: Ninth place, University of Florida team members: Grace King, Rachel Tate, Sofia Millar, Taylour Marks, Devoun Cetoute, Maria Roberts, Quan (McWil) Nguyen, Meryl Kornfield, Meryl Kornfield, Hasley Pitman, Meredith Sheldon, Jonathan Santos; Tenth place, Florida International University team members: Lizandra’ Portal, Kirsten Cabarcas, Jessica Grioua, Monique Abbadie, Jennifer Suarez, Vivian Acosta, Cassandra Cabal, Carmen de Armas, Grecia Lastra, Amanda Leon, Maria Zeppenfeldt, Annabelle Santos, Nicholas Almeida, and Carina Vo


  • A decision crucial to free speech, a federal judge ruled in favor of conservative self-described guerrilla journalist sued for libel after a 2016 Trump rally was held in Asheville, N.C.
  • The Society of Professional Journalist’s Board of Directors President J. Alex Tarquinio, wrote about her experience watching a two-hour testimony about the dangers of reporting on human rights. (Video)

May 10 – 17, 2019

Contact me at SizingUpTheSouth@gmail.com to share your articles for the Weekly Roundup. – Valerie