SPJ Georgia starts summer with a bang


Welcome to the new charter members of SPJ Georgia! Don’t forget that YOU CAN JOIN and further your journalistic ambitions and the industry in Georgia.

  • Debra Van Tuyll, Georgia Regents University, communications professor
  • Pamela G. Dorsett, Georgia State University, psychologist
  • KC Wildmoon, Storyful, editor
  • Keith Herndon, University of Georgia, visiting professor
  • Stephany Fisher, CBS Atlanta, anchor


Journalists listen to David Hazinski and Carolyn Carlson at SPJ Georgia's journalism workshop.
Journalists listen to David Hazinski and Carolyn Carlson at SPJ Georgia’s journalism workshop.

As an SPJ member since college, I was very excited to become a part of the Georgia chapter this past winter. Becoming a part of professional associations is not only important to your growth, but nowadays, integral.

I was particularly excited about a workshop SPJ Georgia and co-sponsor Eatonton Messenger newspaper held in Eatonton, Georgia, on May 10 for area journalists, producers and publishers.

The afternoon was a great networking and learning success. We heard from Kennesaw State University communications professor Carolyn Carlson and University of Georgia broadcast journalism professor David Hazinski.

Carlson brought to light the Georgia Sunshine Laws, the state’s open record laws, and gave great advice for journalists on what constitutes an open record in Georgia and how to battle government bodies that don’t properly follow open record laws.

In addition, UGA  professor Hazinski shared about his travels around the world launching media channels and brands. In Eatonton, he pushed everyone in the room to think outside of the norm and the defined roles in the newsroom – to challenge their own perception of what it means to be a journalist.

We now have to be cameramen (and women), photographers, writers, producers and editors. Journalism no longer holds definitive job descriptions or roles; everyone, and particularly those wanting to remain on the forefront of competition, now has to do everything.

But one thing that hasn’t changed, and is possibly becoming more important than ever, is content. Carlson and Hazinski drove the idea of content through their presentations and how important, relevant and good content is key – as it always has been in journalism.

(For more photos of the event, click here.)

-Devika Rao, SPJ Georgia interim board member



SPJlogo-croppedThe chapter name has a new look!  SPJ Georgia’s board of directors this May approved the use of a new logo for SPJ Georgia.  The logo was designed by Katherine Fallon, an art student from Georgia Southern University.  The logo incorporates the national logo with an impact of Georgia in its style.  The logo will be used for all business purposes including business cards, correspondence and marketing materials. Let us know how you like it by tweeting us at @spjgeorgia.





Marsha Walton
Marsha Walton

Marsha Walton is SPJ Georgia’s newest interim board member. Marsha is a freelance science and environment reporter and producer, working for the conservation series “This American Land” on PBS. She also works on the National Science Foundation’s video feature “Science Nation.” Her Twitter handle is @marshawalton.

Georgia’s attorney general demanded a University of Georgia journalism student erase four pages of public records from his personal blog. The AG filed a motion with a judge to force the student to comply, but after SPJers across the country protested, the AG withdrew the motion about a week later. You can read more here, including SPJ’s role in the public records case.

If you would like to share news about an SPJ Georgia member, please email spjgeorgia@gmail.com.



Sept. 4-6: SPJ Excellence in Journalism national conference is held in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Opryland Hotel. Registration is now open, and SPJ members get a $200 discount.

Continuing: SPJ national revises its Code of Ethics.



On May 6 at Apres Diem in Atlanta, the SPJ Georgia interim board met. Sharon Dunten, Ruksana Hussain, Jason Meucci, Adina Solomon, Phelps Hawkins (via Skype) and Devika Rao were in attendance.

The following are highlights of the May 6 interim board meeting:

  • Ruksana reviewed the financial report and monies owed that need to be paid out once SPJ Georgia receives membership fees. The board also decided on a mileage reimbursement rate.
  • Sharon planned to check with SPJ national for more details on delegates to send to the Excellence in Journalism conference in September.
  • The board discussed the final details for SPJ Georgia’s event in Eatonton, Georgia, which took place May 10.
  • The board talked about SPJ Georgia’s annual report to be sent to SPJ national. Phelps discussed the chapter’s bylaws.
  • The board voted on the new SPJ Georgia logo.  Devika reviewed implementation of SPJ Georgia’s new logo.
  • The board voted unanimously to ask Marsha Walton to join the SPJ Georgia board.

The next board meeting will be held by video chat on June 3 at 7 p.m. Please contact spjgeorgia@gmail.com if you want to attend the meeting. Please note that all records are open to SPJ Georgia members upon request.


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