First Amendment rights and freelancing top the topics for 2015

After GA journalists’ arrests at city protest, let’s talk about the First Amendment, again

SPJ Georgia invites members and guests to discuss the ongoing battle of First Amendment violations against working journalists in Georgia on Monday, Jan. 19, Handcuffs2015, at Taco Mac, Lindbergh Center, 573 Main Street, Atlanta, Georgia (room upstairs), from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Talk to editors and reporters who faced the battle of watching colleagues arrested for “doing their jobs.” Creative Loafing Atlanta Editor-in-Chief Debbie Michaud and News Editor Thomas Wheatley will share their experience of bailing out one of their freelance reporters after his arrest during a November Atlanta protest,  which was prompted by the announcement that a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer would not be indicted after shooting a black man.

Experts on the First Amendment, Georgia First Amendment Foundation Executive Director Hollie Manheimer and GFAF board member and Kennesaw University Journalism Professor Carolyn Carlson will attend to talk in more detail on the rights of members of the press in Georgia.  If you are not sure about how the First Amendment is designed to protect journalists, these two women will help find the answers.

Also, George Chidi, freelance writer covering DeKalb County, will attend to talk about his experience when a restraining order against him as a journalists was filed by a DeKalb County commissioners’ candidate to forbid coverage of candidate’s campaign or report on his personal information.

It is going to be an interesting night of conversation and war stories.  No RSVP is required.

Is professional freelancing something you are considering as a journalist?

Operation Freelance logo contrast0011With more and more professional journalists moving into the freelance journalism market, SPJ Georgia’s first 2015 event, “Operation: Freelance,” on Feb. 21, 2015, at Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, will dive into information ranging from starting a freelance business, how to pitch ideas to editors and what wages to expect.  Operation: Freelance’s panelists include successful journalists who work as freelance professionals or work directly with freelancers as editors.  This is the time to ask those difficult questions about approaching an editor for the first time or maybe finding a particular niche market to explore. Either way, Operation: Freelance will provide the beginner or seasoned journalists the options available in this growing journalism market. Watch for registration through SPJ Georgia’s social media.

Freelance Panelists include:

  • Paul Kvinta:  A freelance journalist whose writing has appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, Popular Science and Outside, and his essays have been heard on “Weekend All Things Considered” on public radio.  His expertise includes work with National Geographic Adventure as a contributing editor.
  • Katja Ridderbusch:  An accomplished freelance journalist, Ridderbusch reports for leading German newspapers, magazines and online media, as well as public radio stations in Germany and the United States.  Prior to immigrating to the United States, she covered the Persian Gulf as an embedded journalist on board U.S. aircraft carriers and wrote about NATO operations in Afghanistan for Die Welt.
  • Emily L. Foley:  An experienced multimedia journalist, Foley works in the worlds of beauty, fashion and entertainment. Her work has been published in magazines including, Allure, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour and US Weekly.  Foley might also be found on-camera talking about her knowledge in the beauty and fashion industry or chatting with entertainment stars such as Reese Witherspoon or Channing Tatum.

Editor Panelists include:

  • Allison Entrekin:  Entrekin is the senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media, which publishes travel titles as Southbound and Georgia Travel Guide. Her previous work includes working as editor-in-chief of Simply Buckhead and contributing editor for Jezebel.  Also a freelance writer, she has also written for Travel + Leisure, USA Today and Cigar Aficionado.
  • Mira Lowe:  Lowe is the Senior Editor for Features, CNN Digital and principal for Aim High Media, a communications company, focusing on multimedia platform storytelling/presentation and leadership, professional development and personal branding. She has been featured on national and local radio and  television talk shows and websites.  In addition, Lowe has been featured in publications such as Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star, Folio magazine and the Columbia Journalism Review.
  • James Mallory: Mallory has more than 27 years of experience with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His last position was as Senior Managing Editor and Vice President of News before retiring in 2012. He now is a communications consultant providing specialties in team leadership, general management, career navigation and recruiting for success.  Mallory is also a part-time instructor at Kennesaw State University specializing in editing and writing with a particular emphasis on business leadership and corporate strategy.

Meet the 2015 SPJ Georgia Board of Directors

SPJ Georgia announces the 2015 Board of Directors:  Click here to see the board of directors’ bios.


SPJ Georgia brochure 2014SPJ Georgia introduces new tool to promote state chapter

SPJ Georgia Professional Chapter has a new brochure.  It is a prototype brochure to market the chapter and the Society of Professional Journalists. Together with our new logo, we want our members and potential members to have a piece of marketing in hand to clearly identify the Georgia chapter, and along with the SPJ National information,  and have thorough information to become or support SPJ and SPJ Georgia. To request a copy of the brochure, email along with your name and address.  To see inside of the brochure, link here.


 SPJ National offers 6-month waiver

TransitionalMembership_Ad small (1) copySPJ members and chapters are the lifeline to the Society of Professional Journalists.

It has been painful to watch our SPJ Georgia members, our friends, who have lost jobs as a result of the economy and drastic industry changes.  In an effort to help through this rough time, the SPJ National is now offering a six-month dues waiver to current members who have been laid off as a result of these unfortunate circumstances. To see if you qualify for the waiver, and to submit a request, please download this form and return it to SPJ headquarters. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity.

Also, check  and SPJ Georgia social media websites frequently.  We list new job listings all the time on Facebook and Twitter.

We need each other now more than ever.

SPeachJ editorial deadlines

The next editorial deadline for SPeachJ is Dec. 22, 2014.  For a complete list of SPeachJ editorial deadlines, contact  We will be happy to send you the dates.

 SPeachJ is the official publication of the Society of Professional Journalists Georgia Professional Chapter with all rights reserved. Any of the copy published on SPeachJ is copyright protected.  All authors of individual articles published on SPeachJ own their own copyright to their assigned or contracted articles; yet each author has a contract with SPJ Georgia or SPJ National to use those articles at any time without the author’s permission.  For additional information on SPJ Georgia’s copyright policy, contact


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