The Georgia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists votes in new Board of Directors members

The Georgia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists voted in five members into new Board of Director positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, and two members-at-large positions. 

PRESIDENT: ASHLYN WEBB

Ashlyn Webb previously served as Vice President of the Georgia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2020. Before, she served as the student representative on the board.

Ashlyn is a multimedia journalist at 13WMAZ in Macon. Her reporting focuses on local and state politics. Ashlyn graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and international affairs. While in college, she reported for Flagpole Magazine, 13 WMAZ, the Red & Black Newspaper, and WUOG 90.5FM Radio.

Previously, she interned at 13 WMAZ and FOX 5 Atlanta with their investigative unit. Webb has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since her sophomore year of college and served as the UGA chapter president of Online News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019, Ashlyn received the 2019 Innovator Award from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. 

VICE PRESIDENT: NICOLLE SARTAIN

Nicolle Sartain is a researcher at CNN on The Row vetting scripts and written work for factual accuracy, looking for background information and context. Before joining the network, she was a producer at WTOC in Savannah with experience producing newscasts in both the evenings and mornings. She produced shows in many severe weather situations winning a 2019 GABBY for Best Team Weather Coverage. Her background is in writing and newsroom management. She wrote for The Red & Black in Athens serving in multiple editorial roles including News Editor and Editor-in-Chief. With a passion for investigations and long-form journalism, she also worked for the newspaper’s sister publication Ampersand as Executive Editor. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Georgia in December 2017.

SECRETARY: STELL SIMONTON

Stell Simonton is a freelance journalist specializing in clear, engaging writing that lets readers see, feel and hear the story. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Simonton has written for the Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, among many other outlets. She is a regular contributor to Youth Today magazine, and in a previous life was a digital editor/producer for the AJC.

MEMBER-AT-LARGE: RAHUL BALI

Rahul Bali is a 25-year broadcasting veteran. He is currently a news anchor for Oconee Radio Group in Georgia’s Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair areas. Rahul also reports from the State Capitol when the Georgia General Assembly is in session. Rahul has worked as a reporter, producer and editor for CNN Radio, WSB Radio (Atlanta) and WTOP Radio (Washington, D.C.) He has also worked as a TV reporter at Georgia Public Broadcasting. He is an active member of the Atlanta chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and the Atlanta Press Club’s Debate Committee, which is responsible for televised debates for statewide and local elections.

MEMBER-AT-LARGE: JOHN B. (JACK) ZIBLUK, Ph.D.

Jack Zibluk, PhD, professor of communication at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, lives in Lookout Mountain, Ga., where he writes for the Lookout Mountain Mirror.

He worked with former SPJ president Sonny Albarado to establish a Memphis SPJ chapter, and he later served on the East Tennessee SPJ chapter board. He is a former member of the SPJ national education committee and a columnist for Quill. “Dr. Z,” as his students call him, was also a national board member and vice president of the National Press Photographers Association, which awarded him its Garland “educator of the year award” for his columns on ethics and diversity issues in News Photographer magazine. 

A native of Derby, Connecticut, he worked as a newspaper writer and editor for a decade before earning a PhD in mass communication in mass media and public administration from Bowling Green State University in 1998. He has worked as a journalism educator in Ohio, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee.

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