Rebecca Burns is editorial adviser at The Red & Black, an independent student news organization at the University of Georgia. She has two primary interests: exploring new forms of nonfiction storytelling, and examining how cities are shaped by their histories. She has merged those interests over the past 15 years through a career as a city-magazine writer, editor, and digital strategist—along with work as an author and journalism professor. Burns served as editor-in-chief of Atlanta magazine from 2002-2009 and under her direction the magazine received dozens of local, regional, and national awards for its journalism and design excellence. She spent several years as director of digital strategy for Emmis Publishing, working with editors and publishers on websites, blogs, and mobile applications for the company’s family of city and regional magazines, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Texas Monthly. In 2011, she co-curated the Atlanta History Center exhibit “Atlanta Magazine, 1961-2011: 50 Years of the Changing City” and produced the accompanying digital media project which won the 2012 national City and Regional Magazine Association award for excellence in multi-platform storytelling. In fall 2012, she returned to Atlanta magazine to serve as deputy editor and digital strategist, working on special projects such as the award-winning Groundbreakers community service awards. She launched and oversees the magazine’s news and culture blog. Burns, who presently teaches at the University of Georgia, frequently speaks to school, civic, and corporate groups. She is a past instructor at Emory University. She holds an M.A. in Communication from Georgia State University and is married to the designer and illustrator James Burns.
Tracy Brown is currently Deputy Managing Editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she leads four teams: Education, Print presentation and Features & Entertainment and Food & Dining. Before coming to the AJC nine years ago, she was deputy arts editor at the Dallas Morning News in Texas. A graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady College, she has also worked as a journalist as the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. Outside of work, she is the president of the Dunwoody chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Tracy is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb, a leadership development program for emerging leaders. She is also a member for the University of Georgia’s alumni board for the Grady College of Journalism, where she is the chair of the mentoring committee, connecting current students with alumni as mentors and professional resources. In her free time, she likes to travel and enjoy live theater. She has one daughter, Zoie, a sophomore at Howard University.
Editor in Chief for Summer 2017, Bryan has worked at The Red & Black as a writer, assistant culture editor and culture editor. A senior, Bryan has maintained the rigorous Zell Miller Scholarship throughout her time at UGA, has participated in the Cannes Lions Festival and is a member of the National Press Photographers Association. Her passions include speaking Spanish and service, and her experience includes working at an orphanage in Peru.
Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. currently serves as Digital Editor of Grady Newsource and Director of the Cox Institute’s Management Seminar for College News Editors (MSCNE). A professor with over 17 years of teaching experience at institutions of higher learning, Dr. Burton is an award-winning filmmaker, multimedia journalist and blogger, producer and professor. As part of her duties at Grady, she teaches students writing for digital media, digital media production and co-supervises the daily production of the online news show Grady Newsource. She serves as adviser to UGA’s student NABJ chapter and serves on a number of non-profit boards including chairing the Atlanta Youth Commission and the National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs.. In addition to her work as a professor ans service to the ocmmunity, she is founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire, an online news publication covering the African Diaspora, editor-at-large for The Root.com and a contributor to The Huffington Post. She has recently contributed to digital and social media projects with the City of Atlanta, National Newspaper Publishers of America (NNPA) and Gotham City, LLC. Dr. Burton is co-editor of the book Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability (SUNY) and has recently written chapters on Mad Men, Being Mary Jane, How to Get Away with Murder and Soap for academic edited volumes.
She holds degrees from Northwestern University (B.S. Radio, Television and Film production), New York University (M.A. Cinema Studies), University of Pennsylvania (M.A. Communication) and the University of Southern California (Ph.D. Critical Studies in TV and Film).
Selwyn Crawford has worked for The Dallas Morning News since 1988, first as a staff writer covering courts for The News’ Fort Worth Bureau, then as a senior staff writer covering general assignments in the Metro department, then as an assistant city editor and bureau chief for the Arlington/Grand Prairie bureau. Crawford is now an assigning editor in the news vertical, with coverage responsibility for the suburbs throughout North Texas. In addition to those duties, Crawford is also the director of The News’ acclaimed college intern program. Before moving to Dallas, Crawford worked for seven years as a reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. A native of Gainesville, Florida, Crawford earned his bachelor’s degree in 1981 from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Paul Crum is vice president of news operations and affiliate services for CNNUS/CNN Newsource at CNN Worldwide. Crum’s role at CNN encompasses business operations and strategic initiatives with many touch points –news operations, technology initiatives and newsgathering. Crum also serves as the operational head of CNN’s affiliate service, CNN Newsource. For Newsource, Crum oversees all cross-platform content operations and production. He leads all product operations and works very close with Newsource Sales in serving CNN’s 1,000-plus affiliate partners. Crum is currently leading CNN’s distribution strategy for all of CNN’s domestic and international affiliate businesses. In addition to his work with affiliates, Crum works on many strategic initiatives for CNN/U.S. He contributed to the All-Platform-Journalist initiative at CNN, coordinating its first APJ in Minneapolis. Newsource is comprised of TV stations and cable news channels throughout North America and is the world’s most widely syndicated news service. Crum has produced news events around the world from Havana, Bosnia, the Middle East, and including the 1997 G-8 Summit, the 2000 U.S. political conventions and many breaking news scenes. Before joining CNN in 1995, Crum was a producer for CONUS satellite news service. He began his career at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minn. Crum is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.
Joe Dennis is an assistant professor of mass communications at Piedmont College and serves as adviser of The Roar, the college’s student-run newspaper. He previously served as a public service faculty member at the University of Georgia, teaching in the Grady College and directing the Georgia Scholastic Press Association. Before entering education, Dennis was news editor of The Walton Tribune in Monroe, Georgia, and a disc jockey for Cox Communications radio stations. His writing has won awards from the Georgia Press Association and Georgia Sportswriters Association. He currently conducts research on the college press, specifically advising practices.
Managing Editor for Summer 2017, John Durham is a senior at the University of Georgia. A long-time member of The Red & Black’s award-winning sports desk, he will serve as chief Sports Editor in the fall. He is a William H. Fields scholarship recipient.
Mike Fomil has been doing live television for about thirty years. Currently serving as a freelance field producer for the Weather Channel, NBC, ABC, and anyone else who will pay him, Mike has also produced a consumer news franchise, managed technology projects, and chased tornadoes. He is known in the industry as a master b-roll scrounger, a decent photographer, and an outstanding problem solver. Mike thinks too much time is spent in meetings.
Currently serving as editor in chief of Creative Loafing Atlanta, Carlton Hargro has worked as an editor/writer for a variety of local and national magazines, newspapers and websites for more than 20 years. He served a lengthy stint as the editor in chief of Creative Loafing Charlotte, where he helped the paper garner a number of awards from the North Carolina Press Association and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.
Erica A. Hernandez
Erica A. Hernandez is a multimedia journalist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She joined the AJC via Cox Media Group’s award winning Digital Talent Program after graduating from the University of Florida in May 2015. She is a Miami native, a recently licensed drone pilot and not your average iPhone addicted millennial.
Dr. Keith Herndon is a Professor of Practice in Journalism, and serves as director of the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership. He has more than 30 years experience in the media and technology industries as a reporter, editor, technologist and consultant. He earned his Ph.D. in media and information from Australia’s Curtin University in 2011. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.
Jennifer Jenkins is on the News Partnerships team at Facebook and focuses on training and tools for journalists. Prior to joining Facebook in 2014, she was a senior staff editor for The New York Times, based in the Paris office. Before that she was the lead home page editor for The Times in New York, where she focused on breaking news and mobile platforms. She’s also a proud alum of CNN.com, Headline News and the Miami Herald.
Adam Levin is co-founder of Credit.com and the chairman and founder of CyberScout (formerly IDT911). His experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit, and is the author of “SWIPED: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves,” a practical, lively book that is essential to surviving the ever-changing world of online security. He has an AB in Political Science from Stanford University (1971) and a JD from the University of Michigan, School of Law. He was twice nominated to run for the U. S. House of Representatives from his home state of New Jersey.
Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, is an experienced commercial litigation attorney who joined SPLC after practicing with the Atlanta-based law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and clerking for federal judges on the Northern District of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Before law school, LoMonte was an award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist in state Capitol bureaus in Florida and Georgia and in Washington, D.C., with the Morris newspaper chain. LoMonte graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a senior editor of the Georgia Law Review.
Dorrine Mendoza is a member of the News Partnerships team at Facebook in New York City. In her role she works on the Facebook Journalism Project, scaled education on Facebook products and journalist safety. Formerly she was the Senior Social Media Producer at CNN Digital. Duties included creating content for CNN.com and assisting with flagship social accounts. A central function of this position was to increase side-door traffic through social to the digital CNN properties through new platforms, strategy and creative storytelling. Business skills include testing and negotiating with social measurement and discovery platforms, building internal awareness of social opportunities and identifying trends to drive editorial decision-making. In both roles she has the opportunity to meet and collaborate with interesting, passionate and enthusiastic entrepreneurs! Before coming to CNN she was an online content producer at the North County Times, where she did social media and online community management. She has more than 10 years experience in print, broadcast and new media journalism, blending these disciplines to produce engaging and responsive coverage. Awards include an Associated Press Managing Editors award for reporting in 1998, a broadcast Emmy in 2007, and President’s Award for Innovation in in 2010. She led the North County Times initiative to Livestream their first event – the Escondido “bomb house” burning, and was the first North County Times journalist to live blog from a local trial. As a member of the Online News Association she is active in several groups focused on improving digital news delivery including #wjchat and the Facebook group, Social Journalism.
Philana Patterson is Money editor at USA TODAY in New York where she leads business and financial coverage across all formats including digital, print and and video. Before moving to USA TODAY in 2015, Patterson served as assistant business editor at The Associated Press where she helped oversee global business and financial coverage and had a major role in implementing groundbreaking work automating corporate earnings stories using natural language generation software. Previously, she served as Interactive Media Editor at Black Enterprise magazine and worked as a producer for several Bloomberg News programs including its morning and evening drive radio broadcasts. Prior to delving into editing and producing, Patterson was a stock market reporter at Bloomberg, and covered retailing for Dow Jones Newswires and The Daily Press in Newport News Virginia. She started her professional career as a feature writer at The Greenville News in Greenville, South Carolina. She also has freelanced for publications including Essence magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun and New York real estate publication The Real Deal. Patterson served as the project manager for the 2009 volume “International Perspectives on Social Entrepreneurship” and was the writer of 2010’s “Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness” by Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson.
Patterson is a native of Chicago. She earned a degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Dan Petty is director of audience development at Digital First Media, the parent company of The Denver Post where he was previously a Senior Editor. Petty also leads Google News Lab training across the country as part of a program with the Society of Professional Journalists. He focuses extensively on audience development, search engine optimization and social media. Petty had joined the Denver Post in 2009 and was previously digital director of sports and social media editor. Petty holds a B.A. in journalism and a B.S. in biology from the University of Richmond.
Sean Powers is a producer and reporter for “On Second Thought.” Powers is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. In 2012, he completed a fellowship at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He moved to Atlanta after working as a reporter for the public radio station in Urbana, Ill. His reporting has earned him about a dozen Associated Press awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five national PRNDI awards, a first place award for best use of sound from the Atlanta Press Club, and recognition from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. After a long week of public radio, Powers enjoys live jazz and soul food. He also mentors teenage journalists who report for VOX Teen Communications, a magazine in Atlanta. In addition to his work at GPB, he also oversees the development of several podcasts for an audio book company in Atlanta called ListenUp Audiobooks.
Akili-Casundria Ramsess was named executive director of the National Press Photographers Association in 2016. Ramsess started her career as a staff photographer at the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner and as an independent photojournalist in the Los Angeles area where she covered news, entertainment, and sports for local newspapers, wire services, and national magazines. Ramsess was the features photo editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and she spent eight years in a variety of roles at the San Jose Mercury News, including being their deputy director of photography/print. Then she served as a photography editor, multimedia producer, and the director of photography for the Orlando Sentinel from 2007 until 2011. She started her own business in 2012, Eye of Ramsess Media, an independent photography and multimedia production company based in Atlanta. The NPPA headquarters are located at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
Ana Santos is the distribution editor for the National Content Desk at Cox Media Group. Ana oversees how newspapers, television stations and radio stations promote national news digitally and develops social media and search engine optimization strategies. Ana previously worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, working on digital audience development and hyperlocal news. Ana was an Associated Press Global News Intern in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup and Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar at American University in Washington, D.C.
As the Atlanta Now Coach, Rodney Thrash manages a team of breaking news specialists housed at the newspaper’s sister company, WSB-TV. He describes his focus as getting the most urgent digital report to the readers of ajc.com. Thrash, a 2002 graduate of Northwestern University, started at the AJC in November 2013 as a breaking news specialist.
Butch Ward is senior faculty and former managing director at The Poynter Institute, where he teaches leadership, editing, reporting and writing. He worked for 27 years in newspapers, at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore News American, and was managing editor in both newsrooms. Before joining Poynter in 2005, Butch spent three years being covered by journalists as Vice President for Corporate and Public Affairs at Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia. Butch has taught and facilitated programs for print and broadcast newsrooms and for journalism associations, including the Committee of Concerned Journalists, American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors. He has taught leadership and narrative writing to journalists in South Africa and Australia, and has helped lead specialized Poynter conferences on subjects ranging from gun violence to America’s New Veterans to the impact of social media in election campaigns. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Butch lives in Wallingford, Pa., with his wife, Donna, who helps run the library for a kindergarten academy of 250 students.
Billy Weeks has worked as a journalist for over 33 years. His career started with the Chattanooga Times in 1984 as a staff photographer. In 1995, he became the Photo Team Leader, and in 1999 he was named Director of Photography/Graphics at The Chattanooga Times Free Press and in 2010 he became an independent documentary photographer. As a photojournalist, Weeks has covered assignments that range from the World Series to small villages in Central America and Asia. His photographs of poverty in Honduras were selected as an award of Excellence for editorial photography in the Communication Arts Photography Annual. Additionally, he has won the Gordon Parks International Photography award twice and was a finalist ten times. He was awarded the Freedom of Information award from the Georgia Associated Press and many other awards for journalism. CNN and Photography District News featured his photographs on baseball in the Dominican Republic and Central America. His work has been exhibited at the New America Foundation in New York City, Hunter Museum of American Art, Art of Photography Show, Slow Exposures, South x Southeast, and several universities. Weeks is a lecturer in photojournalism at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and adjunct instructor at Southern Adventists University. He has been a visiting speaker at many Universities and a presenter at several workshops for photojournalism. He believes that not only should journalists cover their assignment, but should also give something back to their profession. Today he lives in Ringgold, Georgia with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs.
Kim Wilson founded Social News Desk after having worked in local news for 10 years. When social media started to become a big deal, she had a big idea. What if she could create the social media management tool she never had… but always needed? Something designed specifically for journalists? Well, that’s exactly what she did. Using her own newsroom experience as a guide, Kim and her team developed Social News Desk’s unique feature set which gives news organizations the power to enforce best practices, increase engagement, measure results, secure account access and monetize social media. More than 2000 newsrooms on 5 continents now use Social News Desk’s software tools.