Alumni Award Profile: Maura Friedman

The following is one installment of a series recognizing alumni and friends who will be honored at the 2023 Grady Salutes celebration on April 28, 2023. For more details, please see our posts about our Fellowship honorees, Alumni Award recipients and Dean’s Medalist.

  • Friedman looks through various photos of birds at the National Geographic office.


Congratulations to Maura Friedman (ABJ ‘13), recipient of the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award.

Friedman is a senior photo editor at National Geographic where she curates and commissions photography on stories across print, digital and social media.

Before starting at National Geographic, Friedman worked at the Urban Institute, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, and as a freelance visual journalist producing stories across the Southeast United States.

Friedman takes a photo in a cemetery.

She has produced work for many well-known organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Whole Foods and YouTube. Friedman has also served on juries and portfolio reviews for organizations such as American Photography 39, Visa Pour L’Image and the International Center of Photography.

Friedman has been recognized with several awards for her work as an editor as well as for her work in the field. Her own visual work has won Tennessee Associated Press awards, a Dart Award and it has been part of a Pulitzer finalist special project.

During her time at UGA, Friedman received her Bachelor’s in Magazine Journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism. She also completed the New Media Certificate. She decided to pursue a career in photojournalism because she truly enjoys it.

“I was trying to figure out what to do when I was graduating and I thought to myself, ‘What has felt like the least amount of work?’ And that was photojournalism,” Friedman said.

The path to photojournalism

Friedman has been interested in photography since she was little. Because of her mom’s background in art history, she grew up going to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. During these visits, she would take pictures of the artwork, and she even remembers saving up her babysitting money to buy her first DSLR camera: a Canon Rebel.

When Friedman arrived at UGA, she knew that she was interested in studying magazine journalism. However, it wasn’t until she immersed herself in organizations like Ampersand Magazine that her passion for photojournalism began to take root.

“I was becoming the managing editor at Ampersand, and I was like, ‘I need to have some context for leading the photo editor and these teams of photographers.’” Friedman said. “So I dove a lot more into [photojournalism] and decided to apply to the emphasis and I ended up loving it.”

Friedman said that her time at Grady College and her involvement in different organizations on campus prepared her well for life after UGA.

Friedman poses with other students in her photojournalism class at UGA.

“The way that we conducted ourselves at The Red & Black and Ampersand, along with the expectations from all of my professors, and especially Mark Johnson, has made such an impact on me,” she said.

After graduation, Friedman decided to pursue a career in photojournalism. With the help of Grady funding, she attended a northern short course workshop through the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). There she met a leader in NPPA who was also a friend of Professor Johnson’s, and she asked him to look over her portfolio.

“He looked at my photos and he was like, ‘Do you really want to do this?’ And I was like, ‘Yes,’” Friedman said. “And he essentially said, ‘Okay, well, you’re not very good, so you should just take a lot more photos and I would suggest that you apply to one of the six month newspaper internships around the country because you’ll get a lot of experience and be taking photos every day.’”

Friedman took his advice to heart and created a spreadsheet of all of the newspaper internships and then applied to every single one. She diligently followed up with each of them and ended up getting a position at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Friedman said that the Times Free Press had had a great experience with UGA interns before, but that her persistence also probably helped her secure the internship.

“I think they were a little eager to go back to UGA interns and also, I was told later that I was given a phone interview so I would stop calling the newsroom,” she said.

Persistence is key

As she has moved forward in her career, Friedman has noticed that new doors continue to open as a result of seeking out overlaps between her interests and gaps in the interests of others.

“When I was at the Times Free Press, it was a pretty seasoned team of photo journalists and so they weren’t very eager about video,” Friedman said. “So I worked a lot on video and was able to kind of pitch myself into a multimedia reporter position.”

Friedman smiles with her camera during her internship at Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Friedman also took the time to invest in new skills that didn’t necessarily fall directly within the responsibilities of her role at the time. She turned to the larger photojournalism community, attending workshops and getting connected with people in order to continue learning and pursuing her interests.

“I learned about how editors work with stories and curation… and people were always like, ‘Oh, if you need someone to look through an assignment, Maura can do it,’” Friedman said. “The Week also used to have a photo column that I wrote for them for free with the caveat that the editor, when she inevitably rearranged my whole photo edit, would tell me why she did that and kind of walk me through the process.”

All of this learning and searching for overlaps led Friedman to her jobs at the Urban Institute and National Geographic.

“A lot of opportunities or things that ended up helping me stand out or advance just came from looking at issues with curiosity,” Friedman said.

National Geographic

During her time as a senior photo editor, Friedman has been able to build long-lasting relationships with the photographers who she works with. Additionally, National Geographic still has a filing system which does not allow you to delete any images, so the editors look at every single picture taken by the photographers.

Friedman edits the Appian Way story at the National Geographic office.

“When I’m going through someone’s entire take, it feels like I can tell what they’re feeling and what they’re thinking,” Friedman said. “And it makes for really productive conversations.”

She added that advancing the work of these photographers is one of the most rewarding parts of her job as a senior photo editor.

“For me, it’s most rewarding when I talk to photographers and our collaboration has, in some way, advanced their body of work, whether it’s that the assignment that we did has been meaningful and has contributed to the archive that they’re building, or that they were on assignment for someone else and heard me in their head,” Friedman said.

One of her favorite pieces that she has worked on so far is a story on the Appian Way, one of the first and most famous ancient roads. Friedman really enjoyed being able to work with photographer Andrea Frazzetta on this project.

“He and I gelled really well,” Friedman said. “We’re both pretty esoteric thinkers, so a lot of our brainstorming was exchanging heroes’ epics and being like, ‘We want to photograph it like the Italian academic period.’”

Working with Frazzetta was also a full-circle moment for Friedman. She sat in on a meeting with him and another photo editor at the start of her time at National Geographic and she said that he was one of the first photographers to really talk to her and look her in the eye in those meetings.

Friedman poses for a picture with photographer Andrea Frazzetta on the Appian Way.

“Andrea is a great guy and was one of the first people to be really nice to me when I showed up at National Geographic and no one knew me. You definitely get treated differently everywhere you go as a woman,” Friedman said. “It feels great to now be working with him in this professional capacity.”

Advice for Grady students

When asked what she would tell herself at 20 years old, Friedman said that she would tell herself that everything works out and to stop being so hard on herself. She would also tell herself to look at more photography.

“I think I was really focused on productivity and making stories and checking things off versus really exploring documentary photography and all sorts of inspiring spaces and getting to know my taste,” Friedman said.

She added that it took her a long time to develop her own taste in photography and that she sees that same gap in lots of other young photographers.

“I think that’s important, not so that you can have an answer for me when I ask about it, but so that you have your own kind of North Star,” Friedman said.

Some of the photographers that Friedman looks up to are Sally Mann, Larry Sultan, Jonas Bendiksen and Alessandra Sanguinetti.

Friedman also shared some of the best advice that she has ever received, which has helped her in her career.

“There are three important things, and you only have to pick two: you can be really good, you can be really nice, or you can be on time,” Friedman said. “I really think that everyone who has a long career fits into those spaces.”

Something else that Friedman has learned throughout her career is the importance of trusting your own creative vision and of finding people whose work you admire and whose input you value.

“I think it is important to decide whose voices matter to you and who you trust,” Friedman said. “You’re always right in your vision.”

Alumni Award Profile: Yolanda Taylor Brignoni

The following is one installment of a series recognizing alumni and friends who will be honored at the 2023 Grady Salutes celebration on April 28, 2023. For more details, please see our posts about our Fellowship honorees, Alumni Award recipients and Dean’s Medalist.

  • Brignoni (right) and her roommate stand in the hallway of their dorm (Mary Lyndon Hall) at UGA.

Congratulations to Yolanda Taylor Brignoni (ABJ ‘98), recipient of the 2023 Mid-Career Achievement Award.

Brignoni is the VP of External Affairs and Communications at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), a nonprofit organization working to prevent pediatric HIV infection and eliminate pediatric AIDS.

Brignoni has more than two decades of experience directing strategic communications campaigns for government, corporate and nonprofit clients. Through these campaigns, she works to motivate action and fuel social change; she is passionate about helping others and making a difference in the world around her.

An active member in many organizations, Brignoni is involved in ColorComm, Public Relations Society of America and Jack and Jill of America. She was also handpicked to serve on the communications board for Optum Labs, and in 2020, she was selected to be on the Forbes Communications Council. 

Brignoni interviews Ebony Thomas, now president of the Bank of America Foundation, about the importance of Juneteenth as part of Axios’ “View from the Top” executive series.

Brignoni has won several awards for her work in communications and journalism, including recognitions from Adweek, PR News, PRWeek and the Georgia Press Association.

Prior to working at EGPAF, Brignoni served as the head of communications for Axios Media, and the organization won its first Emmy under her leadership.

Brignoni graduated from UGA with Bachelor’s degrees in Newspapers and International Affairs, and she received her Master of Public Administration from George Washington University. She is inspired by her family and attributes her success to her hard work and curiosity.

What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?

Grady offered me opportunities to explore all of my career interests – writing, storytelling, journalism, politics, international affairs – in one place. I wrote for The Red & Black, interned in the public relations department at the Georgia Museum of Art, and even looked into becoming a DJ for a campus station. Grady also helped me secure a summer internship in Sen. Max Cleland’s press office that completely cemented my love for politics, foreign affairs, and all things DC. With each opportunity, I gained real-world experience and a better understanding of what would be a good fit for me once I left college.

What skills, values and/or circumstances do you attribute to your success?

Curiosity and hard work. I have always been curious about the world and its people – how things came to be and what makes people tick. The hunger for knowledge led me to continue my education in graduate school and to be constantly seeking new opportunities to learn new things and expand my skill-set. Coupled with my curiosity, I have an incredibly strong work ethic. From a young age, my parents stressed to me that you do the best job you can do at whatever you are assigned. I carried that with me into my working life too. Transitioning from newspapers to public relations required a big learning curve; I threw myself into every task – eager to learn. I would volunteer to do whatever I could in order to be exposed to new aspects of the industry and learn. I knew I did not know everything, but no one could outwork me and I knew practice made progress. That can-do attitude, and dedication to excellence, opened doors for me. Executives would seek me out to add me to their team, and as my reputation grew, additional opportunities followed. I would also credit my Southern upbringing and values for my success. Southerners pride themselves on being honest and living with integrity. Those values are the foundation of how I have lived my life. The reporters – and colleagues – I have worked with know that they can depend on me to give them what I can when I can – straight with no PR “spin.” I treat people how I’d like to be treated.

Brignoni smiles for a picture at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2022 while serving as Axios Media’s head of communications.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self?

I would tell her that everything will not go according to her plan, but she will be so much better for it. I was (and still am, to some extent) a big planner, and I had my whole post-collegiate life mapped out. I was going to be a newspaper reporter who worked her way up to a big newsroom such as The New York Times or The Washington Post. But six months after starting my first journalism job after graduation, my paper closed down, and a few months later, I was back home and at The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga). The Telegraph was my hometown paper where I interned during high school and during UGA breaks. I never thought I would be back there; it definitely wasn’t part of my plan. But it ended up being the best thing for me at the time. I became much more connected to my craft and was surrounded by a community who taught me, loved me, and nurtured me. When I left Macon to come to Washington, DC, for my first job in public relations, I knew I was ready for whatever DC would throw at me. My time in Macon taught me that situations that at first look like setbacks can also be opportunities – to grow, stretch and learn. Now, instead of being so focused on what is next, I try to enjoy the present and embrace whatever lesson I am meant to learn at that stop on my journey.

What motivates you?

I describe myself as a do-gooder who knows how to get things done. I am most inspired and energized by work that helps others – whether supporting global women and girls at the United Nations Foundation, arming people age 50+ with health information to live their best lives at the AARP, or now, at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, fighting for an AIDS-free generation. It’s a privilege to use the skills that I have to make a difference in the world around me.

What does this recognition mean to you?

Brignoni (middle left) takes a picture with staff of the United Nations Foundation at a charity launch benefiting the UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign: a global effort to highlight UN programs for adolescent girls. The national tour won PR News’ 2011 award for launch public activities.

It is such an honor to be recognized by an institution that has shaped so many heroes of mine, including Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Deborah Roberts, and Maria Taylor. These are women who look like me, had similar dreams as mine, and have gone on to live extraordinary lives. Grady grounded me and helped set me on the path I am on now. Would I be living and working in Washington, DC, now if I had not first attended a summer political journalism program at Georgetown University? Would I have known it was even possible to go to DC if I had not first had Grady and Baldwin College professors who believed in me and championed me for that program? I would hope so, but I am extremely grateful that I had UGA’s support behind me as I took that first step. I hope my story will be an inspiration for others as they venture out into the working world.

Tickets to Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 28, 2023, are available for purchase. Register here.  

Alumni Award Profile: George L. Daniels (MA ’99, PhD ’02)

The following is one installment of a series recognizing alumni and friends who will be honored at the 2023 Grady Salutes celebration on April 28, 2023. For more details, please see our posts about our Fellowship honorees, Alumni Award recipients and Dean’s Medalist.

  • Group picture from 2001 of the research assistants in the Cox International Center, where Daniels worked as a graduate research associate.

Congratulations to George L. Daniels (MA ’99, PhD ’02), recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award. 

Daniels is an associate professor and Reese Phifer Fellow of Journalism and Creative Media at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He is also currently the president of the Alabama Communication Association and serves as the Faculty Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion for the Broadcast Education Association.

Recently, he received the U.S./U.K. Fulbright Global Challenge Teaching Award for Racial Justice. He’s the co-editor of “Teaching Race: Struggles, Strategies and Scholarship for the Mass Communication Classroom.” 

Daniels is currently completing his first sole-authored book entitled “Barrier Breakers: Media Educators Meeting the Diversity Challenge Across the Decades.”

Previously, Daniels worked for eight years as a local television news producer in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, and then in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Atlanta.

Following are answers from an interview with Daniels, which have been edited for length and clarity.

Grady College: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?

In March 2023, Daniels joined two of his students in his Spring 2023 service learning class in presenting a panel at the Discerning Diverse Voices Symposium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

George L. Daniels: By far, the experiences as a graduate research associate in two of Grady’s research projects have had the biggest influence on where I am today. As a master’s student, I was fortunate to be the research associate in the Michael J. Faherty Broadcast Management Laboratory.

When I arrived in 1997, the lab was just in its second year of operation. I learned how to do research projects by being directly involved in them. Additionally, the lab was tied to my teaching media management and programming course in what was then the Department of Telecommunications. 

After completing my master’s degree, as a Ph.D. student, I was given a graduate research assistant assignment in the Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research. Working for two years in the Cox International Center, I assisted with the Annual Surveys for Mass Communication Enrollments and Graduates. This placed me on the team to not only do data collection, but also participate in the presentations at national conferences. Even though the national surveys have moved to another institution, the reports we produced as a research team are still ones to which I refer in my research today. 

GC: What skills and/or values and/or circumstances do you attribute to your success?

GD: The three skills or values that I most attribute to my success are, one, research project development, two, team leadership and, three, understanding higher education. 

Thanks to the research assistant roles, I gained valuable knowledge as a Grady graduate student on how to put together a research project and use whatever method best answers my question. 

The second skill/value would be team leadership. Over the years, I’ve found myself in leadership roles and draw on the skills I learned in the television news industry and in graduate school to influence others to follow my direction. 

Last but not least, I developed skills in understanding the arena of academe. This is quite different from the television news industry, where I worked for eight years. Not all higher education institutions have the same mission, and the dynamics of committees and departments differ. 

GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

GD: Take advantage of the Grady alumni network. There are so many of us everywhere.  We’re working in all areas of the mass media and journalism and mass communication education.  Don’t take for granted the top-notch learning facilities and world class faculty you find in Grady College. It’s second to none. Appreciate it and know that with that opportunity comes an expectation to excel when you graduate. There is nothing you can’t accomplish as a Grady graduate.   

GC: What advice do you have for today’s young professionals?

GD: Be flexible and teachable. Even though you have all of your training from Grady, our media workplaces are changing so rapidly, one has to be in a posture of readiness to adapt quickly to change. 

GC: What do you miss the most about being at UGA?

GDI miss many of the people with whom I worked and lived there in Athens. Except for my first year as a master’s student, I spent four of the five years in the master’s and Ph.D. programs living on campus. I was there around-the-clock and struck up so many informal conversations in the graduate student carrels of Grady or in the Main Library. I have fond memories of the Bible study groups on Friday night and the outreach to schools in the Clarke County School District. At UGA, we were truly a part of a much larger community than our own campus.

GC: What does this recognition mean to you?

GD: While I have been blessed to receive many research and teaching awards over the years, this recognition by Grady College is the highest honor I’ve received as a scholar.   

Yes, I am the recipient most recently of an award from the U.S./U.K. Fulbright Commission. But, even a Fulbright award pales in comparison to one from my beloved Grady College. It means you view what I’ve become is worthy of recognition. It means what I’ve done so far in my research, teaching and professional leadership is on the right track—representing the highest standard of quality that comes with being a production of the Grady College.  

GC: What motivates you?

GD: Of course, first and foremost, my actions are directly by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God put me on this earth to make a difference with every encounter, activity, project or accomplishment. Thus, I am motivated by the knowledge that I’m always fulfilling a God-given purpose.  

I’m using my spiritual gift of teaching in an awesome way. I know that God so ordained and directed my steps to the Atlanta Metro area where, in the late 1990s, I discovered Grady College while working in the television news arena. 

GC: Are there any books or podcasts that you would recommend to our students?

GD: Definitely every Grady student must read “In My Place” by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. As a master’s student in my first year, I read that 1992 book by the woman who was one of the two students to integrate the University of Georgia.

Tickets to Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 28, 2023, are available for purchase. Register here.  

Alumni Award Profile: Julia Carpenter

Julia Carpenter (ABJ ’13) is this year’s recipient of the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award, honoring a graduate of the last decade who has experienced a successful early career.

Carpenter is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. She previously worked at both CNN and The Washington Post, and has also written for publications including Glamour, Vogue and New York Magazine.

Covering stories on gender, culture, finance, technology and everything in between, Carpenter has received several awards for her reporting. In 2019, she was honored with the Excellence in Business Coverage Award from The Association of LGBTQ Journalists for her story “When Work Puts You Back in the Closet,” published in CNN Business. In 2020, she received a Front Page Award in the Personal Service category from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for her reporting in WSJ’s “The New Rules of Money” series.

In addition to reporting, Carpenter also publishes a daily newsletter, “A Woman to Know,” and mentors aspiring writers through Girls Write Now.

Following is a brief interview with Carpenter:

GC: What is it about your field that appeals the most to you? Why did you decide to enter that field?

JC: I’m a big talker and an obsessive journaler. As soon as teachers saw those two things, they started recommending I think about studying journalism. In my career now, those two things — my chattiness and my note-taking — are huge strengths of mine. As a student, I loved the idea that journalists could ask anyone about anything and spend all day learning about everything. Even today, I’m still marveled that I will think “I wonder how that’s going to work?” and then I’ll call someone and say, “You’re the expert, and I’m a journalist — can you tell me how that’s going to work?”

Carpenter is currently based in New York City, where she reports for The Wall Street Journal (Photo: submitted).
GC: Looking back at your time at Grady, is there anything you wish you had done (classes you had taken, skills you would have liked to have learned, clubs to be involved with) that would help you with what you are doing today?

JC: As a college student, I was so intent on double-majoring (in English and in journalism) and excelling at the student newspaper. I wish I had taken more classes just for fun! Looking back on my time at UGA, I can truly think of only a handful of classes I took that weren’t fulfilling a requirement or adding to some other part of resume. If I could go back, I like to think I would do that differently. I know I would be a better writer for it, that’s for sure. 

GC: What would you tell your 20-year-old self?

JC: There’s no “right way” to build a career and a creative life. Stop trying to find it! Go to Marti’s and eat some pita chips.

Carpenter graduated In 2013 with a degree in journalism (Photo: submitted).
GC: What motivates you?

JC: The day after I publish a piece, I set aside time to read all the tweets, emails and comments responding to it. Sure, some of them are negative, and many require an eye roll or, in bad cases, a block and report. But I save all the emails that say, “you put words to what I was experiencing” or “thank God someone finally said this!” or — this one most of all — “I thought I was the only one.” Those motivate me. 

GC: Is there anything else you would like to share?

JC: I have spent countless hours, therapy sessions and fat baby tears stressing over finding a mentor. Everyone kept telling me “Do you have a mentor? You need a mentor!” and at all these different points in my career, I resolved to find a mentor who (I presumed) could shepherd me to career enlightenment. But here’s the thing: my strongest advocates and best advice-givers and most generous sounding boards have always been people at the same level as me. Some of them I met at The Red & Black, some of them I met at internships and some of them I met during my early days at my first job. But we’ve all come up together, and grown together, and I want future students to know that building those connections is enough. Now, these peers are worth more to me than any idea I had of some “Fairy GodMentor.”

This is one in a series of profiles about our 2022 Alumni Award honorees and Fellowship inductees. 
All our honorees and inductees will be honored at Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 29, 2022 at Athens Cotton Press. Please visit our Grady Salutes registration webpage for more details. 


Alumni Award Profile: Julie Wolfe

Julie Wolfe’s (ABJ ’03) path to the news director’s chair at Seattle’s legacy television station KING 5 started at the University of Georgia, where she was president of DiGamma Kappa and news director at WUOG. She started her career as a reporter at KGWN in Cheyenne, WY, WGRZ in Buffalo, NY, and WXIA in Atlanta. When social media bloomed as a publishing platform, Wolfe turned her attention to digital journalism, taking on the roles of social media manager and then digital director at WXIA, before becoming the assistant news director. 

She took over as news director at WHAS in Louisville in 2018, leading the team through award-winning coverage of the Breonna Taylor case and launching its Emmy-winning investigative unit, FOCUS. Wolfe has been the news director at KING 5 in Seattle since June 2021. She served as a board member of RTDNA and is a graduate of The Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism and the Center for Creative Leadership.

Following is a brief interview with Wolfe:

GC: What skill(s) should graduates and young alumni focus on to have success early in their careers? 

JW: Relentless optimism. You need both. Optimism without relentlessness is just wearing rose-colored glasses. Young journalists need to remember that what they do is important, and when done well, has a lasting and positive impact on their community.

Wolfe organizing live wall-to-wall coverage as news director at WHAS in Louisville. (Photo: submitted)
GC: What is it about the broadcast news field that appeals the most to you? Why did you decide to enter that field?

JW: I’m one of those people who knew what I wanted to do from the time I was young. The idea of telling important stories that helps people make more informed decisions was something I felt I could dedicate a career to pursuing. Every day is different, and there is nothing that compares to the energy and adrenaline of a group of journalists working together on a big news day. 

GC: What do you miss the most about being at UGA?

JW: I made lifetime friends during my time at UGA. Now, more than 20 years later, we’re spread around the country, but still support each other and cheer for the Dawgs. 

Wolfe with a group of KING 5 journalists outside KING 5 studios in Seattle, WA. (Photo: submitted)
GC: What would you tell your 20-year-old self?

JW: It’s okay to take a breath, a moment, a year. I was in such a hurry to get to the next step at every phase of my career, I look back and realize I didn’t always get the most out of where I was before moving to the next chapter. Right now, at 20 years old, you’re building who you ARE. There’s plenty of time to build what you’ll DO.

GC: What does this recognition mean to you?

JW: When Dean Davis called me about the award, I was so overwhelmed. It’s a difficult time to be a journalist. As a leader in journalism right now, I feel a huge responsibility to leave our industry in a better place: a place where we can continue to do important and vital work, dedicated to facts. A recognition at mid-career is a nod that you’ve done some things but have a lot more to do. It’s a position I’m embracing, and this celebration, to me, is a reminder that there is so much work left to be done. 

GC: What are your best strategies for keeping up to date with industry advancements?
Wolfe with Sr. Assignment Editor Kendra Gilbert KING 5. (Photo: submitted)

JW: Consuming news on all platforms exposes me to up-to-date information, but also creative and interesting ways to communicate that information. I’m an avid podcast listener so I can multitask. I also consume much of my news on mobile, and I think there’s still a lot of interactive presentation work to do on how we present news on the platform where people are consuming on the go. With Neilson now including BBO homes  (Broadband Only), we’re better poised to understand how viewers are watching local news on those platforms. While it’s important to keep searching for the best ways to use technology to collect, understand and deliver news, it’s also important to me that LOCAL JOURNALISM remains at the center of those advancements.

GC: Is there anything else you would like to share?

JW: Grady College of Journalism will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s where the seeds of this career, this life, were first planted. Because of the great professors and great experiences I had then, I’ve built a fulfilling journalism career on that foundation.

This is one in a series of profiles about our 2022 Alumni Award honorees and Fellowship inductees. 
All our honorees and inductees will be honored at Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 29, 2022 at Athens Cotton Press. Please visit our Grady Salutes registration webpage for more details.