Cox Institute’s eBook from The Lead Podcast Wins Gold Medals

This story was originally published on the Cox Institute page here.

An eBook featuring excerpts of interviews from The Lead podcast won two gold medals in the 2020 eLit Book Awards competition, which recognizes excellence in digital publishing.

The eBook entitled News Leadership: Conversations about Journalism and its Future was released by Kendall Hunt Publishing in December as a project of the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership, which also produces the podcast.

News Leadership received its first gold medal in a current events category for political, economic, legal and media topics. The eBook received its second gold medal in the category recognizing best use of multimedia.

“It was a pleasure to be able to synthesize important leadership and ethical concepts into an interactive tool for journalism students and educators,” said Charlotte Norsworthy, the Cox Institute’s Morris Master’s Fellow, who was the eBook’s lead editor. “By making these concepts more accessible, we are able to better equip students entering a fluctuating news industry.”

The eLit Books Awards, in their eleventh year, are a global awards program open to all members of the electronic publishing industry. The contest is presented by Jenkins Group Inc., a Michigan-based book publishing and marketing services company that has operated the popular Independent Publisher Book Awards contest since 1996. Electronic books written in English and created for the global marketplace were eligible for entry in 65 categories.

News Leadership features insights from established professionals and emerging thought leaders gleaned from their candid conversations with student hosts, including Norsworthy. Their insights offer advice, provide context, and create a sense of optimism for an industry grappling with transformative disruption.

The Lead podcast debuted in the Fall 2016 semester with Daniel Funke as its original student host for the first two semester-length seasons. Nate Bramel and Noelle Lashley took over hosting responsibilities for seasons three and four and Norsworthy led seasons five, six and seven.  In the upcoming season eight, which will debut during the fall semester, Norsworthy moves into the producer’s chair and will direct the episodes featuring the new student host, Caroline Odom.

Guests from The Lead who are featured in the eBook include Pulitzer Prize winners Alex Jones and Nick Chiles, Peabody Award winner Bob Sullivan, local television news legend Monica Kaufman-Pearson and renowned journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault. They are among the dozens of guests who share valuable words of advice with the student hosts and their audiences.

“The Lead podcast has evolved into an important educational resource for presenting insights into the leadership challenges confronting the news media,” said Keith Herndon, the Cox Institute’s director and co-editor of the eBook. “We are excited for this work to be recognized with these eLit Book Awards.”

News Leadership can be purchased through Kendall Hunt at

Kendall Hunt Publishing is a family owned and operated publishing company celebrating a 75-years history. The company has an immense library of course content with over 10,000 print and digital titles. For more information about the publisher, visit:

Norsworthy and Herndon recorded a special bonus episode of The Lead featuring a discussion on the book’s production, which was posted with the book’s release. The episode can be heard here.

Norsworthy Inducted into Sphinx Society, UGA’s Highest Student Honor

Charlotte Norsworthy, a Master’s degree student at Grady College, was inducted this semester into the Sphinx Society, which is recognized as UGA’s highest student honor.

Norsworthy is in her first semester of graduate education, but has already served as the lead editor of a forthcoming digital and audio book on news media leadership and was the co-author of an innovative practice paper presented at the Association for Leadership Educators. She graduated earlier this year from Grady College with a degree in journalism.

Norsworthy serves as the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership as the Morris Masters Fellow, which is a graduate assistantship funded by the Morris Chair in News Strategy and Management.

Norsworthy and the other inductees were honored on the field at the UGA homecoming game on Oct. 19.

The Sphinx Society is the oldest honorary society at the University of Georgia, recognizing students, faculty, staff and alumni who have made significant contributions to the University, the State of Georgia and the nation. Induction into the Sphinx Society is the highest honor a student can receive at UGA.

“It is such an honor to have been inducted into Sphinx Society alongside some incredible peers,” Norsworthy said. “I am so grateful and humbled to continue this esteemed UGA tradition.”

Norsworthy is continuing her education at the graduate level following a stellar performance as a Grady undergraduate.  She received the George M. Abney Honors Award, which goes to the Grady graduating senior who achieved the most impressive record in the university’s honors program.  She was also honored as one of the “Top 100 Student Workers” in recognition of her excellent work as the host and producer of the Cox Institute’s podcast, “The Lead.” That work also led to her receiving the WSB Radio Innovation Award presented by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. She has continued serving as the podcast’s host this year.

“Charlotte’s decision to continue her education here was a win for the Grady College and the Cox Institute,” said Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute and holder of the Morris Chair. “She continues to pour tremendous effort into her journalism training and into her support of Grady and its programs.”

Before returning to Grady this fall, Norsworthy had a busy summer. She was in New York and Washington, D.C. as part of the Journalism in the Era of Disinformation Fellowship (JED). Following the JED Fellowship, Norsworthy was lead editor of  News Leadership: Conversations about Journalism and its Future, a digital book on media leadership based on the six seasons of interviews from The Lead podcast. The book will be published by Kendall-Hunt later this year.

Norsworthy, who also holds an undergraduate degree in political science, has interned at NPR, Turner Broadcasting and served as a Cox Innovation Fellow assigned to Ian Urbina, an investigative reporter with The New York Times.

Three journalism students awarded for Best Stories of Summer Contest

The Department of Journalism at Grady College has named three journalism students as winners of the Best Stories of Summer 2018 competition for outstanding reporting during their summer internship.

Jeanne Davis, Charlotte Norsworthy and Maddie Ray will each receive $250.

“The Journalism Department began this competition several years ago to celebrate the great work our students do in summer internships, which are so important to their education and their prospects for landing good jobs,” said Janice Hume, head of the Department of Journalism. “Internship supervisors have always raved about their work, but we rarely got to see it. Now we do. I love reading and watching these stories. They make me proud. These winners represent the best of the best.”

Writing for WUGA and Flagpole in Athens, Georgia, Davis authored pieces on the decline in fireflies and the United Campus Workers of Georgia campaign to lower parking fees on UGA’s campus.

“This summer I found myself drawing on techniques I learned in Dr. Hollander’s data journalism class while doing research for my piece on the campus worker’s labor union,” said Davis. “With income inequality on the rise for the past three decades, I think it’s important to make labor reporting a priority and I feel grateful to be even a small part of that.”

Norsworthy spent her summer at National Public Radio (NPR), reporting on the decline in teens working summer jobs, competitive job benefits in the labor market and the drop in unemployment rate for African Americans.

“This internship has inspired me to tackle difficult subject matter in journalism and has taught me to apply things like finances and politics in a way that you and I can understand,” Norsworthy said. “I am so grateful to have worked with NPR’s Business Desk this summer, and I hope to continue learning and reporting on those hard-to-digest stories.”

Ray interned at 11Alive in Atlanta, Georgia, reporting on a variety of stories in the Atlanta area.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better summer,” Ray reflected.  “I left my internship at 11Alive filled with excitement and motivation to continue working towards being the best journalist I can be so I can best serve my community.”

This is one of the many projects made possible by the Don E. and Carolyn McKenzie Carter Endowment for Journalism Excellence, the college’s first endowment of a departmental mission made possible by the generous support of the Carters.

“We are grateful to the late Carolyn and Don Carter for making this competition possible,” said Janice Hume.

This is the fourth year the Journalism Department has held the competition.


Norsworthy named to the ONA Student Newsroom for fall conference

Charlotte Norsworthy, a senior journalism major at Grady College, has been selected as one of 20 Newsroom and Innovation Lab students for the 2018 Online News Association Conference and Awards Ceremony.

The Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab immerses undergraduate and graduate college students in a digital media environment by providing hands-on experience during the three-day ONA conference held in Austin, Texas, in September.

Norsworthy successfully completed her undergraduate thesis in virtual reality journalism in December 2017.

Norsworthy has served as an investigative reporter, city news editor and news editor for The Red & Black newspaper. She has also served as president of the Online News Association and Society of Professional Journalists student chapters. This summer, Norsworthy has interned for NPR’s business news desk as a UGA Honors D.C. Program Scholar. She has served as an Innovation Fellow for the Cox Institute for the past year and will continue her fellowship this school year as the host of the podcast, “The Lead.”

Supported for the ninth year by Google News Initiative, the students will produce content and tools for the ONA18 Student Newsroom website before and during the conference under the personal guidance of professional mentors.

As part of the application, students and mentors were asked what they would like to implement as part of their role in the Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab. This innovation ranged from unexpected story ideas, to creative storytelling techniques, to new tools built by participants themselves — these are ideas that live at the intersection of content and product.

Students get the chance to attend conference programming led by experts in digital journalism, network with attendees and acquire and flex new digital media skills. All expenses — lodging, travel and registration fees — are paid.

A complete list of students selected for this honor can be viewed on the ONA conference website.