How local and national news editors cover a pandemic

Grady College asked news managers with experience in local and national media how outlets should cover the coronavirus pandemic.

Bob Furnad is 50-year veteran in broadcast news production and management with ABC and CNN among others on his resume. He served as president of CNN Headline News before retiring He also was a visiting associate professor at Grady College in the early 2000s.

Caitlyn Stroh-Page (ABJ ’15) is executive editor of the Athens Banner-Herald. She previously worked for the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Macon Telegraph.

Grady: In a global pandemic, how should a local/national news organization prioritize what to cover? 

Caitlyn Stroh-Page: Every community is going to be different in this answer, but we mirrored our population’s needs. The most pertinent issues in Athens were related to local businesses, food insecurity, the university and local government reaction. The ripple effect from the pandemic hits everyone and everything but, given our resources, we covered breaking news and tried to pick the things that would help our neighbors and inform Athenians best.

Bob Furnad: Whenever the news is provided, print, online or broadcast, the latest news which advances the story editorially leads your reporting with a recap of earlier developments. If it’s appropriate to freshen the story because of real or self-imposed deadline and there is no new development, create a bullet list of the known developments since last reported in the order they occurred.

 Grady: What does an audience need and demand from news sources in tragic times? 

Bob Furnad: A non-threatening presentation in either the written word or the spoken word. Indicate the lead as either “just in” or recap. A steady approach informs without creating panic. Include reporting the newest and if nothing new, the most significant. As much as possible, attribute observations rather than creating the appearance of acting as an expert observer. A seldom used approach if there is no outside observer could use an approach like, “some might say the fire seemed to…”.

Caitlyn Stroh-Page: Tragic times is a broad term, but there is one thing readers always need: transparent, credible information. Local news should act as your fact checkers, your resource megaphone and your hero highlighter in times of need.
We, in line with a greater trend in local media, elected to drop our paywall on coronavirus related coverage. This allowed readers to be informed and continue to use us as a resource, even if they were facing financial hardship.

 

Grady: How should news decision makers balance the medical aspects of the story and the economic ramifications?

 

Bob Furnad: Lead with the greater of the two. If the medical is threatening or otherwise alarming to one or few, use the words of an appropriate “expert” or someone well versed in the medical aspect. In print that’s obvious. In broadcast use a full-screen graphic of the quote. Then dive into the financial aspect.
The economic impact to an individual or to a body of individuals should be presented with how much impact there is positively or negatively for clarification. Again attribute. If the economic is greater than the medical, then lead as described as above

Grady: What can current Grady students learn from how news organizations cover coronavirus? 

Caitlyn Stroh-Page: There is much to learn from this pandemic, but my two biggest points would be: 1) always push for government transparency and 2) be adaptable. Just like everyone, we had to figure out how to keep doing our jobs, while abiding by government and safety guidelines. Our sports writers are covering news, as needed. We are covering an evolving news event and trying to keep up, in order to keep our readers updated. It’s a test of journalistic agility.

Bob Furnad: Learn from an absence of any editorial self-discipline.  The media are making the same mistakes in a lack of balance between the individuals contesting the election 2016 presidential campaign. This, even though the current situation being reported, is coverage of the C-19 epidemic and not a campaign event as such. The president is also a candidate.

Grady: Is there an aspect of local or national coverage that you think deserves more audience attention?

Caitlyn Stroh-Page: Many people could be getting fatigued by the day-to-day, minute-by-minute coverage at this point. It’s no less important now than it was weeks ago, but some want to know when we will return to normal. So, with that in mind, I think there are a lot of nuances of coronavirus that go under-noticed by readers. The biggest one I will highlight is the discrepancy between confirmed, reported cases and prevalence of COVID-19 in our community. We know that testing isn’t as available as it should be, and only those who pass a pre-screen will be tested. There are cases that are presumptive positives in the community that will never be recorded in statistics. On top of that, the numbers DPH reports twice daily only include the tests that have been confirmed positive, not negatives or what is still processing. Tests can take 7-10-plus days to process and return results. The Banner-Herald includes this information in its daily updates, but it’s hard to ensure readers understand how disparate the reported versus actual numbers could be.
Selfishly, I want people to know local newspapers are among businesses hardest hit by the economic downturn. While our readership numbers are up as people consume more news, our advertising and new subscription revenue has taken a nosedive. Businesses in our community have been forced to make difficult decisions, including suspending or significantly decreasing marketing budgets. Furloughs, layoffs, pay reductions and other cost-cutting measures have unfortunately been the response of the news industry to cover for lost revenue. The bottom line: it is increasingly more difficult to sustain the flow of vital local news to our readers.

 

 

#GradyGrit: Meet Yash Bhika

Why did you choose to study Journalism?

I chose to study journalism because I want to create content that people will connect and engage with.

 

How did it feel to be recognized as a 2019 McGill Fellow?

It was an amazing feeling being recognized as a McGill Fellow. I couldn’t have gotten to that position without the help of my peers and professors who have helped push me along the way. It was also great seeing seven other of my Grady Sports peers being recognized as McGill Fellows too.

 

What is the hardest part about being a Grady student?

The hardest part is trying to do everything. At Grady, there are so many opportunities around you that it is easy to want to do everything, but you have to put time into the projects you care about to get the best results.

 

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to work in social media for a sports team or company, such as ESPN.

 

What do you think is the most influential industry-related event to happen in the past 5 years?

The rise of social media has been huge. Social media is now where people go to for their breaking news. Reporters and news organizations are using social as a way to get news and content out to the world.

 

What academic superpower do you wish you had and why?

Being able to multitask efficiently would be great. There are so many tasks thrown at you sometimes, so it would be great to just be able to do them all at once.

 

Where do you get your news? Outlet, app, online vs. print?

For news I go to the New York Times and BBC News. For sport news, I use ESPN. I definitely read all my articles online on my laptop or on my phone.

 

If you were on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you and why?

I would have a book, speaker and some dumbbells. Time always goes by quickly for me when I’m reading a good book and having some nice background music will help with the reading experience. Also, it’s always great to get a workout in when you can.

Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.

Grady students complete 2019 Cox-SABEW Fellowships

A group of seven Grady College journalism students were recognized in New York City during the fall conference of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) through a fellowship organized by the college’s James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership.

The Cox-SABEW Fellows for 2019 were: Jada Bowman, Mikaela Cohen, Kelly Mayes, Skylar Nicholson, Erin Schilling, Amy Scott and Ashlyn Webb. The students were recognized during a luncheon held November 12 at Reuters in New York City.

The Cox-SABEW Fellowship was created to honor students who have taken the initiative to engage in financial journalism and business education through class assignments, student media and professional internships, said Dr. Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute. This year’s group marked the seventh year of the partnership with SABEW, which was created in 2013 and has recognized 31 participants.

The Cox-SABEW Fellows visited with Grady alum Polina Marinova (ABJ ’13), who is editor of The Term Sheet at Fortune magazine. (Courtesy: The James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership)

Amy Scott described the conference as an incredible opportunity to connect with business journalism professionals and learn more about what is going on in the industry. “I’m inspired by just how passionate and committed so many of these journalists are to their work,” she said.

This year’s program was the second year of a two-year readership initiative the Grady College established with Barron’s through a sponsorship by PagnoKarp, a wealth management and advisory firm.  As part of this initiative, the seven students were hosted at a luncheon by Lauren Rublin, Barron’s senior managing editor.

In addition to attending the SABEW conference and Barron’s luncheon, the students also met with business journalists from Fortune magazine, NPR and the Wall Street Journal. The Fortune visit featured meeting with Grady alumnus Polina Marinova (ABJ ’13), who writes The Term Sheet newsletter. The students also had dinner with Grady benefactor Adam Levin and were joined there by alums Taylor Cromwell (2017), a social media editor with The Wall Street Journal, and Lisa Fu (AB ’17), a reporter with Private Equity Real Estate magazine (PERE).

“I really enjoyed learning about business journalism from experts in the field. It showed me how diverse this field can be and how much business relates to all other beats,” said Erin Schilling. “I met business journalists and editors who inspired me to continue on this path and gave me amazing advice about how to be a better journalist.”

#GradyGrit: Meet Alexandra Rios

How did you choose to study Journalism?

I wanted to be a journalist since day one, never wanted to do anything else. People, places and ideas fascinate me. I am curious about the world: how people think, why they think the way they do and meeting people where they are. Journalism has always been important and is even more important today.

What are you passionate about?

I am always excited to see what other people are excited about. I want to tell stories: document people’s lives and tell stories that will illustrate what it is like living in this time.

What skills will you take away from Grady?

Before Grady, I did not know how to shoot on manual. I never had a story published or studied aboard. I learned all the fundamentals in class, but outside of class is when I put all my tools in my toolbox in practice. I shoot, edit and write all on my own, and it’s all because of Grady College.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from a mentor or instructor?

The difference between an ordinary person and an extraordinary person is the extra. Be intentional in everything you do and are.

What is your favorite quote and why?

I would not be the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication if it was not for my parents. My mom always told us, my four siblings and I, “Siempre hagas lo mejor que puedas y dios se encarga de todo lo de mas,” which means, “Always do your best and God will take care of the rest.” She says, it is sad to know that you can do something, but you don’t. Similarly, my dad says, “Hazlo que queries ahacer, pero hazlo,” which means, “Do what you want to do, but do it.” He has told us to never wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today. I always think about the sacrifices my parents have made for my siblings and I to be brought up in the United States. To be able to speak English, attend the best college in the country and live a life I do not deserve, I can never thank them enough.

Who is your professional hero?

Hasan Minhaj—not a journalist, but super close to being one—is my hero. The amount of research he does for the jokes he presents is impressive. Minhaj is a comedian and has won two of our very own Peabody Awards. He is super authentic and funny. The ability he has to get people to listen is the kind of skill student journalist and professionals, I think, strive to receive. The voice he gives for Muslims and minorities is the same voice I want to give to Latinos and minorities. Check out Hasan Minhaj’s remarks at the 2017 White House Correspondent’s Dinnerif you want to see what I am talking about.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

India, without even giving it a second thought. I am in love with the people, culture and, yes, the food! In fact, I have thought about going vegetarian multiple times now. On top of that, most of my diet is now vegetarian or, at least, it’s more plant-based than it has been in the past. I have also participated in religious celebrations, like Holi (Festival of Colors) and Diwali (Festival of Lights). I have even created a video for Holi as a Grady class assignment for Professor Shumway’s advanced video journalism class. I love everything Bollywood: the music and movies. Cricket is not that bad either. I have been learning the language for the past year now, and I am most excited about being able to speak Hindi to native speakers one day.

Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.

#GradyGrit: Meet Sofia Gratas

Why did you choose journalism as a major?

I didn’t want to be a journalist at first. I tried out a biology major when I first got into college and realized I didn’t really have a knack for science. I’ve always enjoyed writing and creating visual media, so once I got to UGA, it became clear that journalism was the way to go.

What motivates you?

As human beings, we have so much potential. But when people are uninformed and uninterested in their communities, all that potential slips away. Journalism is the cornerstone of any society, and I think being a journalist — any kind of journalist — is one of the most noble professions. So what motivates me is the difference I can make through my position as a journalist.

What is the best or most rewarding part about being a Grady student?

Grady provides its students with such a variety of opportunities. That’s the best part about this college. While UGA is large and may seem overwhelming, once I got into Grady, I understood what community and support in an academic setting really feels like.

What has been your proudest moment is the past year?

I was awarded first and second place for a news and feature story, respectively, by the Georgia College Press Association for work I wrote for The Red & Black. That felt pretty amazing, to have my hard work recognized.

Where do you get your news? Outlet/app/online vs. print?

I get most of my news from online sources. It varies, but The New York Times and NPR (radio) are my main sources of news. And of course, local outlets such as The Red & Black and Flagpole.

What are your personal hobbies?

I’ve never been too much of a hobby person, but photography has always been something I enjoy doing. Being able to use my photography skills for photojournalism purposes has been a game changer. I enjoy thrift shopping, spending time with my partner and my cat, and discovering new things about Athens. Traveling is something I wish I could do more of.

Sofia working in the newsroom of The Red & Black. (Courtesy: Sofia Gratas)

Who is your professional hero and why?

My grandmother, Leticia Callava. Born in Cuba, she immigrated to Miami, Florida, in the 1950’s and created an extremely successful, professional career in journalism out of nothing. She was one of the top anchors in Spanish-language television, battling sexism and racism that ran rampant during the time period along the way. She has interviewed people such as singer Celia Cruz, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and Mother Teresa. I admire so many journalists, but I have to say that having one in the family has had a major impact.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

Probably the turtle pond in front of the Ecology building. It’s the spot that brings me the most joy. But the law building on north campus comes second. If I’m going to do work on campus, it’ll most likely be in the Law Library.

 

Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.

Three student journalists selected as winners of the Best Stories of Summer contest

Luke Gamble, Savannah Sicurella and Tyler Wilkins were selected as the 2019 winners of the “Best Stories of Summer” contest.

The annual contest, sponsored by Grady College’s Department of Journalism, asks interested students to submit stories written as part of a summer internship. The submissions, which can be formatted for print, digital or television, are then evaluated by a committee of faculty members.

When evaluating submissions, the committee looks for pieces that exemplify “high quality, accurate, ethical journalism,” according to Janice Hume, the Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Chair for Excellence in Journalism.

Gamble, a senior journalism student, interned at Fox 5 News this summer, and was recognized for his television segment “Falcons Quarterback Learning a New Game and a New Language.” The story focused on Falcons player Kurt Benkert and the friendship he’s developed with a deaf 13-year-old over the video game Fortnite.

Gamble’s two-and-a-half months at Fox 5 News gave him the opportunity to work in the field on a regular basis and gain hands-on broadcast experience.

“It feels great to be recognized for my work,” Gamble said. “Grady College has some of the hardest working students on campus, and in the country, and I couldn’t be more honored to be recognized among some of the best student journalists in the country.”

Sicurella worked for Paste magazine over the summer and described the experience as “magic.” She wrote hundreds of stories over the summer, often writing six to seven shorter pieces a day and long-form reviews in her free time.

Her story, “What ‘Euphoria’s’ Grimdark Aesthetic Says About the Evolution of Teen Dramas,”studied the new HBO series starring Zendaya Coleman. Sicurella said this piece stood out to her when choosing which to submit because she invested a lot of time into writing it.

The junior majoring in journalism was excited that Grady acknowledged a piece that was culturally focused, pointing out that the genre is sometimes overlooked.

“Though often dwarfed by more pressing or timely news coverage, culture criticism and feature writing are still important,” Sicurella said.

As a summer intern at the Lake Oconee News, Wilkins, a junior journalism major, wrote “Income Inequality: U.S. Census Bureau data shows Greene County as having the highest level of income inequality in Georgia.” The story can be read by following these links: page one, page two.

“I spent approximately a month digging through U.S. census data and convincing local government officials to go on the record about income inequality,” Wilkins said. “I felt it was an important topic that most people in the county knew, but no one had reported on.”

Wilkins said his experience at the Lake Oconee News taught him about the nuance of reporting on sensitive topics in a small community and affirmed his decision to pursue a career in journalism.

Gamble, Sicurella and Wilkins each received $250 for winning the competition.

#GradyGrit: Meet Phillip B. Hubbard

Why did you choose to study Journalism?

It was my first year of high school. The head boys’ soccer coach asked me to broadcast the soccer matches later that day. I was a freshman, so I had no idea what I wanted to do. So, I hesitated at first, but, on March 18, 2012, my life changed forever. I walked up to the press box to broadcast the matches and instantly fell in love with it. It’s cliché to say, but I call it “love at first sight.” That day, I made my mind up that this is where I want to be. I want to cover sports teams, be close to the players and action, so I can be the one to share their stories in whatever medium, whether it be print, audio, voice or whatever. I want to be that guy.

What is the hardest part of being a Grady student?

Does such a thing exist? Being a Grady student has been amazing. The standard is set high all the way from Dean Davis to the professors. Grady expects nothing but greatness. Now, that’s the same for all of UGA, I assume, but there’s something that sets Grady apart in my mind: every professor, faculty and staff member cares about and are willing to help us anyway they can. I mean, Dean Davis sets a day aside every semester to cook us hot dogs and get to know us all on an individual basis. Never have I felt alone in Grady. If a project or story is taking a toll on me, I’ve had Grady professors assist me with advice, helpful suggestions or even a blunt “figure it out.” It’s like a big family that I consider myself blessed to be a part of.

What made you want to start your own podcast? What kind of support did you receive from the Grady community following the decision?

I took Multiplatform Sports Storytelling with Dr. Suggs in Fall 2018. We were tasked with covering beats as part of the class and working as a team to produce a podcast. We had the opportunity to, in a casual setting, discuss sports with our friends and have fun doing so. So, that sparked the idea, but I didn’t want to do it alone by no means. I texted my awesome colleague and even better friend, Hayden Chambless, about the idea, and she immediately said yes. Now, as much as I’d like to take credit behind the name “Behind the Bark,” I can’t. That was all her. We’ve received tremendous support from the Grady community since we’ve started. We’ve had our friends and fellow students Myan Patel and Jean Louise Webb on as guests, multiple friends have submitted questions and Dr. Suggs even assisted with one of our profile episodes. So, I have received a lot of support, and I’m extremely grateful for all of it.

Why do you think getting involved in activities outside of classes is important?

It allows me to take what I’ve been taught and put it into practice in the real world. It allows me to evolve my knowledge and experience different things that this industry will throw at me. It’s great to learn in a lecture or classroom, but we get to learn things up close and personal.  Nothing in a class could’ve prepared me for working with a team like serving on the executive board of IABC this past year did. The organization was in a rebuilding phase and, with that, comes growing pains. I can’t speak for every officer, but I know I learned a lot in the year I served as its president. For example, what do you do when your guest speaker cancels three days before your club meeting? Nothing in a textbook could’ve prepared me on how to operate in that real-life situation. So, getting outside of the classroom and just having multiple experiences has really benefited me in my time at Grady and in college.

Hubbard at his summer 2019 internship with WUGA-FM. (Courtesy: Phillip B. Hubbard)

What would you tell the younger version of yourself if you could go back to the beginning of your first year in college?

Chill out. Take a breath. It’s all going to work out. The high school “me” and the college “me” are two totally different people. Coming into college, I was so uptight and wanted everything I did to be absolutely perfect. I would spend most nights just thinking “I could be doing more, and I could’ve done better.” Now, I’m mainly laid back and just go with the flow. A lot of people mistake that about me as saying “I don’t care,” but I do care. I care about everything I do, and that I’m involved with. However, my attitude nowadays is “I did the best I could. Let’s move on,” or “Plan A failed. What’s plan B?” I’m more confident in myself, and I wish I had this confidence four years ago.

 

What does Grady mean to you?

Grady is like a family to me. Everybody supports each other in this college no matter what your major is, the faculty, the staff, the colleagues you get to learn alongside. It’s really like a big family, and everybody is included. Everybody seems like they play an important role here.

Do you have a favorite quote?

My favorite quote is “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” because there are so many lessons you can learn whether it’s a task, a project or whatever the case may be. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because you learned something from it and you grew as a person.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment would have to be during my summer internship, this past summer actually, when I got to interview Vince Dooley for the Dooley Field dedication ceremony that took place before the first game. The fact that I got to interview him at all was kind of like a dream come true because he’s legendary around these parts.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I am a morning person, definitely. I don’t like staying up late. I sound like a grandpa, but I normally get to bed no later than 10 o’clock at night.

What is, in your opinion, the best restaurant in Athens?

Clocked, I guess, would be the best one. It’s probably one of two that I’ve eaten here locally other than fast food restaurants. The burgers are good, and they have really good sweet tea, which is very important to me.

What’s your ideal travel destination?

Piegon Forge, Tennessee. I’ve only been there, Texas and Florida, and that has to be the dream spot for me. I plan to retire there one day.

Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page.

Grady College announces 2019-2020 Grady Ambassadors

Grady College is happy to announce the 15th group of Grady Ambassadors. Students involved in the 2019-2020 program come from a range of undergraduate degree programs and have strong academic records.

 

“I think being an ambassador benefits students because we are lucky to have a platform where we can share our Grady experience,” said Myan Patel, who is entering his second year as a Grady ambassador. “Storytelling is one of the cornerstones of the college, and Grady ambassadors gives us a chance to tell [our stories].”

 

As ambassadors, students act as the face of the college and are present at many university events. Throughout the year, the students will interact with prospective students and their families, special guests and potential donors, among others.

 

These are the 2019-2020 Grady Ambassadors, listed with their majors and hometowns:

 

Advertising

 

Shelby Brand, Dallas, Texas

Jazmin Carswell, Macon, Georgia

Hanh Nguyen, Morrow, Georgia

Daley McCallum, Canton, Georgia

Anna Kate Newall, Alpharetta, Georgia

Olamide Ogunjobi, Jonesboro, Georgia

 

Entertainment and Media Studies

 

Grace Bedsole, Healdsburg, California

Grace Donelson, Morresville, North Carolina

Katherine Hoovestol, Brookhaven, Georgia

Jennifer Peña, Dallas, Georgia

Rachel Yuan, Fountain Valley, California

 

Journalism

 

Yash Bhika, Cartersville, Georgia

Ashley Carter, Conyers, Georgia

Cat Hendrick, Orange County, California

Peyton Lewis, Stockbridge, Georgia

Skylar Nicholson, Newnan, Georgia

Myan Patel, Knoxville, Tennessee

Ashley Soriano, McDonough, Georgia

Lauren Swenson, Toccoa, Georgia

Lainey Tagliaferri, Danville, California

Ashlyn Webb, Tallapoosa, Georgia

Megan Wahn, Marietta, Georgia

 

Public Relations

 

Cade Anderson, Atlanta, Georgia

Madeline Coley, Peachtree City, Georgia

Madeline England, Grover, North Carolina

Austin Gibbons, Stone Mountain, Georgia

Kelsey Nicholls, Cumming, Georgia

Marquan Norris, Fitzgerald, Georgia

Lauren Willis, Canton, Georgia

Cox Institute and Newsy Expand Student Training Relationship

This article was originally posted to the Cox Institute site.

Newsy, a leading cross-platform television news network, has expanded its summer training relationship this year with the Grady College’s James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management & Leadership.

Two Grady journalism majors – Skylar Nicholson and Alexandra Travis – are interning at Newsy studios in Washington, D.C., and three Grady students – Jada Bowman, Mikaela Cohen and Caroline Windham – spent the first week of June at the Newsy training facility in Columbia, Missouri, before moving into seven weeks of online training.

“We’re really fortunate to have this relationship with the Cox Institute. While Newsy continues to break ground as America’s fastest-growing news network, the opportunity to add to the training of these already very skilled students from the Grady College fits right into where we’re going,” said Nathan Byrne, the supervising editor for academic partnerships at Newsy. “The timing couldn’t be better. I’m eager to see what these students do with the new talents they develop and hone in their time with Newsy.”

Jada Bowman, Caroline Windham and Mikaela Cohen with Nathan Byrne of Newsy at training facilities in Columbia, Missouri.

Nicholson said her summer “has been fantastic,” adding that she is writing two to three headline stories for the show “The Why” each night and helping with longer form packages. She also returned to Georgia with Newsy to help cover a story on the heartbeat bill, HB481, and the impact it is having on the state’s film industry. Nicholson said she has been assigned to some congressional hearings, describing hearings as one of her favorite things to help cover. “I am learning so much from the team here in Washington, D.C.,” she said.

Travis also said working with Newsy has been a great summer experience. “Their dedication to innovation has taught me so much already,” she said. “Interning on the Documentaries team has made me feel more prepared to enter the media field than ever before. The practice I have gained with pitching, and the creative freedom they have given me on my story ideas has taught me so much about topics I am passionate about covering and the best storytelling techniques.”

Newsy, a subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company, delivers its content on cable television; on over-the-top services including Hulu, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Sling TV, and Pluto TV; and on connected television including Xumo. Newsy is also available through its mobile apps and at newsy.com.

Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, said it is important to sponsor training programs with organizations that are committed to helping students succeed in their early careers. This year, the Cox Institute supplemented funding for the Newsy program with support from the William S. Morris Chair in News Strategy and Management.

Herndon, who also holds the Morris Chair, said the training programs with Newsy grew from conversations with its CEO Blake Sabatinelli, who has been the keynote speaker for the last two Grady Mobile News Lab project showcases. The Newsy relationship will continue with Sabatinelli returning in October for his third Mobile News Lab product showcase and more Grady journalism students participating in Newsy training next summer.

“Our students benefit so much from the relationship we enjoy with Newsy,” Herndon said. “It is important for them to experience an organization attempting new things and new approaches at a time when so many older models are struggling.”

Windham, who is participating in the Newsy skills training, said the week on site before moving into the remote work was important because it allowed her to experience Newsy firsthand.

“Being able to hear from all levels of company employees, from the CEO to the animation head, really showed me the great culture surrounding Newsy,” she said.