#ProfilesOfTenacity: Amelia Green

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

Grady offered versatility and an environment that was challenging yet welcoming to a new student at the University of Georgia. I felt as though the goals outlined in Grady coursework aligned with my personal career goals and that the Sports Media Certificate would offer me real-world experience in the sports media field. I am so grateful that I pursued my undergraduate education with Grady and will cherish the experience for a lifetime. 

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

To me, tenacity means thriving when challenges are presented and offering innovative and creative solutions when new endeavors present themselves as difficult.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about presenting the world of sports to viewers and fans in a new and captivating way. Whether it is working for the PGA TOUR as head of event planning, the Nashville Superspeedway as a social media manager, or even the National Olympic Committee as a marketing analyst, ideally, I see myself in a field that allows me to make meaningful contributions to both the media consumers and the athletic organizations. I enjoy telling stories and I enjoy making compelling content, but most importantly I want to make people care about the why in sports. 

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

Professor Finlay had acted as my mentor for the past three years at UGA. He has given me so much advice and is always available when I need to ask a question or simply decompress about school to someone who understands the convoluted times of undergrad.

Green was selected to work as an Associated Press Photojournalist for the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment in the past year was being selected to travel to the Beijing Winter Paralympics as an Associated Press Photojournalist. Even though we were not able to go due to COVID-19, the other selected students and myself prepared for months and strengthened our skills to be able to tell stories about the incredible athletes competing in Beijing.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

The best piece of advice I have received while at UGA has been to take risks. During my early years in the Sports Media program, Professor Finlay and Professor Michaelis reminded me that while skill is important, being willing to do any task that is asked of you says a lot about your work ethic and character. I was encouraged to make opportunities where there are none and that stepping out of my comfort zone is what will continue to give me a competitive edge in a very competitive field. I now believe that every success in your personal and professional life comes from taking risks and that is the key to being successful in today’s sports media industry.

Green is an intern for the Clarke Central High School Sports Information Department.
What are you planning to do after graduation?

I find myself striving for an opportunity in the sports media field because of its extensive range, rapid pace and growing influence in today’s society. After graduation, I will be attending Vanderbilt University for a Masters in Marketing to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the evolving, complex and global reach of the sports marketing and media industry.

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

Instagram is my favorite social media channel because of my passion for photography. Instagram allows me to follow my favorite photojournalists and photographers around the globe and provides a lot of inspiration when it comes to making engaging photographs and writing stories. 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am a licensed pilot and frequently fly rescue missions for Pilots N’ Paws Animal Rescue!

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

The UGA Intramural Fields is my favorite spot on campus because I can either play in one of the many intramural sports leagues for students, take a relaxing walk around Lake Herrick or read a good book!


#ProfilesofTenacity: Kathryn Skeean

What are you passionate about?

I am extremely passionate about supporting women in media, specifically women that go into sports media. As a woman in sports, I have first hand experience dealing with how difficult it can be. I love connecting with other women who are as passionate about sports as I am and helping others get into the field! 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am an extremely shy person by nature. I mention this only because I have spoken with a lot of people who are nervous about going into journalism because they are introverted by nature due to the amount we have to talk to strangers and be in overwhelming situations. I am living proof that you can do it!

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity to me means rolling with the punches and remaining undeterred when the going gets tough. 

Who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

Two professors in particular have had a major impact during my time at UGA: Rebecca Burns and Mark Johnson. Both have advocated for me endlessly, and both took a chance on me when I got to UGA. I remember going to Professor Johnson’s office when I was a freshman, nowhere near entering his program, shaking in my boots, and he was incredibly open to helping me get better. Rebecca was like a second mother to me at The Red & Black, always making sure I was home safe from protest coverage. She took a chance on me at The Red & Black when she was newsroom advisor and I was an overly enthusiastic contributor, and I will always be grateful to her for that. 

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment would probably have to be when I set foot on the field at Truist Park for the first time, and said to myself, “I did this. I got myself here.” It was a dream come true, and to be honest, I don’t think I stopped grinning at any point during my time there. That really solidified to me that I am supposed to be doing this.

What is your favorite app or social media channel?

Instagram is my favorite just because it is a great platform for photo-oriented people. I get to share all of my work in a clean-looking, fun fashion. 

Kate photographed an Atlanta United game this summer while working as an intern for the Gwinnett Daily Post.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

Both of my parents always emphasized working hard and not expecting anything to be handed to me. That was how I was raised, and that is how I tackle things to this day. It wasn’t really a single piece of advice, more like a mindset. Both of my parents inspire me every day.

Who is your professional hero?

I have so, so many. My uncle Chris Christo is a photojournalist at the Boston Herald, and he is the reason I really got into journalistic photography. Another would be Kevin Liles, the Braves’ team photographer, who I had the pleasure of meeting over the summer. The work he produces is absolutely stunning.  

What are you planning to do after graduation?

My plan post-graduation is to work in the sports media world in some capacity as a photographer, whether that be as a photojournalist or working with an organization in the MLB, NFL or a school athletic association. My internship as a sports photographer with the Gwinnett Daily Post really solidified my plans. I realized that not only did it not feel like “work” to me, I was the happiest I had ever been while out there at the ballpark or  the field.   

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

This answer is a pretty predictable one: the “Photo Cave” in the journalism building. It is such a safe, happy place to be where I get to learn about what I love to do.

Photojournalism research reframes way visuals are used

In a culture that is increasingly reliant on strong visuals in digital and print media, new research shows that photojournalism continues to evolve and reframe why specific pictures should be used.

Kyser Lough, an assistant professor in journalism at Grady College, recently published two research papers: one studying how environmental photography could be more effective and the other examining feedback from photography competition judges and how their decisions impact media narratives.

In the paper “Journalism’s visual construction of place in environmental coverage” published in Newspaper Research Journal, Lough and his co-author, Ivy Ashe, a doctoral candidate in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, studied 1,330 images on the front pages of 45 national newspapers representing a year’s worth of coverage. They examined the way the environment is visually portrayed.

Lough explains that while most examples of environmental photography stereotypically focus on wide, expansive geographic pictures that provide a sense of place, this may not be the best approach.

“Photojournalism needs to have people,” Lough said.  “People are our community and if we are covering our community, we need to include people. People are a very important part of the environment and environmental photos because they provide scale—for instance, looking at the size of mountains or trees in the Redwood Forest compared with a person.”

“More importantly, people add humanity to pictures which help encourage more impact,” Lough said. 

The researchers studied the images various ways, looking for different visual characteristics. One of these involved assigning the photo to one of four tiers in an emotional hierarchy from basic to complex: informational, graphically appealing, emotionally appealing and intimate.

As an example, a wide-angle picture of a mountain range would be a graphically-appealing picture whereas a picture that is a close-up portrait of someone suffering loss in a wildfire, is classified in an intimate tier.

Most of the photos evaluated were informational photos, but the goal is to have photos that are at least graphically-appealing emotional, if not intimate.

The research by Lough and Ashe indicate that photo editors should consider environmental pictures with people, such as the photo on on the left, compared with wide-angle pictures like on the right. Environmental pictures with people  show more scale and add humanity to visuals. (Photos: (left) Ivana Cajina, Unsplash; (right) Luca Barbo, Unsplash)

Lough explains it is hard to get an intimate photo of the environment because they are traditionally associated with tight portraits of people conveying a story. However, with more encouragement from photo editors, photojournalists can be encouraged to take more environmental pictures with people to make a connection.

Another implication is to aim for a more human-focused connection that prompts people to take action. Previous research has found that many people support protecting the environment, but not many act on this support. Emotionally-appealing photography could change this.

A second recent study by Lough examined the discussion between judges during deliberations at two national photo competitions: the Best of Photojournalism competition sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association which is headquartered at Grady College and the Pictures of the Year International competition through the Missouri School of Journalism.

In the paper “Judging Photojournalism: The Metajournalistic Discourse of Judges at the Best of Photojournalism and Pictures of the Year Contests,” published in the Journalism Studies journal, Both competitions open their judging rounds to the public, so Lough studied hours of this deliberation about what judges deemed as award-winning photography.

Discussions were divided into three main categories: thematic conversations where judges talked about photojournalism as a profession; discussions that focus on the photographer and his/her process; and a category that discussed the image, including story-telling qualities and composition.

Lough explains that some of the most insightful conversation took place when judges talked about the photojournalism profession. In one exchange, judges were discussing final images in the news category. The final images all represented death or suffering of people of color and the question was whether that was how we think of news and issues.

Lough continues: “I thought it was surprising and refreshing that the judges were talking about topics like that.  and that the judges were asking ‘do we want to reward this’ and ‘what are the implications of us elevating this photo?’ That’s the whole thing we talk about with journalism awards—what message does this send to current and future photojournalists about what they value and how they should behave ethically and otherwise? I liked that there was that self-awareness there.”

This provides more insight and implications for photo editors, especially, in deciding what pictures they choose to print.

Lough appreciates the value of these discussions and what it brings to the education of the students who serve as volunteers at the competitions.

“The students can witness these conversations and learn a great deal,” Lough concluded. “That’s where the education is.”

Editor’s Note: Links to the papers can be found below or by emailing Kyser Lough at KyserL@uga.edu.