Tag Archives: Atlanta Press Club

The Tooting of the Atlanta and Georgia Journalism Horns


Many heartfelt congrats to my Faceboook friends who won awards for their reporting last night at the The Atlanta Press Club’s annual Awards in Excellence.

Including: Dale Russell for being Dale Russell and just so gosh darn Dale Russell-y. (And other things, of course.) Jim Burress for Best Radio Reporter/Eagle bar raid reporting. Alan Judd and his AJC colleague, Heather Vogell, won Journos ‘O Year (2010) for their (ongoing, eh?) reporting on the APS cheating scandal.

Thomas Wheatley was nominated in Best Online/Multimedia reporting, and should have won for his constant gardening over at the terrific Fresh Loaf blog, but whatever. He was far more gracious about some other person winning than I was, on his behalf.

I was delighted to meet newer FB and Twitter pals face-to-face for the first time too, such as Mr. Burress and Mr. Charles Edwards, both of WABE radio here in the ATL. And the innovative and interesting Ms. Orit Sklar.

Journalism is alive and well in the ATL. But there is no Men’s Warehouse kinda guarantee that it will stay that way forever. Or even through next week.

A bad editor could pull a great reporter off of a key beat. The elderly people in the biz might continue to ignore innovations in journalism-related technology. The recession could continue for decades. The AJC could add more layers of dopey bureaucracy, with their finger on the pulse of, for example, just Walton County.

We must support the troops out there in the fields. Lordy knows there’s enough muck to rake through in this town to keep the journalism industry here flourishing… with our support. Do what you can.

That is all. Back to work. Complete list of winners on Facebook here.

Georgia New Media Notes March 31, 2011


Several new media things jump out today… Facebook is such an amazing tool for tracking legislation going through the legislative process. The Sunday Sales/Senate Bill 10 may or may not be before the Rules Committee today.  Advocates such as Rich Sullivan and co. are at the Georgia State Capitol now Tweeting and posting Facebook updates about this one bill’s progress.

Lobbyista, media, advocates and ordinary folk, take note! Could save tons on tasseled loafer polishing costs by not having to hoof it along the hallways of the Gold Dome. Watch and learn from the comfort of your connection.

Then again, just being at the Capitol on a busy day is exciting in itself. Go live and in person whenever you can. Just report back for us what is going on… as it happens. Social media tools make it very easy to do. (They’ve got great wi-fi at the Dome.)

Other quick note… when giving interviews to text-only outlets avoid passive language, such as Michael Bond’s here. While it’s earnest, and might work in a broadcast environment, it always prints bad.

Councilman Michael Julian Bond pointed out that Sandy Springs and DeKalb County have full government participation and the continual council snubs are “almost getting to the point where it is beginning to be offensive.”

Elsewhere, Bob Barr believes in the intended effects of mass media propaganda. The best money can buy. Cute, huh?

One more… from what I hear, bloggers are already revolting on donating free content to @11AliveNews/@gannett‘s Where U Live project. Must give back, news farms! Must. Think of better ways to give back to the blogger (on-air time comes to mind), and you might get more better content from ’em.

Today is the deadline to nominate your fave Georgia journo/blogger now for The Atlanta Press Club 2010 awards. It’s easy to do.

That’s it for the morning. Make it a great use of new media day!

What’s Ahead With WaySouth Media, Inc.


A few notes about what’s in the works with WaySouth Media, Inc. (my co.) for the weeks ahead. In hope that you will join some of the pan-media reindeer games all through metro Atlanta.

1.) WaySouth Media, Inc. is one sponsor of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s luncheon address to the Atlanta Press Club on Monday, January 31, 2011. This event is open to the public and is sold-out, but there’s a waiting list, and tickets usually free-up at the last minute with Press Club events. (News can break, and journos and media suits have to go fix it.) To get on the waiting list to what should be a timely and newsworthy luncheon (will the mayor seek control of APS?!) contact the Atlanta Press Club Monday morning.

2.) Coming February 4-5, SoCon11, Atlanta’s oldest and biggest social media conference, is back in town… now in its fifth year. I’ll be leading a workshop on mobile media and politics during the afternoon on the 4th, but come to SoCon11 for the fun kick-off party at the Carter Center on the 4th, and prepare to hang-out all day on the 5th at KSU for the great networking and interesting lineup of speakers and interaction from a multitude of backgrounds, services, businesses, and disciplines. SoCon is very much an UN-conference, so everyone participates. Or else! But register now as it’s about to sell out.

3.) February 26, I’ll be back at the 20th Annual Georgia Bar Media and Judiciary Conference, as a panelist on a panel about online reputation management (or lack thereof). Need to meet some lawyers, judges, media execs, bloggers, crime fighters, reporters, journos, politicos, even more lawyers? Well, the annual Bar/Media seminar is the place for that. Contact the Georgia Bar Association for info on this conference.

I’m looking forward to such a dynamic kickoff to a fast-paced and innovative all-media year ahead in 2011!

Georgia Libertarians Had A Good Night Out In The ATL


Longtime Georgia political, Libertarian blogger Jason Pye didn’t win the category (Online/Multimedia) he was nominated for tonight at the Atlanta Press Club 2009 Awards of Excellence and Journalist of the Year. Veteran journalist Jim Walls did. Congrats to Jim!

Bob Barr, Daniel Adams and other prominent Libertarian Party of Georgia folk were there tonight at the awards ceremony to support Jason too. See pic.

However, Jason being represented is a huge step forward for the Georgia political blogosphere. Having a blogger as a finalist in the The Atlanta Press Club Awards of Excellence race is a good thing, and the culmination of hard, mostly thankless work on the part of Jason Pye.

It’s a big step, and I’m so freakin’ proud of Jase and all the other Georgia bloggers that I could hug ’em all. They’re doing good work and moving forward, and next year I want to see many more Georgia bloggers represented in the APC annual journalism awards.

And many congrats to the very deserving Dale Russell who won Journalist of the Year tonight from the Atlanta Press Club. Russell won for his team’s hard work in, quite literally, bringing down the (GA) House… the whole Glenn Richardson, er, affair. (Of which I will not recount here.)

I’m tickled pink that I have so many nominees as Facebook friends. It’s an online world now, kiddies. Good journalism and friends are always worth sharing. 🙂

“There Was No Crime Scene Tape Involved.”


Ellen Crooke, news director of NBC affiliate WXIA, discusses local news coverage at an Atlanta Press Club event.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Social Media and The Mayor



Careful what you Twitter. Now that all of Atlanta seem to be using social media tools, such as Twitter and Facebook, you will easily get what you are after. This was the case during Mayor Shirley Franklin’s annual luncheon talk with the Atlanta Press Club on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.

Between bites of the sliced chicken salad, I sent out a Tweet via my iPhone’s Twitter application that asked, “Any questions for Mayor Franklin?” Immediately, I had droves of questions to choose from, thanks to my carefully cultivated, personal Twitter/Facebook network, plenty of them peppered with salty expressions not suitable for for re-printing on this blog. (FYI, you can sync Twitter to Facebook.)

Alas, Mayor Franklin was taking questions from those in attendance during the Q&A portion only if they were written down on a slip of paper and passed to the front, then read out loud to the Mayor by APC Board Chairman, John Boswell. So old-school!

No matter, as I would never have had a chance to eat my Commerce Club banana pudding if I’d hand-written every Twitter/Facebook response/question on a piece of paper, nor would the Mayor have had time to answer them all. And when presented with Commerce Club banana pudding priorities fall right into place.

I did manage to scratch out one question on a paper slip that was soon read to the Mayor. That question was, “Were you (Mayor Franklin) aware of the role Facebook played in organizing citizens during the recent (perceived or otherwise) intown Atlanta crime wave?”

Breezing over the crime-related portion of the question, Mayor Franklin answered that she (or her office I must assume) was not on Facebook, but that she knew Cobb County, for instance, was using social media tools to communicate with its citizenry.

Maybe Mayor Franklin should be on Facebook. And soon. Within days of its creation, the Facebook Group called Atlantans Together Against Crime and Cutbacks, had signed-up almost four-thousand members. Four thousand. In less than a week. That’s a whole lot of ATL citizenry one could immediately, and easily, start communicating with.

Come to think about it, when the traditional press bunched their hulking dino Beta cams around Mayor Franklin after the luncheon to roll on a few choice mayoral media morsels for their five-o’clocks (see photo above), had my own $120. digital camera’s battery not died  on me (the one that also shoots HD video) at that particular moment, I could have held a one-woman press conference, taking questions via Facebook and Twitter in real time and directing them to the Mayor.

But that’s this new media for you. With so many people on board social media in Atlanta now, provided your power supply holds, anyone can hold a virtual press conference – wherever, whenever.

This Ain’t No Mud Club. No CBGB. I Ain’t Got Time For That Now.


Lemme ask you Dear Reader… would you waste your precious time teaching social media apps and skills to a group of (laid off likely) professional… let me say that again… PROFESSIONAL journalists who had made such pitiful personal forays/investments into new media that they had no personal laptop to bring to the party/workshoppe? That, rather, they were expecting to learn new journo-entrepreneurial ways on borrowed gear belonging to the state (a university for example), or some such other journo-charity case?

This ain’t no home for unwed mothers out here, kiddies. If you’re a serious journalist and want to continue to be one, yet are not serious enough about social media to scrounge for the most basic gear you will have to have to wield it, then you can sit on your decaying front porch of dead-tree products and rock ‘n yearn for days of yore and that long dried-up corporate-journo tit.

Times done changed. Wind done gone. Let’s put this post in the Lacks Curiosity Of The World Exploding Around Them category.

CBS Newsman Bob Schieffer At The Atlanta Press Club


Bob Schieffer was giddy as a school boy. His kind, interesting and weathered face lit up like a Christmas tree when he spoke at the September 29th Atlanta Press Club’s Newsmaker Luncheon.

In between hosting Face The Nation and moderating Presidential debates, Schieffer swung by the APC to promote his new book, Bob Schieffer’s America. If the book is half as engaging as Schieffer was for his guests at the APC luncheon, then get out there and buy it.

Schieffer first mentioned how he was talked into forgoing retirement by the suits at CBS News, ensuring that he and his fifty-plus-year career as a news reporter would be around long enough to cover the historically-rich 2008 Presidential election.

Schieffer’s raw enthusiasm for the the work he’s been doing for over fifty years straight was cold water in a desert to journos in Atlanta (or gas to a station right now I could say) – a town as beaten and bruised by changes to the journalism industry as any on the planet.

Read the rest of this entry

It’s The Citizen, Stupid


Jeez Louise! With all the MSM journalists sobbing in their seats about the demise of journalism (as they know it) at last night’s Atlanta Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists awards, and the Georgia Gang scratching their receding hairlines over how to make money online, since it’s obvious (even to them) that journalism is headed online, you’d think these j-folk types were dumb and dumber.

In reality, these are very smart people. Only thing is, most of ‘em aren’t terribly entrepreneurial or techno-creative. (HINT: things online are driven by innovative technology and compelling journalistic content.)

So, let’s say the mutual point of agreement is that news and journalism are moving primarily online. Thus, you’d think that would be an environ you’d need to be hyper-aware of, right? And participating in by all means. Not diddling around on the bureaucratic cluster-f**k that is Georgia public TV, but I digress… Read the rest of this entry

Jewel Of The South


A PR professional in Chicago was lamenting, on his blog just yesterday, about how politicians and journalists and PR types never got together anymore to just “hang out.” Chicago must not have a party master with a little black book the likes of longtime Atlanta PR pro, Tom Houck’s.

Along with the Atlanta Press Club, Houck hosted a happy hour on the stunning rooftop garden lounge of Maxim Prime on Marietta St., across the street from CNN headquarters. When seen from such a perspective, all the many woes Atlanta struggles with daily down below seemed beautifully way off somewhere else.

What was up on last night on the rooftop was a wild mix of journalists, PR, and politicians Chicago would have drooled over. Along with a crush of election year political hopefuls, has-been power players, (former) U.S. Senators, geeks, writers, chefs, musicians, critics, Olympic gold medalists, players, shucksters, jivers, impresarios, models, aging party gals, cable TV pioneers from way back when, the latest batch of interns to oogle, anchors, reporters, crooks, liars, old money, new money, print, TV, radio, hot air talk show blowers, and, of course, media mavens and bloggers.

At one point, the rope line wait for entry was up to half hour long. And still they waited to get in. The party would ebb and flow for a good three hours, until this blogger’s heels started yelling “leave NOW.”

Way to go APC. Looks like you’re back on the very competitive Atlanta social scene map. (As long as you can stay out of that deadly dull Commerce Club.) I made a little video photo stream with you OTP’ers in mind. That’s right here. Enjoy.

Republicans – Losing Their Religion


Boy, if anything is more in need of some good old-fashioned inspiration these days, it would be Republicans. As I was trained-up long ago in the ways of impartiality and journalistic neutrality, I went to hear Ralph Reed talk at the Atlanta Press Club about his new novel, Dark Horse, and all the “new politics” going on around us since Reed last held political court.

I thought it would be a hoot to have him sign my copy of the book. Which he did, although he wasn’t terribly engaging, no breezy banter with the ladies that most socially-inclined men would engage in at such a function, obviously looking beyond me for someone he recognized.

Seems Reed doesn’t read Peach Pundit; the nom de plume “SpaceyG” rang zero bells of recognition for him, although it set-off some odd, squirrelly behavior in the person behind me in line, who claimed to have once been a Peach Pundit front pager, but then refused to tell me the name under which he had once so boldly opined. What a bunch of social weirdos Republicans are, but I digress…

Reed is slight, small, well-tailored and smart looking. Attractive and telegenic. As someone once said, he looks doll-ish. Not a terribly big crowd came out to the Press Club for Reed. The ones who did were mostly, ummm, long in the tooth as they say. A handful of blacks and Repug political hopefuls with obnoxiously loud mouths. A couple of photogs from some media outlet, and one AJC political reporter, the one with the blog that gets 5K views a day, or so I hear.

The APC couldn’t get a sponsor for Reed’s book signing event. No one would touch him. No Atlanta media or business, which I thought was rather sad given that he is a prominent Georgia boy. A sign of the times I suppose. As one person said, “He’s toxic. And so is his party.” In Georgia? Yes, even in Georgia.

The saddest part was watching Reed trying to be a good party cheerleader while still maintaining his religion. At one point he talked about how McCain was going to need every bit of the religious-conservative (evangelical and pro-life Catholic I assume) base of the party he could get to ever get elected, especially if Dems were going to register and turn out the anticipated large numbers of young, inspired, new voters.

At that point, I had to ask the question, “How can McCain, who’s notoriously allergic to religion, possibly inspire and motivate religious conservatives then?” To which Reed answered by saying that McCain was really a religious person (oh sure), and that someone he knew, a name I didn’t recognize so it was probably an evangelical preacher-type, had once “talked to McCain about his religion.” Reed thought that McCain worshiped at some church in Arizona, but he didn’t seem to know exactly what the denomination was.

When pressed for examples of how McCain has ever inspired the religious-conservative masses, Reed just said, “He’s just going to have to be himself.” Well ok then. Fine by the secular humanist in me, but if that’s supposed to satisfy, let alone “inspire and motivate” the evangelical masses to the polls, then I might as well be Pastor Rick Warren’s next prom date.

Think I’ll just go read the book now.

Blogger’s Atlanta Press Club Angst


What if a blogger wants to join the Atlanta Press Club? Have they committed enough “real” journalism to qualify for admission? From John at the Dunwoody North Civic Association blog:

Since at least one Georgia politician believes that I have used my site as a public whipping post and therefore need to be more ethical in my news coverage. I reviewed the prices and noted that APC members were free to this event where non-members were asked to pay, because of this I figured it was a great day to register to be a member. Looking at the membership dues of $40.00 for active journalists and $90.00 for non-profit organizations, I figured that this little blog would qualify me for the better rate. After applying, the nice people at the APC didn’t reject me straight out but they wanted to know my qualifications as a journalist, they wanted writing samples of my published works.

Full blog post here, where you can find out what happened to John’s membership request. If I was John, I’d have demanded the latest blog samples of the “nice people” at the Press Club who were judging credentials.

APC Panel About Something To Do With Blogging


For some odd reason, likely out of sheer boredom, Shelby Highsmith rolled on this Atlanta Press Club event, including Art Harris rambling on about something. Most in attendance at Manuel’s afterwards agreed that:
a.) Suits are still boring.

b.) The whole are blogs media? discussion is getting really old and pointless.

c.) No one had a freakin’ clue as to what Art Harris was talking about.

Regardless, several of the bloggers in the room took a moment today to give the Ethics and Business and Everything On The Planet and Blogs panel discussion ye ‘olde post-mort try. Bless their hearts. Some are here:


More timely and much more interesting would be Amber of Being Amber Rhea being quoted throughout this Wired article on how new media tools, blessedly, allowed sex worker advocates to be heard through the media cacophany that followed the Spitzer Pays For It saga.

NOTE: Eerily like the woman of the French Revolution who famously knitted away as those who had to pay were carted off to the the guillotine, Amber can be seen on the tape at 03:55… furiously Twittering away.

Strap On Your Lightsabers, Ladies



Now that Star Wars has officially begun and we are no longer looking up from a mildewed theater seat to a galaxy far, far away; rather looking to the sky for genuine laser beams and Chinese retaliation, I promise to show-up for an Atlanta Press Club luncheon at that stuffy-cushioned, old man-vibe Commerce Club dressed like Princess Leia. Looking for sponsors for this unique event.

Ladies Of The Nets




After a serious rant (see below) a good laugh is surely in order. This photo of Rush’s main squeeze Daryn Kagin showing Meredith Viera the juicy parts of Kagin’s book was taken at yesterday’s Atlanta Press Club luncheon for Ms. Viera.

Viera was wicked-funny and delightfully down to earth during her freewheelin’ chat-n-greet. If I wasn’t convinced that zoning in front of  The View causes brain cells to atrophy, I might actually tune-in to the thing.