David Hazinski, Grady College Professor Emeritus: Guest Curator for February 2019

To further our mission to both craft journalism at Grady and talk about the process and quality, each guest curator has highlighted what he or she sees as the five “don’t want to miss” pieces posted to Grady Newsource that month, along with a few sentences of constructive reflection about the journalism.

About This Month’s Guest Curator 

David Hazinski is professor emeritus at the Grady College, the CEO of Intelligent Media Consultants, which has helped launch a dozen digital news outlets worldwide, a former NBC correspondent, and now heads a nonprofit, ExFacto.org, dedicated to improving journalism.

"End Of An Era: North Oconee Boys Basketball Coach Retires" by Dani Terzer

I’m a sucker for profile stories. I want to know about other people. This was a good choice for a story and pretty well done, but I’d go beyond the sports stats of a coach and find evidence of what he thought was most important: teaching them to work hard and become better men. I want to hear more about him from those men. Also, I’d like to see photos of the wife and children he’ll be spending more time with. I think both would have fleshed out the profile a bit better.

"Student Chefs At Jackson County High School Develop New School Lunch Menu Option" by Donovan Harris

Love the story about the Jackson County HS chefs. I like food, but there is a lot to like here. A lead that gets your attention and whets your palate. A quick explanation following it about what plant-based foods are…. To enrich the viewer, not presume they know what we’re talking about. A great photo essay with action shots and up close shots with feel. And an explanation of why we should care. It’s important to show what’s going on in our schools… both the bad, and the good.

"Sex Trafficking Survivors Seek Support From Athens Tattoo Parlor" by Dani Terzer

I remain a fan of this story. It’s timely, talking about sex trafficking survivors, but it also focuses on both people coming out of this horrible system and regular people helping them to do it. It’s an uplifting story. I’d like to meet some of these people, even if they didn’t use their real names. And I’d like to see follow-up stories to see how much this grassroots effort has helped.

"EXCLUSIVE: Peek Inside Jackson County Woman’s Home After She Fires Shots To Scare Burglar" by Veronica Ogbe

Great effort to get the 79-year-old victim, who was a great interview because she is a character and smart. Good standup to show what the woman saw at a critical moment. Good effort to get the 911 call, which helped the story a lot. I, however, would have started—lead with, the alleged suspect in custody thanks to the quick-thinking grandma. We tend to tell stories chronologically when we should be starting with the news. Once again, the person… the character makes the story and gives the audience an insight into a situation no one wants to be in.

"Athens Police Adopt New Software To Help Locate 911 Calls" by Sydney Heiberger

The new 911 app being used in Athens-Clarke County is a good story within the broadcast. Great use of graphics, including for illustration. It could use some polish in the videography and editing, but generally well done. There should have been an accompanying digital piece posted at the same time because the broadcast and digital audiences are generally different. (Note: The digital version can be found here.) The point of “news” is to do something when it is, not when it’s convenient for you to post, no matter what the platform. The digital version offers opportunities to tell different aspects of the story, like the number of places where the app has been deployed, whether or not it’s saved any lives, etc. We need to use the different platforms to convey as much solid information as possible to audiences.


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