Richard Griffiths, Former Senior Editorial Director, VP for CNN Worldwide: Guest Curator for February 2020

—To further our mission to talk about process and quality in journalism, each guest curator has highlighted what he or she sees as the “don’t want to miss” pieces posted to Grady Newsource that month, along with some constructive reflection about the journalism.

About This Month’s Guest Curator 

Richard Griffiths recently retired after a 26-year career with CNN. He was senior editorial director and vice president for CNN worldwide, after serving a dozen years as producer, senior producer, executive producer and senior executive producer. Previous to CNN, Griffiths spent seven years as a producer with CBS News. During his career, Griffiths led reporting and investigative projects that won multiple George F. Peabody Awards, the Overseas Press Club David Kaplan Award, two Emmys, a National Headliner Award and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal.

1
Girls Who Code by Anna Glenn Grove

Loved this piece on Girls Who Code in Barrow County. Nicely written and the issues addressed in a clear, narrative arc.  Lots of cute detail. Loved the soundbites. (Caution: The audio was muddy on the first youngster!) The pictures are wonderful, particularly where when one girl gives another kid a hug. Wonderful closing sound! Learned something and was entertained! This was the best piece of the month.

2
Tornado Preparedness by Brie Wolfe

Terrific explainer on tornado awareness, including where to find shelter and how many tornadoes. This piece answered all the questions I had in an engaging way, without undermining the seriousness of the threat. Nicely written and to the point. Nothing wasted. Second best piece of the month.

3
UGA Voter Registration by Trevor Terry

Nice explainer on efforts to register UGA students, with fascinating background on the increase in voter registration and voting. What could have been a dry report made livelier by crisp, easy-to-understand graphics and engaging interviews.

4
Technology Award in Madison County Schools by Emma Goldsmith

Nicely shot piece on a technology award at Madison County schools. Interview with organizer was beautifully lit, but slightly too much headroom. It was an engaging celebration of an otherwise obscure honor and how it motivates staff.

5
Jefferson Church's Historic Designation by Ashley Carter

Really interesting spat over the historic designation. Powerful and articulate representatives of the church. Thoughtful city representative. Ashley Carter does a good job weaving the two together and lays out when the next meeting will be.  Wide shot video of the cemetery gives sense of being next to an industrial area—that should have been addressed, the external development pressure in this booming little town.

6
SGA Administration's Legacy by Hayden Chambless

Really interesting package on SGA legacy. Nice interviews with student government leaders, ending with a remarkable account of how no students walking past camera knew anything about student government, and how student participation in elections was low and going lower. Good narrative arc, but end felt rushed. And why weren’t the SGA officials asked about the relevance and declining election participation?

7
"Iowa Lessons for Georgia Voting" by Celeste Springer

Lessons for Georgia from Iowa for Countdown to Election 2020 Election show (rerun from Feb. 4), but much better edit this time. Interview with Charles Bullock, with phone number blurred, was strong. Fun little standup. Very nice illustration stand-up on inability to get results in because of blocked phone lines.  Multiple images blended together to show "multiple" callers.

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