We received word last week that a grant proposal made to theOnline News Association by a consortium of Atlanta-based journalism programs (with Georgia State the lead and host institution, along with the Grady College of Communication at the University of Georgia, Morehouse College, Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, and others) will be funded.  The grant will launch the Georgia News Lab, which partners these journalism programs with the Cox Media Group, especially the Atlanta Journal Constitution and WSB-TV, to facilitate deep reporting and investigative journalism.  Each program will enroll two or three honors journalism students into a two-semester GSU-offered sequence in investigative reporting.  The best projects emerging from those seminars will be chosen and the main students brought into paid internships that will run in summer 2015 with either AJC or WSB-TV.  The project was put together by David Armstrong (now at Emory University) and launched at an event hosted two weeks ago by the AJC.

A reminder that later this week Liquid blacknessa Research Project on Blackness and Aesthetics, will host a symposium on blackness and aesthetics. The schedule:

Friday, April 11:  GSU Department of Communication

6:00pm— Lecture by Hamza Walker, Associate Curator, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago

7:30pm— Wine Reception at Mammal Gallery with Dance Performances and video projection by Gathering Wild Dance Company, T.Lang Dance, and bubba carr


Saturday, April 12:  GSU Department of Communication

3:00pm—Keynote by Derek Conrad Murray, Assistant Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz

4:30pm—Artists Panel:  Nettrice Gaskins; Nikita Gale; Carla Aaron Lopez; Yanique Norman;Fahamu Pecou

7:00pm—Release Party at The Sound Table with DJ Kemit (this event will take place off-campus)

This past weekend, April 3 – 6, the GSU PRSSA chapter hosted theSoutheast PRSSA Regional Conference at the GSU Buckhead Center. The theme for the event was “A New PRspective on Diversity.” The conference showcased the multiculturalism of the PR industry in Atlanta as well as emphasizing the importance of embracing and understanding a diverse audience: “With an increasingly diverse and multifaceted public, PR pros must do more than simply identify generic variations such as gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Attending future PR practitioners will gain a renewed perspective on diversity that will allow them to not only become better communicators but better people. The conference will feature more than 20 panelists representing corporations, agencies, and organizations in Atlanta. Visitwww.prspectivegsu.com for details.”  Thanks to Joe Trahan and the student officers for their work in hosting this important event.

Thanks to Jack Boozer, the Department of Communication last week hosted Norman Steinberg, the award winning screenwriter.  Steinberg visited writing classes taught by Dr. Boozer, Sheldon Schiffer, and Shirlene Holmes.  From all reports Norman’s visit was very popular with students and faculty, and he was equally impressed with our classes and all that is going on in this creative media writing arena at GSU. He is already talking of a return visit next year.  Perhaps best known for his screenplay of “Blazing Saddles,” Steinberg is a professor at Long Island University.  His work has been recognized with an Emmy Award, a Writer’s Guild Award and a British Academy Award nomination. Steinberg has penned screenplays for numerous films including “Blazing Saddles,” “My Favorite Year” and “Johnny Dangerously.” In the television arena, he has served as writer, creator, showrunner and executive producer, leaving his mark on such programs as “Cosby”; “When Things Were Rotten”; “Doctor, Doctor”; Showtime’s “Paradise”; and the upcoming series, “Chemistry.” He previously taught at the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and at the American Film Institute (AFI). A graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Steinberg also was a practicing attorney, specializing in entertainment and copyright law.

Several of the department’s journalism students attended the campus talk given last week by Michele Norris, the renowned NPR reporter.  Brought to campus by Spotlight, and hosted by Laura Voisinet, Norris spoke about her recent book, The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir (Vintage Books 2010).  The book tells the story of her family’s experiences during the civil rights era, and takes their generational silences (older family members often sparing their children the pain of knowing how risky and dangerous those years were for social justice advocates, not unlike the ways in which World War II veterans stayed silent with their children) as opening wider insight into the civil rights struggles since.  An Emmy and Peabody Award winner, Norris has been the longtime host of All Things Considered, is winner of the DuPont-Columbia Award, and was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2009.  She gave a terrific talk.