Former WSB-TV sports anchor and current NBA on TNT host Ernie Johnson Jr. was honored last Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, by the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Grady College Di Gamma Kappa (DGK) society as the 2024 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient. DGK works in part with the Georgia Association of Broadcasters (GAB) in the selection of the award recipient. The GAB is a longtime supporter of UGA’s Grady College and DGK society, and funds the event.
Johnson spent the day at Grady speaking to students of “Grady Newsource,” a student-run media organization, and leading a masterclass in preparedness.
During the luncheon honoring Johnson, GAB President, Bob Houghton, also awarded Grady Student, Christian Andrade, with the 2024 Innovator Award.
Gray Television’s Atlanta News First (ANF) Investigates and InvestigateTV (WANF-TV) traveled to the University of Columbia in New York to accept the prestigious duPont-Columbia Award, for investigative reporting series, “The Sixth.”
Lead investigative journalist, Andy Pierrotti, examined the impact of public defender shortages across Georgia, revealing that many individuals behind bars were provided “no legal representation for months at a time.” “The Sixth,” was named for the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees citizens accused of crimes the right to an attorney if they can’t afford one and a speedy trial.
Other contributors to the series include, Lee Zurik, vice president of investigations; Jamie Gray, managing editor at InvestigateTV; Lindsey Basye, executive producer of investigations; Luke Carter, investigative photojournalist and lead editor; Eric Carlton, investigative photojournalist; Dimitri Lotovski, investigative photojournalist; Bailey Williams, investigative producer; and Tim Darnell, digital content producer.
NextTV reports, “The House has just passed the Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying (PRESS) Act (H.R. 4250), which protects journalists from government attempts to compel them to reveal sources or to access their work product.”
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President, Curtis LeGeyt, praised the vote, “This legislation acknowledges the critical role of journalists in our democracy — from exposing injustices to educating and informing the public. The PRESS Act protects journalists’ ability to maintain confidential sources, ensuring they can perform their duties without the threat of retaliation.”
The bill will now move onto the Senate where it must secure a majority vote (51) to pass.
The FCC is looking for feedback on implementing Mandatory Disaster Reporting for broadcast stations.
During its January meeting the commission updated the rules for the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS). Previously, the system was used voluntarily, which the commission claims has led to gaps in reporting, after January’s meeting voice and cable providers are now required to report their infrastructure status information in DIRS daily when the system has been activated. The FCC is looking to extend this rule to broadcast stations as well.
The NAB has previously opposed required DIRS reporting and the FCC acknowledges that smaller stations have limited staff and resources.
Radio World reports, “It (FCC) wants to know if, by participating in mandatory DIRS, even smaller broadcasters could contribute to a broader emergency response network, ultimately benefiting the communities they serve; and whether the benefits of requiring reporting outweigh any burden on smaller broadcasters.”
Radio World breaks down an FCC report released in January highlighting the impact of A.M. radio as a lifeline.
Highlights of the report include more than 80 million Americans listen to AM radio monthly, according to recent Nielsen surveys; the benefits of A.M. radio to communities of color and rural areas; and the essential role of A.M. radio in the National Emergency Alert System.
On Jan. 25, 2024, WJBF announced 2024 Jefferson Award winner, 10-year old Taji Johnson.
WJBF reports Johnson “has a heart for helping the homeless,” providing tents for shelter, food, socks and more.
The Jefferson Award recognizes exemplary acts of public service over the past 50 years since its inception. Johnson will head to New York City to represent the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) at the national level for the Jefferson Awards.
The Atlanta Braves’ longtime play-by-play announcer Jim Powell announced in a statement released on X that he has called his last game for the team.
Powell has announced for the team for the past 15 years, and refrains from disclosing details surrounding his departure.
“It has been an honor to broadcast so many great games in my own hometown,” says Powell. “I literally have friends from the basement of the stadium to the rafters. I’ll miss seeing you all everyday.
In his next steps, Powell is exploring further opportunities in baseball and beyond.