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Release Date: 01.17.2019 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Leff & Associates

"4 Questions Journalist Spotlight" on Virginia Prescott, GPB Radio's "On Second Thought"

Leff's Atlanta Media's Weekly Feature Conversation with an Atlanta Journalist

Each week, in partnership with Leff’s Atlanta Media (www.leffsatlantamedia.com), Atlanta Daybook presents our "Journalist Spotlight." Atlanta public relations professional Mitch Leff of Leff & Associates offers a conversation with a journalist in the Atlanta market, asking them four questions that'll help you learn more about local Atlanta media. What makes them tick? What's new at their media outlet? What drives them?

Mitch operates Leff’s Atlanta Media (http://www.leffsatlantamedia.com) an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (www.mitchsmediamatch.com), a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts.

The Spotlight Shines on Virginia Prescott, Host of “On Second Thought” on GPB Radio!

Virginia Prescott is the new host of “On Second Thought” on GPB Radio. The show airs from 9 -10 a.m. weekdays across the GPB network. She comes most recently from New Hampshire Public Radio, but she’s also worked in public radio in New Orleans and has contributed to NPR’s national programs as well.

She joined GPB last year but spent several months getting to know the state before launching her show. That included quite a bit of travelling, meeting people in different areas, and getting to know the issues, the scenery and the cuisine (I recommended Fatt Matt’s Rib Shack, but I’m not sure if she’s gotten there yet).

What kind of story or segment makes you proud?

Some of my most gratifying work has been training journalists in developing countries and helping set-up independent media networks in post-conflict zones in the Balkans and several African countries. These were places without the resources, tradition, or freedom to do the kind of journalism I cut my teeth on as a young reporter.

Now, I’m less fired up about sorting through the details of policy and ideology, or in exposing systemic corruption or injustice than I am in finding personal stories that reveal how those forces affect individual lives. It’s the conversation with the third-generation pecan farmer overcome with emotion while looking out over acres decimated by Hurricane Michael; or talking with the former Klansman in North Georgia about combating the rage that once fueled him that give my work meaning.

While our culture and media swarm around stories of division and difference, I gravitate to the feelings that connects us as humans. I abide by something Krista Tippett told me: “You can disagree with someone’s opinion. You can’t disagree with their experience.” Hearing about the lives of others in their own voices is moving, and what radio does so intimately and well. I am both proud and humbled to be a part of it.

What’s new and different about what you’re doing?

Everything! New city, new state, new station, new show, new team, new on-air slot of 9 AM, five days a week, and 10 million-plus new stories to be told.

What’s the best and worst thing about your job?

Best: Talking to people I’ve never met about what matters to them. It’s a kind of professional shield for my inveterate curiosity -- or maybe just being a snoop. Worst: I’m a lifelong night owl, which has made 5 AM wake-up an interesting adjustment.

What’s the coolest thing people should know about you?

I’m a big music buff and have written liner notes for a number of R&B, Soul, Hip Hop and Pop collections, from Earth, Wind & Fire to The Isley Brothers to SONY Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for A Century, which was nominated for a Best Album Notes Grammy.

About You

Last Book Read: I often have one or two books to read each week for work, so reading for pleasure feels like a luxury, and critical for my education as a new Georgian. I read Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow by Leon Litwack over the holiday break. Not a vacation read by any stretch, but thoroughly researched and deeply affecting.

Favorite Atlanta Restaurant: Toss-up: Homegrown does a mean breakfast and lunch, but for dinner, I recently discovered Banshee in East Atlanta Village and find myself fantasizing about its Braised Duck Mezzelune. 

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Creeping houses on Zillow.

Local Getaway: Not sure if Duluth qualifies as a “getaway,” but even a few hours at Jeju Sauna can leave me feeling revived and like I’ve left some stress -- along with a few layers of skin -- behind.

Favorite Non-Work Hobby: I am an avid, but discerning, purveyor of junk, thrift and antique shops wherever I land.

Twitter: I tend to do more looking than posting on Twitter. I have mixed feelings about the role it now plays in journalism, but you can find me at @Verginger

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Contact Info

Contact Name: Mitch Leff

Company: Leff & Associates

Phone: 4048614769

Cell: 4048614769

E-mail: mitch@leffassociates.com