Get the word out! Atlanta Daybook enables you to share your press release information online and through social - with one distribution point. Engage Atlanta's community influencers with Atlanta Daybook!

close

Subscribe

As a Daybook Subscriber, you can receive our email edition free every weekday morning. Click here to become a contributor.

close

Contribute

As a Daybook Contributor, you can post and manage your stories & announcements. There is a fee to publish your story on Daybook.

This is the email address you'll be subscribed to Daybook with.






close

Login

Please sign in below.

Release Date: 03.14.2019 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Leff & Associates

"4 Questions Journalist Spotlight" with Ron Harris, The Associated Press

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 the AP's Ron Harris!

Ron Harris is a journalist for The Associated Press, based in the Atlanta bureau. Born and raised in northern California, he's been with the AP for 24 years, starting in San Francisco before moving east.

Ron's primary role currently is reporter & Social/UGC (user-generated content) editor for The AP's southern U.S. region. He also writes occasionally, covering personal technology, music and the occasional odd topic. Past story highlights include covering the Napster trial and the birth of distributed file-sharing, exposing the truth about the Grand Theft Auto 'Hot Coffee' mod, interviewing Henry Rollins in an RV over coffee, flying into the eye of El Nino in a NOAA hurricane hunter and taking The Donnas to breakfast.

What kind of story or segment makes you proud?

Something with a little digital shoe leather to it reminds me why I chose this path. Information is everywhere these days (thank you, the Internet), so it's extra rewarding to find a great story that is hiding in plain sight and not being recognized by other journalists.

Two of my fondest examples come from writing about Grand Theft Auto and, oddly, American Idol. With the game "GTA: San Andreas," plenty of reporters were trying to get to the bottom of a modification that allowed players to access unauthorized explicit content in the game. But I like to think I went the extra mile by downloading the mod, scraping and finding its embedded sig file and thereby tracking down direct contact info for the Dutch programmer who revealed the mod.

The game maker insisted hackers created the racy unauthorized sex scene content (leaving them in the clear), but in an exclusive interview with me, the programmer not only insisted the explicit content was already in each game, but that he would fly to the U.S. and demonstrate how it is accessed in front of me and the game maker. Confronted with this dare, Take-Two Interactive relented, issued a press release and an emergency recall of the game, costing the company an estimated $50 million.

The coverage led to a revamp of the ESRB and its software rating methods, as well as action in Washington led by Hillary Clinton and the FTC to hold game publishers more accountable than ever for the content in their titles. That's the stuff I like. Nerdy but important stuff. I'll tell you how I cracked American Idol over a beer.

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

Well, I've long been sort of a Swiss Army knife for The AP: words, photos, video, graphics, HTML interactives. You name it, I’ve probably done it. The new thing for me is blending it all for my story coverage, or to augment the coverage of a colleague. Apart from AP, I'm wrapping up my first documentary, so that will be a very new experience for me once I begin looking to show (film festivals) it and seek distribution. It's about bees and people.

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

The Best: Smart colleagues all around the world, more so than any other journalistic operation on the planet. Also, the reach of The AP means when you write something good it REALLY gets read. 

The Worst: The coffee. Office coffee is why Starbucks exists.

What's the coolest thing about you?

I have two daughters who are aware that I'm different from a lot of the other dads. Different type of job. Different interests. Different skills. If different is cool, then I guess I'm cool. I play a little guitar. Still skateboard a bit (Hometown: Santa Cruz, so it's in the blood).

I solve Rubiks/speedcubes in my spare time. I can do it in about 30 seconds when I'm warmed up. I can solve the larger more complex cubes as well (4x4, 5x5, 6x6, 7x7). None of that makes me cool. But it makes me, well, me.

About You

Last Book Read: "Are We Alone?," Paul Davies.

Favorite Atlanta Restaurant: It's a slightly OTP taqueria that I can't name because I don't need you blowing my spot. I can drive you there blindfolded, at best. If you need something on the record, I'll go with "Greater Good BBQ" in the East Lake neighborhood.

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Varsity. Guilty as charged.

Local Getaway: Steinbeck's (Decatur) for a beer.

Favorite Non-Work Hobby: Playing guitar. Snowboarding. Hacking random stuff (i.e. my coffee grinder is auto-tethered to a 50-year-old darkroom timer).

Twitter: @journorati

###

Contact Info

Contact Name: Mitch Leff

Company: Leff & Associates

Phone: 4048614769

Cell: 4048614769

E-mail: mitch@leffassociates.com