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Release Date: 04.11.2019 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Leff & Associates

"4 Questions Journalist Spotlight" with Van Jensen ARTS ATL

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

Each week, in partnership with Leff’s Atlanta Media (, 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 ( an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (, a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts.

The Spotlight Shines on ARTS ATL Publisher Van Jensen!

Van Jensen is the publisher of ARTS ATL, the online news source that focuses on our city’s (of course) arts community, including art, design, music, film & TV, theater, dance and books. Van joined ARTS ATL in May 2018. He previously oversaw the Georgia Tech alumni magazine and has been a prolific writer and reporter for many years.

The site has several writers who focus on specific areas, so check it out to see who’s writing what. Recent stories have covered the puzzle mural under the Freedom Parkway bridge, a new Atlanta Symphony show, and Theresa Howard’s senior dance company.

Think you’ve seen Van’s name before? You may have seen it on all kinds of comic books, including The Flash, Green Lantern, Cryptocracy, Two Dead, and James Bond. He was even a “Comic Book Ambassador” for the U.S. Department of State, using comics as a tool for diplomacy. How cool is that?

A note: if you’ve got a great idea for ARTS ATL, Van reminds you to contact Executive Editor Scott Freeman.

What kind of story or segment makes you proud?

Recently, ARTS ATL has extensively covered situations at WonderRoot and with the artist known as “Squishiepuss” and allegations of harassment. These stories received limited if any coverage elsewhere, and so for our community to know the truth about what was happening, they needed to rely on us.

I love the more fun articles on our site, but good reportage is essential.

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

My background is in newspaper and magazine writing and editing with a primary focus on narrative nonfiction. At ARTS ATL, the big change is that I’m not writing or editing. As publisher, I’m looking at the publication from the 30,000-foot level, working on strategy, technology and business to strengthen and grow our operation and to best support the incredible team of writers and editors on our staff.

What’s the best and most challenging thing about your job?

The best thing is that I get to hire great people and give them space to do great work.

The most challenging thing? ARTS ATL is a nonprofit, and I’m more used to the for-profit environment, creating work and selling it. So fundraising is a new and different challenge for me. I hope that our readers see value in our work, guiding audiences to the arts and inspiring passion, and that they choose to support us in this mission.

What’s the coolest thing about you?

Cool? Ha! I do lots of "cool" things, I guess. I write comic books like The Flash and James Bond. I make music videos and TV shows. I have never and probably will never think of myself as cool, though.

About You

Last Book Read: There, There by Tommy Orange

Favorite Atlanta Restaurant: Chai Pani

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Going to the movies by myself

Local Getaway: My writing shed

Favorite Non-Work Hobby: Weightlifting

Twitter: @van_jensen


Contact Info

Contact Name: Mitch Leff

Company: Leff & Associates

Phone: 4048614769

Cell: 4048614769