Campus News Society & Culture

Lithonia’s Brown named journalism “Rock Star” at UGA camp

Athens, Ga. – Savannah Brown, a rising senior at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia, was named the “Rock Star” of the 2010 Georgia Journalism Academy, hosted by the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“Savannah really set herself apart at camp with her professionalism and dedication to getting a story, not just a photo,” said camp photojournalism instructor, Sue Myers Smith. “I noticed right away how polite and friendly she was, and obviously her peers recognized that trait about her too.”

Brown was one of 71 participants of the academy, a weeklong camp for high school journalists. Students lived in a campus residence hall during the week and took classes at the Grady College in one of seven core areas: broadcast writing and reporting, broadcast news production, news writing, feature writing, editorial writing, photojournalism or graphic design. This year’s camp, held June 6-12, had the theme of “Journalism Rock Star.”

Brown was a member of the photojournalism class that took photos for The Amplifier, a 12-page newspaper produced by journalism students at the Academy. Broadcast students produced a 15-minute newscast called the Grady News Network. In addition, students maintained personal blogs throughout the week.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Brown said. “This was my first time using a camera, and now this is what I want to do. I want to be a photojournalist.”

Brown said her favorite part of the camp was taking pictures in downtown Athens during the evening. “Downtown is definitely different during the night,” she said. “There’s a different personality out there.”

The academy “Rock Stars” were recognized at a closing banquet at UGA’s Memorial Hall on Friday, June 11. Brown was nominated by instructor Smith for the photojournalism award, and was voted on by students as the overall Academy Rock Star. Along with Brown, the following students were named “Rock Stars” in their respective classes:

  • Rose Fox (Alcovy High School, Dacula), broadcast production
  • Reginald Askew (Southwest DeKalb High School, Decatur), broadcast production
  • Payton Spell (Saint Scholastica Academy, Covington, La.), broadcast writing and reporting
  • Meghan Walsh (Norcross High School, Norcross), broadcast writing and reporting
  • Nicole Smith (Walton High School, Marietta), editorial writing
  • Marisa Meyerowitz (Roswell High School, Roswell), feature writing
  • Asia Thomas (Pike County High School, Zebulon), news writing
  • Taylor Carpenter (Richmond Hill High School, Richmond Hill), graphic design

The Georgia Journalism Academy just completed its 27th year and is open to any high school student interested in journalism. Since 2005, CNN has been a strong financial supporter of prospective academy students, this year providing funds for full or partial scholarships for roughly 20 camp participants.

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to WNEG-TV, the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow Grady on Twitter at