Journalist, Producer & Photographer
Selected works of journalism — radio production and writing

Georgia Public Broadcasting

Credit: Courtesy of I Run With Maud

Ahmaud Arbery's Family, Friends Reflect On His Life, Death And The Path To Justice

The last 35 seconds of Ahmaud Arbery’s life have been viewed, studied, dissected and discussed all over the world. That’s because of a video that went viral, showing his final moments before he was shot on a shady street in Satilla Shores, Georgia on February 23.

And while his death has made international headlines, the people of his community remember Arbery for how he lived. His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones joined On Second Thought – along with Arbery’s close friends Akeem Baker and Demetris Frazier and his former football coach Jason Vaughn – to reflect on Ahmaud Arbery's life and death, and the injustices that followed. Jim Barger Jr., who wrote an article for The Bitter Southerner about the history and response of the community, also joined the conversation.

Georgians Demand Justice: The Messages And Momentum Behind The George Floyd Protests

Since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, rage that had accumulated over centuries of racial violence spilled into the nation's streets.

From Atlanta, Macon and Savannah to London, Amsterdam and Paris, protesters are flooding streets that, only weeks ago, stood nearly empty due to fears of COVID-19. The crowds are unprecedented in their size, diversity and condemnation of police brutality and systemic racial injustice. Despite early property damage, largely peaceful protests have gained momentum over the course of the last week.
Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore

Credit: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Political Rewind: As Georgia Counts Votes, Chaos Unfolds At Nation's Capitol

Wednesday afternoon on Political Rewind: As the day the last votes are tabulated in Georgia's Senate runoff election, chaos erupts at the U.S. Capitol. Supporters of President Donald Trump assault the U.S. Capitol, storming the building.

We covered the breaking news as situations in the capital escalated in the afternoon. This followed a rally nearby where Trump unleashed a barrage of baseless accusations of election fraud in Georgia and other states.

Meanwhile, the Rev. Raphael Warnock has been elected the first African American U.S. senator from Georgia. The focus then turned to the race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican incumbent David Perdue, which has since been called for Ossoff.

Political Rewind: After U.S. Capitol Siege, Nation And Georgia Ask, Where Do We Go From Here?

Thursday on Political Rewind: Georgia and the nation’s capital saw a day of triumph and turmoil on Wednesday. Democrats celebrated the twin victories of Georgians Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who now give their party control of the U.S. Senate. Warnock will be the first Black man to represent Georgia in Congress while Ossoff will be Georgia's first Jewish senator.

Also, in the early hours of this morning, Congress officially affirmed the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

But these milestone events were overshadowed, at least for a time, by chaos incited by President Donald Trump. His supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol, forcing an evacuation.

Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Credit: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Political Rewind: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Life And Legacy — And The Political Battle To Come

Monday on Political Rewind, we paid tribute to the career and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What are the landmark moments of her life and career that made her such an icon, particularly for American women?

And now, as we head into the final stretch before the 2020 election, a look at the monumental battle that’s unfolding in Washington to fill her seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Political Rewind: After Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Decision, Deconstructing The #Defund Movement

Thursday on Political Rewind, the grand jury’s decision in the Breonna Taylor case has again raised questions and concerns about police accountability and conduct. In the aftermath of protests in cities across the country last night, we take a deeper look at the movement to reform and reimagine the police.

We unpack what "defunding" the police could actually mean and look like, and how that could change the role of police in our communities.

Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo

Credit: AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Supporting Youth Mental Health: Are Georgia Schools Ready?

Even before the pandemic, access to mental health care and resources for youth was a concern in Georgia, which ranks 47th out of 50 states for access to mental health care and resources for the general population. But as the pandemic compounds stressors, pushing well-being to the limit over the last five months, providers predict things will get worse as students transition back to school.

On Second Thought collaborated with American Public Media’s “Call to Mind” initiative, a national program to encourage new conversations about mental health, to put together a panel to discuss one central question: are Georgia schools prepared to support student mental health under these circumstances?

With Lack of Pandemic Protections, Fears — And Coronavirus — Spread Among Georgia ICE Detainees

While protests set off by the killing of George Floyd show no signs of letting up, another quieter protest has been stirring at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Irwin County, Georgia.

There, a group of detainees staged a hunger strike and protest over video chat to raise the alarm over a lack of precautions against the spread of COVID-19 inside the detention center.

Credit: Photo illustration by Josh Begley

Credit: AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

The Merits, Risks And Politics of Sweden's Herd Immunity Strategy

Compared to the lockdowns and shuttered businesses in countries across the world, Sweden is an outlier. Swedish officials have advised citizens to work from home and avoid travel, but most schools and businesses have remained open.

This relaxed approach aims to minimize impact on the economy and slow the spread of the virus through what is known as “herd immunity.” But striving for herd immunity without a controlled vaccine in place can also prove risky. Now, as the U.S. weighs further spreading the disease against the impact of a tanked economy, some Americans — particularly conservatives — are looking toward Sweden’s model as an option.

How The Coronavirus Pandemic Invites Digital Dangers — From New Hacks To Privacy Concerns

While online scams are always a danger, malware and phishing attacks have skyrocketed in the past two weeks. Many of these schemes have found new opportunities through the growing fear and concern over coronavirus. And now, millions of Americans are working and learning from home to help halt the spread of the disease — and find themselves without the protections (or IT help) found in most offices and schools.

And in some countries, the virus has upped the ante on government surveillance of online activity. On Second Thought spoke with both Brendan Saltaformaggio, professor at Georgia Tech specializing in cybersecurity, and Alfred Ng, senior reporter at CNET, about new concerns regarding data privacy and security during the pandemic.

Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

How The Coronavirus Pandemic Magnifies Health Inequities - And Why Mitigation Matters

The coronavirus pandemic has led to travel restrictions, canceled events, school closures, consumer panic, and mayhem in stock markets across the world.

The spiraling fears and slow access to tests for the virus in the U.S. have exposed weak points in government and health care systems, as well as the social fabric upon which we rely — especially for the most vulnerable.

Agricultural Markets Demand More Maintenance — But Georgia Farmers Face Weather, Labor Challenges

Farmers in Georgia have been impacted by a multitude of events in the last few years: hurricanes, stalled aid, trade policy and, on top of that, drought.

In September, the Southeast saw record heat — with little to no rain. Now, there is lots of rain in the forecast for the coming week. On Second Thought checked in with onion farmer Aries Haygood of A&M Farms in Lyons, Georgia, to hear about the issues impacting farmers.

Credit: AP Photo/David Goldman

Credit: Bob Andres/AJC

Georgia Abortion Bill Redefines 'Personhood' — And Raises Confusion

The state of Georgia — and the country — is divided over so-called "heartbeat" bills and other new state laws restricting abortion. Many are confused about who could be prosecuted and what, exactly, constitutes a violation of the law.

On Second Thought leaves the flashpoints of politics behind and attempts to get some clarity on the legal questions raised by HB 481. We explore what these abortion bans could mean for miscarriages, prosecution and due process — and potential consequences of redefining what it means to be a "person."
Copyright Emilia Brock 2022