Dvuid Armstrong headshot in dark suit and tie

Executive Editor of Georgia News Lab New CSJ Executive Director

The Center for Sustainable Journalism (CSJ) has a new executive director.

David Armstrong, executive editor of the Georgia News Lab and a journalist in residence at Kennesaw State University, takes over the position from Leonard Witt, who recently retired.

JJIE Adds New York Metro Bureau

JJIE announced Wednesday the expansion of its juvenile justice coverage through the opening of a metropolitan New York news bureau. Housed at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, the new bureau is funded by a three-year, $255,000 grant from the Tow Foundation. The bureau will feature in-depth reporting from CUNY journalism students and will be run by journalist and adjunct professor Daryl Khan, who has written for The New York Times, Newsday and the Boston Globe. Leonard Witt, executive director of the Center for Sustainable Journalism, which publishes JJIE, said the addition of the New York Metro Bureau’s in-depth reporting fills a critical gap in juvenile justice coverage. “This gives us a presence in a major metropolitan region,” Witt said.

Kennesaw State University Awards Ruth Ann Harnisch An Honorary Doctorate

Kennesaw State University awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Ruth Ann Harnisch, a philanthropist whose foundation has supported cutting-edge approaches to gathering and disseminating news. The honorary doctorate ─ the 14th awarded in Kennesaw State’s 49-year history ─ was bestowed today during the university’s commencement ceremony for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Harnisch, a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience in print and broadcasting, is president of the New York-based Harnisch Foundation, which in 2009 awarded $1.5 million to establish the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State. “Kennesaw State University is pleased to award this honorary doctorate to Ms. Harnisch,” said Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp.  “In so doing, we are recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of an exceptional person, known nationally as a philanthropist who truly has made a difference, as well as a ground-breaking journalist.”

A self-described “recovering journalist” and “donor activist,” Harnisch is a proponent of creative philanthropy that produces sustainable social change.

Juvenile Justice Expert David Schmidt Discusses Juvenile Life Without Parole

Are sentences of life without parole for juveniles a death sentence? David Schmidt thinks so. See the short version just below. For more information on topics on like why a kid convicted of triple murder should still be released by the age of 21 see the full interview at the bottom of this page. Here are the time splits for the important topics Schmidt covers in the longer version below:

Life without parole – 00:33
Judge still could give 150 years – 1:20
Are we tough enough on kids – 1:38
There are dangerous young people – 2:03
Consider the individuals – 2:20
The New Mexico model and a triple murder – 3:00
Life without parole is a death sentence – 5:00
2,500 kids in jail without parole in 27 states – 5:50
Supreme Court acted cowardly – 7:05
Judge’s and prosecutor’s power – 8:00

Leonard Witt

Show that you care, real juvenile justice depends upon you

Since the beginning of the Georgia legislative session our reporter Chandra Thomas and our supporting JJIE.org staff of editors, interns and freelancers have been closely watching all legislation aimed at juvenile justice issues. Thomas had two excellent round-up stories yesterday and today targeting which bills would move forward and which would not on crossover day. I opened my Atlanta Journal-Constitution today to see how its coverage of these juvenile justice bills compared with ours here at the JJIE.org. From what I could see there was nothing to compare. I saw nothing about Senate Bill 127, which is a rewrite of the juvenile code.

JJIE.org SchoolHouse Witness Project in National News Challenge

As you know, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is a trial project to find new ways to support the coverage of important niche issues that the mainstream media no longer covers. So we are always looking for ways to improve our coverage, especially in reaching out to you to supply information that our reporters need to know. In this digital age we have to make that as easy as possible; hence, our idea for the SchoolHouse Witness Project. I like it a lot and submitted it to the Knight News Challenge, which underwrites innovative ideas. We are now in the Second Round of the competition.