Adam Ragusea

Backup host "On Second Thought"

Adam is host of Current's podcast, "The Pub." He's a Journalist in Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. He’s also reported for public radio shows including "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," "Here & Now," "Marketplace" and "The Takeaway." Before becoming a journalist, Adam studied music composition, and he creates all the music for "The Pub."

Ways to Connect

Macon-Bibb Country officials meet this month to discuss why there are so many pedestrian fatalities in the area. The Georgia Department of Public Health found the county has the second highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the state. We speak with Macon-Bibb Board of Health member Chris Tsavatewa about what needs to be done to decrease the number of deaths. Then, we talk with Angie Schmitt, editor of Streetsblog USA, about how pedestrian fatalities look across the country. 

GA.EDU

The Georgia Cyber Academy is the state’s largest public school and one of the biggest virtual programs in the country. The academy received more than $80 million in public funding last year. But despite the investment, state officials gave the school a "D" grade after the school under performed in standardized testing. 

Pulitzer Peaches: Bill Dedman

Aug 1, 2016

2016 is the centennial year of the Pulitzer Prize. So we’ll spend some time with past winners who are connected to Georgia in a new series called, “Pulitzer Peaches.” We speak with investigative journalist Bill Dedman in the latest installment.

Is Georgia Set To Become A Swing State?

Aug 1, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Georgia is a red-majority state, but that may change. There are hundreds of thousands of people of color in Georgia who are not registered to vote. If they showed up on Election Day, they could change the result. We talk with  political science professors Andra Gillespie of Emory University and Daniel Franklin of Georgia State University.

Democrats and Republicans gathered at their respective conventions over the past two weeks to nominate their choices for president. Georgia politicians had a front row seat at both conventions. We recap convention highlights with Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie and the role Georgia played.

The Breakroom gang joins guest host Adam Ragusea to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Atlanta-based LGBT educator and activist Robbie Medwed, Savannah Magazine editor Amy Condon, Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, and Macon Telegraph editorial page editor Charles Richardson.

Atlanta singer Mike Geier is the creative force behind Puddles the Clown. He describes Puddles as a sad clown with the golden voice. Puddles doesn’t speak, but his baritone voice can fill a room when he sings.  He covers everything from Lorde's "Royals" to Abba’s “Dancing Queen.” Ahead of Geier’s performance this weekend in Atlanta as Puddles, we talk with him about putting on the clown makeup and what inspires him. 

Asperger's Are Us

Neurological disorders, as a rule, are not funny. That doesn’t mean that the people who suffer from them are not. Take for example the members of the comedy troupe Asperger's Are Us. They all actually do have Asperger’s syndrome, but they don't let their condition define their comedy. The four-member group performs Friday at 8pm at Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta. We talked with Jack Hanke and Ethan Finlan, two of the group's members.

 

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Atlanta singer Mike Geier is the creative force behind Puddles the Clown. He describes Puddles as a sad clown with a golden voice. Puddles doesn’t speak, but his baritone voice can fill a room when he sings. He covers everything from Lorde's "Royals" to Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”  We caught up with Mike Geier ahead of Puddle's performance on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta.

On today’s show, we’ll preview some of the documentaries at this year’s Macon Film Festival. We talk about a new documentary called "Mind/Game." It follows former WNBA player Chamique Holdsclaw and her struggles with mental illness. We speak with Holdsclaw about the challenges she faced on and off the court. 

Plus, we hear the story of how more than a dozen African-American girls were held in a south Georgia stockade for two months. The girls, aged 13-15, were imprisoned after a civil rights demonstration in Americus, Georgia.

Courtesy of Harry Benson

Photographer Harry Benson got his big break when he was assigned to travel with an aspiring band on their first American tour in 1964. That band was The Beatles. He produced one of the most iconic photos of the Fab Four, which shows the group enjoying a pillow fight in their Paris hotel room. 

DRJIMIGLIDE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The 11th annual Macon Film Festival kicks off this week, and one of the event’s featured films tells the story of an Atlanta institution called the Clermont Hotel. It closed a few years ago, but the nearly century-old building retains its status as a place where interesting and sometimes unseemly things happened. There are even a few ghost stories. The short documentary "Hotel Clermont" records the last six months of this iconic instustion's life before it closed.

KOVNOCOMMUNICATIONS.ORG

Chamique Holdsclaw was once poised to be the breakout star of the WNBA in the early 2000s. But her career was cut short when her battle with mental illness threatened her life. The documentary “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw” follows her emotional journey from basketball star to mental health advocate.

We speak with Holdsclaw about the challenges she faced on and off the court. 

You can catch Mind/Game at the Macon Film Festival this weekend. You can find the full film festival schedule here.

A significant demographic change occurred in the past eight years since Barack Obama first ran for president in 2008. White Christians went from making up 54% of the country to comprising less than half. This decline is important in understanding today's political landscape, according to Robert Jones. Jones is the CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute and author of the new book, "The End of White Christian America." We speak with Jones about the political and social implications of this demographic shift. 

This month, Turner Classic Movies showcases the work of early African American filmmakers dating back to the 1920s. These “race films” were compiled by Atlanta filmmaker and producer Bret Wood, who talks with us about his work to preserve a golden age of cinema that’s long been forgotten.

The End Of White Christian America

Jul 20, 2016
Public Domain Pictures

A significant demographic change occurred in the past eight years since Barack Obama first ran for president in 2008. White Christians went from making up 54 percent of the country to comprising less than half. This decline is important in understanding today’s political landscape, according to Robert Jones.

The internet has changed the way journalists reach audiences, causing media outlets and journalism programs to struggle with how best to teach the craft journalism to the next generation. University of Georgia professor Valerie Boyd is spearheading a MFA program that specializes in teaching long-form journalism techniques to students. Guest host Adam Ragusea sits down with Boyd to talk about the value of long-form and it’s place in the current media landscape. 

FREEPRESS.NET

The internet has changed the way journalists reach audiences, causing media outlets and journalism programs to struggle with how best to teach the craft of journalism to the next generation. University of Georgia professor Valerie Boyd is spearheading a MFA program that specializes in teaching long-form journalism techniques to students. Guest host Adam Ragusea sits down with Boyd to talk about the value of long-form and it’s place in the current media landscape.

Outrage, protests, and more violence are just some of the expected reactions to killings at the hands of law enforcement officers caught on camera. Some therapists theorize that repeated exposure to these controversial incidents can adversely affect mental health. Anger, fear, and frustration can all take a toll on weary viewers who can’t seem to escape images of violent incidents.

BOBBY ORE MOTORSPORTS

The movie industry is Georgia continues to grow and develop. Our state needs more actors, writers, set designers ... and stunt men!

We take a trip up to Dawsonville to visit a stunt driving school that teaches interested participants the way of the action star. Producers Taylor Gantt and Sean Powers visited the new program and received the full experience with the help of professional stuntman Bobby Ore.  

For more info on the program visit: bobbyoresports.com

wikipedia.org

Outrage, protests and more violence are just some of the expected reactions to killings at the hands of law enforcement officers caught on camera. Some therapists theorize that repeated exposure to these controversial incidents can adversely affect mental health. Anger, fear, and frustration can all take a toll on weary viewers who can’t seem to escape images of violent incidents.

Police And The Press

Jul 12, 2016
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Shortly after the shooting in Dallas last week, the Dallas Police Department tweeted a picture of Mark Hughes as its initial suspect. Within minutes, Hughes became the most wanted man in the country. Multiple news outlets broadcasted the photo and thousands of users shared it on social media. Though cleared of all suspicion, Hughes had to go into hiding after he received death threats. 

iStockphoto

Few journalists ever want to find themselves in the headlines, but that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when a North Georgia newspaper publisher was jailed after he filed an open records request. He has since been released, all charges dropped, but the case is still attracting national attention, and raises very serious First Amendment issues. GPB’s Sean Powers reports.

 

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