Pria Mahadevan

Producer, On Second Thought

Pria is a producer for GPB's program, On Second Thought.

Pria is passionate about using local journalism as a way to strengthen communities. She got her start in radio through KALW's Audio Academy program in San Francisco, but she has a diverse set of professional experiences outside of journalism. She studied cognitive neuroscience and Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis, and later worked as a financial consultant in Boston and taught English at a university in Brazil on a Fulbright scholarship.

After spending years exploring a variety of fields she finds interesting, Pria is thrilled to have found a career that lets her continue to explore new ideas every day. She has always loved storytelling, and she is excited that every day at GPB involves new ideas and challenges. She's eager to bring new voices to airwaves across Georgia. 

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Will Brown / Kate DeCiccio for Amplifier / Courtesy of Donal Thornton and Tresor Dieudonné

As 2019 drew to a close, protests spilled into cities from Hong Kong to Santiago, Paris to Tehran, and Khartoum to La Paz. People around the world flocked to the streets, often with handmade signs, addressing their objections to policy changes, power grabs and cutbacks.

The power of images to communicate disagreement is the subject of an exhibition now on view at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). 


For the last five years, we’ve heard cries of “fake news” from media critics on both sides of the political aisle. This year, Emory University offered first-year students the opportunity to enroll in a course about fake news. It’s one of Emory’s “evidence-focused seminars” intended to prepare students for college-level research. We speak to Dr. Judith Miller, who teaches the course, and Natalia Thomas, one of the students who took the class last semester.


Pria Mahadevan/GPB News

Spreading lies is not new in politics. However, slickly packaged fictions can move faster, wider and deeper in the digital age.

After the election of President Trump in 2016, concepts like “alternative facts” and “post-truth” became buzzwords. Increasingly, calling something “fake news” became a blunt instrument for discrediting stories, whether based in fact or not.

The term is also being used to educate students at Emory University. History 190: Fake News is one of dozens of “evidence-focused seminars” intended to prepare first-year students for college-level research.

Charles Kelly / AP Photo

He was a civil rights icon, beloved father and husband, who would be 91 years old this year. On Monday, the nation celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Georgia native was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee a day after delivering one of his most memorable speeches, “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.”


It made headlines when Queen Elizabeth II agreed to grant Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle their wish for a more independent life, allowing them to move part-time to Canada while remaining firmly in the House of Windsor. We speak with Emory history professor Dr. Patrick Allit and CNN senior writer Lisa Respers France to analyze the historical context and current implications of their move to this side of the pond.


David Goldman / AP Photo

Last September, President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring state and local governments to consent, in writing, to allow refugee resettlement inside their borders.

The deadline for officials to opt in was originally Jan. 21. That order was struck down in a U.S. district court earlier this week. 


Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is coming up on Monday. The King Center announced this year’s theme is “The Beloved Community: The Fierce Urgency Of Now.”

The Reverend Dr. Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, says her father’s message of the ‘beloved community’ operates out of unconditional love, adding, "it’s not about who deserves anything...it’s about all human beings having this inherent worth and value.”

Xernona Clayton embodies those values. She worked with Dr. King and Coretta Scott King at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the late 60s. In 1967 she became the first African American in the southeast to have her own television program. She served 30 years as an executive at Turner Broadcasting System and founded the Trumpet Awards to recognizes accomplishments of African Americans.


Rock n’ Roll hits the page in Ian Port’s The Birth of Loud. Hear him tone it down to speaking volume when he stops by On Second Thought.


Art Jones / Dream Factory

By 1970, Muhammad Ali’s boxing career was in decline. Convicted for draft evasion in 1967, Ali lost his license to fight in all 50 states and had become a polarizing figure across the country.

That was before a group of key players managed to jump through a legal loophole and stage a comeback fight — in Atlanta.


Technology and artificial intelligence are making leaps and bounds, but that doesn’t mean the technology is infallible. "Algorithm bias" does exist, largely because of the datasets from which these systems learn. Dr. Ayanna Howard of Georgia Tech joined On Second Thought to explain the concerns of trusting this technology completely, as well as ways we can make it better.


John Amis / AP Photo

Every 10 years, the Census gets distributed to every household around the United States. The constitutionally-mandated questionnaire tells a story about who we are as a country, along with some more practical implications.

Thousands of people, from door-to-door census takers to state governments, prepare years in advance to execute the massive push behind the Census. The results determine how much power individuals across the country have in their local and national political process, as well as how resources are allocated in communities across the country.


Robert Jimison of GPB breaks down the processes and benefits of the 2020 Census, and why local and state governments want you to participate.

National Book Award nominee Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s latest novel, The Revisioners, crosses differences in race, wealth and time itself.  It came out Nov. 5, and we revisit our conversation with the author.


First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta

For more than a decade, the primetime reality series Shark Tank has given entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of wealthy business titans. These “sharks” then decide whether to invest in the idea or company. 

Last year, Atlanta’s First Presbyterian Church started their own “shark tank.”  It’s a social entrepreneurship venture called Epiphany.  Much like the show, the church’s Epiphany program puts out a call for budding business ideas and offers support to select entrepreneurs through business development “navigator” groups, which then help them refine their final pitch to be selected for a grant from Epiphany’s pool of money.


On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence swore in Georgia’s new U.S. senator, Kelly Loeffler. While she may be co-owner of Atlanta’s professional women’s basketball team, The Dream, and a successful finance executive, many Georgia voters don’t know much about their new senator. Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution joins On Second Thought to tell us what we know, what we don’t know, and what to pay attention to in the coming months.


Instead of condemnation, strangers showed up to support a mother of four arrested for leaving her teenage son with down syndrome at an Atlanta hospital. Hear a debrief with GPB’s Jade Abdul-Malik on what families of the developmentally disabled want you to know.


Atlanta-based author Nic Stone’s debut middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, follows the story of a young boy embarking on a road trip with his grandmother. Hear how Stone balanced writing for middle-grade readers while still exploring complex topics.


When Refuge Coffee Co. founder Kitti Murray and her husband moved to Clarkston, Georgia, they never expected they’d be running a coffee shop to help refugees find their footing. Yet, that’s exactly what they do today. Hear from Kitti Murray and a former Refuge Coffee trainee on the impact of the cafe on the community.

Stephanie Mitchell

Jericho Brown’s newest collection of poetry, The Tradition, was a National Book Award Finalist in 2019. Lauded by critics as “stunning,” “riveting,” and one of the best poetry collections in 2019, the gut-wrenchingly personal poems in his latest collection explore the complex tensions between love, violence, masculinity and trauma — all within the LGBTQ Black experience in the South.

Brown was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and went to school in New Orleans. He’s lived everywhere from Houston to San Diego to Iowa, and today he’s Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.


CNN

When Kitti Murray and her husband Bill moved to Clarkston, Georgia, she never expected she’d be running a coffee shop that doubles as job training for newly settled refugees. Yet, that’s exactly what she’s doing today – through the Refuge Coffee Company.

“My husband and I both just fell in love with our community,” she shared on why she founded the company in 2015. “I just had this desire to introduce people to each other, for our friends outside of Clarkston to know our friends in Clarkston.”


Scott Chalkley

If you Google the number for Santa Claus, a Southern California phone number pops up.  But when Children in Macon started dialing it from their local area code, they’d connect to one unsuspecting man: Scott Chalkley.

“I’d pick up and not know what was happening,” Chalkley said when those first calls came through eight years ago. “Little by little, I pieced together that people were trying to call Santa Claus.”


This Christmas, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre celebrates its 90th birthday.  The “Fabulous Fox,” as it’s known, has fought its way back from extinction numerous times. Hear from Fox Theatre President and CEO Allan Vella about the dramatic twists and turns of this iconic building’s history.


A 2011 essay in Garden & Gun magazine called “Redefining the Southern Belle” got lots of responses; much of the feedback was positive, some not, but it all opened explorations of what “Southern woman” meant then and now. The discussions that followed led to a new book of portraits and interviews with artists, innovators and entertainers — from Reese Witherspoon to Oprah, Dolly Parton to Beyoncé, along with several names you may not know yet.

We hear more about the new book from Garden & Gun, called Southern Women: More Than 100 Stories of Innovators, Artists and Icons, from Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Euneika Roger-Sipp, two women featured in the magazine and its deputy editor, Amanda Heckert.


Jake Troyer

The start of a new decade is often viewed as a beginning of a new chapter. Before that page turns, On Second Thought looked at some of the benchmark changes over the past decade - both within Georgia, and across the world. 

Nicole Smith, features editor at the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Thomas Wheatley, articles editor at Atlanta Magazine, joined On Second Thought to talk about some of the biggest developments in Georgia over the past 10 years, from the burgeoning film industry in Atlanta to politics throughout the state.


Ana Grigoriu-Vociu

The Winter Sisters is a historical fiction novel set in Lawrenceville, Georgia in 1822. When a self-righteous doctor arrives in the tiny, backwater town eager to treat what he believes could be an impending rabies epidemic, he’s shocked to discover citizens favoring folk remedies over the methods he believes cures disease – namely bloodletting, amputations, and copious amounts of ether.

Westover’s second novel is a cinematic tale weaving deeply-researched historical facts on early 19th century medicine and language, alongside richly imagined fantasies of Southern folklore come to life.  He joined On Second Thought to talk about how he finds those stories.

While the holiday season may be a popular time for couples to impulsively “pop the question,” those couples generally do not think about the possibility of divorce. Family law attorney Randy Kessler joins On Second Thought to talk about why couples should consider a prenup. 

One Lawrenceville author turns real folk stories into fictional novels. Hear from author Tim Westover about his new book The Winter Sisters and how he draws upon local Southern folklore to craft his historical fiction stories. 


Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

On Second Thought aired a special broadcast about the story of how Richard Jewell's life changed when The Atlanta-Journal Constitution published his name as the primary suspect in the 1996 bombings at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park.

In that audio documentary, we learn about how Jewell's legal team sued The Atlanta-Journal Constitution — along with other news organizations — for defamation. The AJC fought the suit, and eventually won. Now, the paper is disputing how it is being portrayed in the film Richard Jewell, which hit theaters Friday.


When Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics, terror struck. In the rush for justice, the wrong man was presumed guilty. “Mistaken: The Real Story of Richard Jewell” follows Jewell’s descent from hero to villain in the court of public opinion. Hear this On Second Thought special broadcast featuring interviews with Kent Alexander, U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Georgia at the time of the 1996 Olympics, journalist, Kevin Salwen and Tom Johnson, former head of CNN.


Greg Gibson / AP Photo

On Tuesday, July 30, 1996, Richard Jewell was praised as a hero by Katie Couric on NBC’S TODAY show. The security guard hired for the summer Olympics spoke about spotting a suspicious knapsack amidst some 50,000 revelers in Centennial Olympic Park. Two people died and 111 were injured when a bomb inside the bag exploded.  Jewell’s vigilance and the evacuation that followed likely save hundreds of lives. 

 

Less than 12 hours after chatting with Couric, Jewell was being questioned by the FBI as the primary suspect in the bombing.

 

 


 

 

John Harrell / AP

Clint Eastwood’s film Richard Jewell is out and, as a piece that is critical of journalists, it generated discussion before the first ticket was even sold. 

Like Eastwood’s film, Mistaken: The Real Story of Richard Jewell follows Jewell’s descent from hero to villain in the court of public opinion. And, while Mistaken diverges from Eastwood’s film in a number of ways, it is also an invitation to think critically about the role of journalism and how we, the public, consume it.

 

 

 

 

Konstantin Lazorkin / Creative Commons

People struggling with treatment-resistant PTSD may soon have a new course of care: MDMA. When used alongside psychotherapy, the synthetic substance in the drug more commonly known as ecstasy or molly is currently in phase three clinical trials. It’s even been given “breakthrough designation” by the FDA, a status reserved for treatments with significant potential to improve patient outcomes.

But MDMA isn’t the only kind of party drug experiencing interest for therapeutic potential. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms", is being evaluated for its potential in alleviating depression. Guided ayahuasca trips are a growing trend, especially amongst Brooklyn and Silicon Valley elites.


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