Jessica L. Luton
137 Virginia Avenue, Athens, Ga. 30601
I am an independent multimedia reporter and an experienced reporter pursuing a master’s degree from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. My concentration is Health and Medical Journalism. I have recently produced multimedia pieces for Georgia Health News, the Flagpole and Athens Patch. I am also the managing editor for the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine’s alumni magazine, The Aesculapian.
For the three years prior to Graduate School I worked as a writer, photographer and website manager at the Union-Recorder, a five-day-a-week newspaper in Milledgeville, Ga. As the cops reporter, I reported on crime and other breaking news for my three year stint and later had the additional beat assignment of city government reporter. I also worked as a features writer during my tenure, writing an array of articles for the Lake Oconee Breeze, the newspaper itself and our bi-monthly magazine Milledgeville Scene and I updated and maintained the Union Recorder’s website on a daily basis and helped train others in the newsroom concerning the use of social media. I also provided both cover artwork and content photography for the Union-Recorder, Milledgeville Scene Magazine and The Ville, Milledgeville’s Arts and Culture alternative newspaper. In 2010, I earned two Georgia Press Association awards for my work as a photographer and investigative reporter.
During my time as reporter, photographer and web guru at this community newspaper in central Georgia, I learned about the power of journalism as a force for good. I wrote often about poverty, both its devastating effects on community and about the positive actions of people helping one another. Yearning to cover stories with a bigger reach, and to master new storytelling techniques including video and other multimedia tools, I returned to Grady College and found a new home in the Health and Medical Journalism program. In entering this specialty, I am excited to broaden my knowledge base about science, medicine and environmentalism and learn to convey this often-complicated knowledge to science novices, amateur enthusiasts and science professionals alike.
Writing, editing, photography, video production and editing using Final Cut Pro, web and print design using Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator), blogging, researching, administrative duties, PR management, ad sales research, social media and website maintenance.
Freelance Reporter, 2012: The Med School Project
Freelance Reporter, 2012: Georgia Health News
Freelance Reporter, 2012: Flagpole
Science Writing Fellow, 2012: National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference: “The Informed Brain in a Digital World”
Science Writer, 2012: Arnold and Mabel Beckman Initiative for Macular Research Conference
Freelance Writer, 2011: http://athens.patch.com
Freelance Writer, 2011: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Staff Writer, Photographer and Website Manager, 2008-2011: The Union-Recorder
I wrote about crime and other breaking news in the Milledgeville and Baldwin County area. During my last year there, I also covered the Milledgeville city government beat. Additionally, I enjoyed writing feature articles for the newspaper, and other in-house publications such as the Lake Oconee Breeze, The Ville and our bi-monthly magazine Milledgeville Scene. I’m also the newsroom website manager and I am frequently called on for photography for all of our publications. To see more of my work, please see www.unionrecorder.com.
Features Stringer, 2008: The Baldwin Bulletin
Feature article writer and photographer for weekly newspaper that focuses on Baldwin County news.
Editorial and Design Intern, October 2007- January 2008: travelgirl Magazine
Production/Editorial Assistant/Sales Associate, January 2008-May 2008: travelgirl Magazine
Helped out with ad sales, designed nearly half of the layouts in each issue, copy edited, fact checked and wrote short articles and front of the book blurbs.
The University of Georgia:
- Bachelor’s Degrees: Graduated May 2007
- Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication: A.B.J. in Magazines
- School of Public and International Affairs: B.A. in Political Science
- Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication: August 2011 to Present
- Health and Medical Journalism concentration
- 2012 George Foster Peabody Awards Student Judge
- 2012 National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Science Writing Fellow: The Informed Brain in a Digital World
- 2012 McGill Fellow: A Lecture and Symposium on Journalistic Courage
- 2011 George Foster Peabody Awards Student Judge
- 2011 Public Health News Bureau Reporter in conjunction with Partner Up! For Public Health
- 2010 First Place Feature Photography: Georgia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, Division D
- 2010 Staff Investigative Reporting Award, Second Place, for coverage on Ben Roethlisberger’s sexual assault allegations: Georgia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest
“I am writing a letter of recommendation for Jessica Luton who worked as a crime and courts reporter for The Union-Recorder. Jessica wrote stories covering crime, punishment, court proceedings and community in a dependable and efficient manner. She was able to strike the right balance of writing sometimes critical stories while maintaining positive contacts within the law enforcement community. Jessica also possesses an ability to see what likely lies just over the horizon when it comes to stories of community. In covering the Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault allegations here in Milledgeville, our newsroom faced tremendous pressure to be first, best and most accurate. Jessica maintained decorum and delivered assignments on deadline. Jessica quickly established herself within her assigned beat and communicated well with sources as well as newsroom management. Jessica would be an effective and dynamic addition to any organization.” — Jonathan Jackson, City Editor, The Union-Recorder
“Jessica did an excellent job as an intern at travelgirl Magazine. In addition to being a great writer and editorial coordinator, she is a gifted designer as well. I’ve found this to be a unique and very valuable combination. Jan Butsch Schroder”
— Jan Butsch Schroder, Managing Editor, travelgirl Magazine
“Jessica was a fabulous intern for travelgirl Magazine! She came in and tackled many projects — big and small — with vigor, creativity and cheerfulness. She juggled many aspects of our company at once: She handled design work that was extremely challenging, learned the ropes for magazine uploading at deadline and also played a role in implementing a new advertising campaign. She worked late hours and weekends when needed without a complaint. Her final project before leaving us was a 2-page spread on scrapbooking that appears in our June/July 2008 issue. It is very well done, from writing to layout. I wish her the best of luck and would be happy to discuss her qualifications and talents further, for any specific position.”
— Stephanie Oswald, Editor-in-Chief, travelgirl Magazine