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Maria Saporta, Founder and Contributor

Maria Saporta is an Atlanta native and the daughter of European parents, who were active citizens of Atlanta. She is the mother of two children who also make Atlanta their home. Maria is a longtime Atlanta business and civic journalist. She spent 27 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as its business and civic columnist. She founded www.SaportaReport.com in 2009, to provide daily updates on local business, urban and civic issues focusing on metro Atlanta, Georgia, and beyond. Maria also provided columns and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, WABE/90.1 FM, and Atlanta Magazine among others. In 2017 SaportaReport received an award for Outstanding Public Outreach and Journalism from the Georgia Chapter of the American Planning Association. Maria was given the inaugural “Atlanta Hero” award by the Rotary Club of Atlanta on July 9, 2018. Most recently, in January 2019, Maria was inducted into Georgia Trend’s Hall of Fame.

Contact Maria: [email protected]

David Pendered, Editor and Contributor

David is an Atlanta journalist with 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

David also handles all guest columns for SaportaReport. To submit an article or pitch please reach out to him here: [email protected]

Lance Russell, Stories of Atlanta Contributor

is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”

Tom Baxter, Political Contributor

Tom has written about politics and the South for more than four decades. He was national editor and chief political correspondent at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and later edited The Southern Political Report, an online publication, for four years. Tom was the consultant for the 2008 election night coverage sponsored jointly by Current TV, Digg and Twitter, and a 2011 fellow at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. He recently surveyed the impact of Georgia’s immigration law in a report for the Center for American Progress. Tom and his wife, Lili, have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

Contact Tom: [email protected]

Eleanor Ringel Cater, Movie Critic

Eleanor was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly’s Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Kelly Jordan, Photojournalist

Kelly Jordan, who has lived in Atlanta since 1968, attended Emory University before he and partners revitalized Little Five Points into one of Atlanta’s most eclectic retail districts. In recent years, Kelly has been leading the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance, and he has been active with a host of environmental organizations. Decades ago, Kelly wrote architectural criticism for a weekly Atlanta newspaper, and his interest in natural and built environments is readily apparent in the photos he has been taking for SaportaReport.

Contact Kelly: [email protected]

Allison Joyner

Allison Joyner is a strategist and freelance writer, specializing in content creation for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). 

Her work has been published by The Atlanta Voice, Zora by Medium, Noodle, Black American Web Diverse Issues: In Higher Education, and Wiley Publication. She has written articles about several schools including Jackson State University, Texas Southern University, The University of the Virgin Islands, and her alma mater, Clark Atlanta University. 

The Atlanta-based writer is a 4th generation graduate of an HBCU and knows first-hand the life-changing impact these historic institutions have on students’ lives. 

Watching the number of HBCUs dwindle over the years has ignited a spark in Allison to use her digital media skills to ultimately support these colleges and universities in increasing enrollment and fundraising. She is bold in strategizing how content creation can support in helping colleges remain open and serve generations to come. 

She holds a Master of Science in Journalism Innovations from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Clark Atlanta University. 

Allison is a member of The National Association of Black Journalists and the Online News Association, and the Atlanta (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Eager to give back to her community, she is an executive board member of the Tom Joyner Foundation and volunteers at The National Center of Civil and Human Rights. 

Twitter: @AllisonNJoyner

Contact Allison: [email protected]

Image shows John Ruch of the SaportaReport team

John Ruch

John Ruch is a journalist and editor with over 25 years of experience at community and alternative newspapers. He previously served as managing editor at the Reporter Newspapers in Atlanta, where he won Georgia Press Association first-place awards for investigative reporting, business writing and other work. John has also served as editor at community newspapers in Boston, covered metro Atlanta government and politics for Creative Loafing and the Covington News, and worked as a film critic, film publicist and arts columnist. His freelance writing has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and the Seattle Times.
Contact John: [email protected]

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