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First Coast Connect

2/10/2017: Media Roundtable; Stetson Kennedy Book; 'Joanne The Scammer'; City Year AmeriCorps

Our weekly Media Roundtable featured David Bauerlein, reporter for the Florida Times-Union; Claire Goforth, editor of Folio Weekly; Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We spoke with Peggy Bulger, the author of “Stetson Kennedy, Applied Folklore and Cultural Advocacy.” Host Melissa Ross spoke by phone with Branden Miller, creator of YouTube sensation “Joanne the Scammer” and we spoke with City Year AmeriCorps recruitment manager Mia Francis and participant Lindsey Rose. 

Media Roundtable

Our panel discussed the debate over expanding the Human Rights Ordinance to cover the LBGT community, which will be voted on by the Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday. They also discussed the possible fallout of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown’s Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons, who pled guilty to two federal counts of wire fraud and theft of government funds. The city council is also considering a bill designed to promote workforce diversity in city agencies.             

Stetson Kennedy

The book traces the life of Kennedy, a folklorist who used his skills and knowledge of traditional culture to affect political and social reform in America. It states how Kennedy used folklore as a political tool to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan in the 1950’s.

‘Joanne the Scammer’

He’s the Daytona Beach YouTube sensation known as “Joanne the Scammer.” Branden Miller, 25, is an openly gay African-American man, who used to make a living acting in porn films. But now, Miller has gaining a cult following as Joanne, a person who sees herself as a rich white woman who breaks into people’s homes, steals their stuff and lives for drama.

City Year AmeriCorps

They work to bridge the gap between the support students need and what schools are designed to provide. City Year AmeriCorps members work in schools across 28 cities to identify students who are at risk of not graduating on time.

City Year AmeriCorps members work full-time for 11 months, striving to make a lasting impact on students’ lives and ultimately increase the graduation rate by providing students with extra academic, emotional and social support.

February 15 is the next application deadline to join City Year.

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.


Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.