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18 December 2007
Former Chanticleer Editor-in-Chief
Pursues Career in Journalism

By Jennifer Bacchus
Consolidated News Service

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Journalism Flows in Her Veins

Danni Lusk

Journalism runs in the blood for Danni Lusk since several relatives, including Jacksonville State University professor and magazine writer Jerry Chandler, have gone into the profession.

Lusk mostly grew up in Pell City and that is where the reporter bug first bit her as a middle-schooler at Duran Junior High.

“The first time I worked in a newspaper I was in seventh grade. It was just our little middle school newspaper. I started doing it because there are several people in my family who are into journalism,” said Lusk. “I guess it was just in me.”

During her sophomore year, Lusk moved to Alexandria and before the end of her senior year was already taking classes at JSU.

“I was only in high school one hour a day my senior year and the rest of the day I was taking college classes with 20-year-olds,” she said.

She graduated from Alexandria High School in 2000 and devoted herself to her studies and to the campus newspaper, The Chanticleer, where she was editor in chief her senior year.

She graduated JSU cum laude in July 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in print journalism.

During her senior year at JSU, she began an internship at The Mudcat, a local arts and music magazine where she continues to freelance.

“There was about a year and a half where I didn’t do anything pertaining to journalism except for that,” she said of her time working for the magazine. “When I had my son I said, ‘OK, time to get a big-girl job.’”

Her son, Maddox was born in August of 2005 and the next February she was hired at the Gadsden Messenger.

While Maddox and journalism are two loves of Lusk’s life, the other is gymnastics. She taught for nine years at Noma’s School of Gymnastics in Anniston. Now that she’s a mom, she’s still a gymnastics teacher in one respect.

“He’s already tumbling a little bit,” she said of Maddox.

The Messenger made good use of her love of community journalism. There she was not only a reporter and photographer, but also worked in page layout and photo editing.

That love of small community papers has ultimately led her to The Piedmont Journal.

“I could go work at a daily if I wanted to, but my heart is in community journalism and I enjoy small-town papers more than larger papers because I get more response from people and they seem to impact people who read the stories more than the stories in large papers,” said Lusk.

See story at The Piedmont Journal's website: .

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