Exclusive: Melissa Long leaving 11Alive for tech startup

Posted Monday, April 30, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

After nearly seven years, anchor and reporter Melissa Long is leaving 11Alive to work for a Canadian tech start-up called Ground. Her final day at the NBC affiliate is Tuesday.

The new app uses artificial intelligence and human verification to help differentiate real news from fake news.

Long said she has been regularly attending tech conferences and interviewing entrepreneurs, fishing around for something new and that’s how she and Ground hooked up. She will be the first journalist on Ground’s staff who will help the company build its operation. She will also remain in Atlanta.

“I’m excited to work on something innovative,” Long said. “It merges a lot of my interests. It’s technology. It’s international. I have an MBA so I think a little differently.”

And with two girls under the age of two, this will give Long a more normal schedule than broadcast news provides.

Ground, headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, was created by a former NASA engineer Harleen Kaur. If you link or provide news to the site, it can verify your location and know that you are a real person, not a Russian bot, Long said. As a news consumer, “you can look for bias and slants. You can get out of your news bubble and compare and contrast and see if there are errors in reporting,” she said.

Before 11Alive, Long, a Syracuse University grad, worked at CNN in 2005 for its online startup network Pipeline, then as a reporter and anchor. She later moved to Bloomberg as an international correspondent.

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