Jan 4, 2022 - News

Screen Time with Mike Carnathan of the Atlanta Regional Commission

A photo of a man wearing glasses and a suit, framed by a smartphone
Mike Carnathan. Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Atlanta Regional Commission

Say you want to know which Atlanta neighborhoods have the highest rate of college graduates or the lowest rates of health insurance coverage. Or maybe how much of the metro region’s residents are foreign-born.

Mike Carnathan, the Atlanta Regional Commission’s resident data expert and co-founder of Neighborhood Nexus, is your man. We asked him how he feeds his brain throughout the day.

👇 First tap of the day: This is going to sound so pandering, but it seriously is Axios. It’s the Mike Allen AM newsletter because it’s waiting for me in my inbox. I like the style of writing. It’s quick and gives you links to more in-depth news if you need it. It's a good roundup of the day's news. Now it’s also Axios Atlanta.

  • After that it’s usually a local news source like the AJC or the Business Chronicle.
  • Throughout the day I love going to Arts & Letters Daily. It’s a roundup of different articles, new books that are out, essays and opinions. 
  • I go on Pew Research all the time. Bloomberg CityLab. Brookings, particularly their metro and city sections. The Upshot. If I need to feed my data nerd, I try to find data journalism wherever I can.

🎧 Podcast preferences: For work-related podcasts I listen to "Planet Money," "The Daily" as long as it doesn’t get too political and "Freakonomics." To get really geeky, our local Federal Reserve has a podcast that I love.

  • The latest thing I’ve been listening to has been on workforce development and legislation that could make the workforce development system more efficient.

📚 Reading list: Right now I have four, and I’m mostly at the beginning. I’m reading "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson. It got pretty laborious. Another book is called "Math Tricks." I learned a new trick to multiply by 11.  

📲 Most used app: I’m embarrassed to say it’s actually Twitter. I’m more of a voyeur on it. Same with Facebook. Occasionally, I’ll chime in with the Neighborhood Nexus account. At the end of the day, I’ll check to see if there’s any news with the Braves, Falcons, Hawks.

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