Site Contributors

Blog Contributors

Allan Burke

Allan Burke is publisher emeritus of the Emmons County Record in Linton, North Dakota

Andrew Chavez

Andrew Chavez is a Web specialist at the Dallas Morning News. Before joining the News, he worked at the Austin American-Statesman and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Austin Lewter

Austin Lewter is the editor and publisher of the Whitesboro News-Record and North Texas Best Times Magazine. His career in community journalism, to date, has included leadership roles at nine different community newspapers in Northeast Texas..

Barry Bedlan

Barry Bedlan has been AP’s assistant Dallas bureau chief since 2007, serving newspapers and other media in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. He formerly was an AP news editor in Atlanta and Omaha, and previously worked for newspapers in Nebraska. He is a graduate of Creighton University, where he also later served as its student newspaper’s adviser.

Bob Buckel

Bob Buckel has worked in community journalism at four different newspapers in jobs ranging from sportswriter to publisher. His most recent job was editorial director of the Wise County Messenger.

Broc Sears

Broc Sears has been involved with publications for over 30 years. He a former Senior Editor for Design and Graphics at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where he and supervised a creative team of 35 editors, designers and artists who are responsible for the daily visual report of the paper. He is currently a professional in residence at the TCU Schieffer School of Journalism and has also taught at UTA and SMU. He was Art Director of the Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Morning News and University of North Texas Public Information Office. He has been responsible for three redesigns at the Star-Telegram, the Dallas Times Herald in the mid 1980s and directed the redesign team of the Dallas Morning News in the early 1980s. He has received recognition as an editor, designer, illustrator and art director by the Society of News Design, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Print Magazine, Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Graphis, Art Director's Club of NYC, Associated Press Managing Editors of Texas and Dallas Press Club. He has been a featured speaker and guest lecturer at numerous schools and seminars including Texas A&M, University of Missouri, University of North Texas, Louisiana Press Association, Society of Newspaper Design, API, APME, APSE, Texas Press Association and others.

Chuck Nau

Chuck Nau, of Murray & Nau, Inc., is a publishing consultant with more than 25 years of experience, having served the Seattle Times, Knight-Ridder Newspapers and the Chicago Tribune in a number of management, marketing, media and sales capacities. Nau’s work as a publishing consultant includes clients who are newspapers, publishing associations and niche publications. His practice enables him to put his wide range of publishing experience to work for publishers, sales management teams and senior managers on both a day to day and special project basis. He has assisted clients as a management consultant, sales trainer, facilitator and coach/mentor in advertising, circulation and marketing areas. In addition to his consulting practice, Nau has spoken to and conducted workshops for a number of national publishing groups, state press associations, and newspaper organizations throughout North America. He has written a series of columns covering topics in advertising, management, marketing, and sales which have appeared in various newspaper industry and press association publications.

Dianna Hunt

Dianna Hunt, a reporter/editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and former co-owner of the weekly Bosque County News, spent more than 25 years at some of the largest newspapers in Texas and in community journalism. She has worked at The Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, covering a variety of government beats, including multiple City Halls, federal courts, public education and the Texas Legislature. Many of those years were also spent as a watchdog/investigative reporter producing stories on racial profiling in the Houston area and throughout Texas, improprieties among nonprofits, failure of federal emergency funding to reach the neediest victims of a tornado, and problems within suburban fire departments in North Texas. She won the Texas APME Freedom of Information award twice and the national Brechner Award for Freedom of Information for packages of stories about open government, and she has also won state and national awards for feature writing, short features and spot news. She moved into editing in 2001 to oversee the government reporters at the Star-Telegram, and later moved to the business department as an assistant business editor. She recently returned to reporting in a combined reporting/editing role. She and her husband, longtime Texas journalist Evan Moore, are also former co-owners of the Bosque County News in Meridian, southwest of Fort Worth, covering a county of about 22,000 people with seven cities and eight school districts. She is a former board member of the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization, and is a member of the Native American Journalists Association. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1981 from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jason Fochtman

Jason Fochtman is the photo editor for the East Group of Houston Community Newspapers covering 11 papers. Prior to his current responsibilities, he served as the sports reporter and photographer for the Cleveland Advocate, Eastex Advocate and Dayton News covering seven schools. Jason graduated from Texas Christian University in 2009 and is a former multimedia editor of the TCU Daily Skiff, as well as photos editor for the TCU Horned Frog Yearbook. You can follow him on Twitter at @JFoch.

Jim Busch

Jim Busch has more than 28 years experience selling print advertising and has developed a reputation as one of the top sales trainers in the community newspaper industry. Jim is a faculty member of the Leadership Institute, the training arm of the Association of Free and Community Papers. He also writes a monthly column for the AFCP’s Free Paper INK magazine and the “Link and Learn” Column for PaperChain. In 2008 Jim founded Ideas and Eyeballs Sales Training and Consulting to provide sales training and management consulting services to publishers and industry associations.

Jock Lauterer

Jock Lauterer is one of the nation’s best-known authorities on community journalism. He has written six books, including “Community Journalism: Relentlessly Local.” Jock is the founding director of the Carolina Community Media Project.

Kathleen McElroy

Kathleen McElroy, a first-year doctoral journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin, is the editor of Reporting Texas. She re-entered academia after spending 20 years at The New York Times, where she worked in sports, news, dining and on the Web. She previously was an editor at The National (sports daily), Newsday, The Austin American-Statesman, Huntsville Item and Bryan-College Station Eagle. She earned a Master of Arts from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M.

Ken Blum

Ken Blum is the publisher of Butterfly Publications, an advising/speaking/publishing business dedicated to improving the profitability and quality of community newspapers. He puts out a monthly free e-mail newsletter titled Black Inklings. It features nuts-and-bolts ideas to improve revenue and profits at hometown papers. To subscribe to the newsletter or contact Ken, email him at blummer@aol.com or phone 330-682-3416.

Kent Pingel

D. Kent Pingel is a road weary, caffeinated pioneer of the Blogosphere. Previously, he enjoyed a sizeable following, albeit that was back when a Starbucks cup of coffee was more expensive than a gallon of gas. In the media coverage of his blog, he was proud to be called “a digital Jack Kerouac.” Pingel resurfaces as PingWi-Fi, and his mission is the same - to seek out wireless connectivity and to sample cultural “places-to-be” … while mixing in more than a few ellipses and smileys. As a journalist, Ping(el) completed his first TV reporting gig at the age of 12. Later, he won his first journalism award - A Hearst — for a feature written about Stanley Marsh 3, the owner/curator of Old Route 66’s Cadillac Ranch. This world famous monument to roadtrips, The Cadillac Ranch was the launching point for the travels of The Wi-Fi Guy in 2004. The blogger also is the editor of and a major contributor to the sports collectable NOLAN RYAN: The Authorized Pictorial History. In addition to Ping, the book’s roster includes submissions from a U.S. President and a Pulitzer Prize winner. High atop his virtual mantle, the blogger rates his exclusive one-on-one interview with Joe Strummer (the legendary frontman of The Clash) as a crowning achievement. Pingel tends to post that interview on-line at the drop of a hat, and he hopes to one day host an Internet radio show featuring the taped conversation. He also has interviewed and written about artists ranging from blues giant Willie Dixon to fellow Texan, the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. Ping resides in Fort Worth, Texas and traces his roots back to a tiny shack of a farmhouse, halfway between Amarillo, Texas and the New Mexican desert. His hometown Vega, Texas has been featured in not one, but two reality TV shows and an independent film … alas, the expat Vegan didn’t make the cut. Be forewarned. Do not ask Ping about his family toiling with their own hands to build the first telephone line - a five-mile stretch — to link their remote farm with civilization. He will tear up and wax philosophically hours on end about the legacy. This true story of course instilled in him an insatiable desire for connectivity, 24/7. Ping is a music fan, tends to ride his mountain bike around heavily trafficked metropolitan areas, and is prone to digress.

Kristen Tribe

Kristen Tribe is the news editor of the Wise County Messenger in Decatur. She has previously written for American Profile, Texas Profile, American Cowboy and The Cattleman magazine. She's a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M University.

LauraKing

Laura King covers media and technology, designs publications and manages online editorial content as publications editor for the Texas Press Association in Austin. Before joining TPA she edited publications for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Tallahassee, Fla. A native Midwesterner, King received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Missouri State University in 2007.

Laura Lee Prather

Laura Lee Prather is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. Laura focuses her practice on First Amendment, intellectual property and media and entertainment litigation and appeals. She has significant government relations experience as an advocate at the Texas Legislature on First Amendment and open government concerns. She advises an extensive array of content providers including online and traditional newspapers, magazines, radio and broadcasters, cable television stations, production companies and music and sports entities.

Mac McKinnon

Mac McKinnon is a former police reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a TV newsman in Midland-Odessa. He was publisher of several community newspapers before returning back home to Dublin to take over the Citizen.

Mark Engebretson

Managing Editor of the Lake Country Sun

Max Heath

Max Heath is a semi-retired postal consultant for Publishing Group of America (American Profile/Relish/Spry), and for Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc. of Shelbyville, Ky., a division of Landmark Communications. For 21 years he was executive editor and for 23 years corporate circulation director as well. Max received the NNA President's Award in 1989 and 1997, Ambassador Award in 1992, and coveted Amos Award for service to NNA in 1994, and President’s Award in 2007.

Melissa Perner

Melissa Perner is editor and publisher of The Ozona Stockman. She is a former reporter for the San Angelo Standard-Times and a former president of the West Texas Press Association.

Robert Williams

Robert M. Williams Jr. is president of the National Newspaper Association, America's alliance of community daily and weekly newspapers. He owns or co-owns five weekly newspapers in Georgia and is a past president of the Georgia Press Association. He was recently named by Georgia Trend magazine to its 2014 list of the "100 Most Influential People" in Georgia.

Rod Serfoss

Rod Serfoss, publisher of the Clinton Daily News, took over as president of the Oklahoma Press Association on July 1, 2010. He will serve a one-year term. Serfoss has been publisher of the Daily News for seven years and has served six years on the OPA's board of directors. Other officers serving for the 2010-2011 term are Rusty Ferguson, publisher of The Cleveland American, as vice president; Barb Walter, co-publisher of The Hennessey Clipper, as treasurer; and Gloria Trotter, co-publisher of The Countywide & Sun, as past president. Directors are Jeff Shultz, The Garvin County News Star; Jeff Mayo, Sequoyah County Times; Jeff Funk, Enid News & Eagle; Robby Trammell, The Oklahoman; Dayva Spitzer, Sayre Record & Beckham County Democrat; and Brian Blansett, Shawnee News-Star. "With all of the new technology available there are many new frontiers on how we get the news to the people. That makes this an exciting time in the history of Oklahoma newspapers," said Serfoss. "There is a huge difference in the way the Daily Oklahoman and Tulsa World operate in comparison to the Sentinel Leader or the Clinton Daily News. But in spite of those differences we all share a common goal, informing the public in the communities we serve." Serfoss, who began his newspaper career as a paperboy for the Clinton Daily News in 1965, has served in all areas of the newspaper's operation. In 1983 he was named general manager of the Daily News and served in that position for five years before leaving for a three-year stint as general manager of the Sand Springs Leader. He returned to Clinton in 1991 as associate publisher and part owner of the Daily News, and was named publisher in 2003 following the death of Charles Engleman, who served as publisher for 63 years. Serfoss and his wife, Jody, have two children, daughter Amber Turney and husband Brandon and son Dr. Kyle Serfoss and his wife Katie. Between their children they have six grandchildren, with another on the way, who all live in Clinton.

Roy Eaton

Roy J. Eaton retired in 2009 as president and publisher of the Wise County Messenger, a newspaper he had owned and published for 33 years. He began his journalism career as a part-time reporter for a Fort Worth radio station in 1956 following his freshman year at TCU. While still a student, he was named news director of the station in 1958. He became news director of the NBC radio affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth in 1968 and later became director of television news coverage and news anchorman for the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC television affiliate. He returned to his home town and purchased the Wise County Messenger in 1973 when it was a weekly publication of 2,500 circulation. The paper began publishing twice-weekly in 1980 and now has a paid circulation of more than 7,000. Combined with a Total Market Coverage publication "All Around Wise" the Messenger has a mid-week circulation of more than 21,000. The Messenger won more than 150 awards for excellence in news coverage, advertising and design, including 21 awards in the National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper contests in 2008. The Messenger won NNA's coveted "General Excellence" award for twice-weekly newspapers in 2005. Eaton was elected to the National Newspaper Association board of directors in 1992 representing Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico. He was president of NNA in 1996-97 and has also served as chairman of the NNA Postal and Membership committees. He is a past president of the Texas Press Association and the Texas Newspaper Foundation and the Fort Worth Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He is a past director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. Eaton has received the Harold Hudson Memorial Award from the West Texas Press Association and the Sam C. Holloway Award from the North and East Texas Press Association. For the past 40 years, he has served as a livestock show and parade announcer for the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth. He was presented the 2005 Ethics Award by the Schieffer School of Journalism. The award was presented "in recognition of a career dedicated to achieving and demanding the highest ethical standards in the profession of journalism."

Sonya Cisneros

Sonya Cisneros is a 2008 graduate of the Schieffer School of Journalism. She is a freelance writer and the public relations and marketing assistant at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.

Stephen Fogle

Stephen R. Fogle represents media companies and individual journalists, editors, publishers, and content producers on First Amendment, privacy, and news gathering issues and has wide experience in representing business clients on a complete range of commercial, construction, and contractual matters. A veteran trial attorney, mediator, and arbitrator, Mr. Fogle has handled a wide range of claims based on allegations of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, First Amendment, and trespass in addition to an extensive list of trademark, trade dress, copyright, patent infringement, software contract, construction, real estate, nuisance, consumer protection statute, collection, telecommunication, professional malpractice, labor and employment, and prisoner's rights issues. He has a wide and varied experience in the use and defense of Temporary Restraining Orders, Temporary and Permanent Injunctions in media, and commercial and intellectual property matters. Mr. Fogle is actively involved in the pre-publication review of articles, broadcasts, and investigative journalism pieces for his media clients as well as the development and implementation of litigation prevention strategies for all his clients. Mr. Fogle's recent experience includes defending a neighborhood association accused of tortious interference with a contract by a landowner whose property was annexed after an extensive public debate over the planned use for that property; the defense of a media company accused of defamation by a local charity following the broadcast of an investigative story; and, defeating injunctions aimed at preventing the construction of communications towers in restricted subdivisions. In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Fogle has been a state and federal court mediator since 1994, and in that time, he has assisted in the disposition of hundreds of cases through the mediation process. He has served as Master in Chancery to the 150th District Court of Bexar County, Texas, and as a discovery master in civil suits by request and agreement of the parties. In 1998, Mr. Fogle was selected and certified by the United States Postal Service to mediate employment issues at postal facilities throughout south Texas. In June 2000, he was appointed to the Blue Ribbon Panel of Mediators for the Rio Grande District of the Postal Service. In 2003, he began serving as an Arbitrator for parties upon request and became a certified Arbitrator in 2007 and is on several panels with Conflict Solutions of Texas, Inc.

Tommy Thomason

Tommy Thomason is the founding director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism. Thomason began his career in journalism in the early 1970s with the Associated Press, working as a sportswriter in Arkadelphia and Little Rock, Ark. He has also worked in public relations in Dallas and as a copyeditor for several regional magazines.

Al Cross

Al Cross edited and managed weekly newspapers before spending 26 years at The (Louisville) Courier-Journal and serving as president of the Society of Professional Journalists. Since 2004 he has been director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based at the University of Kentucky. See www.RuralJournalism.org. A print-only version of this blogpost ran originally in Publisher’s Auxiliary. It is used by permission of Pub Aux and the National Newspaper Association.

Rick Rogers

Community journalism and newspapers are a passion of Rick Rogers. H is currently serving as a regional manager for TownNews.com, the No. 1 content-management-system provider for newspapers in the United States. Prior to joining TownNews.com, Rogers worked as an editor, publisher and executive for community newspapers in Southwest Missouri and Texas, most recently with GateHouse Media and its Texas community properties. You can email him at rrogers@townnews.com.

Kathi Bliss

Kathi Bliss is the managing editor of the Lockhart Post-Register in south central Texas.

Randall King

Dr. Randall King is a professor of communication and director of broadcast media at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Dick Colvin

Dick Colvin has made a career of working with newspapers. With his background of dailies, weeklies, free and paid papers, his sales and marketing sessions have trained hundreds of people in the past 40-plus years. He also directed two different newspaper associations over the past decade.

Jim Pumarlo

Jim Pumarlo writes, speaks and provides training on community newsroom success strategies. He is author of “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage,” “Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Coverage” and “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in Small-Town Newspapers.” He can be reached at www.pumarlo.com and welcomes comments and questions at jim@pumarlo.com.

Ask an expert contributors

Broc Sears

Broc Sears has been involved with publications for over 30 years. He a former Senior Editor for Design and Graphics at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where he and supervised a creative team of 35 editors, designers and artists who are responsible for the daily visual report of the paper. He is currently a professional in residence at the TCU Schieffer School of Journalism and has also taught at UTA and SMU. He was Art Director of the Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Morning News and University of North Texas Public Information Office. He has been responsible for three redesigns at the Star-Telegram, the Dallas Times Herald in the mid 1980s and directed the redesign team of the Dallas Morning News in the early 1980s. He has received recognition as an editor, designer, illustrator and art director by the Society of News Design, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Print Magazine, Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Graphis, Art Director's Club of NYC, Associated Press Managing Editors of Texas and Dallas Press Club. He has been a featured speaker and guest lecturer at numerous schools and seminars including Texas A&M, University of Missouri, University of North Texas, Louisiana Press Association, Society of Newspaper Design, API, APME, APSE, Texas Press Association and others.

Chip Stewart

Dr. Chip Stewart joined the Schieffer School from the University of Missouri, where he finished his Ph.D. while teaching and working at the Columbia Missourian. Stewart is currently editor-in-chief of Dispute Resolution Magazine, a quarterly publication of the Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association. His journalism experience includes working as city editor of the Missourian. He is also a sports freelance writer and has worked as a sports public relations assistant at Southern Methodist University. Stewart earned his law degree at the University of Texas and is licensed to practice both by the Texas bar and the Missouri bar. He worked as an attorney in Killeen in the late 1990s, practicing criminal, bankruptcy and family law. He also clerked in the Travis County Attorney's office.

Mark Horvit

Mark Horvit became IRE's executive director in January 2008. A longtime IRE member and native of Texas, Horvit most recently served as projects editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His journalism career includes reporting and editing duties at The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.), Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times, The Houston Post, Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune and The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer before joining the Star-Telegram, where he worked both as a reporter and an editor.

Phil Record

Phil J. Record, a native of Fort Worth, joined the Schieffer School as professional in residence in ethics in 1999. He has been a newspaperman more than half a century, spending most of those years at Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Record first went to work for the newspaper in 1944 as a copy boy. He retired as ombudsman for the newspaper on Dec. 31, 1997. Record is former national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation's largest journalism organization, and is the recipient of the Wells Key, the highest honor bestowed by the Society on a member. He also served as the international president of the Organization of News Ombudsman. He is former vice president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and a former chair of the Mass Communications Advisory Committee at Texas Tech University. He is a member of the Texas Tech Mass Communications Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was named to the newly formed Texas Tech Mass Communication Board of Directors. Record also served on the American Bar Association’s national Commission on Public Understand About the Law and the Commission on Partnership Programs. He is the recipient of the TCU Journalism Ethics Award and 19 professional awards for reporting, photography and headline writing.

Robert Bohler

Robert Bohler is a veteran of Georgia community journalism. He now advises the TCU Daily Skiff laboratory newspaper at TCU and the quarterly Image Magazine, and he also oversees their production and advertising operations. He has worked in, written about, or taught how to practice journalism since 1981, when he began his career at a weekly newspaper in Georgia. His professional experiences range from that of managing editor at that small weekly newspaper to general assignment and public affairs reporting at medium-sized and metropolitan dailies. Bohler has reported for The Lanier County (Ga.) News, The Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times, The Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald and The Athens Daily News, The Greenville (S.C.) News, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His commentaries on the ethics scandals at newspapers and the national news coverage of the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy Jr. have been published in Editor & Publisher magazine, and other essays on news coverage and popular culture have been published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bohler joined the Schieffer School of Journalism in 2000 after 10 years as a journalism faculty member at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., where he also served as adviser to news operations at The George-Anne, the student newspaper. He is actively involved with the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and College Media Advisers, the nation’s largest group of student media advisers. He is editor of College Media Review, the quarterly magazine of popular and peer-reviewed articles published by CMA and from 2002 until 2006 was coordinator of publication critiques at the CMA national conventions. He has also served as editor or co-editor of several student-staffed daily newspapers that have covered the national conventions of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry, a 1976 graduate of TCU, is director of community engagement at TBD.com. He came to Albritton for his position as C3 Innovation Coach for Gazette Communications, where he guided the company’s pursuit of the Complete Community Connection and a Mobile-First Strategy, Steve’s vision for a new business model for local media companies. He joined The Gazette and GazetteOnline as editor in 2008 and directed coverage of a flood that was the biggest natural disaster in Iowa history. The Gazette staff won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for deadline reporting for its flood coverage. Steve was recently named Editor of the Year by Editor & Publisher magazine. Steve has spent 38 years in journalism, starting his senior year of high school as a sports writer at The Evening Sentinel in Shenandoah, Iowa. He has been a reporter, editor and writing coach for the Des Moines Register, Kansas City Star and Times, Minot Daily News and Omaha World-Herald. Steve has pursued his journalism career in newsrooms, news stories and events in 43 states, eight Canadian provinces, Russia, Ecuador, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. He has taught journalists and media executives in more than 300 newsrooms, seminars, conferences, universities and webinars. Before joining The Gazette, he spent three years with the American Press Institute, focusing mostly on teaching and research in the Newspaper Next innovation project. He remains affiliated with API, conducting the Upholding and Updating Ethical Standards seminar series.

Tim Jones

Tim Jones is a veteran of several community newspapers. He began his photojournalism career as a staff photographer at the Duncan (Okla.) Daily Banner, and over the following 12 years also worked at The Morning Dispatch in Cookeville, Tennessee, and The News-Press/Gazette in St. Joseph, Missouri. He later worked as a correspondent for UPI Photo in Kansas City, Missouri, before moving to Texas, and is currently the director of photography with Apex MediaWire photo agency. Jones has been active in Sigma Delta Chi/Society of Professional Journalists, Kappa Tau Alpha journalism honor society and the National Press Photographers Association where he is on the board of directors. During his career Jones has been honored by Associated Press Kansas/Missouri, Missouri Press Association, and SPJ/Kansas City Press Club for photo of the year in both news and feature photography categories, and has received repeated recognition by the National Press Photographers Association in its Monthly National Clip Contest.

Video and podcast contributors

Mark Horvit

Mark Horvit became IRE's executive director in January 2008. A longtime IRE member and native of Texas, Horvit most recently served as projects editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His journalism career includes reporting and editing duties at The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.), Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times, The Houston Post, Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune and The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer before joining the Star-Telegram, where he worked both as a reporter and an editor.

Mel Taylor

Mel Taylor is founder of Mel Taylor Media, a digital consultancy specializing in online revenue strategy and training for local media. Mel is a highly rated and often provocative speaker/trainer with a 15-year background in Philadelphia radio, television and newspapers that includes on-air, sales & web management. Mel’s recent work includes Tribune Newspapers, Philly.com, Clear Channel Interactive, Fox-TV, CBS Radio, GateHouse Media, Newspaper Association of America and various hyper-local publishers.

Paula LaRocque

Paula LaRocque, one of America's foremost writing coaches, is an author, editor, and communications consultant. She has conducted writing workshops for hundreds of media, government, academic, and business groups across the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has also been a writing consultant for the Associated Press, the Drehscheibe Institute in Bonn, and the European Stars & Stripes in Germany. She has been a columnist for the Society of Professional Journalists' Quill magazine for more than 20 years. Her commentaries air regularly on National Public Radio in Dallas. She is also the author of three books on writing. Since leaving The Dallas Morning News in 2001, Paula has been writing fiction and has completed the first two of a mystery novel series. Currently, she's a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Inc., and the Dallas-Fort Worth Writers Workshop.

Richard Durrett

Richard Durrett, a reporter with ESPN radio and a former sportswriter at the Dallas Morning News, died unexpectedly at age 38 of a brain aneurism in 2014. Richard was one of the best-respected sports journalists in Dallas-Fort Worth and left behind many fans who appreciated his brand of balanced and complete sports journalism. He graduated from TCU.