In 2010, SIPA wanted a way to recognize individuals who significantly support scholastic journalism but are not in scholastic journalism classrooms. So we began a Friend of Scholastic Media Award. The first recipient was Ruth McCune Hartness of Henderson, N.C, a Board of Education member who learned that students in two of Vance County’s schools had experienced prior review, prior restraint and censorship and worked to ensure students’ freedom of the press.
The board decided to rename the award, and in 2011 Marie Parsons, retired director of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association, and Ed Sullivan, director of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association were honored with the SIPA Outstanding Service Award.
This year’s recipient, Bill Rogers, has been a friend of both SIPA and SCSPA since he became an assistant professor in the then College of Journalism and Mass Communications at USC in 1983.
Leaving the college in 1988, this individual joined the South Carolina Press Association, and for the last 25 years has served as its Executive Director. Through his SCPA work, he has continued to support scholastic journalism endeavors.
He is an ardent supporter of the First Amendment, and he has served in various capacities for our scholastic organizations as a judge, teacher and provider of funds for SCSPA and SIPA in the form of scholarships and trophies.
In the spring of 2000, he worked with former SIPA director Beth Dickey and then College of Journalism Interim Dean Ron Farrar to provide funds to hire Karen Flowers as a liaison between professionals in the classrooms and teachers in the newsroom, a program Karen named PRO – Professionals Reaching Out.
Not only does Rogers support scholastic journalism, but he knows a good hire when he sees one – or two.
Jen Barclay Madden, assistant director of the South Carolina Press Association, is a former editor of the Wando HS Tribal Tribune, and Jarad Greene, executive assistant at SCPA, is a former scholastic journalist from Tampa, Fla.
Rogers began his journalism career working for newspaper dailies in Asheville, N.C., and Roanoke, Va., and non-dailies in North Carolina and West Virginia.
He has degrees from the University of North Carolina and Marshall University and has had extensive professional training at the Poynter Institute, American Press Institute, University of Alabama, ASNE and Rochester Photo Conference.
Rogers’ teaching experience includes the University of Alabama, Marshall University and Winthrop. He has been a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Athens and Bucharest and a participant in a USC exchange with journalists from Hong Kong.