Skip to main content

School of Communication & Journalism
Journalism Advisory Council


Justin C. Blankenship

Justin C. Blankenship

Associate Professor

Associate Director of Journalism
The Journalism Program has an Advisory Council, which consists of professional journalists and managers from all types of media. The council advises the program on its curriculum, scholarships, development, training and direction of the program. Members of the council are available to meet with journalism majors about internships, post-graduation job opportunities and career consultation. The advisory council meets each fall and spring.


Kendra Carter, Chair
Web Content Coordinator, School of Medicine at UAB 

Cliff McCollum, Vice Chair
Director of Constituent Services, Baldwin County Legislative Delegation

Antrenise Robinson, Secretary
Corporate Communications Manager, Bancorp South        

Anthony Cook, Immediate Past Chair
Editor, Talladega (Ala.) Daily Home


Kay Acton
Magazine consultant, Birmingham, Ala.

Bill Barrow
Southeast Political Reporter, Associated Press

Ken Bradley
Managing Editor, The Athletic Carolina

Katie Brumbeloe
Digital Coach, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette

Kim Chandler
State Government Reporter, Associated Press

Samantha Corona
Corporate Affairs and Communications, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama

Scott Duff
News Director, WSFA-12, Montgomery

Dewey English
Mobile curator, Alabama Media Group

Graham Hadley
Creative Division Vice President, Partners by Design

Jon Johnson
Sports Editor, Dothan Eagle

Julie Clark McKinney
Director of Communications, REV Birmingham

Felicia Mason
Executive Director, Alabama Press Association

Maxwell Newfield
Associate Producer for Documentaries, CNN

Bill Perkins
Editorial Page Editor, Dothan Eagle

John Pruett
Sports Editor (retired), The Huntsville Times

David White
Policy Analyst, Alabama Governor’s Office

Helen Northcutt White
Editorial Assistant, Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times Magazines

Cy Wood
Former Publisher, The Valley (Ala.) Times–News

Auburn Journalism Awards

Every year, the Journalism Advisory Council honors five distinguished journalists for their dedication and contribution to journalism at Auburn University and beyond. We invite you to nominate candidates for the Auburn Journalism Awards. These awards recognize deserving professionals in five categories with Alabama backgrounds.

Below are the awards categories and criteria:
• Distinguished Alabama Community Journalist. This honors a distinguished body of work, or career, past or present, achieved while practicing community-based, or local, journalism in Alabama.

• Distinguished Alabama Community Sports Journalist. This honors a distinguished body of work, or career, past or present, achieved while practicing community-based, or local, sports journalism in Alabama.

• Distinguished Special Achievement In Journalism. This honors a distinguished body of work, or career, past or present, enhancing or beneficially reflecting upon the practice of journalism, achieved in the state or by one who has lived, worked or attended college in Alabama.

• Distinguished Mass Media Achievement. This honors a distinguished body of work, or career, past or present, in mass media disciplines, achieved in the state or by one who has lived, worked or attended college in Alabama.

• Distinguished AU Journalism Alumnus. This honors a distinguished body of work, or career, past or present, by an AU Journalism alumnus, and is not restricted to the practice of journalism, recognizing that AU-J alums have succeeded admirably in other fields.

Please provide appropriate background information and make a case for your nominee, specifying her or his category. Each nomination requires a separate letter or email, even if you nominate someone for multiple awards. For each nominee, include current contact data if possible. If you nominated someone not chosen in the past, try again. Recipients have been chosen after multiple nominations. A panel of nine judges decides recipients, which are to be presented in fall.

The Advisory Council established these awards in 2005 “to recognize and celebrate the best and most enduring professionals in our field” who work inside or outside of the state, but have Alabama roots. Only the AU Journalism Alumnus award requires that the recipient has an Auburn University journalism connection, and it is not restricted to those in the practice of journalism. The advisory council realizes “numerous AU journalism alumni have succeeded admirably in a variety of fields.”

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Justin Blankenship at


2019 Kim Chandler, Alabama State Government Reporter, Associated Press

2018 Mickey Logue, Professor Emeritus of Journalism

2017 Kay Acton, Magazine Consultant

2016 David Housel, Athletics Director Emeritus, Auburn University

2015 Buddy Davidson, Sports Information Director, Auburn University

2014 Rob Rainey, Owner, Rob Rainey Video

2013 Ace Atkins, Novelist

2012 Vickey Hunt Williams, Senior Producer,

2011 Dewey W. English Jr., Managing Editor, The (Mobile) Press-Reg­ister

2010 Paul Hemphill, Columnist, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Author

2009 Rheta Grimsley Johnson, Syndicated Columnist, Author

2008 Cynthia Tucker, Editorial Page Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

2007 Jerry Brown, Dean of the Journalism School, The University of Montana

2006 Dennis Bailey, Attorney & Chief Counsel, Alabama Press Association

2005 Jack Simms, Journalism Professor Emeritus, Auburn University


2019 Carol Nunnelley, Founder and Executive Editor, BirminghamWatch

2018 Glenn Ellis, Media Health Advocate

2017 Tim Dorsey, Novelist

2016 Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

2015 Bob Sanders, Radio Personality, WAUD-AM, Auburn, Ala.

2014 Mark Winne, Investigative Reporter, WSB-TV 2 (Atlanta)

2013 Phillip Rawls, Alabama Statehouse Reporter, Associated Press

2012 Jim Wooten, Reporter, ABC News

2011 Jim Stewart, Reporter, CBS News

2010 Howell Raines, Editor, The New York Times, Author

2009 John Logue, Founding Editor, Southern Living; Editor-in-Chief, Oxmoor House; Author

2007 Robert B. Ingram Jr., Columnist, Montgomery Advertiser; Publisher, ALABAMA Magazine; Ed. Director, WSFA-TV, Montgomery

2005 Don Logan, Chairman, Media and Communications Group, Time Warner


2019 John Zenor, Associated Press

2018 Reggie Benson, Sports Writer, Huntsville Time

2017 Phillip Marshall, Sports Writer, Huntsville Times

2016 Mark Murphy, Publisher, Inside the Auburn Tigers

2015 Paul South,

2014 Bill Shelton, Sports Editor, The Cullman Times

2013 Mike Easterling, Former Columnist and Prep Sports Editor, The Huntsville Times

2012 Ron Ingram, Communication Director Alabama High School Athletic Association

2011 Jon Johnson, Sports Editor, The Dothan Eagle

2010 George H. Smith, Sports Editor, The Anniston Star

2009 Shannon Allen, Sports Editor, The Sand Mountain Reporter, Albertville

2008 Jimmy Smothers, Sports Editor, Gadsden Times

2007 John Pruett, Sports Editor, Huntsville Times

2006 Charles H. Land, Sports Editor, The Tuscaloosa News


2019 John Underwood, Gulf Coast Media editor/reporter

2018 Barnett Wright, Executive Editor, Birmingham Times

2017 Bill Keller, Former Executive Director, Alabama Press Association

2016 Gillis Morgan, Associate Professor Emeritus of Journalism, Auburn University

2015 Bruce McLellan, Online Editor, Decatur Daily?Florence Times-Daily

2014 John Ehinger, Editorial Page Editor, The Huntsville Times

2013 Guy N. Rhodes, Publisher and Editor, The Tuskegee News

2012 Cy Wood, Publisher, Valley Times-News

2011 Carol Pappas, Publisher, Daily Home, Talladega/Owner, Partners by Design, Inc.

2010 John W. Stevenson, Publisher and Editor, The Randolph Leader

2009 Jean Sutton, Managing Editor, The Democrat-Reporter, Linden

2008 Sam Harvey, Editor, The Advertiser-Gleam, Guntersville

2007 Alvin Benn, Reporter, Columnist, Montgomery Advertiser

2006 Joel P. Smith Sr., Publisher, The Eufaula Tribune

2005 Paul R. Davis, Columnist, Publisher, Davis Publications


2019 Connor Sheets, Investigative Reporter, Alabama Media Group

2018 John Archibald, Columnist, and Birmingham News

2017 Don Moseley, Political and Investigative Producer, WMAQ-TV, Chicago

2016 Ken Hare, Editorial Page Editor, Montgomery Advertiser

2014 Harvey H. "Hardy" Jackson, Professor and Eminent Scholar, Jacksonville State University

2013 Ed Williams, Professor, Auburn University

2012 Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus, Auburn University

2011 Ronald B. Casey, Editorial Page Editor, The Birmingham News

2010 David E. White, Alabama Legislative Reporter, The Birmingham News

2009 Kathryn Tucker Windham, Journalist, Author, Humorist

2008 Brett Blackledge, Reporter, The Birmingham News

2007 Dr. Edward Mullins, Professor, Journalism Chair, Dean of College of Communication & Information Sciences, The University of Alabama

2006 Dr. Bailey Thomson, Editorialist, Columnist, Journalism Professor, The University of Alabama

Note: Awards are not necessarily bestowed annually. Generally, the posts listed are those held at the time of recipients’ recognition and do not necessarily reflect current status.


Justin C. Blankenship

Justin C. Blankenship

Associate Professor

Associate Director of Journalism