The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will present Pete McCommons with the inaugural Rollin M. “Pete” McCommons Award for Distinguished Community Journalism.
The award will be presented March 2 at 4 p.m. in the Peyton Anderson Forum at Grady College. The brief program will be followed by a reception, which is open to the public.
“Pete McCommons is an Athens journalism institution, the man who gave the Athens Observer its verve and who created Flagpole as an important countercultural voice of progressivism in the city,” said Charles Davis, dean of Grady College. “His unflagging spirit, his devotion to Athens and to journalism make him the ideal namesake for this new award.”
The Distinguished Community Journalism award recognizes the best in community journalism, as represented by small- to medium-sized daily and weekly news organizations who provide exemplary service to their communities.
McCommons, a political science graduate from UGA, is the publisher and editor of Flagpole Magazine.
Before McCommons worked at Flagpole Magazine, he co-founded the weekly Athens Observer newspaper in 1974.
Since becoming publisher of Flagpole Magazine in 1994, McCommons has written a weekly editorial column in Flagpole, “Pub Notes.” Last year, McCommons, published his first book, “Pub Notes,” which is a collection of his widely followed column.
“I am delighted that the Grady College and its generous sponsors are emphasizing community journalism with this award,” McCommons said. “I am humbled by the honor of having it presented in my name.”
McCommons has been involved in community affairs and local government as he worked in the UGA Institute of Government where he headed the State Government Section.
“The people who cover local government and community affairs are the first responders in the fight to keep our citizenry informed and our governments accountable.” McCommons continued. “This award honors all those whose task is to act as the public’s proxy—to tell us what’s happening in our town and help us understand what it all means. Call them enablers of democracy. That it is given in my name is the greatest reward I can imagine for attending all those community gatherings and meeting (more or less) all those deadlines.”
The Rollin M. “Pete” McCommons Award for Distinguished Community Journalism honors outstanding leadership, innovation and entrepreneurism in community journalism. Supported by an endowment, the annual award administered by Grady College was created to recognize professional journalists, students or faculty who produce community journalism of consequence. The award highlights the substantial contributions of community journalism to civic life and inspires students to pursue careers in community journalism. It is named for Pete McCommons in honor of his outstanding career in community journalism as a leading reporter, editor, publisher and innovative entrepreneur.
February 26, 2018 Author:
Anna Alyssa McKoy, firstname.lastname@example.org