Chuck Reece is the co-founder of The Bitter Southerner. He left the publication in 2020 and is working on his next journalistic venture. (photo submitted, graphic: Sam Perez)
Grady Society Alumni Board Profile: Chuck Reece (ABJ ’93)
We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm of our Grady Society Alumni Board members. This series profiles members of the alumni board who make a positive difference in our College.
Chuck Reece (ABJ ’93) majored in newspaper journalism. His career has been divided between journalism and corporate and political communication. He became a business journalist immediately after leaving UGA, then became press secretary to former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller. He then moved into corporate communications at The Coca-Cola Company and then in various consulting roles until 2013. He returned to journalism as the founding editor-in-chief of The Bitter Southerner.
What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?
Reece: “I advise current students to learn broadly, to remember that to be effective journalists, they must be more than journalists. They must dive into the subjects they cover with great enthusiasm. They must know the history of those subjects. Any additional knowledge they can gain about the beats they cover is critical, because without it, your work will never have the context great journalism should always have.”
What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?
Reece: “Working for The Red & Black. I had my first story assignment before I even went to my first class. The experience of working in that newsroom every day made me feel alive and gave me the sense of what it means to be proud of work well done.”
What is your favorite place on campus and why?
Reece: “My favorite place on campus — well, slightly off campus — is the offices of The Red & Black. Through all my time at UGA, I worked at the R&B, and as alum, I’ve served on its board of directors. In that place, I learned more about journalism than I ever expected, and prepared me to hit the ground running in my career. There simply is no substitute for the experience students can gain in such a place.”
How has your field changed from your graduation to now?
Reece: “It has changed immeasurably. When I entered journalism, there was no internet. Everything I wrote while in college came from a typewriter. But the internet has turned the journalism world topsy-turvy, and I believe that the only way journalists can break through the clutter is do something I was trained never to do in J-school. I was told never to make myself a character in one of my stories. But these days, I find myself attracted to stories where the writers are fully transparent about how they interact with those they report on, where they admit to readers that their own presence affected the story they wrote.”