The steps needed to do this are embedded in the title of Proctor’s upcoming talk: “Journalism: Extreme Change, Creative Thinking, Massive Resilience.” The talk, , will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Washington and Lee University’s Huntley Hall, Room 327.
“We need to be absolutely strong to push out the message that newspapers and broadcast still have a place,” Proctor says. And, after a distinguished 40-year career, Proctor is a journalist whose warnings are worth heeding.
Prior to joining The Times-Dispatch in November 2005, he spent 10 years at The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., as city editor, assistant managing editor for local news and associate editor. He was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team at the Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal for coverage of the Goodyear takeover, and he has served five times as a Pulitzer juror.
At The Times-Dispatch, Proctor helped the newsroom adapt to delivering journalism online and on mobile devices in addition to publishing a daily newspaper. Under his leadership, the newspaper won the 2008 National Headliner Award for Breaking News for its coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre, as well as Virginia’s top journalism award for public service and freedom of information.
Proctor is the latest Donald W. Reynolds Distinguished Visiting Professor at W&L’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. Proctor’s professorship is made possible by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. This semester he’s teaching a class entitled “Media Management and Entrepreneurship,” which has students creating business plans for media start-up companies. “I’m teaching reality,” says Proctor. “I’m not an academic.”
Proctor has also worked for United Press International, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and the Quad City Times.
For several years, Proctor was an executive-in-residence for the Maynard Management Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and he has worked with Maynard’s Media Academy program for new managers.
He is a board member of the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and serves on the executive council for the Virginia State University Reginald F. Lewis School of Business. He is a current member of the Virginia Press Association’s board and is a past board member of Associated Press Managing Editors. Proctor received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Legacy Award in 2007. He’s also the founder of REDDjobb, a motivational training firm in Charlotte, NC. Proctor is also a poet who has compiled a poetic autobiography entitled, “Life, Kicking Dust.”
Proctor studied accounting at Brandywine College in Wilmington, Del., and is a Vietnam veteran. He spent six years on active duty with the Marines and another six as a reservist. He started his journalism career in 1970 at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pa.
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.