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Chronicle names Rogers as new editor

Chronicle names Rogers as new editor
February 12
00:00 2015

Readers will notice a change in The Chronicle from here on in the form of its new editor.

Donna Rogers has been appointed to the position of editor. She’s excited about her new position.

“I am excited to be a part of the Black Press. I have gained the knowledge and skills to run a newsroom operation, and I am ready for the exciting days ahead as we serve the Winston-Salem community,” she said.

Kevin Walker, who had been with The Chronicle for the past 16 years, is preparing to pursue his masters degree. His last day was Feb. 6.

Rogers, a South Carolina native, has been with the paper since the end of 2014 as the copy editor. According to Rogers, before coming to The Chronicle, she worked out of South Carolina helping nonprofits and businesses in the area, Virginia and Georgia with public relations and marketing, including producing a newsletter and leading marketing campaigns.

She said that she is looking forward to engaging the community

by assisting them through the paper’s reporting, even though the industry has had a rough few years.

“I believe the biggest hurdle will be overcoming the obstacles newspapers face in general regarding drops in circulation and audience engagement,” Rogers said.

She likens her challenge of navigating the waters of a different facet of the industry to former Winston-Salem State University’s Chancellor Donald Reaves’ challenge, calling it a capstone in her career.

“I believe I am in the same position that former WSSU Chancellor Donald Reaves was in when he became chancellor in 2007. He told me, ‘I always said that I would like to lead an HBCU.’

This job was kind of the capstone in higher education for him, he said, because it called on all of his skills over the previous several decades.

‘I brought with me the things that I learned.’ I always said that I would like to lead a black newspaper. I feel that I have brought with me the things that I have learned in more than three decades of professional journalism.”

She has worked as a reporter, editor, copy editor and designer in different areas of the newsroom, including metro news, business and features. Her last newspaper post was at the South Bend Tribune in Indiana, where she was in charge of the SBT24/7 News Desk, an online-based news channel that specialized in breaking news. She has worked at award-winning newspapers and with award-winning reporters in Southern and Midwestern states.

She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism along with completing Northwestern University’s Advanced Executive program, which teaches management skills.

In 2006, she was named a McCormick Fellow, allowing her to receive hands-on management training in her field.

While Rogers said that it’s hard for her to determine what changes she would bring to the paper, she is doing an assessment on what would be needed to better serve the community.

“The community can expect professionalism and some ways of looking at issues that might not have been looked at before. Although everyone might not agree with what we say or do in The Chronicle, I will strive for fairness and accuracy,” she said.

Chronicle Publisher Ernie Pitt called Rogers a “seasoned professional” who has an understanding of how community journalism works.

“She has a feel for the obscure and a solid commitment to covering the issues and concerns of our community. She will deal with the tough issues, including complicated political and governmental issues,” Pitt said. “I think the community will be pleasantly surprised at her writing skills and the perspectives that she brings to her new job. I’m excited to have her and am looking forward to her tenure.”

Readers can reach Rogers at 336-722-8624 ext. 106 or news@nullwschronicle.com.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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