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A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media

Bonita Gooch receives award at luncheon

Bonita Gooch, editor and publisher of The Community Voice in Wichita, was speaker for the 2019 Huck Boyd Lecture. Her topic was "The Grind: Using Journalism as a Community Builder." Steve Smethers, associate director of undergraduate studies, is pictured with her. 


The Huck Boyd Center, located in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University, was founded in 1990. The mission of the center is to serve and strengthen the local newspapers, radio stations, cable systems and other media that play a key role in the survival and revitalization of America's small towns.

The center affirms the fact that community and communication are inseparable; you cannot have community without communications. The director of the center is Gloria Freeland, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications at K-State. She has held the position since 1998.

The center:

  • Sponsors the annual Huck Boyd Lecture in Community Media
  • Works with the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors to promote “conversations in community journalism” between academicians and journalists working for community newspapers, with the goal of strengthening community journalism
  • Co-sponsored the annual "Newspapers and Community-Building Symposium" in conjunction with the National Newspaper Association's annual convention for 20 years
  • Supports research dealing with issues affecting community media and the health of their communities
  • Educates students about community media
  • Co-sponsored the Great Plains Radio History Symposium
  • Helps coordinate multicultural events at Kansas State University

2019 Huck Boyd Lecture 

Bonita Headshot

Bonita Gooch Speaker for the 19th Annual Huck Boyd Lecture in Community Media

         Bonita Gooch, editor and publisher of The Community Voice in Wichita, delivered the 19th annual Huck Boyd Lecture in Community Media on Feb. 14 at Kansas State University. 

          Her lecture, “The Grind: Using Journalism as a Community Builder,” was at 9:30 a.m. in Forum Hall of the K-State Student Union. “More than reporting the news, community newspapers can play a role in strengthening the communities they serve,” Gooch said.

With its slogan — “A trusted voice from the community’s perspective” — she and her team at the biweekly newspaper have spent the last 24 years gaining and using that trust to help educate, connect and build African-American communities across Kansas. 

                  Gooch also participated in a 10:30 a.m. panel discussion about minority voices in the news. The panel followed the lecture and was also free and open to the public. Panelists included Gooch, Clara Reyes and Diana Reyes Raymer of Reyes Media Group (Dos Mundos; LA X 1250-AM; La Grande 1340-AM; and ESPN Deportes Kansas City 1480-AM) in Kansas City, Bryan Richardson of the Manhattan Mercury, and Mara Rose Williams of the Kansas City Star. Rafael Garcia, senior in journalism and mass communications, will moderate the panel.

Richard Baker, recently-retired associate professor and news director of the K-State Radio Network, and Clara Reyes, editor and publisher of Dos Mundos in Kansas City, were honored as Huck Boyd Community Journalists of the Year at the luncheon following the panel discussion. This award is given by the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media and the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development.

A Wichita native, Gooch left home after high school and returned 23 years later. Since November 1996, she’s worked to grow The Community Voice newspaper from a fledgling publication to a force within the state of Kansas. When her family purchased the paper, it was a small monthly publication with limited distribution. Under her leadership, the paper’s distribution has grown into one of the state’s largest-circulation non-daily newspapers.

Gooch increased the publication’s frequency from monthly to bi-weekly, but is most proud of the reputation the paper has developed across the state for quality and integrity in journalism.

Gooch actively participates in a large number of events across the state. When issues impact the community both directly and indirectly, she can be found attending city, county, school and state governmental meetings.  The important issues from these meetings often find their way onto the pages of The Community Voice, as news pieces or as the subject of editorials.

Gooch received her B.S. in journalism and a master’s in public administration, with an emphasis in urban management, from the University of Kansas.

Gooch is a single mother of a young independent daughter who resides in New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, running, listening to R&B, jazz and classical music, letting loose on a dance floor, gardening, reading a good book, traveling and enjoying the silence. 

Gooch’s lecture, the panel discussion and the luncheon are sponsored by the Huck Boyd center in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

“McDill ‘Huck’ Boyd was a great believer in preserving small towns and small-town media, and this lecture series in his name helps highlight the importance of community journalism in Kansas and across the nation,” said Gloria Freeland, director of the center and assistant professor in journalism and mass communications.

To become a patron of the Huck Boyd Lecture in Community Media series or for information about luncheon tickets, please contact Freeland: gfreela@ksu.edu.


2018 Huck Boyd Lecture Series - Penny Muse Abernathy

Panel Discussion: "Silent 'Signal': Baldwin City adjusts to life without a newspaper” 


Past speakers in the series:

Abernathy headshot2018: Penny Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics, University of North Carolina, and author of "Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability."

Lisa Silvestri2017: Lisa Silvestri, assist. prof. of communication studies at Gonzaga Univ., author of the book "Friended at the Front: Social Media in the American War Zone.

Rosalyn Durant2015: Rosalyn Durant, senior vice president, College Networks, Programming for ESPN

Jim McLean2014: Jim McLean, executive editor of the Kansas Health Institute News Service

Jane Marshall2013: Jane Marshallcommunications coordinator for K-State’s College of Human Ecology

David Dary2012: David Dary, author, broadcast journalist, historian and educator


Wilma Moore-Black2011: Wilma Moore-Black, assistant director/curriculum coordinator for the TRIO Communication Upward Bound program in Wichita, Kan. and 1973 JMC graduate

Gayle Pennybacker2010: Gail Pennybacker, WJLA-TV broadcast journalist in Washington, D.C. and 1981 JMC graduate

Scott Kraft2009: Scott Kraft, editor and roving correspondent for The Los Angeles Times and 1977 JMC graduate

Marlin Fitzwater2008: Marlin Fitzwater, press secretary under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and 1965 JMC graduate

Bill Buzenberg2007: Bill Buzenberg, investigative journalist for the Center for Public Integrity and 1969 JMC graduate

2Clara Reyes006: Clara Reyes, publisher and editor of Dos Mundos, a bilingual newspaper in Kansas City

Joe Posnanski2005: Joe Posnanski, sports columnist for The Kansas City Star


Susan Edgerley2004: Susan Edgerley, metropolitan editor for The New York Times and 1976 K-State graduate

Jim Richardson2003: Jim Richardson, photojournalist for National Geographic


Bill Kurtis2002: Bill Kurtis, anchor, Arts and Entertainment network series


Paul Simon2001: Paul Simon, U.S. senator from Illinois and director of the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University

Bob Dole1999: Bob Dole, U.S. senator from Kansas and 1996 Republican presidential candidate

The lecture is funded through annual donations from its generous patrons. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our 2018 patrons: 

Platinum Patrons ($200+)

  • Anne and Wally Brockhoff, Linwood, Kansas
  • Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Burdick, Kansas
  • Sarah Kessinger, Marysville Advocate, Marysville, Kansas
  • Bill and Debbie Miller, Council Grove, Kansas
  • Cy and Gladys Moyer, Phillipsburg, Kansas

Gold Patrons ($150-$199)

  • Doug Anstaett, Kansas Press Association
  • Linda Denning, Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter, Ellsworth, Kansas
  • Edward and Ned Seaton, Seaton Publishing Co., Inc.

Silver Patron ($100-$149)

  • Linda Cook, Manhattan, Kansas
  • Tony Crawford, Manhattan, Kansas
  • Ed Klimek, Optima Communications, Manhattan, Kansas
  • Thomas and Andrew Krauss, Russell, Kansas
  • Scott Stanford, Lawrence Journal-World, Ogden Newspapers, Lawrence, Kansas