Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media
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 mission of the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media, founded in 1990, is to serve and strengthen the local newspapers, broadcast stations and other media that play a key role in the survival and revitalization of America’s small towns and rural communities. It was named to honor McDill “Huck” Boyd, publisher of the Phillips County Review. Boyd was an active member of his community and he was a great believer in preserving small towns and small-town media.
Gloria Freeland, Kansas State University assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, has been director of the center since 1998.
The center sponsors the annual Huck Boyd Lecture in Community Media, which emphasizes the combination of communication and community. In recent years, the center has added a panel discussion as a follow-up to the lecture.
The center also works with the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors on a paper competition, “Conversations in Community Journalism.” The winning paper is presented at the annual International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors’ summer convention.
Research related to community journalism is also conducted under the auspices of the center. The most-recent example was “A case study of a rural Hispanic newspaper in the Midwest,” conducted with an undergraduate researcher in the A.Q. Miller school. Another example of research included studying the development of a Community Media Center in Greensburg, Kansas, after a tornado destroyed a large part of the town.
Freeland is currently working on a project related to the sister-city relationship between Morganville, Kansas and Feves, France. Students in her spring 2013 News and Feature Writing class “re-discovered” the connection between the two villages that began in 1948. That year, Morganville citizens sponsored a pageant, complete with a historical play about their town, to help raise money for Feves, which had been heavily damaged during World War II. The towns maintained contact for several years, but the connection eventually faded because of distance and the language barrier. It was revived briefly in 1994, but then dwindled again until the students’ 2013 story was published in The Clay Center Dispatch. Other local and regional newspapers picked up on the story, and the resulting publicity helped revive the relationship. Since 2014, Freeland and her husband have traveled to France six times, one time accompanying the Morganville mayor and his wife. In fall 2015, a group of 20 people from Feves traveled to the U.S. and included visits to Manhattan and their sister-city Morganville.
For 20 years, the center sponsored the “Newspapers and Community-Building Symposium,” in conjunction with the National Newspaper Association’s annual convention.
The center also maintains close ties to the Kansas Press Association and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, as well as other regional and national journalism organizations.
2019 Huck Boyd Lecture
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
2018: 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."
2017: 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.
2015: Rosalyn Durant, senior vice president, College Networks, Programming for ESPN
2014: Jim McLean, executive editor of the Kansas Health Institute News Service
2013: Jane Marshall, communications coordinator for K-State’s College of Human Ecology
2012: David Dary, author, broadcast journalist, historian and educator
2011: Wilma Moore-Black, assistant director/curriculum coordinator for the TRIO Communication Upward Bound program in Wichita, Kan. and 1973 JMC graduate
2010: Gail Pennybacker, WJLA-TV broadcast journalist in Washington, D.C. and 1981 JMC graduate
2009: Scott Kraft, editor and roving correspondent for The Los Angeles Times and 1977 JMC graduate
2008: Marlin Fitzwater, press secretary under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and 1965 JMC graduate
2007: Bill Buzenberg, investigative journalist for the Center for Public Integrity and 1969 JMC graduate
2006: Clara Reyes, publisher and editor of Dos Mundos, a bilingual newspaper in Kansas City
2005: Joe Posnanski, sports columnist for The Kansas City Star
2004: Susan Edgerley, metropolitan editor for The New York Times and 1976 K-State graduate
2003: Jim Richardson, photojournalist for National Geographic
2002: Bill Kurtis, anchor, Arts and Entertainment network series
2001: Paul Simon, U.S. senator from Illinois and director of the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University
1999: 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+)
- Kyle and Lisa Bauer, Clay Center, Kansas
- Anne Brockhoff, Linwood, Kansas
- The Honorable Robert J. Dole, Washington, D.C.
- Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Burdick, Kansas
- Sarah Kessinger, Marysville Advocate, Marysville, Kansas
- Cy and Gladys Moyer, Phillipsburg, Kansas
Gold Patrons ($150-$199)
- Emily Bradberry, Kansas Press Association, Topeka, Kansas
- Dan Caffrey, Landoll Corporation, Marysville, Kansas
- Linda Denning, Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter, Ellsworth, Kansas
Silver Patron ($100-$149)
- Anthony Crawford, Manhattan, Kansas
- Tom and Andrea Krauss, Russell, Kansas
- Donna Logback, The Iola Register, Iola, Kansas
- Deb and Bill Miller, Council Grove, Kansas
- Ron Wilson, Manhattan, Kansas