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Welcome to the Rhode Island Press Association

     Welcome to the home of the Rhode Island Press Association. As we work to develop our new website, please check back regularly for new and exciting features.

    In time, we hope this website will serve as a one-stop source for news relevant to journalists and those interested in journalism in the Rhode Island area as well as throughout New England.

    In the meantime, please feel free to learn a little bit about our organization through the menu above and be sure to check back regularly as we work toward improving this site one page at a time.

Next Meeting
The Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame

                                          Thursday, December 1, 2022, 4 p.m.

                                        At The Guild, 461 Main Street, Pawtucket

AGENDA

• Introductions

• Treasurer's report/finances

• Approval of new contest winner plaques

• Approval of new banquet place

• Vote on a new Journalism Day subcommittee and find someone to lead the event

• Decide date of next meeting

• Refreshments

     The Rhode Island Journalism Hall of Fame was established in 1985 by the Rhode Island Press Association to honor journalists who have been influential in their profession. The first members were inducted in the fall of 1986.

     The members of the Hall of Fame are chosen by a committee of the press association and approved by the board. Copies of the plaques awarded to inductees are displayed in the lobby of the Chafee building on the University of Rhode Island campus in Kingston.

     The latest inductees to the Hall of Fame were Bill Reynolds, sports columnist for The Providence Journal, and Bruce Burdett, longtime managing editor of East Bay newspapers.

     The four were honored at the press association's annual banquet on June 3, 2022. 

     To learn about the members of the Hall of Fame, please navigate the pages below. If you would like to nominate an individual to the Hall of Fame, please click here

Bill Reynolds - Sports Columnist - The Providence Journal

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Bill Reynolds always dreamed of being the star athlete, not writing about them for a living.

Truth be told, the Barrington native was a superb athlete but certainly became an even better, nationally known sports columnist and author at the Providence Journal in an award-winning 40-year career.

 

Reynolds was an All-State basketball player at Barrington High School and moved on to Brown University, where he garnered a nickname that followed him the rest of his life: “Shooter.” Reynolds was a two-time All-Ivy Honorable Mention selection for the Bears and is a member of Brown’s Athletic Hall of Fame.  


After time working as a teacher, Reynolds began writing as a freelancer for several outlets including the Journal’s Sunday Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Village Voice, and many more. He was eventually hired by the Journal in 1981 as a news reporter and assigned to the Newport bureau. By 1984 he was moved to Sports and quickly became a columnist covering the champion Boston Celtics as well as the Red Sox, Patriots, and all major New England teams.

But Reynolds truly shined writing about Rhode Islanders. To be featured in a Reynolds column became a badge of honor as he told the personal stories of everyone from Marvin Barnes and Vinny Pazienza to the high-school softball star who battled cancer or the football quarterback who rose from poverty to a college scholarship.

 

Reynolds became best-known for his ‘For What It’s Worth’ column, which appeared every Saturday. The free-wheeling, bullet column included bites at local politicians, shots at Connecticut tourists annually flocking to South County, the travails of the Independent Man statue atop the State House and, of course, Boston sports stars.

 

Reynolds became a national sportswriting star thanks to his prodigious book writing career. The award-winning Fall River Dreams became a best-seller and led to books with Bob Cousy, Rick Pitino, Chris Herren, and the Hope High School boys basketball team. Reynolds’ memoir, Glory Days, tells his personal story best.

 

Reynolds won numerous Best Writing awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association, the Associated Press and the Rhode Island Press Association. He is a member of several Halls of Fame, including the United States Basketball Writers Association and Words Unlimited.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame June 2022

Betty Cotter - Founding Managing Editor - The South County Independent

Bruce Burdett - Managing Editor - East Bay Newspapers

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Bruce Burdett arrived at the offices of the Phoenix-Times Publishing Co. in July of 1975 as a young reporter and new arrival to the communities of the East Bay of Rhode Island. Forty-six years later, he retired as the longest-tenured, most prolific, and most accomplished journalist of his region.

A graduate of Middlebury College, Bruce filled nearly every role in the East Bay newsroom, which grew from four weekly papers to seven during his career. He was editor of the flagship Bristol Phoenix, the Sakonnet Times, the Westport Shorelines, and the Bay Window, and longtime managing editor of the East Bay news operation. He also spent decades writing the “Along the Waterfront” column, a must-read for the sailors, boatbuilders, and water enthusiasts of the region.

Though his job title always included the word “editor,” Bruce never stopped writing. He filed thousands of articles on every subject imaginable. He wrote obituaries, dug through crime logs, interviewed the dynamic and the zany, and spent countless hours watching volunteer boards navigate the dense agendas of public business. Camera slung over his shoulder, he raced to the scenes of burning buildings, to the storm waves rolling up the coast, and to the tragedies that were never forgotten in the small communities he covered.

Of his many skills and accomplishments, a few stand apart. Bruce was a gifted editorial writer, recognized many times by his peers. He was a watchdog for his communities, and he had the unique ability to skewer a subject without venom or vitriol, his targets left feeling they had been treated fairly and with respect.

 

He also had a keen eye for the odd, the quirky and the uniquely local. Bruce would head off in pursuit of one story, only to return hours later with a delightful tale of a stone wall to nowhere, a barroom bet gone awry, or a curmudgeon with a colorful past.

 

Bruce devoted his career and much of his life to the small towns of the East Bay, and he retired in 2021 as one of the great ambassadors of local journalism.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame June 2022

To learn more about our Hall of Fame, click here.

Journalism Day Information
Scholarship Information

Joe Baker - Reporter - Newport Daily News

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Katherine Gregg - State House Reporter - The Providence Journal