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Longtime community journalist to receive SDNA Distinguished Service Award

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 24th, 2013

Parker Knox

Parker Knox, who started working at his hometown newspaper while in high school and went on to a newspaper career that spans 35 years, will receive the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Distinguished Service Award during the group’s upcoming convention.

Knox will be honored Friday, April 26, at the Rapid City Ramkota during SDNA’s 131st annual convention.

“I only knew Parker Knox personally for less than two years when he worked for us at the Chronicle, but it didn’t take long to see that he was a first-rate community journalist,” said SDNA president and Custer County Chronicle publisher Charley Najacht, who will present the award at the convention.

“We started out assigning him stories his first week with us, but from then on he came to us with a long list of stories he was working on for the next week,” Najacht said. “He was able to see stories that he felt needed to be told, and tell them, he did —with accuracy and passion. He is a true storyteller.

“He is one of those rare newspaper people who simply has a nose for news, but also has the ability to tell a story in depth while also connecting with people on a very personal level. The people he interviewed never considered him afterwards as just a journalist who was telling their story, but as a friend for life,” Najacht said.

Knox started his newspaper career working at the hometown Onida Watchman while in high school. He graduated from Huron College where he was editor of The Alphomega, the student newspaper.

A 17-year teaching career in Wessington Springs, Huron, Blunt and Onida included teaching journalism classes and supervising newspapers and yearbooks. In 1978 he left education to become news editor at the Pierre Capital Journal, the first of three employments with that newspaper. During the last of those from September 1989 to March 2004, he served as people editor of the newspaper. He also worked for 17 years from 1979 through 2006 in the weekly newspaper field as owner, publisher and editor of the Onida newspaper. He retired to Rapid City in 2004 but resumed newspapering from 2005 to 2007 as a reporter and columnist for the Custer newspaper.

For the past six years he has lived in Vermillion where he has been a high school sportswriter for The Vermillion Plain Talk while continuing to write columns on a regular basis for the Pierre and Custer newspapers where he once worked. For the past 14 years he has authored a weekly e-mail newsletter of news and chatter for and about present and former residents of Pierre.

At last count it was being received regularly by 2,297 readers. Among his honors are a Distinguished Service Award from the South Dakota High School Activities Association and induction into the Onida/Sully Buttes High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a contributor. Knox has a son and two daughters in Rapid City, a son in Arizona, and four grandchildren in Rapid City.

The SDNA Distinguished Service Award is given to someone who has demonstrated outstanding service to the newspaper profession in South Dakota. South Dakota Newspaper Association, based in Brookings, represents the state’s 130 weekly and daily newspapers.

For the complete article see the 04-23-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-23-2013 paper.

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