News-Miner opinion: Twenty-seven years at one organization is a good track record. It says something about the longevity of the institution at which one is employed. It also says something about the individual who has devoted so many years to that workplace.
That person is Rod Boyce, the former managing editor of the Daily News-Miner, who stepped down in January from his role in leading the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. In a long career in an industry that has seen more than its share of ups and downs, Rod Boyce spent those 27 years doing what he does best: being a newsman.
The Alaska Press Club recognized his longevity and contributions, and rightly so, if we do say. At its annual awards presentation last week, the Press Club honored Rod with its highest accolade, the First Amendment Award. The Howard Rock/Tom Snapp First Amendment award highlights an “individual, group or organization in Alaska that has preserved one or more of the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment,” according to the Press Club. It’s a fitting end to a career that has seen Alaska, as well as the news itself, grow and change all while leading a vibrant newsroom. His leadership, knowledge and expertise will be missed.
One of his passions — and he’s said this time after time — is developing young reporters and mentoring them to become the best. That aptitude for cultivating reporters who cover local news is one of the reasons Rod Boyce stood out among this year’s award nominees. Tom Hewitt, Alaska Press Club secretary and himself a former News-Miner opinion page editor, said it was Boyce’s “quiet leadership” that helped cinch the honor. Hewitt emphasized Boyce’s talent for identifying reporters who would be a good fit for both the News-Miner and Fairbanks — something that’s not always an easy task — and for growing them into the best journalists they could be.
Under his guidance, former News-Miner journalists have moved on to major metropolitan dailies, where some are still working today. That is testament to the skill, knowledge and patience he brought the News-Miner.
The First Amendment award wasn’t the only honor bestowed upon Rod, either. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan gave a glowing speech on the Senate floor in March while announcing Rod as the senator’s “Alaskan of the Week,” recognizing his contributions to local news. “But he has been behind the scenes of so many of those headlines in our State,” Sullivan said. “For years, he worked tirelessly — first at papers across the State and then for 27 years at the News-Miner — to keep the great community of Fairbanks and North Pole, AK, the interior part of our State, connected and informed.”
Sullivan went on to say, “Here is to local journalism. Here is to the mighty Fairbanks News-Miner, and here is to Rod Boyce. Thank you for being the guy behind the headlines all these many years.”
We couldn’t agree more, Sen. Sullivan, and congratulations to Rod for a career most noted.