AMES, Iowa (August 20, 2018) – ¬William F. “Bill” Tubbs will receive the 2018 James W. Schwartz Award from Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. The annual award recognizes distinguished service to journalism and communication.
A native of Elwood, Iowa, Bill Tubbs graduated from Iowa State University in 1971 with a degree in agricultural journalism. He and his wife, Linda Tubbs, are co-owners and co-publishers of the Eldridge North Scott Press and Wilton-Durant Advocate News.
For 47 years, Tubbs has remained committed to coverage of his local community. In 1971, he became the first resident publisher of the 3-1/2-year-old North Scott Press, partnering with the late Robert Melvold and his wife, Frances, of Maquoketa, and the late Robert Parrott of DeWitt, publishers of the DeWitt Observer. In 1980, the Tubbses took the helm as publishers of the Wilton-Durant Advocate News, the official newspaper of Muscatine County.
Tubbs’ work in community journalism has been widely recognized by his peers. He is the National Newspaper Association’s 2015 James O. Amos Award winner. Recognized as the highest and most dignified tribute in community journalism, the Amos Award is presented to a working or retired newspaperman who has provided distinguished service and leadership to the community press and his local community. He’s a past president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, an Iowa Master Editor-Publisher and a recipient of the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
His editorials have been judged among the “Golden Dozen” worldwide by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. His “Impressions” column has appeared in The North Scott Press weekly since 1971 and in 2014, won first place in the National Newspaper Association for Best Serious Column and Best Sports Column.
“I knew and admired Jim Schwartz and frequently draw upon my experiences with the remarkable, eclectic faculty which he led in the journalism department at Iowa State in the late 1960s and early 1970s,” Tubbs said. “Giants like Rod Fox, Jack Shelley, Bill Kunerth, Dick Disney, Edmund Blinn, Gene Bratton and LaRue Pollard … I appreciate them more now than I did at the time, and am humbled to be considered among the recipients of this award … from [the late TIME magazine journalist] Hugh Sidey (who was a regular attendee at INA conventions) to the present … and many other ISU grads who have made, and are making, great contributions to our profession. It’s gratifying to know that a community newspaperman in one little corner of the world might still be considered for this honor.”
The North Scott Press has received many state and national awards for local news coverage, community service and editorial writing. In 1997, it was judged first in the nation for Community Service by the National Newspaper Association, and 2010, was first in the nation by the NNA for Best Coverage of Local News of weekly newspapers with circulations 4,000-5,999. In 1979, it was named the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Newspaper of the Year among 330 daily and weekly newspapers.
Tubbs is a Past District Governor of Rotary International and applied his journalism training there, as well. From 2007-10, he represented the Rotary clubs of North America on Rotary’s Global Public Image Resource Group, showing Rotarians how to tell their stories through their local media. He has traveled to six continents in support of Rotary’s humanitarian service, including Polio National Immunization Days in Nigeria and India. Since 2004, he edited “District 6000 News” for Rotarians in 65 clubs of southern Iowa. Tubbs’ passion in Rotary is peace, where he and Linda Tubbs recently created an Endowed Fund with The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in support of the Rotary Peace Centers, which prepare 90 graduate students annually for careers in peace and conflict resolution.
Bill and Linda Tubbs have long been supporters of journalism education. In 2003, their gift to the Scott County Library gave them naming rights to the community meeting room, which they did not name for themselves, but instead called it the First Amendment Room. In 2011, they established an endowed fund with the Iowa State University Foundation to support the Greenlee School’s Futures Forums. The forums bring experienced industry professionals to the Iowa State University campus to prepare undergraduate students for their transition to careers.
They also established a scholarship for Greenlee majors who are interested in digital media. The scholarship supports students as they obtain experience with the Iowa State University Athletics department prior to graduation. The first recipient will be announced in fall 2018.
“Bill Tubbs has significantly contributed to community journalism in Iowa and beyond, and we are honored to be able to recognize his service and leadership with the 2018 Schwartz Award. Bill has maintained close ties with the Greenlee School, providing students opportunities to succeed. His leadership in community journalism serves as an example for our students of the importance of news and information in our society,” Angela Powers, director of the Greenlee School, said.
Tubbs will be honored at the 2018 Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Honors and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 25.
About the James W. Schwartz Award
The James W. Schwartz Award is the highest honor conferred by Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. It is awarded in honor of James W. Schwartz, a former department chair of the school. The Schwartz Award has been presented since 1978 to leaders in journalism and related fields. The school’s advisory council and faculty nominate candidates and faculty members select the winner. Previous honorees include four Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished broadcast journalists, authors, advertising and public relations executives, newspaper and magazine publishers and leading writers in a variety of specialty areas.
About the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Established in 1905, the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication is the oldest journalism program in the state and one of the oldest in the country. The school prepares future leaders in advertising, journalism and mass communication and public relations.