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Mass Communications: Clendinen Virtual Reading Room

A guide with links to mass communications-related web sites and databases. Databases are accessible only by USF students, faculty, and staff.

James Clendinen 1910-1991

James A. Clendinen served the Tampa Tribune for 50 years, including 25 years as editor and more than a decade as editorial board chairman. During the time he chaired the editorial board, Clendinen won a dozen first-place awards for editorial writing from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. After he died in 1991, his employer, friends and family endowed the Clendinen Professorship at the USF School of Mass Communications and provided the funds to establish the Clendinen Library and Virtual Reading Room at the USF Tampa Campus. The James A. Clendinen Professor in Editorial and Critical Writing is chosen each year by the School of Mass Communications and the Tampa Tribune. The Clendinen Professor teaches the course Critical Writing: Editorials, Reviews, Columns (JOU 3306) to selected USF School of Mass Communications undergraduates each January and February. The Clendinen Professor also delivers a lecture at the university on a topic related to editorial and commentary writing.


Recipients of Clendinen Professorship

(1999) Morgan McGinley

Morgan McGinley, the first Clendinen Professor and the director of the editorial page at The Day in New London, Conn., was the president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers at the time of his USF appointment. NCEW is an international organization of professional opinion page editors.

McGinley, who has worked for The Day since 1965 and has been the newspaper’s editorial page editor since 1982, is the winner of numerous awards from the New England Press Association, the New England Associated Press News Executives Association, and the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In addition, McGinley served as president of the New England Society of Newspaper Editors.

McGinley earned a bachelor’s degree in American literature from Colby College in Maine. He lives in New London.


(2000) Van Cavett

Van Cavett, the former editorial page editor of the Louisville Times and Courier-Journal and the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call, spent 27 years as an editorial writer and editor.

Cavett began his career in 1957 at the Chattanooga Times. He moved to The Louisville Times in 1970, where he served as assistant city editor. In 1974, he was named opinion page editor. Cavett, who was president of NCEW in 1985, supervised a staff of six editorial writers, a staff cartoonist, and a letters editor when the Times merged with the Courier-Journal in 1986. The papers were sold to the Gannett Corporation later that year, and the Times ceased publication in 1987. Cavett stayed with the Courier-Journal as an editorial writer until he took early retirement in 1989. Cavett was lured out of retirement just four months later by the Morning Call, where he took over as “Comment” pages editor. He spent eight years there, until he permanently retired and returned to Tennessee.

Cavett received a bachelor’s degree in history from Millsaps College in Mississippi and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in Illinois. He lives in Chattanooga, Tenn.


(2001) John Strohmeyer

John Strohmeyer, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, began his newspaper career as a night reporter at the Bethlehem Globe-Times in Pennsylvania. After working at the Globe-Times, Strohmeyer was an investigative reporter for eight years at the Providence, R.I., Journal and won a highly competitive Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University for his work. In 1956, Strohmeyer returned to his hometown of Bethlehem as editor of the Globe-Times and led the newspaper for 28 years. During that time, he wrote editorials almost every day, and won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1972.

Strohmeyer received a bachelor’s degree in history from Muhlenberg College and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He is the author of two books and lives in Anchorage, Alaska.


(2002) Jerry Dhonau

Jerry Dhonau, who was NCEW president in 1990, is the former editorial page editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and a former editorial writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Dhonau began his newspaper career as a reporter at the Arkansas Gazette in 1957, covering the school desegregation crisis that won a Pulitzer Prize for the newspaper. He reported for the Minneapolis Tribune for a year and returned to the Gazette in 1960, where he stayed until 1991. During that time, he held positions ranging from reporter to editorial page editor. After the Gazette was closed by the Gannett company in 1991, Dhonau became an editorial writer for the Daytona Beach newspaper. He retired from that newspaper in 2000, completing a 35-year career in editorial writing.

Dhonau has a bachelor’s degree in history and English from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He has taught journalism at five universities, including Kansas State University and Stetson University. He lives in Little Rock and Daytona Beach.


(2003) Chris Waddle

Chris Waddle was executive editor and vice president for news of the Anniston Star in northeast Alabama at the time of his Clendinen Professor appointment. Time magazine twice named the Star, where Waddle worked for more than two decades, as one of the best small newspapers in America. He is now a journalism professor at the University of Alabama.

Waddle previously served as managing editor of the Kansas City, Mo. Times when it was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes. His earlier newspaper assignments took place at the Kansas City Star, the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky. (where he served as Washington correspondent for a year) and the Birmingham Post-Herald in Alabama. Over his four-decade career, Waddle has served as copy editor, reporter, lifestyles editor, city editor, magazine editor, managing editor, editorial page editor and executive editor.

Waddle, a Texan, earned a bachelor's degree in English from Birmingham-Southern College and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. He taught journalism in 2001 at the American University in Bulgaria as a Fulbright Scholar. His Fulbright grant included funds that permitted him to travel throughout the Balkans. While there, he served as an official observer for a Balkan Regional anti-corruption conference held at the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest. He lives in Anniston.

(2005) Jim Hampton

Jim Hampton, the 2005 Clendinen Professor, is the former editorial page editor of the Miami Herald. Under Hampton's leadership of the Herald's opinion pages, the editorial staff won two Pulitzer Prizes--one in 1983 for editorials about nearly 2,000 Haitian boat people who arrived in 1982, and another in 1996 for editorial cartoonist Jim Morin's work. Until his retirement in 1998, Hampton also served as director of the Miami-based Inter American Press Association, participating in three investigations of alleged government suppression of the press in Panama, Venezuela and Peru, respectively.

Hampton stayed busy as a freelance writer and editor following retirement. In 2002, he wrote the final report on the governor's blue-ribbon commission investigating the case of a child who disappeared from state custody in Miami. Hampton also wrote a major paper for the Foundation for Child Development in 2003 about Florida's success in amending the Constitution by petition to mandate free pre-kindergarten classes.

Born into a coal mining family in eastern Kentucky, Hampton earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky and a master's degree in communication and journalism from Stanford University, where he was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni and the Journalism Hall of Fame. He lives in the Miami metropolitan area.


(2006) Richard Aregood

Richard Aregood, the former editorial page editor of the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1985. He also is a three-time winner of the distinguished writing award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and is the 1994 recipient of the Scripps-Howard Foundation's Walker Stone Award for Editorial Writing.

Aregood's career began with the Dix-McGuire Mirror, a now-defunct weekly that served military bases in southern New Jersey, where he worked as editor, reporter and photographer. He went on to become a reporter and night city editor at the Burlington County Times and a stringer for United Press International, the New York World-Telegram, and others. He was also a police reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News during Mayor Frank Rizzo's term in office. In 1975, Aregood became chief editorial writer of the Philadelphia Daily News and moved up to editorial page editor in 1978. He left Philadelphia in 1995 to take on the job of editorial page editor of the Star-Ledger until his retirement in 2004.

Aregood earned a bachelor's degree in English from Rutgers University. The Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni inducted Aregood in 1993, and he also serves as a member of the Dean's Council for the Rutgers-Camden College of Arts and Sciences. He lives in Basking Ridge, N.J.


(2007-2010) Gil Thelen

Gil Thelen was the president and publisher of Florida's Tampa Tribune at the time of his appointment as the eighth Clendinen Professor.

Thelen was a Washington correspondent for the Associated Press, Consumer Reports magazine and the Chicago Daily News between 1966 and 1978. From 1978 to 1987, he held assistant editor positions at The Charlotte Observer, ending as assistant managing editor for news. Thelen then worked for The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C., from 1987 to 1990, where he served as editor and executive vice president. The Sun News earned the distinction of being named one of the top 10 examples of excellence among small newspapers.

Thelen came to the Tribune from The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., where from 1990 to 1997 he was executive editor and president. In 1996, The State was recognized for its content and presentation and chosen one of the three best American, mid-sized papers by the Society of Newspaper Design.

He was appointed executive editor of the Tampa Tribune in 1998 and became publisher in 2003. He retired in the summer of 2006. During that time, the Tribune has emerged as a national leader in multimedia journalism.

Thelen, who earned a bachelor's degree in history from Duke University and completed postgraduate work at Cornell University, is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, where he was chairman of the ASNE's Education, Change, Interactive Media and Leadership committees. He has been a participant in the Journalism Values Institute and has served on the Pulitzer Prize jury. He lives in Tampa.