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From the executive director

Summertime … and the living is easy.  The living is easy all right… at least that’s how the song goes.  Typically, the next few months are a notoriously busy time for travel, vacations, weddings, reunions, weekend road trips and outdoor excursions. But it’s also a very busy time for news and information from South Dakota News Watch. As Bart mentions in his article, the content team at News Watch is putting out some outstanding (and award-winning) news stories. We just held another one of our online discussions on the state of teachers and education in South Dakota, with a superb group of informed panelists. News Watch is also looking forward to more convening and gathering with First Amendment Society members later this year. Watch for a postcard in your mailbox in the upcoming weeks.

Good news is always enjoyable to share.
We have a lot of it. 

Thank you to the Black Hills Area Community Foundation for their gift to assist South Dakota News Watch with a capacity-building grant. The grant will help News Watch develop a marketing plan, enhance donor engagement and initiate recruitment in the Black Hills region. We are excited about sharing the mission of “watchdog” journalism and reporting nonpartisan investigative news with more people in the hills area. Looking forward to big things to come!   

Congratulations are in order for Mark Roby and Jon Hunter, who were both inducted into the South Dakota Newspaper Association Hall of Fame at the SDNA spring convention in Mitchell, S.D. Mark was a founding board member of News Watch, and Jon serves as the secretary of the board of directors for SDNW. Mark is from Watertown and was the publisher of the Watertown Public Opinion from 2002-2017. Jon, of Madison, succeeded his father and grandfather as publisher of the Madison Daily Leader. He becomes a third-generation member of the Newspaper Hall of Fame with his induction. Jon was publisher of the Daily Leader for 31 years before selling the newspaper and printing business in 2021. Congratulations again to both Mark and Jon for this honor. You can learn more about Mark in our donor spotlight in this e-newsletter issue. 

Randell Beck, SDNW co-founder

South Dakota News Watch co-founder Randell Beck was announced in May as an inductee into the South Dakota Hall of Fame. He will be recognized for his many accomplishments in journalism, as well as several years of public service, in a ceremony later this fall. Randell continues to serve as a director on the News Watch board and is still involved as a member of the content committee. We are proud of this honor bestowed on our co-founder of South Dakota News Watch. 

Click here for a short video of Beck and Marsh discussing the concept and vision of South Dakota News Watch on our YouTube channel. 

Nick Kotzea, USD Foundation

Nick Kotzea, USD Foundation

And finally, congratulations are in order for board member Nick Kotzea. Nick was recently promoted to chief operating officer & general counsel at the University of South Dakota Foundation. Nick just joined the South Dakota News Watch board in February and is already providing guidance and expertise on many important issues. Nick, a native of Milbank, S.D., makes his home in Sioux Falls with his wife, Kate, and three children.

Have a great summer!

Thank you,  

Rob Joyce, Executive Director

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