Journalist On Call, Society of Professional Journalists, National
Rod Hicks is a veteran journalist who has held editing and leadership positions at numerous news organizations across the country, including The Associated Press, The Detroit Free Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
He currently serves as Journalist on Call for the Society of Professional Journalists, a position established to address the issue of dwindling trust in the media. In this role, Rod spends time in the community listening to people who have some skepticism about the news they receive so he can relay to journalists the reasons trust in the news media has eroded and what they can do to re-earn it. He is conducting a six-month media trust project in Casper, Wyoming and will report his findings at the Excellence in Journalism conference this fall in San Antonio.
Rod’s most recent newsroom experience was at The Associated Press, where he served as an editor for the organization’s East Regional Desk, which manages news coverage in 10 states. In this role, he worked on several major national stories including the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, the Boston Marathon bombing and the sexual assault trials of Bill Cosby.
Rod also led the planning and execution of three successful conventions for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) — in Philadelphia in 2011, New Orleans in 2012 and Minneapolis in 2015.
The Birmingham, Alabama native holds a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama. While at Northwestern, he worked briefly as a Washington correspondent and spent three months working at the European headquarters of Time magazine in London, England.