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BC to Honor Local Journalists

Bluefield College will pay tribute to the work of local journalists during its 16th Annual Media Appreciation Day, Friday, September 25 -- an event that will include the presentation of a Shott Excellence in Media Award to an outstanding local journalist and remarks from Princeton Times’ editor and general manager Tammie Toler, who overcame an unexpected stroke in 2014 and a year of intense rehabilitation to return to her trade in March 2015.

Chris Shoemaker

September 17, 2015

In addition to a luncheon, an awards program, and a keynote address, members of the media will participate in a roundtable discussion (pictured) with Bluefield College communication students during BC's 16th Annual Media Appreciation Day.


Bluefield College Media Appreciation Day keynote speaker Tammie Toler, editor and general manager of the Princeton Times.


For the past 15 years, local media representatives have been recognized on the BC campus during the school’s annual Media Day for their efforts in “informing and educating the public at-large,” while “sharing the Bluefield College story” and “spreading the word about BC news, events and achievements.”



In fact, in 2005, thanks to a grant from media entrepreneur Michael Shott, the college heightened its recognition of the local media by incorporating the Shott Excellence in Media Awards Program into the Media Day schedule.


“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Mr. Shott for providing the funds to underwrite the college’s Media Day and the Shott Excellence in Media Awards Program,” said Chris Shoemaker, BC’s director of public relations. “It is our hope that through this program, the college will not only increase its recognition of outstanding local journalists, but also contribute to the preservation of the media legacy of the Shott family.”


During the awards portion of the Media Day program, the college will present two Shott Excellence in Media Awards -- a $1,000 Student Scholarship Award to an outstanding current Bluefield College communication student and a $1,000 Excellence in Media Award to a local member of the media who demonstrates excellence in his or her vocation and who, through his or her work in journalism, makes a significant contribution toward the local community.


“Bluefield College is not the only beneficiary of the service of our local journalists,” said Shoemaker. “Many other schools, churches, civic organizations, government agencies, businesses, and individuals within our community are better off, thanks to the work of area media. That’s why we dedicate this day to recognize the local media for informing, educating, entertaining and, above all, bettering the public at-large.”


The BC Media Day program also will include a keynote address from Toler, a fixture among the media of Four Seasons Country since 2000 when she became a copy editor for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. In fact, after working her way up to news editor of the Telegraph, Toler decided in 2004 to take on the challenge of becoming the editor and general manager of the Princeton Times. With the Times, she has earned a variety of awards from the West Virginia Press Association, including Best Columnist, Best Coverage of Legal Issues, Best Written News Story, Best Headline News, Best News Feature, and Best Editorial Page.


In March 2014, Toler suffered a sudden stroke and spent the next 12 months recuperating and relearning many of the skills that had allowed her to be the journalist local readers had come to know and trust through the years. She returned to work in March 2015.


Toler will join NASCAR Magazine editor David Bourne, nationally syndicated columnist Jim Davidson, war hero and undercover government agent Maxey Gilleland, local news writer and sports radio personality Jim Nelson, veteran Bluefield Daily Telegraph journalist Bill Archer, Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot Phillip Brashear, mass communications professor and TV anchor Dr. Teresa Keller, political lobbyist Dr. David Bailey, former White House correspondent Bob Deans, retired executive editor of the Associated Baptist Press Greg Warner, inspirational athlete and author Kyle Maynard, Compassion International feature writer Brandy Campbell, performance improvement specialist Spencer Wood, Roanoke Times senior editor Dwayne Yancey, and Associated Baptist Press News-Herald editor in chief as speakers for Bluefield College’s Media Appreciation Day.


The annual event will begin at 11:30 a.m. on September 25 in Shott Hall and will feature a luncheon, the awards ceremony, remarks from Toler, and a roundtable discussion between local media representatives and BC communication students.




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