Tagged: Timothy S. Robiinson Forum

The Art of Career Growth in Journalism

After years of visiting with my late husband Timothy Robinson’s  family in Birmingham, Alabama each

March as we attended the annual  Robinson Forum together  at Samford University,

I was unable to book a flight this year because of complications in locking in a speaker  far enough in advance.  So I

watched a live feed instead here in Michigan at https://www.facebook.com/SamfordJMC/.  While I plan on flying

south later this spring or summer to visit the Robinson family,  I will miss being able to talk to the guest speaker,

always a formidably talented journalist – this  year, Roy S. Johnson, columnist and director of content  development

at AL.com/The Birmingham News.

 

Johnson, one of the early pioneers among black journalists to work at mainstream national publications

– in his case starting in the 70s as a sports writer at  Sports Illustrated and Fortune Magazine, both

published by Time Inc. —  he is currently enjoying shaping news coverage at a Birmingham, Al

newspaper.  He challenged Samford journalism students to constantly challenge the breath of their

talents – for instance, not staying only focused on one area, like sports.  His journalism resume not only

includes stints as assistant managing  editor at Sports Illustrated, but vice president and edit-in-chief of

Men’s Fitness magazine, editor-in-chief of History Channel  magazine and staff writer at the New York

Times.  He also has experience producing national TV and radio content for Sport Illustrated and he has

co-authored biographies with Avery Johnson, Charles Barkley and Earvin (Magic) Johnson.

 

It reminded me that when I knew Tim, he was a pioneer in legal journalism, with a degree from Yale Law

School – after developing his talent as an investigative reporter for UPI covering the civil rights

movement in his home state of Alabama, then as an editor and  investigative reporter at the

Washington Post.  He ended his career by jumping into the dotcom boom, developing editorial

content for news websites Exite, Alta Vista and AOL.  Tim also pushed me to take the leap into becoming

communications director for new online media sites covering the Asian American community.   After his

death, I even found the courage to take on the task of being development director of a sports non-

profit.  I hope the Samford students this year heed that call to constantly test their talents – it’s a

challenging and exciting way to keep growing.