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40th Annual Professional Recognition Awards and Scholarship Dinner

May 5, 2018, 6 PM cocktails, 7 PM dinner

at Genesee Grande, 1060 East Genesee St, Syracuse

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Alexander F. "Casey" Jones

Herald-Journal / Herald American

Alexander F. "Casey" Jones has been described by those who knew him as "a giant of a newspaperman," and "a real tough pro." Whatever anyone thought of him, no one ever doubted his high professional and journalistic standards.

To the young reporters of the Syracuse newspapers, Casey --- the name he preferred, although to all but a few at the newspapers he was always "Mr. Jones" --- was a gruff, demanding boss. But, like a "demanding father," he wanted them to always do a better job than what they thought they were capable. To government and political leaders, Casey was always looking over their shoulders checking on what they were doing and how well they fulfilled their obligations to the people who "hired" them. He was the "eyes" of concerned taxpayers.

During his 15 years as executive editor of the Syracuse Herald-Journal and Herald American, he wrote the lead editorials daily, and they were always signed. Occasionally, when Casey felt strongly about some development or proposal, those editorials ran on Page One.

The editorials not only showcased his ability as a writer, but also exhibited the clear thinking and eloquent support for his (and the newspapers') position that influenced decisions on many issues. Disdaining typewriters, Casey always wrote his editorials on copy paper with a pencil; unusual in a time when the ability to type was a necessary qualification for a reporter!

Many subscribers of the newspapers often would immediately open the Herald-Journal/Herald American--- not to the sports pages or local news ---but to the editorial page to see what Casey had to say.

Casey began his newspaper career working part-time at the Wisconsin State Journal in 1912 while he was still a student at the University of Wisconsin. After graduation in 1915, he became a full-time member of the newspaper's staff in Madison. He was born in Wisconsin Dells not far from the state capital.

During World War I, Casey, like millions of other American men, shouldered a rifle and went to Europe with the American Expeditionary Force. After his discharge in 1919, Casey worked for the United Press in Chicago and New York. One of his assignments with UP was covering the "Black Sox" scandal involving the Chicago White Sox baseball team. He left the wire service in 1923 to become city editor and promotion manger of the Minneapolis Tribune and Journal.

In 1934, Casey joined the Washington Post as managing editor, where he was instrumental in making the newspaper a greater force in the nation's capital. He was named assistant to Post publisher Phillip Graham in 1947.

Three years later, Samuel Newhouse, owner of the Syracuse newspapers, offered him the executive editor job at the Herald-Journal.

Convinced that Syracuse and Onondaga County needed a plentiful supply of good fresh water, Casey also took on the position as chairman of the Onondaga County Water Authority. The Authority decided to tap Lake Ontario.

Casey retired in 1965 from the Herald. He died about 10 months later in Orlando, Florida. --Joseph A. Porcello

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 November 2008 01:28 )
 

"Paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."--Hugo L Black, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court (Ruling that upheld the press’s right to publish the Pentagon Papers)

Wall of Distinction


Donna Speziale

WTVH

WHEN

WFBL

Donna Speziale Richards became a pioneer in Syracuse broadcasting when WHEN radio named her Syracuse's first woman news director at a commercial station.

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