Charles Ellis of The Palladium-Times selected for 2024 SPC Professional Standards Award

The Syracuse Press Club is pleased to announce the winner of our 2024 Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award. This award is presented to individuals whose high standards in performing their work serve as an inspiration to others.

Congratulations to Charlie Ellis, the managing editor of The Palladium-Times.

Charlie wanted to work for newspapers for as long as he can remember. He started reading them from his home in suburban Buffalo as soon as he learned to read, and he was sports editor of his junior high newspaper and editor of his high school paper. Before his senior year in high school, he spent two weeks at Newhouse’s School Press Institute for aspiring journalists. 

Charlie majored in journalism at Northwestern University, spending most of this time in college working for The Daily Northwestern student newspaper. After covering the (at the time) legendarily bad football team, which finished 0-11 that year and covering the firing of the coach (and the athletic director, for good measure), Charlie spent the next trimester working as a full-time intern as a reporter and copy editor for The Bulletin newspaper in Bend, Oregon. When he returned to campus, he was co-sports editor of The Daily Northwestern, and in the fall the NU football team broke the national record for consecutive losses. In his spare time during his senior year in college, he was sports editor of The Skokie News. It was his first paying newspaper job. He was paid $35 a week, before taxes.

After graduation, he worked for five years for The El Paso Herald-Post. He was hired as a copy editor. After a year on the copy desk, he was a reporter for 2½ years, covering education and then city hall.  After working as an assistant city editor for a year, he was hired by The Syracuse Herald-Journal as an assistant sports editor.

He held that position for three years, followed by two years as assistant news editor and four years as assistant business editor. After the staffs of the Herald-Journal and The Post-Standard merged in 1996, he became chief of the Cayuga County bureau, working in the Auburn office. 

Two years later, he returned downtown and worked in a variety of copy editing jobs for the next 13 years. But the world – especially the newspaper world – was changing, and Charlie knew it. He shocked his bosses when he told them he wanted to go back into reporting. He figured that even if newspapers went away, there would always be a need for reporters – more so than for people who laid out print pages. Eventually, his bosses assigned him to cover crime and safety – more than 20 years after his last reporting gig. 

A year later, The Post-Standard made some epic changes, switching to becoming a digital-first operation with home delivery three days a week. After the dust settled, he was back on the copy desk, which was called the Pub Hub. Instead of a copy editor, he was a page producer. That lasted about three years until the Pub Hub was shut down. He was invited to join the Print Lab – basically a giant Pub Hub for a whole bunch of newspapers, including now The Post-Standard – in New Jersey. A light bulb went off in his head, and he decided not to move to Edison.

So he joined the corporate world for six years. He never imagined that he would return to the newspaper business. But on Nov. 21, 2022, he started his current job as managing editor of The Palladium-Times in Oswego. 

He’s home.

Congratulations, Charles Ellis! We look forward to honoring you at our SPC awards banquet on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

Meet past winners:

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