Rick Jackson inducted into Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame
Ideastream Public Media's Rick Jackson, host of the "Sound of Ideas," was inducted into the Press Club of Cleveland's Journalism Hall of Fame today.
Two other journalists, Mary Kay Cabot, Cleveland Browns beat writer for Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer, and Jim O'Bryan, founder of The Lakewood Observer and other Observer newspapers, also were inducted.
WKYC TV's Monica Robins received the Chuck Heaton Award for her work in the community and late Plain Dealer "Minister of Culture" columnist Michael Heaton was given a special recognition for his contributions to journalism in Cleveland.
Jackson started at Ideastream in 2003 as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition." Now, in addition to hosting the "Sound of Ideas," he hosts Ideastream's weekly statewide educational TV show, "NewsDepth," which is geared toward middle school students.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Jackson attended Bethany College in West Virginia, graduating in 1978. His first job was hosting newscasts at an FM rock music radio station in Huntington. A year later, he made the switch to TV news, working as a reporter and weekend sports anchor in Wheeling. There, he met his wife Brenda, and they've been married for four decades.
He worked in Memphis, Cleveland (at WKYC) and Charlotte before moving to CBS to host a new national show, "Up to the Minute." After a stop in Philadelphia, he moved back to Cleveland to anchor the news at WOIO/WUAB.
Jackson has won six Emmy Awards and multiple Communicator, Society of Professional Journalists, Cleveland Press Club, Parents' Choice and Associated Press Awards. He was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.
In his acceptance speech during a luncheon at the City Club of Cleveland, Jackson extolled the value of journalism.
"Why do we do this? Because it’s a calling. It’s a passion. It’s to fulfill a need within us. And in my case, it’s all I ever wanted," he said. "We do what we do, to hold the accountable, accountable. We do what we do to shed light on the highs and lows of our America, by being in the places where we stand. We do it because it needs done."
Cabot is a pioneer in Cleveland sports journalism. A Lakewood native and Kent State alum, she was hired by The Plain Dealer in 1984 out of college. She started on the Browns beat in 1991 at the age of 29, the first woman major pro beat writer in the history of Cleveland. She's been on the beat for 31 years.
O'Bryan is a founding member of the volunteer based Lakewood Observer. The paper started nearly 20 years ago as a way to bring fact-based information to a community often overlooked by bigger outlets. The Observer concept has expanded to a number of other Cleveland-area communities.