DURHAM, NC (May 13, 2013) – Rick Green, the editor and vice president of news for The Des Moines Register, has been appointed to the board of directors of the National Press Photographers Association, NPPA president Mike Borland announced today.
"Rick is absolutely a journalist and understands what makes us tick," Borland said.
"Rick Green embraces the way journalism has changed in the last few years," Borland said. "At the Register, there used to be two deadlines each day. Now there's 1,440. He talks about a new golden age of storytelling where stories can be told across several platforms, and I think he'll bring yet another important perspective to NPPA's board. As an editor, he understands what dictates how the days are spent for many photojournalists, which stories they cover, and in what form those stories appear."
Green told News Photographer magazine today, "I'm a firm believer that right now we're in the golden age of storytelling. The rules of photojournalism have changed so dramatically for storytellers, and I'm honored to be a part of this organization working to promote and protect the excellence of photographers everywhere. Never before have we been able to touch so many people in so many different ways, and all of these new opportunities are going to require brand-new skills for photojournalists."
Green believes that photojournalists, editors, and media industry leaders are going to have to shoulder the burden of making sure readers and viewers understand that whatever platform delivers the stories, it's also delivering our credibility.
"Now more than ever the public is so skeptical of all of us in the media," Green said. "At the heart of everything we do is our credibility, particularly with the advances that have been made in the digital space where often urgency trumps accuracy, in too many cases. Our commitment has to be to excellence and ethics and credibility and integrity, because there's such pressure today placed on journalists in the field with iPhones and digital cameras – equipment that didn't exist a few years ago – with pressure to get the story at all costs. We're doing things now that we never would have believed possible a short time ago. But our goal has to be to not only do great journalism, but to be great in how we do it."
In a recent interview on WHO-TV, Green talked about how few businesses in Des Moines have undergone more change in the last few years than the town's local newspaper. Watch the interview with Green online here.
Green was named the Register's editor in January 2011. At that time he was the executive editor of The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, CA, where he joined the paper in 2004 as managing editor. After a journalism degree at Ohio University in Athens, OH, in 1987, he joined Gannett as a government and political reporter at the Chillicothe (OH) Gazette. He was a reporter and editor for The Cincinnati Enquirer from 1988 through 2004, including being a local news editor, suburban editor, business editor, and assistant managing editor for business and metro news. In 2004 he was promoted from the Enquirer to be the managing editor for The Desert Sun.
His 30-year career in journalism started as a high school sophomore, Green says, where he was a correspondent, sports clerk, sportswriter, photographer, reporter and columnist for his hometown paper, the Coshocton (OH) Tribune, before he left for college.
In 2009, he was named Gannett's top editor in the company's 82-newspaper chain. And twice Green has been named Newsroom Supervisor of the Year, along with two President's Ring honors.
In its long history the Register has won three Pulitzer Prizes for photography. Staffer Mary Chind won for a dramatic river rescue photograph in 2010, and Dave Peterson won a Feature Photography Pulitzer in 1987 for documenting Iowa's farm crisis. In 1952, John Robinson and Don Ultang won the photography Pulitzer for a six-picture series from the Drake-Oklahoma A&M football game in which African-American football player Johnny Bright's jaw was violently broken by a white Oklahoma player, in a racial event that later became known as the "Johnny Bright Incident."
Green replaces photojournalist and multimedia producer Kainaz Amaria on NPPA's board. Amaria, a member of the multimedia team at National Public Radio in Washington, DC, was appointed to the board by NPPA's past president Sean D. Elliot.
NPPA's board of directors is made up of elected seats except for three directors, who are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the organization's president. Amaria is stepping down from NPPA's board now, she told News Photographer magazine today, so that she can better spend her time on some current projects and multimedia efforts. But she hopes to stay active in NPPA's educational programs, seminars, and working with visual journalism students, she says.