AUSTIN — Texas Press Association on June 23 elected as president Laurie Ezzell Brown, editor and publisher of The Canadian Record, to serve an 18-month term beginning July 1 and ending in late January 2020.
Brown consistently produces award-winning newspapers. She was nurtured in the business by her legendary parents, the late Ben and Nancy Ezzell, whose gritty editorial stances and undying love of community began at the newspaper in 1947. Sixty years later, in 2007, the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues presented The Record with the Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural community journalism.
Brown has served as editor of The Record since the death of her father in 1993. She later assumed the role of co-publisher with Nancy Ezzell, until her mother’s retirement in 2010. Brown continues in her parents’ footsteps, chronicling the life of the Texas Panhandle city of Canadian and Hemphill County.
Alone at the tiller since her mother’s death in 2013, Brown is quick to credit her loyal and hardworking staff. Their published work, produced in tabloid format, regularly draws the notice of news organizations and peers across Texas and the nation.
In accepting the role of president of the Texas Press Association, Brown thanked her fellow journalists for the honor and offered tribute to her predecessors, saying, “I am mindful today of the high standards you have set, and grateful for your leadership and wise counsel.”
“We have seen many changes in this profession that I revere,” she continued, “and I believe we have reached a defining moment in the future of journalism, and of a free and independent press. It is we who will define it. Some things have never changed, and never will. We must continue to seek the truth and report it fearlessly. What we do matters.”
Joining Brown on the TPA Executive Board are 1st Vice President Ramona Ferguson of The Banner Press Newspaper, Columbus; 2nd Vice President Jim Bardwell, The Gladewater Mirror; Treasurer Leonard Woolsey, The Galveston County Daily News; Chairman of the Board Patrick Canty, Odessa American; and TPA Executive Director Mike Hodges.
Founded in 1880, Texas Press Association is one of the nation’s oldest and largest newspaper trade associations. As the voice of the state’s newspaper industry, representing 429 daily and non-daily newspapers, TPA promotes the welfare of Texas newspapers, encourages higher standards of journalism and plays an important role in protecting the public’s right to know as an advocate of First Amendment liberties.