AU Journalism Advisory Council honors Onlooker editor


The Auburn University Journalism Advisory Council has announced the winners of the 2019 Auburn Journalism Award.

John Underwood, co-editor of The Onlooker, was awarded the John Stephenson Distinguished Alabama Community Journalist Award.

The community journalism award was named to honor John Stephenson, long-time editor and publisher of the Randolph Leader, earlier this year. Stephenson was a long-time member of the Advisory Council, and a leader in Alabama community journalism.

For the residents of central Baldwin County, John Underwood has been synonymous with community journalism for the past 30 years. Underwood has served in a variety of roles with several newspapers, most recently the Onlooker in Foley.

“From covering football games every Friday night to weekly council meetings, from event coverage to breaking crime news, John is always ready and on the spot to provide news and information to his readers,” said Cliff McCollum, a former Gulf Coast Media managing editor, in nominating Underwood.

Other honorees named this year are: Kim Chandler, Associated Press capital reporter; Carol Nunnelley, former Birmingham News managing editor and founder of BirminghamWatch; Connor Sheets, Alabama Media Group investigative reporter; and John Zenor, Associated Press sports reporter.

The luncheon and program will take place on Friday, Sept. 13, at 11:30 a.m. at the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities (Pebble Hill). Tickets are $45 each. The annual awards will be presented during the luncheon, and are hosted by the Auburn University Journalism Advisory Council. The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities is located at 101 S. Debardeleben St., in Auburn.