Auburn to honor Rawls

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Andalusia native Phillip Rawls is among the five honorees who will receive a 2013 Auburn Journalism Award.

The Auburn University Journalism Advisory Council presents the annual awards “to recognize and honor the best professional performers in our field with Alabama roots,” said Roy Bain, Auburn Journalism Awards committee chairman.

The other 2013 honorees are editor and publisher Guy N. Rhodes of The Tuskegee News, sports columnist Mike Easterling, formerly of The Huntsville Times, Auburn University journalism professor Ed Williams and best-selling detective novelist Ace Atkins.

Rawls, a 1969 graduate of Andalusia High School, will receive the Distinguished Mass Media Achievement Award. He is a veteran Alabama statehouse reporter for the Associated Press and “is among the most accomplished reporters in Alabama history, setting a standard for government reporting across print, digital and broadcast platforms,” said Bill Barrow, himself a former Alabama statehouse reporter. “Phillip has covered Alabama politics and government for almost 35 years, nearly all of it with AP. In that time, he has chronicled every significant personality, election tussle and policy debate familiar to Alabama news consumers,” Barrow said. He also described Rawls as someone who, between the banner headline stories, excels at finding ways to inform about lesser-known aspects of state government. “Everyone reads what is under Phillip’s byline, because they know it is accurate, complete and fair,” a fellow reporter added.

Williams will receive the Distinguished Special Achievement in Journalism Award after teaching journalism at Auburn University for 30 years. Prior to joining the AU faculty, he was an editor of The Star-News.

Honorees will accept their awards during a luncheon ceremony at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center on Friday, April 19, at 11:30 a.m.