UA NEWS RELEASE
Arkansas Times Editor Named Ernie Deane Award Winner
FAYETTEVILLE, AR (April 21, 2009) – Arkansas Times editor and long-time reporter Max Brantley has been named to receive the 2009 Ernie Deane Award for valor in journalism. The award recognizes Arkansas journalists or writers whose work best exemplifies the spirit, style and courage of its namesake. This is the 16th year the award has been presented to an Arkansas journalist.
Ernie Deane, a 1934 UA graduate in journalism, served as the information officer for General George Patton during World War II and was the head of public relations with the Office of Chief Counsel for War Crimes at Nuremberg. A journalist with the former Arkansas Gazette for many years, Deane originated the Arkansas Traveler column in 1956 and later taught journalism at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
“I am surprised, honored and pleased to learn I’ve been chosen to receive the Ernie Deane award,” Brantley said. “I realized when (Larry Foley, a professor of journalism and Ernie Deane committee member) called and gave me the news I may not have sounded very gracious. My first thought was surely there was someone better.”
Brantley, a native of Lake Charles, La., began his career in Arkansas journalism as a general assignment reporter for the Arkansas Gazette in 1973. He became assistant city editor in 1976 and city editor 10 years later. He was later promoted to assistant managing editor, in charge of all the news reporting staffs. In October 1990, Brantley began writing a daily column, a job he held when the Arkansas Gazette closed in October 1991. He was among a vocal group of staffers who worked to stave off the inevitable closure of the state’s oldest daily.
Within weeks of the closing, Brantley went to work at the Arkansas Times with the plan to convert the then-monthly magazine into a weekly. He has been editor of the Times since then. The Times continued its focus on Arkansas history and culture but Brantley added a strong dose of political reporting and commentary “the latter of the decidedly liberal variety,” he said.
Adapting to the times, the staff began the Arkansas Blog in the fall of 2004. Brantley is the primary, but not sole, contributor. The blog is a seven-day-a-week compilation of news, commentary and other articles of interest.
“We stirred quite a bit of comment – not to mention legislation – by publishing on-line the list of people who hold concealed weapon permits in Arkansas,” Brantley said. “The blog has altered our lives in many ways. We’re back in the breaking news business.”
Brantley will receive the Ernie Award later this fall at a special event, where he will be honored and have the opportunity to talk with University of Arkansas journalism students.
Brantley is married to Ellen B. Brantley, a circuit judge. They have two grown children, Martha and Fritz, both living in New York City.
The “Ernie” award was founded by Deane’s former students and colleagues following his death in 1991. Nominations are judged by a committee of professionals who were students and colleagues of Deane’s.
Past recipients of the Ernie Deane Award include Bob McCord (1993), Swampy Graves and Ray Kimball (1994), Richard Allin (1995), Bob Douglas (1996), George Fisher (1997), Betty and Cone Magie (1998), Ernie Dumas (1999) and J.E. Dunlap (2000), Jim Pitcock (2001), Orville Henry (2002), Jim Morriss (2003), Carole Griffee (2004), John W. Troutt and Charlotte Schexnayder (2005), Steve Barnes (2006), Roy Reed (2007) and Amy Schlesing (2008).