FOIFT Board Member Chris Cobler Wins Community Leadership Award

Originally printed in Texas Press Messenger, Volume 88, Number 6, June 2013

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Chris Cobler, editor of the Victoria Advocate, has received the Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership from the Texas Press Association.

Cobler, editor of the Advocate for six years, accepted the award at the association’s summer meeting in Houston.

Cobler is treasurer of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and is a board member of the national Associated Press Media Editors association. He also was a founding member of the Victoria Independent School District Education Foundation.

In 2005, Cobler was selected to participate in a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, which he completed in 2006. Under his leadership, the newsroom of the Advocate has won more than 200 state and national journalism awards.

“Chris is deeply connected to the community,” said Dan Easton, publisher of the Advocate. “Whether it is moderating a Habitat for Humanity event, holding a town hall meeting on newspaper credibility, or posting video from the local high school football game, the community looks to Chris, his team, and our newspaper to be connected to and informed about the community.

“Chris is a tremendous leader and a passionate advocate for community journalism,” Easton continued. “He has been responsible for the development of numerous journalism careers that started out working with him. Despite his long tenure in the industry, his passion is as strong as ever, and it is reflected in his work.”

Cobler, a journalism graduate of the University of Kansas, worked at newspapers in Kansas, Colorado, South Dakota and Denton before joining the Advocate in 2007.

The Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership has been awarded annually since 1992 to a publisher or newspaper executive who contributed most significantly to society during the past year.