LVN editor named president of NPA Board of Directors
A veteran newspaperman with more than 30 years experience in journalism and education was selected on Saturday as the new president of the Nevada Press Association’s board of directors.
Steve Ranson, editor of the Lahontan Valley News in Fallon for the past seven-and-a-half years, will serve in the post for one year. He succeeds Kirk Kern, chief operating officer of Battle Born Media.
In addition to serving on the NPA board, Ranson is also a member of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, an organization that assists those involved in the weekly press to improve standards of editorial writing and news reporting and to encourage strong, independent editorial voices. and Military Reporters and Editors.
Former LVN editor and president of the NPA board, Anne Pershing, said she is very please with Ranson’s accomplishment.
“I know what it entails to be the president of that board, and I know it’s something that Steve will handle well,” she said. “I hope that he enjoys himself and is able to take advantage of the opportunities it will provide him with meeting similar minded individuals in the journalism profession.”
A native of Reno, Ranson discovered a love for community journalism when his former wife served as editor of the Wells Progress in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Ranson, who taught English and journalism at Wells High School in eastern Nevada, wrote all the sports articles, assisted her with news and feature stories and occasionally covered school board or other government-related meetings. In 1982, he joined the Nevada Army National Guard as a military journalist.
After leaving for two years to teach for a Department of Defense high school in Panama, Ranson returned as an Honors English and journalism instructor at Churchill County High School from 1986-1995 and as junior high school vice principal from 1995-2005. He was named the county’s Teacher of the Year in 1995.
In 1987, the Lahontan Valley News hired Ranson as a sports reporter, and when Swift Communications bought the LVN in late 2003, he was promoted to sports editor, a position he held until being named editor in March 2008.
“Steve is regularly recognized for journalistic excellence both in NPA judging and elsewhere,” said Mark Raymond, general manager of Sierra Nevada Media Group. “His commitment to his community and to the industry are models for community newspaper editors everywhere. I’m delighted with his election to the position of president of the NPA board.”
During his tenure as editor, the LVN has won more than 100 international, national and state press awards including 23 awards at this year’s Nevada Press Association’s annual conference. The NPA named him a co-Journalist of the Year in 2012 and for having Editorial of the Year for all categories in 2014.
In addition to his career with community newspapers, Ranson also compiled an extensive resume in writing military news. For almost two-thirds of his military career, Ranson covered soldiers at home, around the country and overseas to Central and South America and Korea. While in Panama, he performed his U.S. Army Reserve time as a television reporter and production assistant. He retired from the National Guard in 2009 with a rank of lieutenant colonel.
As a civilian journalist, Ranson also traveled to the Arabian Sea to document the training done at NAS Fallon and how it relates to the operations with a carrier air wing aboard an aircraft carrier. He covers both Naval Air Station Fallon and the National Guard, and Ranson embedded with Nevada guard units in Afghanistan twice — in November 2011 and November 2012.
Ranson became interested in the journalism field in high school and worked for several Reno radio stations including KBET Radio where he learned about the broadcasting trade including play-by-play sportscasting. He studied both print and broadcast journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he received a Bachelors in Journalism degree in 1974 and a Masters of Higher Education and Administration in 1980. After graduation in 1974, he held positions as assistant public information officer for the Wyoming Game and Fish Dept., and as a magazine writer for Wyoming Wildlife. He returned to Reno as a weekend newscaster and producer for KCRL (now KRNV) TV for two years before moving to eastern Nevada.