Veteran journalist Randy Bell to donate papers to MSU Friday

Contact: Checky Herrington

Studio headshot of Randy Bell wearing a white shirt in front of a gray background
Randy Bell (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State alumnus and veteran journalist is donating his papers to the university’s Mitchell Memorial Library during a Friday [Jan. 17] ceremony.

MSU will honor Randy Bell’s 45-year-career at 2 p.m. in the library’s third-floor John Grisham Room. The event is open to the public.

Bell began working at Starkville’s WKOR radio station while attending MSU. The 1974 communication graduate then pursued a career in broadcast journalism and went on to earn 23 national Edward R. Murrow Awards and 15 Radio Newsperson of the Year awards from the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters.

His papers include news clips, photos, press passes and memorabilia collected throughout his career, which has spanned nine governors, four major hurricanes, three devastating floods, dozens of deadly tornadoes and an array of state and national elections. His archive, including an online component that allows users to listen to actual news recordings, becomes part of the Mississippi Journalism Collection in Mitchell Memorial’s Special Collections department.

This collection comprises the papers of 22 Mississippi journalists, including Hodding Carter II, Turner Catledge, John Oliver Emmerich Sr., Orley M. Hood Jr., Bill Minor and Hazel Brannon Smith, among other notable professionals.

Bell has spent the bulk of his career reporting news for Jackson radio stations owned by iHeart Media. His broadcasts are now heard in other iHeart markets, including Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Tupelo and Mobile. He also serves as chairman of Mississippi’s Emergency Alert System, a role in which he helped develop the state’s AMBER Alert program. A leader in the statewide journalism community, he served as a founding member of the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information, a past president of the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Association and a charter member of MAPBA’s Hall of Fame. He also is a former board member for the Radio-Television Digital News Association, representing Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana.

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