Ben S. Pollock of Fayetteville, Ark.
Ben is a writer and editor, who also employs a decade-plus of web design in content management. In mid-2016 he joined the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions as its digital media specialist.
From 2012-2016, he was director of media for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, having been its 2010-12 president. Ben served as the 2014-15 interim assistant director of the University of Arkansas Center for Ethics in Journalism.
Until a fall 2012 layoff, he spent a decade as a news copy editor/page designer for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
From 1988-92, the Democrat then the Democrat-Gazette ran his column “Mirthology” regularly (at times irregularly). “Like many members, my column writing always has been a sideline. Mainly as a side to being a copy, metro, editorial page and wire editor,” Ben says.
After being downsized in 2001 from The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas (which ended that 33-month weekly column, “Loose Leaves”), Ben created a website. He soon added a blog, BRICK: Muse on News, where he’s published his columns since. While most of Ben’s pieces have been humor and general interest, a notable exception was his 1986-98 stint at the Democrat then Democrat-Gazette doing the daily, non-bylined, front-page column “In the News.” Each of the eight-12 “newsers” is a complete wire story, reduced to a single sentence. “In the News” began in the 1950s (and continues), and Ben’s tenure is one of its longest. (OK, sticklers, it was “Newsmakers” running on 2A in the pre-hyphenated Democrat 1986-91, a clone of the Gaz‘s.)
Ben holds a bachelor’s in communication and American studies from Stanford University and a master’s in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. His master’s thesis concerned humor columns. Ben is married; they have pets. He’s a proud native of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Anything else you want to know can be found or alluded to in Brick or here in Mirthology, a Loose Leaflet.
The picture across the top: Wall along Arkansas Avenue, steps to Old Main of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Photo by Ben S. Pollock