Historical entrance to the University of Arkansas
Historical entrance to the University of Arkansas

Ben S. Pollock

Ben is a writer and editor who also employs nearly two decades of web design in content management. In mid-2016 he joined the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions as its webmaster, at its flagship campus in Fayetteville.

From 2012-2016, he was director of media for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, having been its 2010-12 president. He currently is treasurer of the NSNC Education Foundation. 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 late 2001 from The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas (which ended that 33-month weekly column, “Loose Leaves”), Ben earned a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. He served as a graduate teaching assistant, teaching journalism basics to first-years and journalism ethics to juniors and seniors, until his May 2003 graduation.

Ben created this website while in school. 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 creating 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, essentially a clone of the Gaz‘s.)

Ben holds a bachelor’s in communication and American studies from Stanford University. His master’s thesis at the U of A studied the decline of humor columns (quantitative not qualitative, thank you). 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

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