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Craig Melvin named 2021 convention keynote speaker

By Kailey Cota, SIPA assistant

Posted January 27, 2021

After growing up in Columbia, South Carolina, and earning his first job at the local WIS-TV, SIPA’s next keynote speaker – Craig Melvin – is currently a "Today Show" news anchor. 

Melvin will join us for a "Convention Conversation" at the 2021 convention from March 4- 7.

After SIPA created a new set of core values last summer, SIPA Director Leslie Dennis believes Melvin’s keynote will be insightful. 

“Two of those values are to promote diversity in the newsroom and coverage and to represent the range of Southern storytelling accurately,” Dennis said. “We feel Craig would offer unique insight into both those values.”

Melvin’s journalistic career started in high school when he joined Columbia’s NBC-affiliate "WIS-TV" as an “Our Generation Reporter.” In 1996, Melvin received an award from the Associated Press for his story on innovative teaching, making him one of the youngest individuals to receive the award. 

After he graduated from Wofford College in 2001, Melvin returned to "WIS-TV" and worked as a news photographer, producer, reporter and eventually a news anchor. 

The South Carolina Broadcaster’s Association named him “Best Anchor” in 2007, and in 2006 he received an Emmy Award for his work as a news anchor. 

His impressive career built up to his promotion as a permanent co-host of "Today Third Hour" in 2019.

Amanda Loveday, a former SIPA president and now COO of NP Strategy, will interview Melvin for the "Convention Conversation."

Loveday’s career has intertwined the worlds of journalism, politics and public relations.

“Journalism, politics and now public relations seem to be very different career paths on the surface, but when you dig deeper into the needs of those you serve in all the positions, they are very, very similar,” Loveday said during an interview with SIPA in 2016. 

Loveday was SIPA president while Dennis was a high school senior. 

“Amanda has a range of experience and knowledge and is familiar with SIPA’s mission. Her communications journey demonstrates the wide array of careers you can have in the field and with a journalism degree,” Dennis said. 

UofSC alumna and USA Today sportswriter Analis Bailey is also planning to speak at the convention.  

Advisers interested in attending SIPA 2021 with their students can register online.

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