By Melissa Spellman
Fall Intern 2023
New Journal and Guide
Former WAVY-TV 10 anchor Don Roberts was awarded the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award by The Society of Professional Journalists Virginia Pro Chapter on September 14. The ceremony was held at the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center on the campus of Norfolk State University.
Robert’s achievements in news reporting span three decades. He is the longest standing anchor at a single broadcast in Hampton Roads history. In attendance were former anchors and colleagues such as Alveta Ewell, Andy Fox, and Kerri Furey to name a few. Furey doted on Roberts’ professionalism and willingness to mentor the next generation of broadcasters.
Roberts was honored for his compassionate and dedicated reporting bringing attention to foster care children in need of adoptive families in a segment called “Wednesday’s Child.”
His years of commitment to the youth of Hampton Roads extends to incarcerated youth. He founded the Chess Nutz Network in 2017 where he mentors and plays chess with incarcerated teens thus bringing a ray of light into a dark situation. The goal of this initiative is to listen to them and plant seeds of hope and positivity that will one day blossom into positive change in their lives.
“I’m retired, but not tired,” said Roberts, as he affirmed that he would continue his work with the youth and effect positive change in the Hampton Roads community.
The night ended with a host of questions from NSU students aspiring to work in broadcast media. He asked everyone in the room who works in broadcast to raise their hands if they interned at their college radio or TV station.
“We were all once where you are now,” said Roberts.
He urged students to make connections, do internships, and to make themselves necessary, “so when the time comes to hire, your name will be first that comes to mind.”
Roberts closed with a message to students that if you go to sleep thinking about it and you wake up thinking about it then that is what you must do. Whatever your passion is, aspire to make a difference.