New reporter joins staff
Rodgers brings six years of professional experience
By Robert Cloud
Ben Rodgers, former editor of The Chilton Times Journal, is the new reporter at the Waupaca County Post.
He has replaced Jane Myhra, who retired last month.
In addition to covering Iola, Scandinavia and Manawa, Rodgers is now responsible for the community calendar, the entertainment page and the weekly sheriff’s report.
A 2008 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Rodgers majored in communications with an emphasis in journalism.
He decided he wanted to pursue a career in journalism his sophomore year in college.
“I found I had the ability to clearly convey ideas and thoughts through writing,” Rodgers said.
He worked on the UWGB student newspaper, The Fourth Estate, beginning his sophomore year.
In 2009, Rodgers began working at The Jamestown Sun, a six-days per week newspaper in North Dakota.
His duties included being a paginator, photographer, reporter, blogger, social media and copy editor.
Education, police, arts and entertainment, parks and recreation were among the beats Rodgers covered.
He said the most exciting story he covered was a National Guard training exercise where he rode in a Black Hawk helicopter.
Rodgers also brings experience as an in-depth, investigative reporter.
While working for The Jamestown Sun, Rodgers wrote a series on the state’s graduated licensing for teen drivers.
He found that North Dakota’s laws were among the least restrictive in the nation.
Teens may begin driving as young as 14 1/2.
North Dakota does not have restrictions on the number or age of passengers riding with a teen driver or restrictions on driving at night.
As a consequence, teen drivers were involved in more than 20 percent of all fatal crashes and more than 30 percent of all crashes with injuries in North Dakota in 2008.
“I talked to a mother whose child tried to race a train at a crossing and was struck by the train,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers worked at The Jamestown Sun until 2014, then returned to Wisconsin to be closer to his family.
After working in customer service for an insurance company for nearly two years, Rodgers returned to journalism to be the editor of The Chilton Times Journal in July 2016.
In March 2017, the paper folded due to financial reasons.
“It’s not a well-paying profession, but it’s hard to think of a one that’s nobler,” Rodgers wrote in his farewell column to Chilton readers.
“Ask any reporter why they got into the business and chances are you will get the same answer. Newspapers want you to be informed. Newspapers feel bound to that duty. It’s literally why reporters wake up in the morning. To get you the news,” Rodgers wrote.
Although he grew up in Oshkosh and currently commutes from DePere, Rodgers is familiar with this area because he visited the Chain O’ Lakes during the summer.
His photo has even appeared in the Picture Post.
“I had bigger hair then,” Rodgers said.
Outside of work, Rodgers is active with the Beja Shrine in Green Bay.
Readers may see Rodgers as one of the Shriners’ Vets and Patriots Club members driving custom go-carts in local parades.