Former Public Opinion publisher Mark Roby to be inducted into SD newspaper hall of fame


Mark Roby of Watertown is being inducted into the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Roby is a Watertown native. He worked part-time as a sports reporter at the Watertown Public Opinion in high school and went on to a successful career in the corporate world before returning to Watertown in 2002 to be publisher of the Public Opinion. He retired as president and regional publisher of the Dakota Media Group, which included the Watertown and Aberdeen newspapers, in 2017. He was president of the South Dakota Newspaper Association in 2008-09, according to a news release from the group.

He will be inducted May 13 during the newspaper association's annual convention in Mitchell.

Jon Hunter is also being inducted. He succeeded his father and grandfather, who are both hall of fame members, as publisher of the Madison Daily Leader. Hunter was publisher of the paper for 31 years before selling it a year ago.

“We are delighted to honor Jon Hunter and Mark Roby with induction into the Newspaper Hall of Fame,” South Dakota Newspaper Association President and Timber Lake Topic Publisher Robert Slocum said in the release. “Both of them have contributed mightily to not only the newspaper industry, but to their communities and to our state as well. Jon and Mark set the standard for their dedication to quality community journalism and community newspapers.”

Roby has served numerous community and state boards and organizations. Like Hunter, he was a founding director of South Dakota News Watch. He now serves on the board of directors for Prairie Lakes Healthcare System in Watertown. In 2013, Roby was appointed by then-Gov. Dennis Daugaard to the South Dakota Judicial Qualifications Commission, according to the release. Roby currently serves on the South Dakota Special Committee on Judicial Elections.

As South Dakota Newspaper Association president, Roby oversaw the group’s fundraising and move to a building it constructed in Brookings in 2008.

Plaques honoring members of the Newspaper Hall of Fame are displayed at the Anson & Ada May Yeager Hall at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

This article originally appeared on Watertown Public Opinion: Mark Roby, former Public Opinion publisher, entering newspaper hall