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Rick Thames

editor of the Charlotte Observer and its Web site, CharlotteObserver.com
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Fellow for News Leadership 2009

Rick Thames is editor of the Charlotte Observer and its Web site, CharlotteObserver.com. With nearly 200 journalists, The Observer is the largest news-gathering organization in the Carolinas. Thames is a native of Laurinburg, N.C., and has worked in newspapers for over 30 years. He began as a reporter at the Fayetteville Observer and later worked as a reporter and local news editor at The Miami News before joining the Charlotte Observer in 1989. In 1997, he became editor of the Wichita Eagle. In 2004, he returned to Charlotte to become the Observer's editor. In 2008, the North Carolina Press Association honored The Observer with 23 journalism awards, the most received by any newspaper in the state. Also, in 2008, The Observer earned a national George Polk Award for Economics Reporting for its investigation into Beazer Homes and the nation's current foreclosure crisis. This series was also selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service. Thames is the current president of the North Carolina Press Association. He holds an English degree from Pfeiffer University and a master's degree in communication from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

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