Aaron Sadler of the Arkansas Press Association, Hatton Weeks of KAIT-TV and Angelia Roberts, former managing editor of the Batesville Daily Guard all have spent their careers fighting to protect the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and using FOIA to enhance their reporting.
During the 2020 Arkansas College Media Association’s Spring Convention, the three will offer insights on Arkansas’s FOIA and give advice on how to become a better journalist by using open records and open meetings laws.
Aaron Sadler is a veteran communications professional with three decades experience in media relations and journalism. He got his start at 12 years old as the sports writer for the Trumann Democrat newspaper. He went on to be a political reporter for Stephens Media, first covering the state Capitol in Little Rock before writing for Stephens’ Washington bureau. In Washington, Sadler covered Congress, federal agencies and the 2008 presidential campaign.
He is currently the director of communications for the Arkansas Press Association, where he is a spokesman for the state’s newspaper industry and a leading advocate for the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. He is a member of the Arkansas FOIA Coalition and has testified before the Legislature for stronger open-records and open-meetings laws.
Sadler also handles media relations and strategy for several clients.
Previously, he was Director of Media Relations and Chief Administrative Officer for the Arkansas Attorney General, and he served as communications director for attorneys general in Louisiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania.
Hatton Weeks has 20 years in broadcasting, half of which he has spent overseeing newsrooms as news director. Hatton is currently the Vice President and General Manager at KAIT, a position he has held since 2018.
He previously spent three years as the News Director at WLBT and WDBD in Jackson, Mississippi.
Weeks was just 16 years old when he started his broadcasting career at radio stations in northeast Arkansas. He joined KAIT in 1996 while attending Arkansas State University and worked his way up to anchor/reporter. Weeks also worked as a reporter/producer at KTHV channel 11 in Little Rock, Ark.
He left the industry for a short time, but in 2006, Weeks returned to KAIT as assistant news director and then news director, a position he held for over seven years.
Weeks is from Harrisburg, and has a B.S. in radio/television with an emphasis in news and a minor in political science from Arkansas State University. He is also is on the board of the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas.
He is most proud of his family including his wife Candace and their three children.
Angelia Roberts is an award-winning journalist whose career has spanned three decades in print journalism. She served 10 years with Areawide Media, Inc. as both the editor of The News and South Missourian News and later as the editor and General Manager of the Batesville Daily Guard.
Roberts retired in 2019 and is now the co-publisher of Next Door magazine that is currently covers five counties in north Arkansas.