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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Randy David Covington

Title: Director of Special Projects
Director of Newsplex
Department: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
College of Information and Communications
Website: Newsplex
Phone: 803-777-5998
Office: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
800 Sumter Street, Room 235
Columbia, SC 29208


B.A., Journalism and Government, Indiana University
M.S., Journalism, Columbia University


Randy Covington joined the faculty in 2001.  He previously worked in television news for 27 years, serving in management positions for stations in Houston, Louisville, Boston, Philadelphia and Columbia.  His awards include a du Pont Columbia Citation, four Emmys and an Ohio State Award.  The Radio Television News Directors of the Carolinas (RTDNAC) has honored Covington as its news director of the year. 

As the college’s Director of Special Projects, he oversees the Social Media Insights Lab, scholastic journalism and several other initiatives. 


Covington's research interests include digital media and how news organizations must change to compete in a new media world.

Grants and Funded Research

Developing enterprise and investigative reporting in the Baltics.  Under a $500,000 grant from the U.S. State Department, Newsplex organized and oversaw investigative reporting collaboratives in Estonia, Latvia and Estonia.  Such collaboration had never been done before in these countries and the journalists produced significant work. 

Journalism training in Russia.  Newsplex led six workshops in cities across Russia. $150,000, funded by the U.S. State Department.  2014.

Teaching new media skills in Russia.  Working with Professor Scott Farrand, Newsplex developed an online training program in Russian focusing on new media skills. $75,500, funded by USAID and IREX.  2013.

BG TIME, an innovative program in which college students trained in new media skills and then were paired with senior citizens to produce multi media content for a website done in conjunction with The State newspaper in Columbia.  $195,000, funded by the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the John S. Knight Foundation.  2009-2011


Since joining the school, Covington has taught J501, Freedom, Responsibility and Ethics.  This course in media ethics is highly interactive and requires critical thinking, as students wrestle verbally and in writing with issues such as privacy, racial sensitivity and online harassment. From time to time, Covington teaches International Mass Communications, drawing upon his extensive experience working with overseas media organizations.  Covington developed and has taught the school’s introductory course on social media.  He also has taught multimedia journalism.


Co-founder, Family Promise of the Midlands

Session moderator, 2013 World Newspaper Congress, Bangkok

Co-chair, 2012 World Association of Newspapers Middle East Conference, Dubai

Keynote speaker, 2007 IFRA Digital Trend Day, Amsterdam

Former faculty, L'Universite d'Ete (Summer University), France

Former South Carolina freedom of information coordinator, Radio Television Digital News Association 

Former president, South Carolina Associated Press Broadcasters

Former board member, South Carolina Broadcasters Association


Covington is married and has two sons and two step daughters.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and reading.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.