An Illinois native and award-winner both for film criticism and feature writing, Nick Rogers began his professional career in 1995 at age 16, as a sports stringer for The Journal-Standard — a daily newspaper in Freeport, Illinois. That progressed into reviews of theatrical and home-video releases and helping create the Community page — a compilation of news from surrounding small towns much like the one Rogers grew up in. (Lanark. Population: 1,500. Closest movie theater: 20 miles away. Number of stoplights in the county: One, and that took quite some time.) Rogers continued to review films for The Journal-Standard until 2000.
While studying journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rogers reviewed films for buzz magazine — a weekly entertainment supplement to The Daily Illini, the University’s student newspaper. He eventually became the movies section editor, executive editor and, in his senior year, editor-in-chief. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2001, Rogers freelanced as a features reporter for the Chicago Tribune and the Herald & Review (Decatur, Ill.).
In 2002, Rogers was hired as the arts & entertainment editor at The State Journal-Register, a daily newspaper in Springfield, Illinois. There, he directed, edited and wrote coverage of film, popular and classical music, theater, visual arts, dance and electronic entertainment. His work was nationally syndicated through Copley News Service and, later, GateHouse News Service, and his film reviews from that time are archived at Rotten Tomatoes.com.
Rogers earned first-place honors from the Illinois Press Association for Best A&E Section and from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors for Best A&E Commentary. After almost six years on that beat, Rogers became the paper’s features editor. He left the newspaper in September 2008 and moved to Lafayette, Ind., where he worked as a technology writer at Purdue University. Currently, he works full-time as a copywriter at Dearing Group, an advertising agency in West Lafayette, Ind. He has also reviewed films for the online outlet Suite101.
As comfortable defending Deep Rising as he is blasting Babel, Rogers has vast opinions on, knowledge of and love for film that has generated plenty of feedback in his wake. It’s his hope to bring the same discourse to The Film Yap.