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2001 - Present

2001 - Present

2015
Steve Burgin
Investigative reporter and weekend anchor in a more than 30-year career with WLKY in Louisville.  He has won five Emmys, the Scripps Howard National Award for Investigative Reporting, a regional Edward R. Murrow award, and numerous Metro Journalism and Associated Press awards.  He was the first Kentucky broadcast journalist to receive the Silver Circle Award for lifetime achievement from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Also worked at CNN, Atlanta; WFAA, Dallas; WTVF, Nashville; WBIR, Knoxville; and KCTV, San Angelo, Texas.

Judy Jenkins
Reporter and columnist for The Gleaner in Henderson, Ky. from 1963 until her retirement in 2007, after which she continued to write occasionally as a freelancer and guest columnist until her death in 2013.  She won numerous honors in KPA competitions, including eight first-place awards for Best Column.  She received the Barry Bingham Award from the Kentucky Psychiatric Association seven times in recognition of her “exceptional efforts to bring information on mental illness to the people of Kentucky.”  She was also honored by the Cabinet for Human Resources, the Green River Regional Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board and the Henderson Mayor’s Committee on Employment of the Disabled for her work on behalf of people with disabilities.  A graduate of the University of Kentucky Northwest Center, now Henderson Community College, she was given it Distinguished Alumni Award posthumously.

Jeffrey A. Marks
A television executive since 1993, he is currently president and general manager of WDBJ Television in Roanoke, Virginia.  His career in broadcast news began in 1971 as news director at WBKY (now WUKY) at the University of Kentucky.  He was a reporter for WVLK and WLAP radio stations in Lexington, then joined WHAS in Louisville, first as a radio reporter, then an editorial producer for both television and radio, and then senior news producer for WHAS television.  He then joined WJLA television in Washington, DC as executive news producer.  From there, he went to the Maine Broadcasting System, beginning as a news director with WCSH television in Portland and then becoming station manager before moving into executive management with WLBZ television in Bangor.  While in Kentucky, he covered the 1974 tornados, the 1975 integration unrest and the 1976 Scotia mine disasters, among other key stories.  He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.

Mark Neikirk
Director of the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at Northern Kentucky University since 2008, he was managing editor of The Cincinnati Post/The Kentucky Post during the paper’s final years.  Prior to being named managing editor, he worked at the Post for 28 years in positions of increasing responsibility, including assistant managing editor when the two newspapers’ newsrooms were merged in 1995, a member of the newsroom management team for The Kentucky Post (night city editor, state editor, city editor), and a reporter covering all key news beats.  He began his career at The Kentucky Post as an intern while in graduate school at the University of Kentucky.  During his tenure at The Kentucky Post, he led repeated open records and open meetings challenges.  He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in history.

Ed Reinke
An award-winning photographer for The Associated Press in Kentucky for more than 25 years, he died in 2011 from injuries suffered while on assignment at the Kentucky Speedway.  He was AP’s lead photographer for critical events in Kentucky history, including the 2006 Comair crash in Lexington, the 1988 Carrollton bus crash, the 1989 Wheatcroft coal mine disaster, and the 1989 workplace shooting at the Standard Gravure printing plant.  In addition to Kentucky stories, he covered Super Bowls, World Series championships, NCAA Final Fours, Olympics, golf championships, the Indy 500, Hurricane Andrew, and President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration.  He covered every Kentucky Derby from 1988 through 2011.  He won numerous awards from the AP Sports Editors, including the 1992 Thomas V. DiLustro award for excellence in sports photography.  He was born in Indiana and attended Indiana University.

 
Landon Wills
Set a national example for editorial leadership in a small, rural county as owner of the McLean County News in 1946-72. He helped bring a hospital, factories and a dam to Calhoun. His strong editorial stands included support for the civil-rights plan of the 1948 Democratic platform and John F. Kennedy for president in 1960. He believed the editorial page was open to any topic, and he often opined on state and national issues, which cost him badly needed advertising; his wife’s teaching job helped to support them and six sons, one of whom, Clyde, edited the paper briefly. In 1963 he was the subject of “Vanishing Breed,” an ABC-TV documentary premised on the declining number of weekly papers. A graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College, he died in 1998 and won the Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity from the Institute of Rural Journalism and Community Issues in 2014.

 
2014
Elizabeth Hansen
Champion of community journalism and media ethics through research and teaching at Eastern Kentucky University, 1987-2014.  Named a Foundation Professor in 2008, the highest recognition awarded by the university.  She has prepared hundreds of journalism students for careers through courses that include real-world experiences and evaluation and research for numerous Kentucky community newspapers.  EKU's student newspaper, The Progress, won numerous awards under her advising leadership.  She has been active in the Society of Professional Journalists (regional director on national board), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (head of Community Journalism Interest Group), Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues (chair of Steering Committee), International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, Kentucky Press Association, National Newspaper Association and Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media at Kansas State University.  She earned degrees from University of Arkansas (B.A., journalism), Iowa State University (M.S., journalism and mass communication), and University of Kentucky (Ph.D., communication).
 
Mark Hebert
As political and investigative reporter for Louisville's WHAS-TV, he won two regional Emmy Awards for breaking the news of Gov. Paul Patton's 2002 sex scandal and reporting that the derailment of a train carrying Agent Orange in Horse Cave, Ky., apparently led to higher-than-normal rates of cancer in the area.  The station won an Edward R. Murrow Award for its coverage of the Patton scandal.  He worked at WHAS from 1987 to 2009 after reporting for Lexington's WLEX-TV, the Kentucky Radio Network and Frankfort's WKED Radio, where he also served as news director.  He began his broadcast career at WKCT/WDNS-FM in Bowling Green while still a student at Western Kentucky University.  In 2002, Louisville Magazine and LEO Weekly both named him Best TV Reporter in the market.  The Louisville League of Women Voters named him Political Reporter of the Year in 2007.  He joined the University of Louisville in 2009 as director of media relations.
 
David E. McBride
An Owensboro native who first pursued an art career at Brescia College, he started in the newspaper business with the Kingsport Times-News in Tennessee in the mid-1950s.  After working for the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, WFIE-TV in Evansville, Ind., and the Henderson Gleaner, he became editor of the Ohio County Times-News in Hartford in 1971.  He served as editor for 25 years, was semi-retired for 15 years, and returned as editor in July 2011 at the age of 79.  He is best known for his column, "Little Bit of Everything," and was active in the West Kentucky Press Association, serving as president.  He began the Ohio County Octoberfest in 1986.  Funds raised through the event supported the Times-News Children's Fund, which distributes toys, caps, gloves and winter coats annually to deserving children.  He received the Edwards Templin Award for community service, given by the Lexington Herald-Leader at the Kentucky Press Association convention, in 1989.
 
Lee Mueller
Born in Virginia but raised in Eastern Kentucky, he covered President Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 visit to Inez as a young reporter with the Ashland Daily Independent.  He also wrote for The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and Citizen-Journal, the Greenfield, Ohio, Daily Times, the Lexington Herald and the Roanoke Times.  As a columnist for the Newspaper Enterprise Association, he wrote a regular column on topics of his choice, as well as writing sports stories.  He became an editor at Golf Magazine in 1971 and won first place in the U.S. Golf Writers Association of America's writing competition in 1973.  He returned home to become the Lexington Herald-Leader's Eastern Kentucky bureau reporter in 1980 and continued in that role until his retirement in 2007.  He contributed to a 1989 series on schools that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.  His work frequently exposed the misdeeds of Appalachian politicians and coal operators.
 
Mike Philipps
During 30 years at The Cincinnati Post, 1997-2007, he served in roles of increasing importance: assistant city editor, news editor, metropolitan editor and assistant managing editor.  He was named editor of the Post and its sister newspaper, The Kentucky Post, in 2001.  As editor of a paper facing doom from a joint operating agreement, he refocused its limited resources on Northern Kentucky, kept the Post vigorous until the end, and shared with it the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce's 2007 Unity Award for helping bring the region together.  He held a wide range of leadership positions in the community, and served as secretary of the Kentucky Humanities Council and a member of the Kentucky Commission on Philanthropy.  In 2008, he was named president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation.  He graduated from Virginia Military Institute and served as an Army captain in Vietnam, to which he returned in 2000 and wrote a retrospective story about its changes.
 
Wes Strader

Charles Wesley Strader was the "Voice of the Hilltoppers" from 1964 to 2000 as play-by-play reporter for football and men's basketball teams at Western Kentucky University.  He called WKU men's basketball appearances in the 1971 Final Four and 1993 Sweet 16, and the football team's appearances in the 1973 and 1975 national championship games.  The unchallenged voice of authority on Hilltopper sports for five decades, he was known for his straight-up game calls that pulled no punches, and for his comprehensive reporting on Bowling Green's WBGN Radio.  He has called state high school basketball tournaments for 52 years.  After leaving the university-controlled broadcasts, he hosted a syndicated University of Kentucky postgame radio show for eight seasons.  In 2008, he rejoined the WKU broadcast team to host shows before football and men's basketball, and a post-game call-in.  A UK graduate, he covered the 1960 Democratic National Convention for a Kentucky radio network.
 
Hunter S. Thompson
Born in Louisville in 1937, he died at Woody Creek, Colo., in 2005.  He began his career as a sports writer in the Air Force.  He is best known as the father of what he dubbed "gonzo journalism," a subjective style with first-person narrative, including personal experiences that often become central to the story.  His first gonzo story was "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," in the June 1970 Scanlan's Monthly.  He wrote for national and international publications, most notably Rolling Stone, which gave him the largely honorary title of national affairs editor.  The magazine published his "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream," which became a book, as did his 1972 presidential campaign reporting for the magazine, "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail."  Other books include "The Rum Diary," "The Proud Highway" and "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs."
 
2013
Ralph W. Gabbard
Improved broadcast journalism as manager of WKYT-TV in Lexington and founder of WYMT-TV in Hazard.  A native of Berea, he started working in radio during high school, became a station manager, then joined Lexington’s WVLK. When station owner Garvice Kincaid bought WKYT, Gabbard moved to the TV station, becoming sales manager and then, at 29, the youngest manager of a Top 100 network affiliate. He expanded its news department, which gained top ratings and the largest Kentucky news audience of any station, and supported Kentucky Educational Television’s public-affairs programming.  He led the station’s purchase of a small station in Hazard and turned it into the leading news source in Eastern Kentucky.  He served as TV board chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters and chairman of CBS affiliates, and was CEO of Gray Broadcasting at the time of his death in 1996.

Bill Goodman
The primary public face of public-affairs programs at Kentucky Educational Television, a state-owned network that is a national leader in independent public-affairs programming. He worked in radio news and sales at Bowling Green’s WKCT while attending Western Kentucky University, then joined WLAC-TV (later WTVF-TV) in Nashville, becoming news director. As news director at Houston’s KPRC-TV, he established the department’s first investigative unit, leading it to national awards. After returning to Kentucky to work in a family business, he joined KET in 1996 as host and managing editor of Kentucky Tonight, a weekly issues-discussion program, and in 2005 began One to One, a weekly interview show, and Education Matters, a monthly report on education initiatives in the state. He is a moderator and reporter on the network’s legislative and election programs. He earned a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from Spalding University in 2012.

Dan Modlin
Set high standards for public radio news programs as news director of WKYU-FM at Western Kentucky University from 1990 to 2013, earning the station national respect.  His coverage included education, consumer protection, mental health, prescription drug abuse, child abuse and neglect, colorectal cancer and a 30-minute documentary about President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which is on file at the Truman Presidential Library and won a first-place award from Public Radio News Directors Inc. in 2011.  He won many other awards from PRNDI and The Associated Press in Kentucky.  A songwriter, musician and native of Indiana, he earned a bachelor’s degree in social science and English and a master’s degree in history at Ball State University, and worked for the Indianapolis-based Rural Radio Network from 1973 to 1990.

John Nelson
A leader for openness in government and quality in journalism during his career at weekly and daily newspapers.  Executive editor of Advocate Communications, which includes The Advocate-Messenger in Danville and The Winchester Sun, dailies of which he is editor.  As president of the Kentucky Press Association in 2004, he oversaw the state’s first open-records audit and spearheaded a lawsuit to open juvenile courts and was named KPA’s most valuable member in 2006. He also served as president of the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  A native of Mayfield who grew up in Valley Station, he was assistant editor of The Citizen Voice in Estill County, then worked in the coal industry and completed his degree at Eastern Kentucky University, returned to the Citizen Voice & Times in 1986, and was editor and part owner of Pulaski Week in Somerset from 1987 through 1996.

Marla Ridenour
Helped diversify male-dominated sports journalism and shattered glass ceilings for women, eventually becoming sports columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal.  A native of Louisville, in 1975 she was the first woman sports editor of the student newspaper at Eastern Kentucky University, where she earned degrees in journalism and marketing but also took classes in coaching baseball and football and was the first female reporter admitted to the football locker room. She reported for the Lexington Herald, the Dayton Daily News and The Columbus Dispatch, sometimes as the only woman on a beat, including the Cleveland Browns. She has helped advance the careers of many other female reporters, some of them very well known, and received many awards from groups such as the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Pro Football Writers of America and the Golf Writers Association of America.
 
2012
A.B. “Ben” Chandler, Jr.
Publisher of The Woodford Sun in Versailles since 1957, and is one of the longest-tenured publishers in Kentucky history.  One nominator wrote, “his sustained contributions are rare.”  Ben offers a personal voice in his “Happy Landings” column and shows his editorial leadership through the weekly newspaper’s reliable, well-edited, and comprehensive news pages.  He has included aggressive coverage of planning, zoning, and development issues, a major focus of public concern in Woodford County during most of his tenure.  Ben’s paper publishes more public records than most in Kentucky, and reaches a high percentage of households in the county.  The paper, owned since 1940 by the family of A.B. “Happy” Chandler, then U.S. senator, who names his son – a Korean War veteran and University of Kentucky graduate – publisher during second term as governor.  Another nominator called Ben Chandler “a true institution in the community.”

D.J. Everett, III
Radio broadcaster and businessman who always placed a strong emphasis on news coverage.  WKDZ-FM, Cadiz, was honored as “Small Market Radio Station of the Year” by the National Association of Broadcasters, the only Kentucky radio station ever to receive that honor.  WHVO, Cadiz, also has received numerous awards from national, state, and local organizations, including awards for both news coverage and community service.  D.J. is a 1969 journalism and political science graduate of the University of Kentucky; he was news director of the student station, WBKY.  One of the first students to intern with WAVE Radio and TV in Louisville.  D.J. began his professional career as news director at WHOP in Hopkinsville; he was the first Kentucky news director to win five Associated Press awards in one year.  He bought WKDZ and WHVO in the 1990s.  D.J. is a two-term president of Community Broadcasters Association.

Chip Hutcheson
Became publisher of The Princeton Leader in 1976, following his parents’ retirement.  Chip remained publisher of the paper until 1992, when the paper was bought by its competitor, Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville.  They merged into The Times Leader and became a biweekly; this paper was the first Kentucky weekly with a website in 1996.  Chip writes editorials and a weekly column called “Chip off the Old Block,” which has appeared every Wednesday since 1976.  He served as sports editor of the Kentucky Kernel and is a University of Kentucky graduate; he was sports editor of New Era for six years.  He currently serves on New Era’s board and is publisher of The Eagle Post, its weekly newspaper for the Fort Campbell area.  Chip served several terms as director of Kentucky Press Association, was president in 2010; he is winner of numerous KPA awards.  He was the At-large director of National Newspaper Association, 2005-11, and regional director for Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.  He is active in many civic organizations; on the board of Western Recorder, newspaper of Kentucky Baptist Convention.

Bill Luster
Photojournalist at The Courier-Journal from 1969 to 2011, part of that time as Director of Photography.  Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, one in 1976 as part of the staff covering court-ordered busing and its ramifications, and the second in 1989 as part of the team covering the national’s deadliest bus and drunk-driving crash, at Carrollton, Ky.  He was President of the National Press Photographers Association, 1993-94; received NPPA’s 2000 Joseph Costa Award for innovative leadership.  He directed NPPA’s Flying Short Course for 12 years; chaired the NPPA-Nikon Documentary Sabbatical program, was five-time Kentucky Photographer of the Year; named Visual Journalist of the Year in 2000 by Western Kentucky University, his alma mater.  Bill started his career as a teenager at the Glasgow Daily Times in his hometown. Received Joseph Sprague Award from NPPA in 2010, given for lifetime achievement and dedication to the craft of photojournalism.

Bob McGaughey
Chair of the journalism program at Murray State University for 23 years; has been a full-time teacher for 27 years.  Retiring in 1997, Bob has taught part-time and served as Director of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications high school workshop, JMC Journal Editor and Faculty Adviser for Bachelor of Independent Studies program.  While chair, he was adviser to Murray State News, co-adviser to The Shield yearbook, and adviser to student chapters of Public Relations Student Society of America, Ads Club, and national journalism honorary Kappa Tau Alpha.  His awards include Max Carman Outstanding Teacher of the Year, 1984; MSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor, 1990; one of the Outstanding Teachers in America, 1996-97.  Bob was selected eight times for International Radio and Television Society faculty-industry seminar in New York; he was named Frank Stanton Fellow as Distinguished Broadcasting Educator by IRTS in 1987.  As a history and journalism graduate of Murray State he worked in advertising sales, earned Murray’s first master’s degree in journalism.  Bob earned his doctorate at Ohio State.

Michael York
1974 journalism graduate of University of Kentucky, where he was political writer for the Kentucky Kernel and broke two national stories as a student covering Democratic Sen. George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign.  Mike worked part-time as a reporter for Durham Morning Herald while attending law school at University of North Carolina.  He helped put out first edition of “The Legal Times” in Washington, DC, then he joined the staff of the Lexington Herald.  Mike has won awards from Kentucky Press Association and shared in 1980 E.W. Scripps First Amendment Award.  He won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting with Jeffrey Marx for a series of stories on NCAA rules violations in UK basketball and at other schools.  Mike moved to Washington in 1983 as Lexington Herald-Leader’s correspondent, then to The Washington Post in 1987 as investigative reporter.  He formed a law firm, Wehner & York, in 1994, which represents journalists, bloggers and news websites, among other clients.
 
 
2011
Bill Bartleman
Reported for The Paducah Sun from 1972 to 2010; chief reporter and columnist on government and politics for 35 years.  Helped direct paper’s coverage and chronicled West Kentucky’s gradual, historic shift away from Democratic roots.  Attended most sessions of the Kentucky General Assembly, covering both regional and state politicians.  Helped the rest of the state understand relatively isolated West Kentucky through his writing and television appearances. Demonstrated unswerving dedication to the public interest.  Native of Chalfont, Pa.; 1971 journalism graduate of Murray State University; taught journalism and advised student newspaper at MSU, 1981-1985; became director of community relations for Mid-Continent University, 2010.  Winner of Lewis Owens Community Service Award from Kentucky Press Association, 2011.
 
Jackie Hays Bickel
Popular television news anchor for 31 years, in two Kentucky cities and America’s fourth largest city. Native of Paris, Tenn. Began career at WPSD-TV, Paducah, while still a student at Murray State University in 1978. Anchored at WHAS-TV, Louisville, 1980-85; KYW-TV, Philadelphia, 1985-88; and WAVE-TV, Louisville, 1988-2009. Covered countless major stories from the scene. Won Emmy Award for special on tragedy of 2009 Kentucky Derby and covered MOVE - Philadelphia Police disaster. Voted favorite news anchor by readers of Louisville magazine in “Best of Louisville” contest 16 times.

Robert Carter
Longtime publisher of Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville and major player in passing strong open-government laws.  Native of Mount Vernon, Ga.  Joined New Era as advertising salesman in 1953 and became ad manager in 1958, business manager in 1968 and paper’s top executive in 1969.  Fiercely competitive, but helpful neighbor for nearby publishers.  As board member and officer of Kentucky Press Association, pushed for higher KPA ethical standards.  Used political skills to help win passage of state Open Meetings Act in 1974 and Open Records Act in 1976, year he was KPA president.  Secured future of one of the state’s last two family-owned daily newspapers through best practices and innovation.  Retired as publisher in 1997, continued as board chairman until 2003.

Albert “Al” Dix
Publisher, for nearly 35 years, of The State Journal in Frankfort, both a state-capital newspaper and a community newspaper, owned by Ohio-based Dix Communications. A Republican in a Democratic town who kept news columns fair, held officials and institutions accountable, and gave free rein to editors and editorial writers. Confidant of state officials and community leaders, but also a reporter’s publisher; mentored several who went on to successful careers at major papers. State Journal founded Kentucky Book Fair in 1981. Native of Ravenna, Ohio; graduate of Dennison University; served in U.S. Army Intelligence. Died in 2009.

Tom Loftus
Longtime Frankfort bureau chief and investigative reporter for The Courier-Journal. Prolific user of open-records laws to reveal foibles and felonies in state government, campaign finance and intersections thereof. Series on suspicious contributions in 1991 race for governor led to indictments and convictions, and overhaul of state campaign-finance laws. Developed and maintained extensive database on contributions to Kentucky politicians; co-authored series revealing extent and cost of blacktopping monopolies. Led coverage on scene of Carrollton bus crash in 1988 and worked on aftermath, helping C-J staff win Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Native of Cincinnati, journalism graduate of The Ohio State University. Reporter for The Kentucky Post, 1976-1984, ending in Frankfort; C-J Indianapolis bureau chief, 1984-86. Winner of James Madison Award from University of Kentucky’s Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, 2008.

Ed Shadburne
Helped bring Kentucky broadcast journalism into modern era. As secretary-treasurer of Kentucky Broadcasters Association for five years in 1960s, built KBA to level where it could pay an executive director. Built local news operation of Louisville’s WLKY-TV as station’s vice president and general manager, 1963-70.  Executive vice president and general manager of WHAS-TV-AM-FM, Louisville, 1970-75; improved operations and won numerous awards. Vice president and general manager of General Electric-owned TV and radio stations in Nashville, early 1980s. Native of Louisville, Navy veteran of World War II. Began career at WHIR Radio, Danville, while attending Centre College. Worked at stations in Tampa and Fort Myers, Fla., Paintsville, Ky., Mobile, Ala., and Colorado Springs; owned and operated WCPM in Cumberland, Ky., and WHAN in Haines City, Fla.; managed WLOU in hometown of Louisville. Left retirement in 1996-97 to oversee merger of Louisville public TV station with KET.
 
 
2010
Neil Budde
Online news pioneer.  President and chief product officer at DailyMe Inc., online news aggregator.  Previously general manager at Yahoo! News, founding editor and publisher of The Wall Street Journal Online and deputy editorial director for Dow Jones News/Retrieval.  Moved to online after editing and reporting work with the Courier-Journal, USA Today and The Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Has received awards for business journalism and use of technology in journalism.  Holds degrees from Western Kentucky University and University of Louisville.

Al Cross
Director of UK’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.  Spent more than 26 years as reporter for The Courier-Journal, last 15½ as political writer; continues column fortnightly. His coverage ranged from presidential to local elections and included all facets of state government. Received numerous awards, including share of Pulitzer Prize won by C-J staff in 1989 for coverage of the nation's deadliest bus crash. Grew up in Albany, Ky., started writing for Clinton County News at 11 and announcing on WANY at 13; appeared on KET’s “Comment on Kentucky” at 21; graduate of Western Kentucky University. Editor-manager of weekly papers in Monticello and Leitchfield, assistant managing editor in Russellville. National president of the Society of Professional Journalists 2001-02, only Kentuckian to hold that post.

Liz Everman
Former anchor at WLKY NewsChannel 32 in Louisville, continues to work on weekly “Wednesday’s Child” segment, special reports focused on finding adoptive homes for children.  Has helped almost 3,000 special-needs children find homes.   “Wednesday’s Child” has won more than 50 awards, including Adoptive Exchange Association Award for best segment of its kind in the country.  Has been honored by the United States Congress for her work with adoption; was named an Adoption Angel by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001.  Previously worked for Lexington stations WLEX-TV and WTVQ-TV. Born in South Shore, graduated from Morehead State University.

Jack Lyne
Has spent 25 years with Atlanta-based Site Selection, business magazine focused on corporate location strategies. Served as editor-in-chief for 17 years before becoming executive editor of interactive publishing in 2000. Earlier in his 40-year career, wrote and delivered on-air news commentaries for CNN and Kentucky Educational Television. Has won numerous awards, including two Grand Awards in annual APEX Award competitions, as well as The Golden Lamp, the Association of Educational Publishers’ highest honor. Born in Russellville, received both BA and MA in communications from the University of Kentucky.

James Fredrick “Fred” Paxton
Ended his career as Chairman of the Board of the Paxton Media Group; previously served as president of the company, publisher of The Paducah Sun and president of WPSD-TV. Over time, the Paxton family's media company owned 29 daily newspapers and dozens of weeklies in nine states.  Served four terms as chairman of the NBC Affiliates Board, a three-year term as chairman of the Maximum Service Telecasters, and was president of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association. With his wife, established a million-dollar fund called the "McCracken County Community Career Endowment" to improve the lives of African-Americans in the Paducah area.  Born in Paducah; graduated from Notre Dame.  Passed away in 2006.

Jim Phillips
News director at WGOPH-WUGO radio in Grayson.  Has been on air for 40 years, reporting local news daily.  Winner of numerous AP awards including five Best Newscast awards; station has received four NAB National Crystal Radio Awards for community service during his tenure.  Has also received numerous awards from Kentucky Broadcasters Association for coverage of breaking news and for community service reporting.  Was previously editor of weekly Grayson Journal-Enquirer, also wrote for Courier-Journal and Ashland Daily Independent.  Born in Grayson, attended University of Kentucky.

Lois Ogden Sutherland
Founded the journalism program at what became Northern Kentucky University.  Spent six decades as a newspaper reporter, high school teacher, journalism professor, student newspaper adviser and freelance writer.   Began her career with the Cincinnati Times-Star as a sports reporter, one of the earliest women to do locker room interviews.  Joined what was then Northern Kentucky State College in 1971 as a charter member of the faculty.  First full-time journalism instructor there and founding adviser of the student newspaper.  Was known to colleagues as a “female Lou Grant.”  Retired in 1987, but continued to supervise journalism interns.  Born in California in Campbell County; graduated from University of Kentucky, master’s from Xavier.

 
2009
Susan Allen
Investigative reporter since 1984.  Began her journalism career by helping to revive her high school newspaper.  Worked at The Floyd County Times in Prestonsburg, The State Journal in Frankfort and The Big Sandy News in Eastern Kentucky.  Known for vigorous defense of the First Amendment, of open records and open meetings laws, and as a “grassroots crusader.”  Won Society of Professional Journalists’ first place award for investigative reporting for a story series while at The State Journal; won numerous KPA awards as well.  A 2003 editorial she wrote about a federal public corruption trial was adapted for a federal manual, “Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses.”  Grew up in Wayland, Ky.

Byron Crawford
Grew up near Stanford, Kentucky, studied at Murray State University.   Was the Courier-Journal’s “Kentucky Columnist” for nearly thirty years, retiring in December 2008.  Before joining the Courier-Journal in 1979, was host and producer of the syndicated traveling feature series, "SideRoads," on WHAS-Television News in Louisville.  Hosted the Emmy-Award winning KET series, "Kentucky Life," during its first five seasons.  Also had successful radio career at stations WAKY in Louisville, WCKY in Cincinnati and WHAS in Louisville.  Has written two books of Kentucky stories.  Recipient of the Kentucky Arts Council's Governor's Award for media, the Kentucky Historical Confederation and Kentucky DAR state media awards, and the Kentucky Press Association and Lexington Herald-Leader's "Lewis Owens Award" for distinguished community service.

H. Harold Davis
Pioneer and leader in the field of color photography.  Former Chief Color Photographer at The Louisville Courier-Journal; in 1938, was the first photographer to photograph a United States president in color.  Was known for his color essays on life in the states of Kentucky and Indiana, published in the Courier-Journal’s Sunday Magazine.  Photographed every president and presidential candidate from Franklin Roosevelt through Richard Nixon as well as every Kentucky candidate for governor and U.S. Senate.  Repeatedly won awards in the University of Missouri’s “News Pictures of the Year” competitions.  Work was chronicled in the book This Place Kentucky, published in 1975.  Received “Master Photographer” degree from the Professional Photographers Association of America in 1953.  Born in Corydon, Ind.  Retired in 1973, died in 1980.

Van Vance
Began broadcasting career at WKAY in Glasgow while in high school, worked at WVLK while at the University of Kentucky, hired at WHAS in 1957.  Built strong sportscasting career, including work as the exclusive voice of the Louisville Cardinals in football and basketball, broadcasting three Final Fours including the 1986 championship.  Was the “Voice of the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA,” broadcast many Kentucky state tournaments in the Sweet 16 and over 40 Kentucky Derbies on both radio and TV.  Hosted Kentucky’s top Sportstalk Radio show five nights a week and featured coach’s shows with Denny Crum and Rick Pitino.  Also worked extensively with the Library of Congress at the American Printing House of the Blind, reading books and magazines.  1952 graduate of Park City High School, attended Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky.  Retired in 1999; inducted into the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Thomas Shelby Watson
Fifty-year career in journalism began at WBKY at the University of Kentucky.  Was Kentucky Broadcast Editor for the Associated Press, editor of his family newspaper and a radio news director.   Also led news departments at WAKY, Louisville and WIL, St. Louis.  Under his leadership, a special national AP award went to WAKY for being the first radio news department to contribute 1,000 stories used on the wire in one year. He and his WAKY team received a National Headliner Award for coverage of a chemical plant explosion. Author of three non-fiction books, award-winning documentaries, numerous magazine and newspaper articles.  From 1988 through 1993, operated critically acclaimed “The Salt River Arcadian,” a monthly newspaper in Taylorsville, Ky.  Winner of two Louisville Bar Association gavel awards and a Louisville Civil War Roundtable award for historical journalism.

 
2008
Jack Crowner
Farm broadcasting stalwart for more than fifty years, owns and operates Farm Service Radio Network, heard in Kentucky, Indiana and neighboring states. Recipient of numerous awards, including the Ralph Gabbard Distinguished Kentuckian Award from the Kentucky Broadcasters Association and the Front & Center Award from the Kentucky State Fair Board. Former Farm Director for WAVE in Louisville, WMT in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and television stations in Evansville, Ind. and Lexington. Honored as 1990 National Farm Broadcaster of the Year by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. Graduate of Michigan State University.

Don Edwards
Long-time local interest columnist with the Lexington Herald-Leader. Began journalism career in Winchester in 1964, moved to Lexington in 1966 where he wrote for The Lexington Herald, The Lexington Leader and then the Herald-Leader. Wrote local interest column three days a week on topics ranging from Smiley Pete, the town dog, to politics to race relations. Collection of columns published as Life is Like a Horse Race. Attended Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky; born in Corbin.

Virginia Edwards
President of Editorial Projects in Education since 1997; editor of Education Week since 1989. Oversees corporation that publishes Education Week and Teacher Magazine. Frequent speaker to educational policy groups. Previously worked with The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, assisting Ernest L. Boyer on a number of projects. Began journalism career with The Courier-Journal, first as copy editor, then assistant regional editor, and then statehouse reporter covering education issues. Graduated from University of Kentucky with degrees in journalism and political science.

T George Harris
Extensive career in magazine journalism, including founder and Editor-in-Chief, American Health (1981-1990); Editor-in-Chief, Psychology Today (1968-1979, 1989-1991); Senior Editor, Look (1962-1968); Bureau Chief for Time-Life-Fortune; correspondent for Time. Reported extensively on the Civil Rights movement. Under his leadership, Psychology Today (1972) and American Health (1983) received American Society of Magazine Editors-Columbia University Magazine of the Year awards, first editor ever to be so selected for two different magazines. Received Lifetime Award for Distinguished Contribution to the discipline from the American Psychology Association; named Magazine Professional of the Year, 2000, by AEJMC. Remains active in magazine field. Born in Simpson County, attended University of Kentucky, graduated from Yale University.

Kent Hollingsworth
Editor of The Blood-Horse 1963-1986. Oversaw the magazine’s growth from a circulation of less than 7,000 to 22,000. Wrote weekly “What’s Going on Here” column; described as “the Thoroughbred industry’s conscience.” Served in the Army, then began journalism career as news photographer and sports writer for the Lexington Leader. During editorship of The Blood-Horse, served as president of National Turf Writers Association and Thoroughbred Club of America. Chaired the Racing Hall of Fame Committee. After retirement from The Blood-Horse, wrote columns for The Racing Times and Thoroughbred Times and served as a Distinguished Lecturer in equine law at University of Louisville. Wrote five books, including The Kentucky Thoroughbred. Received undergraduate and law degrees from University of Kentucky. Died in May 1999.
 
William Ray Mofield
Developed the broadcast journalism programs at Murray State University and at Southern Illinois University. Named Kentucky Communications Teacher of the Year in 1977; received first Murray State Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for the College of Fine Arts and Communication in 1985. Was named Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Murray State Alumni Association, 1987. Received Kentucky Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award, 1989. Started Kentucky’s first FM radio station, was play-by-play announcer for the Kentucky state high school basketball tournament 1946-58, conducted live radio interview with vice presidential candidate Alben Barkley for CBS on election night 1948. Hardin native, graduated from Murray State, received Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. Died in 1995.

Al Tompkins
Group Leader for Broadcasting and Online at The Poynter Institute. Writes daily “Al’s Morning Meeting” story idea column on Poynter.org read by more than 20,000 people. Author of Aim For The Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters; co-author of Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s Newsroom Ethics workbook. Before joining Poynter in 1998, spent 25 years as a photojournalist, reporter, producer, anchor, assistant news director, special projects/investigations director, documentary producer, news director. Received 1999 Clarion Award for his documentary Saving Stefani. Winner of numerous other awards, including national Emmy Award, Peabody Award, seven National Headliner Awards, two Iris Awards, Robert F. Kennedy Award for International Reporting. Graduate of Western Kentucky University.
 

 
2007
Ron Boone
Through thirty-one year career as reporter and news director at Elizabethtown radio stations, was heard on several stations, including WIEL-AM, WASE-FM, WRZI-FM and WKMO-FM. Provided news, commentary, and public affairs programming to radio listeners in Hardin County from 1973 until his death in 2004. Called “a big-time talent” who would have succeeded in a large market but chose to stay in a relatively small one and always thought of his work as public service. Known for diligent, fair, reliable and thoughtful reporting, with an emphasis on local stories and local viewpoints to make connections with his listeners. Graduate of Union College. Born in Corbin; began his radio career there in 1964 at WCTT-AM.




Nancy L. Green
Publisher, Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier and Vice President, circulation, Lee Enterprises. Former publisher of Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader and Richmond (Ind.) Palladium-Item. Major supporter of higher education and journalism education. Headed Georgia university system’s on-line learning program; was vice president for advancement at Clayton College & State University in Georgia. Taught journalism at University of Kentucky, Ohio University and Indiana University and was general manager of student media at University of Kentucky and University of Texas at Austin. Named College Media Advisers Distinguished Newspaper Adviser in 1976 and Distinguished Business Adviser in 1984. Lexington native; received BA from University of Kentucky, MA from Ball State, and Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University. 




Ron Jenkins
One of Kentucky’s leading community journalists. Served as editor of The (Henderson) Gleaner 1972-2006. Under his leadership, The Gleaner won the Kentucky Press Association’s “General Excellence” award for newspapers with circulation of 10,001-25,000 22 times in 25 years. Demonstrated that a small daily newspaper could achieve consistent excellence. Previously worked as a reporter with The Gleaner (1967-1R969), The Evansville Courier (1965-1967), and The (Evansville) Sunday Courier & Press (1970-1971) and as a news editor for The (Owensboro) Messenger-Inquirer (1964). Born in Henderson; graduate of Murray State University. 




Glen Kleine
Instrumental in developing Eastern Kentucky University’s journalism program, serving as adviser and mentor to hundreds of future journalists. Came to EKU in 1967 from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, later served as chair of the Department of Communication and dean of the College of Applied Arts and Technology. Served as national president of Alpha Phi Gamma national journalism honorary, 1971-1975. Received Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the philosophy and practice of cooperative education and career employment in 2000; received EKU National Alumni Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003. Retired from EKU in 2003. Received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Missouri and Ed.D. from East Tennessee State University. 




Ken Kurtz
Born in West Virginia and worked in television news in that state, Indiana, and South Carolina before coming to Lexington in 1975 as news director and vice president of news for WKYT-TV. Became director of long range planning for WKYT and WMYT in 1988; retired in 1989. Served as president of the Associated Press Broadcasters of Kentucky and on board of directors for Radio and Television News Directors’ Association. Frequent guest on KET’s “Comment on Kentucky.” Active in journalism organizations post-retirement, including serving as Kentucky state chair for Society of Professional Journalists’ Project Sunshine, focusing on freedom of information issues. Graduate of Swarthmore College.
 

 
2006
Don Neagle
Co-owner and news director at WRUS-AM, Russellville, the only radio station in Logan County. Has been with WRUS since 1958 and continues to do 6:00-11:00 a.m. morning show including news, interviews, and listener calls. Began his career at WLCK-AM in Greensburg, his hometown, at 16. Received Kentucky Broadcasters Association Kentucky Mike Award in 2005. Attended Western Kentucky University.

Larry Spitzer
Staff photographer for The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times for more than 35 years, traveling throughout the state, often on very short notice. Named photography assignments editor in 1982, a position he held through his retirement in 1995. Part of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for 1975 coverage of court-ordered busing for school desegregation. Won numerous awards from National Press Photographers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, International Association of Firefighters. Work has been published in Time and Life magazines and newspapers across the U.S. Active in the Society of Professional Journalists; helped develop student chapter at Western Kentucky University.

Claude Sullivan
Born in Winchester, Kentucky, attended the University of Louisville and Ohio State University. Began his broadcast career at WMCA in Ashland in 1942. From 1943 to 1946, was with WAVE in Louisville; began broadcasting University of Kentucky football games in 1945. From 1946 until 1962 Sullivan was associated with WVLK in Lexington broadcasting UK football and basketball games. In 1951, he organized the Standard Oil Sports Network, which included more than twenty stations carrying football and basketball broadcasts originating in thirty- seven states. Named "Kentucky's Outstanding Broadcaster" by the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters from 1959 to 1964; received the "Golden Mike" award from the Kentucky Broadcaster's Award in 1967. Died December 6, 1967.

David Thompson
Executive director of Kentucky Press Association, since September 1983. Transformed KPA into one of the top 10 press associations in the U.S., providing member newspapers with legal services, lobbying pressure, professional workshops, outstanding internship program and statewide classified advertising placement service. Previously held positions in both broadcast and print journalism, including serving as publisher and editor of the Georgetown News & Times. Past president of Newspaper Association Managers, international organization of state, regional and national press association executive directors. 1974 journalism graduate of the University of Kentucky.

Ferrell Wellman
Chief of WAVE-TV’s Frankfort bureau for 16 years, covering the Kentucky legislature, state politics, and numerous stories on education, health care, the environment and economic development. Produced at least one major story on each of Kentucky’s 120 counties. From 1976-1979, wrote Capitol Watchline column appearing in 15 newspapers. Regular panelist and frequent guest host on Comment on Kentucky. Won CPB’s Silver Award for News for 1992 KET election coverage. Part of WHAS-AM team that won several national awards for “The Appalachian Project” 1992 radio documentary. Born in Pikeville and a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, he now teaches broadcast journalism there.

Bob White
“Mr. Kentucky High School Sports.” Covered high school sports for The Courier-Journal for 41 years, retiring in 2000. Covered all high school sports, boys and girls, including every football game between Louisville stalwarts Trinity and St. Xavier between 1968 and 2000. His presence at a game signaled that the game was special. Member of the Kentucky All-Star Basketball Hall of Fame. Received distinguished service award from National High School Coaches Association in 1991. Received journalism degree from University of Kentucky.

 
2005
Bob Adams
Adviser to Western Kentucky University's College Heights Herald, where students call him "Mr. A," since 1968. Newspaper has won numerous national awards during his tenure, including 10 Pacemaker Awards (as of 2004). Herald was named to the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame in 1989. Adviser to WKU's award-winning yearbook, the Talisman, 1990-1996 and 2002-present. As Director of Student Publications, has guided and nurtured the careers of hundreds of journalists throughout Kentucky and beyond. Named outstanding four-year university newspaper adviser by National Council of College Publications Advisers in 1978. Began career as reporter and acting sports editor for the Bowling Green Daily News; later was publisher or co-publisher of five weekly newspapers in Kentucky and Tennessee. Holds bachelor's and master's degrees from WKU.

Gene Clabes
Varied career as reporter, publisher, newspaper owner, and journalism educator. Began as Henderson Gleaner sports editor in 1963 prior to becoming managing editor of the Kentucky Kernel in 1966. After college, wrote for The Evansville Courier, The Gleaner, and The Evansville Press. Bought The News Enterprise in Ludlow in 1988, then the three weekly Recorder Newspapers in 1990, serving as president, CEO and publisher. Sold the papers to The Community Press Newspapers in 1994 and served as senior publisher and chairman of the editorial board for three more years. President of Kentucky Press Association in 1997. From 2001-04, was a Freedom Forum visiting professional at Hampton University, teaching a variety of journalism courses and developing the first-ever horsemanship program at a historically black university. Currently Equine Director for the Kentucky Equine Education Project, combining his journalism skills with his love of horses and horsemanship.

Lee Denney
More than 40 years in broadcasting, including News Director-Anchor, WBKR-WOMI, Owensboro, since 1985. Recipient of numerous awards, including 2000 Kentucky General Assembly recognition and 2000 Mayor's Award of Excellence, both related to the stations' coverage of the January 2000 Owensboro tornado. Outstanding public servant; recognized as a Kentucky Colonel. Assistant manager/president of the board of the WBKR-WOMI Bell South Pioneers Christmas Wish program that helps 6,000 individuals annually. Chair or co-chair of numerous other public service committees working on efforts for Owensboro veterans, children, and the homeless. Prior to joining WBKR-WOMI, worked in radio and television in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, and California.

Bob Johnson
Worked for WHAS Radio and Television in Louisville from 1958 until 1978, starting as a newscast script writer before moving to on-air reporting and specializing in politics and government. Joined The Courier-Journal as a reporter; became political writer in December 1979, a post he held nine years. Became an assistant city editor in 1989 and assistant regional editor supervising state and Washington coverage, in 1991. As dean of Kentucky political reporters, covered 12 national political conventions, every regular and special session of the Kentucky General Assembly from 1964 through 1988 and every election from 1963 through 1988. Known for his keen understanding of politicians and their strategies. Retired from The Courier-Journal in 1997.

Marguerite McLaughlin
One of the first women general reporters for a Southern newspaper; covered drama, music, and murder cases for Lexington Herald and served as farm editor from 1917-18. First woman journalism teacher in the United States; taught at the University of Kentucky for 38 years until 1950. Assisted Enoch Grehan in founding the UK School of Journalism. Her students included Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame members Joe Creason, Niel Plummer and Don Whitehead. Received "Pro Ecclesiae et Pontificae" medal from Pope Pius XII in early 1950s, highest award available to a Catholic laywoman. Recipient of numerous awards and honors from the University of Kentucky Alumni Association. After retirement from UK, served as president of Welsh Printing Company. Died November 25, 1961.

Bob Schulman
Came to Kentucky in 1968 after working for KING Broadcasting Company and Time, Inc. magazines. Joined the Sunday Magazine staff of The Courier-Journal and Times in 1968; won national Education Writers' Association award in 1970. WHAS-TV and radio commentaries, "One Man's Opinion," won Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Journalism award for best television editorial in 1971. From 1974-1981, wrote pioneering column of media criticism, "In All Fairness," published in The Courier Journal; received Louisville Bar Association Gavel Award in 1976 for that column. Also developed series of "Minding the Media" reports for WHAS and hosted weekly public radio discussion program, "Good Authority," which later moved to WHAS radio. Joined University of Louisville in 1984 and helped create forums and seminars to foster better communication between Kentucky news media, courts, and attorneys. Received a second Gavel Award in 1994 for this work. Author of John Sherman Cooper: Global Kentuckian.
 

 
2004
Glen Bastin
Became WHAS Radio’s first News Director in 1972. (Before that time WHAS had maintained a combined news operation serving both radio and TV.) Was the voice of WHAS’ 5 p.m. “Broadcast of Record” throughout the 1970s; directed coverage of major events including the tornadoes of 1974 and the 1975 implementation of school busing in Jefferson County. Put together one of the largest local radio news operations in the country as WHAS-FM was converted to Kentucky’s first all-news station in 1975. Hosted several KET broadcasts and syndicated the radio program Pondering Kentucky in the 1980s, broadcast daily for over ten years on some 85 Kentucky radio stations. During his broadcasts, left little doubt of his deep love of the Commonwealth and its people. Serves today as Senior Ambassador and Chief Operating Officer of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.

Maria Braden
After working as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association and the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette, Maria Braden spent 21 years teaching journalism at the University of Kentucky. Before retiring in 2001, she taught courses in news reporting, magazine article writing, journalism ethics, public affairs reporting, media diversity and etymology. She also wrote articles and book reviews for a variety of newspapers and magazines, and published three books: She Said What: Interviews with Women Newspaper Columnists (1993); Women Politicians and the Media (1996); and Getting the Message Across: Writing for the Mass Media (with Rick Roth, 1997). Braden received a national teaching award for excellence in teaching of writing from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, and was the first woman promoted to full professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. Regretfully, Maria passed away in July of 2004. She will be missed.

John Egerton
John Egerton is an independent journalist and nonfiction author who has written broadly about social and cultural issues in the southern region of the United States. Born in Atlanta in 1935 and raised in Kentucky, where he got his formal education, he has lived for most of the past half-century in Nashville, Tennessee, with sojourns in Florida, Virginia, and Texas. His books and articles seek to make connections between historical and contemporary people, places, and events in the South. Among his books are The Americanization of Dixie, Generations, Southern Food, and Speak Now Against the Day.

Jon L. Fleischaker
Has represented numerous outlets for over three decades, including The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times Company, The New York Times Company, Gannett Co., Inc., The Hearst Corporation, The Kentucky Press Association, The Associated Press, assorted broadcasting outlets and public relations companies. Has been actively involved in creating legislation protecting the press in Kentucky, including authoring the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts as well as the Retraction Statute. Has actively litigated most major media issues in Kentucky, including defamation issues, invasion of privacy cases, access to information and source protection. The only Kentucky lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, listed for media law. Education: J.D., University of Pennsylvania, magna cum lade (1970), Editor of The Law Review and B.A., Swarthmore College (1967).

Eliza Piggott Underwood
Born in 1896 near Bewelyville in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. Became the first woman editor of the Kentucky Kernel, first woman editor of the Kentuckian, and the first woman to graduate from the University of Kentucky's School of Journalism. Began working for the Lexington Herald while at UK, and was later promoted to State Editor, becoming the first woman to be state editor of a daily newspaper in Kentucky and one of the first in the nation. Married Tom Underwood, who became managing editor of The Hearld. At age 60, she returned to UK to earn a master's degree in Library Science. Joined the staff at the university library where she combined her journalism and library skills to edit the Barkley papers and edit the library newsletter. Died in Lexington May 14, 1991.
 

 
2003
Bob Edwards
Host, National Public Radio's Morning Edition. Held position since program was launched in November 1979, when asked to temporarily host the program. His national audience has grown to more than 9 million listeners daily, with more than 13 million people listening to him at least once a week. A Louisville native, he graduated from the University of Louisville and earned his master's degree in broadcast journalism from The American University. Numerous awards include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Edward R. Murrow Award, citing his "editorial leadership and on-air performance, Bob has created a standard for the industry." In 1999, he and Morning Edition received the George Foster Peabody Award. The Peabody Committee praised him as "a man who embodies the essence of excellence in radio." Author of Fridays with Red, a memoir of his 12 years of live conversations with legendary sportscaster Red Barber. Working on second book, a brief biography of Edward R. Murrow, and memoir that addresses his concerns about the deterioration of standards and values that afflicts journalism today.

Louise Hatmaker
Editor, publisher and owner, the Jackson Times in Breathitt County and Beattyville Enterprise in Lee County. A longtime board member of the Kentucky Press Association, was named most valuable member in 1997, recognizing more than 22 years of service. Recipient of 1987 Lewis Owens Community Service Award from Lexington Herald-Leader. As a graduate of Cumberland College and student at Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College, she taught first grade at Hardburly Mining Company school in Perry County. Active in education of retarded children. Hired as a cub reporter at the Hazard Herald. Later reported roving pickets strife in coalfields in the early 1960s. Active volunteer worker and leader for 30 years in native Appalachia. Participated in successful campaign to make Lees College part of Hazard Community College. Member, Lees College Board of Trustees. First woman president of Natural Bridge Park Association. Received Eugene H. Combs Humanitarian Award.

Robert G. McGruder
Pioneering African-American journalist and news executive, champion of diversity in newsrooms. A Louisville native, he grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and Campbellsburg, Ky. Graduated from Kent State University in 1963 and worked for the Dayton Journal Herald before becoming the first African-American reporter for the Plain Dealer in Cleveland in 1963. Served two years in the U.S. Army, returning to the Plain Dealer in 1966. Served as an assistant city editor from 1971 to 1973 before returning to reporting; named city editor in 1978 and managing editor in 1981. Joined the Detroit Free Press in 1986 as deputy managing editor; named managing editor/news in 1987, then managing editor in 1993. First African-American president of the Associated Press Managing Editors (1995), and the first to head news operations at the Free Press when promoted to executive editor in 1996. Received the 2001 John S. Knight Gold Medal, the highest honor given an employee of Knight-Ridder, parent of the Free Press. Five-time Pulitzer Prize juror. Died April 12, 2002 at age 60.

Ed Ryan
Political columnist, reporter, editor and bureau chief for the Courier-Journal. A native of Owensboro and graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College, he began his reporting career at the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer while in college. Worked for the Lexington Herald, the Cynthiana Democrat and the Louisville Times before joining the Courier-Journal. Assigned to paper's Bowling Green Bureau before being named urban affairs writer in Louisville. Subsequently served as political editor, Washington bureau chief and Frankfort bureau chief -- the only reporter in Courier-Journal history to fill all three posts. Covered 1975, 1979 and 1983 Kentucky governor's races and 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns. Started the Courier-Journal's popular Sunday political column. His knowledge of politics and engaing personality won him easy access to politicians. Was particularly adept at profiling personalities and relationships that shape politics. Died May 1, 1984, at age 45, of a cerebral hemorrhage while covering the Indiana's governor's race.

Howard E. (Ed) Staats
Reporter, editor and administrator in 10 Associated Press (AP) offices, including AP's headquarters in New York. He began his AP career as a newsman in Austin, followed by news assignments in Dallas and Houston. Represented AP's broadcast division in the Rocky Mountain states while stationed in Denver, then returned to Texas and for two years served as AP's broadcast sales representative for the state. In 1970, he returned to the news side, running the AP bureau in Spokane, Washington. In 1971, he was appointed bureau chief in Salt Lake City. Following a brief assignment in Utah and Idaho, he was promoted to chief of bureau in upstate New York, based in Albany where he served for seven years before moving to AP's headquarters. Following administrative assignments in New York and Washington, D.C., Staats returned to the news side with his appointment as Kentucky chief of bureau in 1984, a position he held until retiring from his 41-year career in 2002.

Carl West
Editor of the State Journal of Frankfort, he won plaudits in Frankfort and Washington as an aggressive, incisive and intelligent reporter whose curiosity had no boundaries. Once becoming an editor, he used his experience, work ethic and patience to improve an already good medium-sized daily and to nurture and develop a generation of youthful journalistic talent. A Campbell County native who studied journalism at the University of Kentucky, he was a Frankfort correspondent for the Kentucky Post and covered the White House and Pentagon in Washington for the Scripps Howard News Service. A career highlight was his coverage of Watergate, the scandal that drove President Richard Nixon from office. West's contribution to Kentucky goes beyond journalism. He is also the founder of the Kentucky Book Fair, one of the state's most important annual literary and cultural events. Profits from the Book Fair go to local libraries.
 

 
2002
Jo-Ann Huff Albers
Director, School of Journalism and Broadcasting, Western Kentucky University. A 1959 broadcasting graduate of Miami University, she later earned a master's degree in communication arts from Xavier University in 1962. Led Western Kentucky University's journalism department for more than a dozen years, started in 1987. In 1999, named director of the school, overseeing 21 full-time faculty members, six undergraduate degree programs and more than 850 undergraduate majors. Spent 20 years with the Cincinnati Enquirer in various reporting and editing positions. Served as Kentucky executive editor from 1979 to 1981, leaving to become editor and publisher of the Sturgis (Mich.) Journal. While serving as editor and publisher of the Public Opinion, spear-headed county development program that led to establishment of Office of Economic Development and first cooperative venture among five chambers of commerce in Franklin County, Pa. Also spent a year as a general news executive with Gannett in Rosslyn, Va., just prior to joining WKU. Led the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication as president from 1993 to 1994, and honored as the 2000 Gerald Sass Journalism Administrator of the Year by Freedom Forum/ASJMC.

John S. Carroll
Editor of the Lexington Herald and the Lexington Herald-Leader from 1979 to 1991, a time when the paper was transformed from a provincial middle-market daily to a regional newspaper of influence in Kentucky. Raised the paper's standards, challenged the staff and supported the merger of the morning Herald and the afternoon Leader in 1983. Under his leadership, the paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for a series of articles about corruption in the University of Kentucky men's basketball program. The paper was a Pulitzer Prize finalist four times from 1988 to 1990 and won many other national awards. Directed a series of editorials on domestic violence in Kentucky, resulting in the paper's second Pulitzer in 1992. Scholarship at Alice Lloyd College for needy students in Appalachian Eastern Kentucky established in his honor. Left the Herald-Leader in 1991 to become editor of the combined Baltimore Sun newspaper; currently editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times.

Virginia Gaines Fox
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kentucky Educational Television. Seventh-generation Kentuckian and 1961 elementary education graduate of Morehead State University. Received master's degree in library science from the University of Kentucky in 1969, after joining KET in 1968. Became deputy executive director in 1975. Left KET in 1980 to become president of the Southern Educational Communications Association, later earning a 21st Century Award from America's Public Television Stations for SECA service; became the founding director of the Satellite Educational Resources Consortium, the first public broadcaster/Department of Education interstate consortium for distance learning. Also created the first National Independent Television Satellite Schedule, serving more than 23 million students annually. First public broadcasting representative selected by the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers for the Independent Television Service Board. As an active volunteer in many civic, professional and educational organizations, served as a consultant, adviser and volunteer on numerous boards. In addition, served as founding director of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives.

John S. Hager
Distinguished careers as attorney, editor and publisher; also made his mark as a civic leader and philanthropist. Native of Owensboro and 1950 graduate of Princeton University. Graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 1954, the same year he joined the firm that would become Sandidge, Holbrook, Craig and Hager in 1960, when he became a partner. In 1973, became co-publisher and co-editor of the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer. Tackled tough issues, including a radical overhaul of Kentucky's court system, which led to an American Bar Association Silver Gavel award in 1976. When named president and publisher in 1989, the Messenger-Inquirer had added higher education to the list; through his leadership with the Citizens Committee on Higher Education, Owensboro gained an independent community college. The newspaper earned the American Society of Newspaper Editors' designation as one of the 14 best small newspapers in America. In 1996, named Kentucky Press Association's "most valuable member." His energies and passion now focus on the Public Life Foundation of Owensboro, created with his family to foster community dialogue to resolve important public issues, ranging from childcare and school drop-outs, to healthcare access and riverfront development.

Dinh Phuc Le
Award-winning chief photographer for Louisville WLKY-TV. Career spans 40 years from motion pictures, to films for the South Vietnamese Army, to shooting for Japanese and American television. Worked for NBC and ABC in Saigon for nine years. Captured some of the most vivid, historically significant images of the Vietnam War, including film coverage of the young girl whose clothes were burned from her back when her village was hit by napalm. Many remember this same image from the Pulitzer-Prize winning photograph. Heralded by NBC News President Julian Goodman as "a powerful piece of film which has now become of historic importance" and earned third-place National Press Photographers Association Spot News award. As sound man for NBC when a Viet Cong suspect was executed by a South Vietnamese general, he told his photographer to quickly unload and reload his camera. Moments later, the general ordered all film seized, but Dinh had already tucked away the film in his jacket. Dangerous assignments led to his being wounded, and also escaping serous injury when a military helicopter crashed in Vietnam. Shortly after arriving at WLKY-TV, he survived a helicopter crash on I-71 while covering a snowstorm. Dinh worked at the Louisville station for 24 years, with seven as chief photographer. In 1998, he received the Board of Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science - that organization's highest honor.

Brian Rublein
News director at Louisville's WHAS-AM radio station for 21 years. Graduate of Michigan State University with bachelor's and master's degrees in broadcast journalism. First winner of the Radio and Television News Directors Association Geller Newsroom Management Achievement Award in 2000. Award was created to "bring attention to those who create and foster a newsroom environment that stimulates productivity, growth and development." Praised for not only teaching his fellow journalists, but joining in writing, editing and producing their stories. Led WHAS-AM to become one of the most respected local news operations in the country, winning
 

2001
Virginia Harris Combs
Native of Lee County and longtime columnist for the Whitesburg Mountain Eagle. After graduation from Kentucky Wesleyan College became a second grade and high school English teacher in the Whitesburg schools for three decades; started the high school newspaper. In her weekly column, “Family and Friends,” which was signed simply “Virginia,” she wrote about the small happenings in the community—births, deaths, marriages, honors, who had who to dinner and little things about herself. Her columns contained wise sayings, home remedies, political commentary, and small town happenings that the readers loved, including doses of English grammar usage. She kept it up for more than 40 years, even after she had moved to Lexington in later life. One civic leader said, “She had a heart of gold and a love for her students."