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March 5, 2024

7 to be inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame

By Duane Bonifer

KY JOU Hall of Fame

KY JOU Hall of Fame

A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who exposed corruption and the impact of strip mining, a leading Black journalist, a former religion reporter who now preaches and writes a column, the former leader of one of Kentucky’s largest media outlets, and two longtime journalism educators, one a broadcaster and the other an editor-publisher, make up the 2024 class of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

This year’s Hall of Fame ceremony, on April 9, will also feature the Joe Creason Lecture in Journalism, given by 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Al Cross, a UK journalism professor who was a longtime Courier Journal reporter and columnist and founding director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.

This year’s Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • Peter Baniak, vice president of local news for small and medium markets for McClatchy Co. and former editor and general manager of the Lexington Herald-Leader;
  • Betty Winston Baye, a former editorial writer, columnist and reporter at the Courier Journal, the author of three books and a national leader among Black American journalists;
  • Deborah Taylor Givens, former editor-publisher of The Butler County Banner-Green River Republican and former journalism professor and department chair at Eastern Kentucky University;
  • Rev. Paul Prather, a former business reporter and an award-winning religion reporter and religion columnist at the Lexington Herald-Leader, who pastors Bethesda Church near Mount Sterling;
  • Elizabeth “Scoobie” Ryan, a retired journalism professor at the University of Kentucky who headed the journalism sequence in the UK School of Journalism and Media and worked as a radio broadcaster;
  • Sheldon Shafer, retired reporter who wrote about 25,000 stories in 44 years at the Courier Journal and was known for his speed and vast list of sources;
  • the late Kyle Vance, a reporter with the Courier Journal who shared in a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of strip mining in Kentucky and was a top investigative reporter in the state for many years.

This year’s induction ceremony and Joe Creason Lecture are scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, at the UK Gatton Student Center. The event is free and open to the public. Further information will be forthcoming.

Created by the University of Kentucky Journalism Alumni Association in 1981, the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame honors journalists who are Kentucky natives or have spent a significant portion of their careers working for Kentucky news-media organizations. More than 200 individuals, both with and without formal ties to UK, have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

For more information, contact the UK School of Journalism and Media at 859-257-3904 or email at

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