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Al Smith Awards

Institute for Rural Journalism

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The Institute‚Äôs focus is to help sustain journalism in rural communities, through information, expertise, training, outreach and other programs.  

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Bobbie Foust, for decades a fixture in West Kentucky journalism, is the winner of the 2024 Al Smith Award for public service through community journalism by a Kentuckian, presented by the Institute for Rural Journalism at the University of Kentucky and the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 

Eric Meyer and Marion County Record, Kansas paper raided by police chief it was investigating, win Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, integrity and tenacity in rural journalism

Eric Meyer and the staff of the Marion County Record in Marion, Kansas, are the winners of the 2024 Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, integrity and tenacity in rural journalism, presented by the Institute for Rural Journalism at the University of Kentucky.

A commitment to updating websites with breaking news can lead to more traffic and help communities

IRJ Director Benjy Hamm speaks to the importance of web presence for rural journalism outlets in his Sustaining Rural Journalism column.

Nominations sought for the Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, integrity and tenacity in rural journalism by April 15

Each year the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, publisher of The Rural Blog, presents the Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism, named for the couple who exemplified those qualities as publishers of The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg, Ky., for 52 years.

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