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Tom and Pat Gish

The Tom and Pat Gish Award is named for the late couple who published The Mountain Eagle at Whitesburg, Ky., for more than 50 years and became nationally known for their battles with coal operators and politicians, and the firebombing of their office by a Whitesburg policeman.


Craig Garnett

The 2023 Tom and and Pat Gish Award winner was Craig Garnett, publisher of the Uvalde Leader-News in southwest Texas, for relentless and courageous coverage of a 2022 school shooting, which left two teachers and 19 children dead.

Garnett accepted this award virtually at the 2023 Al Smith Awards Dinner and formally received the award in Austin, Texas on Feb. 29 at a community journalism conference focusing on tenacity, courage and integrity in rural journalism.

Past award winners and their affiliations at the time:

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