Thursday, April 08, 2010

Institute director and a still-practicing rural journalist enter Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame

Among this year’s seven inductees to the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame are Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, and Jim Phillips, longtime news director of the two radio stations in rural Grayson, Ky.

Cross, right, said in remarks at the induction luncheon that he was being recognized largely for his work at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, where he worked for more than 26 years, the last 15½ as political writer, but was nominated by one of the people he serves as "extension agent for rural journalists" – Sharon Burton, editor and publisher of The Farmer’s Pride, Kentucky’s statewide agricultural newspaper, and the weekly Adair County Community Voice in Columbia. "That’s the most satisfying part of this honor," he said. For his remarks, click here. Cross started out as a rural journalist, at the Clinton County News and WANY Radio in Albany, and later edited, managed or helped manage weekly papers in Monticello, Russellville and Leitchfield. In 2001-02, he was national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, and in 2004 became director of the institute, which is based in the University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism and Telecommunications.

Phillips, right, has also had careers in both newspapers and broadcasting, but he went the other direction, moving to WGOH Radio after more than 15 years as editor of The Journal-Enquirer, the local weekly. He has been at the station, now joined by WUGO-FM, for more than 41 years. "God has given me a journalistic career I could not have imagined," he told the crowd at the induction luncheon. "I’ve just loved every minute of it." He said he had to get back to Grayson because he had a newscast to do this afternoon. Another inductee, Jack Lyne of Site Selection magazine, also has rural roots; he grew up in Russellville, where he was inspired and mentored by the local editor, Al Smith, who did likewise for Cross and many other Kentucky journalists. "When it comes to Kentucky journalism, Al’s got more assists than John Wall," the Kentucky basketball star, Lyne said. He also credited others in Russellville who pushed him toward excellence and emphasized hard work.

Other inductees were Neil Budde of the DailyMe, formerly of Yahoo! News and the Wall Street Journal Online; Liz Everman, longtime anchor for WLKY-TV in Louisville; and two posthumous honorees, Fred Paxton of Paducah-based Paxton Media LLC and Lois Ogden Sutherland, founder of the journalism program at Northern Kentucky University.

1 comment:

al tompkins said...

Congratulations Al on a deserved recognition. I just took it for granted that you were already IN the Hall.

And Fred Paxton also is a spectacular choice for this year's inductees. I worked for him in the mid-70's and have never met a finer more forthright man. In four years of working for him I never once heard an employee complain about him--which is really saying something when you work around journalists!