|Paul J. Nyden (deceased), Ken Ward Jr. and Howard Berkes|
The Tom and Pat Gish Award, named for the late editor-publishers of The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg, Ky., went to Ken Ward Jr. of the Charleston Gazette-Mail; his mentor at the Gazette, the late Paul J. Nyden; and Howard Berkes, who retired this year as NPR's rural correspondent.
"Our three honorees join a long list of rural journalists who have demonstrated the courage, integrity and tenacity that is so often necessary to do good journalism in rural areas. In their own special ways, they live up to the example set by Tom and Pat Gish," said Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky, which presents the award (and publishes The Rural Blog).
|Ben Gish, right, presents a Gish Award to Howard Berkes|
Ward is "the nation's best reporter on the coal industry," Cross told the crowd of 235 at the dinner in Lexington, Ky.
Nyden's "hard-hitting reporting was matched by his kind personality," Cross said. "When he died last year, one former Gazette journalist wrote, 'Paul Nyden had an extraordinary talent I’ve never seen in a reporter, before or since. He could excoriate people in print one day and have them as guests at parties the next.' And that, of course, is a key to developing good sources, which produce good stories."
|David Thompson, center, with KPA President-Elect Jeff Jobe,|
left, and KPA President Jay Nolan (Photo by Claudia Nolan)