Six outstanding journalists comprising the 2014 second class will be inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame (TJHOF) located at MTSU’s Mass Communication department Aug. 12.
Induction ceremonies will take place during the 60th Annual Conference of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters at Murfreesboro’s Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center. TJHOF is an independent partner with MTSU’s Mass Communications department under the guidance of Dean Ken Paulson who is known nationwide as a leader in the industry.
2014 class includes; Joe Birch, WMV-TV, Memphis; Bob Johnson, Co-anchor WTVC News, Chattanooga; Alex Jones, Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times; Luther Masingill, WDEF Radio/TV, Chattanooga; Otis Sanford, Veteran Editor, Commercial Appeal, Memphis; and Sam Venable, Columnist, Knoxville News Sentinel.
A veteran lead anchor for 35 years with WMC TV, Joe Birch is as well known in Memphis as Walter Cronkite was to the nation with CBS. Active in the community, Joe can be easily identified as someone special with compassion, experience and influence.
Bob Johnson, a veteran Journalist of 45 years, began his career spinning records at a small radio station in his hometown. But he found his niche in Television where he began constructing his talents as a staff announcer, weatherman, interview program host, game show announcer and by being an on the air personality as a co-host of yearly telethons for benefit causes.
Pulitzer Prize winner, Author, National Public Radio Host and Lecturer Alex Jones, whose family owns the Greenville Sun in Greenville, Tenn., which is part of Jones Media Network, is the director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
In 1987, while covering the newspaper industry for the New York Times, his story about “The Fall of the House of Bingham” about a powerful newspaper family’s ups and downs ended with the sale of the family media empire after years of management of Barry Bingham, Jr. The following year, Jones won the Pulitzer Prize for Specialized Reporting.
Luther Masingill, the longest serving announcer at the same station (70 years at WDEF Radio and TV, Chattanooga) is the only announcer to have reported over the air both the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11 on the Twin Towers in New York.
Otis Sanford, a veteran editor with The Commercial Appeal occupies the Helen and Jabie Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economics/Managerial Journalism in the Journalism Department of the University of Memphis.
Sam Venable, a writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel, is a columnist (1985) who specializes in humor is widely known for his wit and bizarre look at life composed in 12 books he authored and a contributing author to many more.
According to TJHOF Bylaws, inductees represent those who have made significant and substantial contributions to the Journalism profession.
Demetria Kalodimos, Nashville’s longest continuous evening TV news anchor, popular personality, will be on hand to emcee the induction ceremony which will honor and recognize the class of 2014.
The induction ceremony will take place on Aug. 12, in conjunction with the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters annual conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, Murfreesboro.
For more information about the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, visit our web site at www.journalismhof.org.