Tenn. Journalism Hall of Fame Inducts First Members

Apr 26, 2013

The first members of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame gather for a photo after an April 26 ceremony at MTSU. From left are inductees John Seigethaler, Chris Clark, Karen Miller representing her late husband Dan Miller, Dean Stone, Bill Williams Jr. and Anne Holt. The new Hall of Fame will be housed in the Center for Innovation in Media inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building.
Credit MTSU photo by Andy Heidt

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (ANFINSON)  --  The new Tennessee Journalists Hall of Fame honored its inaugural inductees Friday.

Among the first six members named to the Hall was John Seigenthaler. He was the longtime editor and publisher of The Tennessean, the first editorial director of USA today, and founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University.

Through his many accomplishment, Seigenthaler has established himself as one of the patriarchs of modern-day journalism, but above that he acknowledged himself as the colleague of his fellow esteemed peers during his acceptance speech.

"I’ve interacted in one way or another with all the people with whom I’m being honored today, and so it is for me a special day."

Seigenthaler was joined by fellow print journalists Dean Stone, editor of the Maryville Tennessee Daily Times, and Bill Bryant Junior, third generation publisher of the Paris Tennessee Post-Intelligencer.

Broadcast news was also well represented in this distinguished group of veteran journalists.

With over forty years in the business, Chris Clark retired from WTVF-TV having earned his reputation as one of the most respected anchors in Nashville. He currently teaches advanced news reporting at Middle Tennessee State University. Always in good humor, Clark graciously accepted the honor while tossing the headline to his peers.

"As I look around at all these people I’m being inducted with, I can’t help but feel that somebody’s made a mistake, so I think the best thing I can do is just grab this award and get off the stage as quick as I can. Thank you very much for this very high honor. Thank you!"

Surrounded by her fellow inductees, three-time Emmy Award winner, Ann Holt of WKRN-TV imagined how her dad might have summed up the occasion.

"If my father could be here with us today he would say, 'Girl, you’re in tall cotton!'"

Accepting the honor for nationally recognized WSMV-TV anchor, Dan Miller, was his wife Karen.  Miller was once named the “Most Popular News Anchor in America” and was the winner of numerous Emmy Awards. Miller died in 2009.

Coinciding with the Hall of Fame ceremony was an awards ceremony for outstanding students in mass communication. Award winning student Jonathan Radford says seeing his mentors receive this recognition was an inspiration.

"Well for Chris Clark and Ann Holt, I have watched them since I grew up, and so to actually interact with them, and I’ve had the opportunity to learn from both of them, it’s incredible."

The Hall of fame will be housed at MTSU in the John Bragg Mass Communication Building’s Center for Innovation in Media.