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Tennessee Journalism Hall Of Fame

“Recognizing individuals who have demonstrated outstanding skill in their Journalism field”

Four centuries after the first newspaper rolled off the presses, another significant page of journalism history unfurled April 26, 2013, with the first induction group of outstanding news professionals into the new Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

Located in Murfreesboro, the geographic heart of the state, at Middle Tennessee State University's John Bragg Mass Communication Building, this independent, nonprofit Hall of Fame, is all-encompassing of the media profession, including newspaper, television, radio, public relations and electronic media professionals from throughout Tennessee.

Professional journalism in Tennessee can be traced back to 1791, when the first newspaper was produced at tiny Rogersville, formerly known as Hawkins Court House not far from present-day Knoxville.

According to research by writer Walter T. Pulliam for The Tennessee Press Association in the 1990s, the first editors - George Roulstone and Robert Ferguson - came over the Appalachians with the arduous task of transporting a heavy printing press, paper supplies and "type" lettering with Knoxville being the original destination.

Approaching winter, however, is partly credited with causing the state's first newspapermen to stop in Rogersville to print their first edition on Nov. 5, 1791.

Interestingly, the founder of the state's first newspaper was not a printer or journalist, but a "politician" named William Blount, who helped finance the state's first newspaper.

Thus, the "first edition" of the "Knoxville Gazette" was published.

"Because there was nothing at Knoxville (in 1791) except staked-out lots...not a building where they could set up their press and with winter rapidly approaching, Roulstone and Ferguson stopped at Rogersville, set up their press in a log cabin on the banks of the Crockett Creek, and on Nov. 5, 1791, printing their first Knoxville Gazette, the first newspaper in what is now Tennessee," chronicled Pulliam.

Thus, Blount is credited with being the "father" of Tennessee newspapers.

CHRIS CLARK
CHRIS CLARK

For outstanding service to broadcast journalism in Tennessee, Chris Clark is inducted into the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

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ANNE HOLT
ANNE HOLT

For outstanding service to broadcast journalism in Tennessee, Anne Holt was inducted into the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

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DAN MILLER
DAN MILLER

For outstanding service to broadcast journalism in Tennessee, Dan Miller is posthumously inducted into the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

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JOHN SEIGENTHALER
JOHN SEIGENTHALER

For outstanding service to journalism in Tennessee, John Seigenthaler is inducted into the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

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DEAN STONE
DEAN STONE

For outstanding service to newspaper journalism in Tennessee, Dean Stone is inducted into the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

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BILL WILLIAMS
BILL WILLIAMS

For outstanding service to journalism in Tennessee, Bill Williams is inducted into the first class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

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