Journalism Hall of Fame adds nine distinguished names

In this undated photo, state Rep. John Bragg of Murfreesboro sits at his desk in the Tennessee General Assembly.

In this undated photo, state Rep. John Bragg of Murfreesboro sits at his desk in the Tennessee General Assembly.

The Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame honored nine pioneering print and broadcast journalists during Aug. 11 ceremonies at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The induction was in conjunction with the 67th annual Tennessee Association of Broadcasters conference. WSMV-TV longtime news anchor Demetria Kalodimos emceed the program.

Family and friends of the honorees attended what was the the third class of inductees. All recipients were recognized posthumously.

The 2015 class features:

  • Minor Elam Bragg and John Thomas Bragg, two generations of Middle Tennessee newspaper publishers — a father and son, the latter becoming a Tennessee statesman and reformer responsible for passing Tennessee’s Open Meetings Act, also known as the state’s “Sunshine Law.”
  • Kent Flanagan, a native Texan and veteran Associated Press executive who practiced journalism on various platforms.
  • Jack Knox, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist who practiced his wit and biting commentary in three of the state’s four largest cities.
  • Roy McDonald, whose bigger-city publishing career traces back to an advertising sheet he started to promote his grocery business in Chattanooga.
  • Bob Parkins, a small-town dairyman who grew his rural West Tennessee newspaper from scratch through merger.
  • John N. Popham III, a native Virginian who landed in Tennessee to cover the South and civil rights for The New York Times and stayed.
  • Henry Grantland Rice, a nationally syndicated sports columnist from Murfreesboro whose contributions to sports resonate decades after his death.
  • Drue Smith, a trailblazing woman who started in newspapers before switching to become a respected and colorful broadcast political reporter.

The Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame is an independent partner with MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, which houses the hall in its Center for Innovation in Media.

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