UK Happenings

Al Cross to deliver 2024 Joe Creason Lecture at Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame Ceremony

Al Cross speaks at the 2023 Al Smith Awards Dinner. Photo by Sydney Turner.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 25, 2024) — Well-known journalist, Kentucky politics expert and University of Kentucky Professor Al Cross is scheduled to deliver the Joe Creason Lecture in Journalism at the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame ceremony, held by the UK School of Journalism and Media, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Gatton Student Center Grand Ballroom on the UK campus.

 A fixture of Kentucky political reporting, with more than 26 years at The Courier Journal, Cross is director emeritus of the Institute for Rural Journalism and extension professor in the School of Journalism and Media at UK. He is a Kentucky Educational Television election-night commentator, was the longest-running panelist on KET's weekly "Comment on Kentucky," has appeared on "Washington Week In Review," is quoted in several reference works on Kentucky political history and is the author of two book chapters about the relationship of Donald Trump to rural America and its newspapers.

Cross’ numerous awards for journalism include a share of the Pulitzer Prize won by The Courier Journal staff. He is a recipient of the James Madison Award for service to the First Amendment from the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center in the UK School of Journalism and Media. Cross has served as national president and in regional, state and local leadership positions for the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation's oldest, broadest and largest journalism organization, and in 2011 received its top award for service. He received the 2023 Don Brod Award for service to the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, the 2022 Community Newspaper Champion award from the National Newspaper Association and the 2023 Most Valuable Member award from the Kentucky Press Association. He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2010.

The Creason Lecture precedes the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame ceremony inducting seven new members who have made significant contributions to the profession of journalism: Peter Baniak, former editor and general manager of the Lexington Herald-Leader; Betty Winston Bayé, former Courier Journal reporter and national leader among Black American journalists; Deborah Taylor Givens, former editor-publisher of The Butler County Banner-Green River Republican and former Eastern Kentucky University professor; the Rev. Paul Prather, an award-winning religion reporter and religion columnist at the Lexington Herald-Leader; Elizabeth “Scoobie” Ryan, former broadcast journalist and retired UK professor; Sheldon Shafer, retired reporter for The Courier Journal; and the late Kyle Vance, a reporter with The Courier Journal who shared in a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of strip mining in Kentucky

Seating is limited. Members of the news media and public may RSVP by 4 p.m. Friday, March 29, by calling the UK School of Journalism and Media at 859-257-4848 or emailing For more information about the Joe Creason Lecture, visit For more information about the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, visit

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