Don White to be Inducted into Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame

A former editor and publisher of The Anderson News is slated to be inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. The Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame recognizes Kentuckians who have made significant contributions to the profession of journalism. The Hall of Fame was created by the University of Kentucky Journalism Alumni Association in 1980.

Don White, who headed the paper from 1978 to 2006, becomes the second person with ties to the weekly to become a member of the prestigious group.

Keen Johnson, who would go on to serve as Kentucky’s governor from 1935-39, purchased the paper shortly after graduating from UK in the early 1920’s. He also was owner and editor of a newspaper in Richmond and was honored in the 1980’s.

During the latter part of his tenure in Lawrenceburg, White published photos of convicted drunk drivers as a deterrent.  DUI’s declined 37 percent from 1999-2000, and the National Commission Against Drunk Driving presented him with their Media Awareness Award.

He helped spur school consolidation but also preservation and restoration of a one-room school, one of several civic activities.

In Kentucky Press Association contests, his paper won hundreds of awards, including at least one first place in nearly every category, and nine for community service.

The versatile newsman won at least one first in 15 different categories, and the paper, which competed against the state’s largest weeklies, was named a first place General Excellence winner eight times.

He was news editor of The daily Commonwealth Journal in his hometown of Somerset and wire editor of The Lexington Leader.  Missing contact with the public, he joined Landmark Community Newspapers as editor of The Casey County News in 1975, where he served until coming to Anderson County with his wife, Carol, an English teacher at Anderson High and Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg.

Upon retirement from The Anderson News, he formed the enterprise Ken & Tucky, later called The Kentucky Traveler, going throughout the state in search of feature stories. The stories, mainly profiles of people, were published in dozens of Kentucky newspapers and magazines.

Four years ago, the Whites returned to Somerset, where he continues to work as a freelance writer. They have two children, both graduates of Anderson High. Amanda White Nelson, 35, resides in Lexington with husband Chris and four-year-old son, Alex. A second son is due in May. Amanda works for the UK College of Education.  Dan White, 31, is Sports Information Director and Assistant Athletic Director for the University of Pikeville.

Don White is also the author of a memoir, Paper Boy: Giving My Heart to Journalism, published in 2015.

HAVE LUNCH WITH THE HONOREES

This year’s nine inductees will be honored at a luncheon at noon April 19 at The Grand Reserve, 903 Manchester Street #190, in Lexington. Cost is $35 per person. Reservations may be made online at https://ci.uky.edu/jat/kyhalloffame.

BUY A BOOK

Copies of Paper Boy: Giving My Heart to Journalism, may be purchased on Amazon.com, or directly from the author by mailing a check to Don White, 119 Keeney Street, Somerset, Ky. 42501. Cost is $20 per signed book.

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