Supporting independent journalism and government accountability in Kentucky.
Al Smith Award
The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and the Bluegrass Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists established the Al Smith Award, which is presented annually for public service through community journalism in Kentucky, or anywhere by a current or former Kentuckian, with preference given to those outside metropolitan areas.
The award’s first recipient was its namesake: Albert P. Smith Jr., who owned weekly newspapers in Kentucky and Tennessee, was founding host of KET’s Comment on Kentucky and main founder of the Institute, whose national advisory board he chairs.
2011 – Al Smith
2012 – Jennifer P. Brown, Kentucky New Era, Hopkinsville
2012 – Max Heath, Landmark Community Newspapers
2013 – John Nelson, The Advocate-Messenger, Danville
2014 – Bill Bishop and Julie Ardery, The Daily Yonder
2015 – Carl West, The State Journal, Frankfort
2016 – Sharon Burton, Adair County Community Voice and The Farmer’s Pride
2017 – Larry Craig (posthumous), Green River Republican, Morgantown