Journalists to be honored for lifetime of service

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Chamber of Commerce Chairman Peter Demos, Hooper Penuel, MTSU President Sidney McPhee, Dan Whittle, publisher Ron Fryar, Mayor Tommy Bragg, Dean Roy Moore, Tenn. Assoc. of Broadcasters Pres. Whit Adamson and Tenn. Press Assoc. Pres. Michael Williams
The Volunteer State’s influential, sometimes tumultuous and colorful journalism profession, will be honored forever in the annals of the new Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame based at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.

“There could not be a more appropriate location than within the premises of MTSU’s internationally recognized College of Mass Communication,” said Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg, whose family has a rich, storied history in Middle Tennessee media.

“Plus, being the geographic heart of Tennessee, we love the idea of the Hall of Fame being headquartered in Murfreesboro,” Bragg added.

Bragg’s father, former state Rep. John Bragg, and grandfather, Minor Bragg, were pioneers and founders of multiple newspapers across Tennessee.

Roy Moore, dean of the Collge of Mass Communication welcomed the partnership with the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

“The College of Mass Communication is extremely pleased to have the unique opportunity to partner with the new Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame to be located in the Bragg Mass Communication Building,” Moore said. “Tennessee has a rich heritage of producing so many outstanding, nationally and internationally known journalists across the mass media.”

He said university officials are also proud that the annual awards and induction ceremony will be part of the annual Wall of Fame and student award ceremony in the spring of 2013.

Rutherford County’s business community is supportive as well.

“The opportunity to house the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame at MTSU is a real privilege for our community,” said Peter Demos, chairman of the Rutherford County Chammber of Commerce. “This is yet another chance for people to visit Rutherford County and see the amenities our community provides.”

The community, university and media came together Friday as a result of the new Hall of Fame.

“We’re honored to be welcomed into the halls of MTSU’s Mass Communication complex, home of one of the most prestigious journalism programs in the United States,” said alumnus Ron Fryar, the former president of the Tennessee Press Association, who is the publisher of The Murfreesboro Post and Cannon Courier newspapers.

Fryar is one of four founding officers of the statewide hall of fame, along with newspaper columnist Dan Whittle, retired Tennessee Air National Guard Lt. Col. Hooper Penuel and Larry Burriss, a journalism professor who specializes in the study of mass media law.

The Hall of Fame is an all-inclusive hall that will include all major facets of media, including  print journalism, television, radio, electronic and public relations.

“Our idea for an all-inclusive Hall of Fame came from MTSU’s Mass Communication program that encompasses all aspects of modern day journalism education, including the electronic era of communications,” said Penuel, a former public information officer for the National Guard, who has worked with media outlets and professionals throughout Tennessee.

“We’re in the process of forming the initial nomination committee with the responsibility of establishing criteria for consideration of (living and deceased) candidates from throughout the great Volunteer State,” Penuel added.

Anyone needing more information about the Hall of Fame can contact Fryar at or Penuel at
Read more from:
College of Mass Communication, Journalism, Journalism Hall of Fame, Media History, MTSU, Tennessee
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Members Opinions:
October 26, 2012 at 11:08am
I agree with Mayor Bragg in saying there really is no better place for the new Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame to be located. I think having a Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame located in Middle Tennessee State University is a great thing. It makes perfect sense for the hall of fame to be created and established in the university. The Mass Communications Program, and more specifically the Journalism Department, is extremely prominent at MTSU, and very recognized even outside of Tennessee. I agree that MTSU's Mass Communication Program does a wonderful job of encompassing all areas of journalism in the media, whether it is print, broadcast, electronic media, etc.
Having the hall of fame will be great for Rutherford County. People will come initially to visit the hall of fame at MTSU, but will in turn be exposed to everything else Murfreesboro and the surrounding cities have to offer.
The fact that the rest of Rutherford County, even those who are not specifically involved with MTSU or the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame are being so incredibly supportive. It was encouraging to read Chairman Peter Demos' response to the new development, and to see how "onboard" he, and the rest of the county seem to be.
I am very excited to hear who will be among the first of the recognized and honored journalists who will have the privilege of being in the new Hall of Fame.
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