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Louisville native among eight named to Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame

Deborah Yetter has worked in Louisville journalism since 1984.
Deborah Yetter
Deborah Yetter has worked in Louisville journalism since 1984.

Eight journalists will be inducted into the newest class of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

According to a University of Kentucky release, the honorees include current and past journalists who have worked at Kentucky media organizations such as the Courier Journal and WHAS11, as well as national organizations including the Washington Post and Associated Press.

The 2022 class includes:

  • Scott Applewhite, Kentucky resident and Pulitzer Prize-winning senior photojournalist with the Associated Press, based in Washington, D.C.
  • Jerry Brewer, Paducah native, and sports columnist with the Washington Post
  • Melissa Forsythe, deceased news anchor and reporter with Louisville’s WAVE and WHAS11 stations
  • John B. Gaines, deceased Bowling Green native and president and publisher of the Bowling Green Daily News
  • Bill Mardis, deceased Taylor County native and reporter, editor and columnist at the Commonwealth Journal
  • Mark Maynard, managing editor for Kentucky Today and past sports reporter and editor for The Daily Independent
  • Stuart Warner, Lexington native, sports editor for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Pulitzer Prize-winning editor with the Plain Dealer of Cleveland
  • Deborah Yetter, Louisville native and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and editor at the Courier Journal and Louisville Times

Yetter said she was at a doctor's appointment on Wednesday when she came across the news of her induction on her phone.

“I was totally surprised. I didn’t realize the announcement was coming out today, nor did I realize I’d been nominated,” said Yetter.

Yetter started at the Louisville Times, an afternoon paper, in 1984. When it closed in 1987, she landed on the staff of the Courier Journal, a sister publication.

Throughout her 38-year career, Yetter has served as a reporter and editor and has covered topics such as child welfare, social services, health policy and state government.

“It’s always been rewarding. It’s never boring. And you can hopefully accomplish a lot even in today’s more, sort of fragmented media environment.”

She has earned several awards for her reporting, including the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting won by her and other Courier Journal staff for their coverage of former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s pardons before he left office.

“Journalism has changed a lot,” Yetter said. “I know some people are discouraged, but I do think the opportunities are there for all of us in different ways to keep making a big difference in the lives of our communities.”

Also among the inductees is Melissa Forsythe, a former news anchor and reporter with Louisville’s WAVE and WHAS11 news stations. She died earlier this year at the age of 71.

UK’s Journalism Alumni Association created the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1981 to honor journalists who are Kentucky natives or have worked substantial portions of their careers in Kentucky.

According to the release, the ceremony will take place at the University of Kentucky later this year.

Jacob is LPM's Business and Development Reporter. Email Jacob at jmunoz@lpm.org.

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