KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Chattanooga newspaper publisher as well as a journalism educator and public relations official are the newest members of Tennessee’s Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Roy Ketner McDonald, long-time publisher of the Chattanooga Free Press, and Julian Harriss, who helped establish the School of Journalism at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, will be inducted into the hall Friday.
Their induction brings to 35 the number of journalists in the hall, located in UT-Knoxville’s College of Communications. The Hall of Fame, established in 1966, is a joint project of the Tennessee Press Association and UT.
In 1933 McDonald started publishing a weekly newspaper, the Chattanooga Free Press, to promote grocery specials at his Home Stores. Sixty-two years later, it is the city’s largest newspaper with a daily circulation exceeding 40,000 and 110,000 on Sunday.
The paper became a daily publication in 1936 and three years later merged with the Chattanooga News. McDonald sold the Home Stores to another grocery chain to focus on the newspaper. He continued his daily editorial duties until his death at age 88 on June 19, 1990.
After a stint as a reporter for The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Harriss joined the UT staff in 1937 as a public relations official, becoming director of that office nine years later. In a career that spanned 30 years, he made many contributions to Tennessee journalism.
Harriss, an Augusta, Ga., native, in 1945 guided an agreement between UT and TPA that provided a university staff member to serve as field representative of the press association. This enabled editors and publishers to advise UT’s journalism program.
The UT board of trustees approved a TPA-sponsored resolution creating the journalism school, and headed the journalism curriculum in its first year.
He is co-author of The Complete Reporter, a textbook in its sixth edition and still used at UT-Knoxville to teach basic journalism skills.
The McDonald and Harriss families will join the TPA board of directors at the installation ceremony at the Hyatt Regency.
Contact: Dr. James Crook (423-974-5155)