FLORENCE—Princeton newspaper publisher Chip Hutcheson is the 2016 recipient of the Integrity Award for Coverage of Faith Issues, an honor bestowed by the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
KBC Executive Director Paul Chitwood awarded the prize to Hutcheson during the annual meeting of Kentucky Baptists at Florence Baptist Church in Florence, Ky.
“Our selection committee was impressed by the thorough, thoughtful coverage Hutcheson provided this year,” Chitwood said. “His portrayal of news events was fair, accurate and well-balanced.”
Hutcheson, a 2012 Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame inductee, has served Princeton and its surrounding communities with news reporting since 1976.
“A community newspaper strives to cover every aspect of life in that community, and certainly coverage of what churches are doing is an essential component of news coverage,” said Hutcheson. “There are many newspapers that don’t place a high value on religion coverage. That is unfortunate because there are some compelling stories that would be informative and useful to the public.”
In addition to working as editor and publisher of The Times Leader, a twice-weekly 4,700-circulation newspaper, Hutcheson started a new weekly publication in Oak Grove, Ky., in 2008 and served as the newspaper’s publisher until last year.
Hutcheson is formerly the president of the National Newspaper Association (2015) and the Kentucky Press Association (2010). He was awarded KPA’s “Most Valuable Member” in 2011.
KBC Communications Director Roger Alford, who nominated Hutcheson for the award, said Hutcheson understands the impact religion has on the lives of everyday Kentuckians.
Hutcheson was elected KBC president in 2013 and served as chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Committee on Nominations the following year. He also served on the board of directors of the Western Recorder and Kentucky Ethics League.
Among his civic contributions are serving as president of the Princeton-Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce, a board member of First Southern Bank of Princeton, and board member of Caldwell County’s free clinic and health advisory council.
Hutcheson and his wife, Karen, are members of Southside Baptist Church in Princeton, where he has taught Sunday School for 39 years. (KBC)