K-State Research and Extension News
September 26, 2012
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Two Kansas Journalists Honored by Huck Boyd Institute and Center

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MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Emerson Lynn Jr. of Iola has received the first-ever Huck Boyd Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Newspapers and Linda Mowery-Denning of Ellsworth received the Huck Boyd Leader of the Year award in Community Newspapers for 2012. The Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development and the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media at Kansas State University made the selections and presented the awards on September 19.

“These journalists have demonstrated outstanding commitment to their communities,” said Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd Institute.

As a boy, Emerson Lynn Jr. worked as a carrier for the newspaper which he would later own, the Iola Register. In 1950, he began his career as a working journalist in Kansas and Texas. In 1965 he and his late wife Mickey came back to his hometown to assume ownership of the Iola Register, which his uncle had owned and where his parents had worked. Emerson has served as president of the Kansas Press Association and president of the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas, and won the first Clyde Reed editor’s award and the first KPA mentor award. Emerson and Mickey had four children; one is in ministry and the other three are in journalism. In 2001, their daughter Susan became owner of the Iola Register. Emerson continues to write editorials regularly as publisher emeritus.

“Emerson Lynn has always been a great leader in community journalism in Kansas, and I very much appreciate his work over the decades,” said Gloria Freeland, director of K-State's Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media.

Linda Mowery-Denning is editor and publisher of the weekly newspaper in Ellsworth. After nearly 27 years as a reporter at the Salina Journal, she co-founded a newspaper in Ellsworth which is now the Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter. On Sunday, June 19, 2011, her newspaper building in Ellsworth burned down.

“Linda rallied her staff and worked with the high school journalism department and the KPA to produce the newspaper on time that week, as it has been every week since,” Wilson said.

“Linda's coverage of her community is amazing. I am especially impressed with her positive attitude — even through a very challenging year," Freeland said. “Linda has provided leadership for other community newspapers through the excellent example she sets for her own.”

The award winners were recognized during the annual luncheon for the Huck Boyd Lecture in Community Media at Kansas State University on Sept. 19.

The Huck Boyd Institute honors Leaders of the Year annually in several categories from among those featured in its weekly Kansas Profile radio program and column during the previous 12 months. Kansas Profile is distributed by the K-State Radio Network and K-State Research and Extension News to radio stations and newspapers state-wide and beyond.

The Huck Boyd Foundation of Phillipsburg, Kansas supports two projects at K-State: the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development in partnership with K-State Research and Extension and the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media in the A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at K-State.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Ron Wilson
K-State Research & Extension News

Ron Wilson – rwilson@ksu.edu