This year's honorees are the late W. Ray Vickery, a past MPA president; the late Lucile Bluford, longtime publisher of The Kansas City Call; the late David R. Bradley Sr., publisher of the News-Press & Gazette Co., St. Joseph; Brian Brooks, an internationally known journalism professor with the Missouri School of Journalism; and Frank L. Martin III, publisher of the West Plains Daily Quill.
Frank Martin III is the son of Frank Lee Martin Jr., who bought the West Plains Daily Quill in 1946 and was the publisher of the Salem Headlight (now The News) in 1964. He is the grandson of Frank Lee Martin, the second dean of the Missouri School of Journalism. They were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 and 1992, respectively.
Martin went to work for his father as managing editor of The Quill in 1975 after graduation from the Missouri School of Journalism and four years working for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He became editor, publisher and president of The Quill in 1983.
Under Martin's leadership, The Quill has earned many awards and recognition for excellence in journalism. Martin also has been recognized for his work outside the newspaper.
He was elected in 1979 to the board of trustees of West Plains Memorial Hospital. He was 31 and the youngest of the hospital's five trustees. Two years later Martin was president of the board of trustees, a position he held for many years.
After a name change to Ozarks Medical Center and many other changes, the hospital flourished. In 1990, Modern Healthcare magazine named Martin its Trustee of the Year for hospitals with fewer than 250 beds.
Martin was appointed to the Missouri Press - Bar Commission in 1999. He has served as volunteer media coordinator for two judicial circuits for more than 10 years.
In 2003, then Missouri Chief Justice Stephen Limbaugh appointed him to serve on the Missouri Commission on Children's Justice.
He is an outspoken champion of civil liberties and human rights, using his editorial pen to scold and lecture when necessary, knowing that his comments will invite scorn and threats from many of his readers.
In its October 2000 issue, George magazine published a lengthy article about Martin in its Citizen of the Year issue, calling him "The Bravest Newsman." It presented him with its George Award for a campaign against hate groups.
The Missouri Press Association, founded in 1867, is the newspaper trade organization in the state. Almost 300 weekly and daily newspapers, virtually every newspaper in the state, are members of the association, which is based in Columbia.
The association presents Pinnacle Awards to Hall of Fame inductees. Plaques with their likenesses will be hung in the conference room at the association offices in Columbia and in the student lounge of Lee Hills Hall at the Missouri School of Journalism.