NNA honors Cheryl Kaechele with 2012 McKinney Award
October 10, 2012
CHARLESTON, SC—Cheryl Kaechele was honored during the National Newspaper Association’s 2012 Annual Convention & Trade Show, where she was presented with the Emma C. McKinney Memorial Award at the association’s business luncheon Oct. 6, in Charleston, SC.
Recognized as the highest and most dignified tributes in community journalism, the Amos and McKinney Awards are presented to a working or retired newspaperman and woman who have provided distinguished service and leadership to the community press and their community.
The McKinney Award was established in 1966 to honor Emma C. McKinney, co-publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (OR) Argus for 58 years. She was dean of Oregon newspapermen and women in 1954 and was inducted into the Oregon Journalism Hall of Fame in 1982.
Kaechele, president of Kaechele Publications Inc. and publisher of Allegan (MI) County News, The Plainwell (MI) & Otsego Union Enterprise and The Commercial Record, Saugatuck, MI, was presented with the 2012 Emma C. McKinney Award by outgoing NNA past president Reed Anfinson.
Kaechele has been the owner and publisher of the Allegan County News since 1982, The Plainwell & Otsego Union Enterprise since 1985 and The Commercial Record since 1988.
Kaechele has been active in her state press association and the National Newspaper Association.
She served on the board of the Michigan Press Association from 1992-2002, and was president from 2000-2001. She served on the board of the National Newspaper Association from 2004-2011, during which time she was the association’s District 5 representative for the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin from 2003-2006, and was president from 2009-2010. She has also served on several NNA committees including the legislative committee. Kaechele is currently a member of the Michigan Press Association’s Foundation Board.
In 2010, Kaechele’s newspaper, the Allegan County News, received 1st place in its circulation division in the general excellence category of NNA’s Better Newspaper Contest.
Judges remarked: “[Cheryl] is one of those rare individuals that has consistently chosen a path for the good of her paper, her community, her state and her nation…. [She] has promoted Journalism as a foundation for a stronger democracy and the backbone of a community…. [and] has served the newspaper industry with intelligence, enthusiasm and tremendous energy both at the state and national levels….”
From David R. Jackson, president of Shoreline Media, Inc., “…There are few people in the newspaper industry who have worked so tirelessly and for so long to preserve and improve community newspapers in Michigan and throughout the United States.... [Cheryl] has been a champion of local newspapers as one of the cornerstones of small town living…. [she] is keenly aware of the importance of good journalism in our democracy, and particularly the important role of credible information in the small towns of Michigan and America. Her unwaivering work on behalf of small-town newspapers have helped bolster those newspapers and thus improved the democratic processes in many communities across the United States.”
Dirk Milliman, publisher of Three Rivers (MI) Commercial-News, wrote, “If there ever was a fighter for the little guy, it is Cheryl Kaechele…. She is one herself, publishing three community weekly papers with her husband, Walt, in Southwest Michigan. Cheryl gives newspaper publishers what they need most – a backbone. Cheryl has lobbied for newspaper issues in the halls of Congress in Washington, in the Capital building in Lansing, and nose-to-nose with legislators wherever she comes across them…. As the long-time legislative chairman for the Michigan Press Association, I know that when in need, I can call Cheryl and she will say that magic word all volunteer coordinators love to hear: She will say yes. She will say yes I can help. Yes I will come. Yes I will serve.”
Ken Winter, board member for Michigan Press Association Foundation, wrote: “[Cheryl] has and continues to support our industry tirelessly…. In all dialogues and deliberations, one thing is clear: Cheryl’s sense of fairness, judgment, and dedication.” Kaechele will be recognized in the November issue of Publishers’ Auxiliary.
Past and present McKinney Award winners are listed at nnaweb.org.
Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is the voice of America’s community newspapers and the largest newspaper association in the country. The nation’s community papers inform, educate and entertain nearly 150 million readers every week.