From his beginnings as a journlist, reporting on basketball and baseball games for the Clinton County News, to a 26 year career with the state’s largest newspaper and now working with newspapers across Kentucky as the Director of the University of Kentucky Instititute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, Al Cross has had a full career as a reporter – to say the least.
Next week, he returns home for a visit and to talk about some of his experiences since leaving Albany and Clinton County when he headed to Bowling Green and Western Kentucky Univeristy after graduating from CCHS in 1971.
Cross’ presentation is one of a series of guest speakers being presented this spring and summer by the Clinton County Public Library.
He will speak to the public next Tuesday afternoon, May 14, in an informal setting that is slated to get underway at 5:00 p.m.
The son of the late Perry and Winnie Cross, he combined his love of words and sports when he was a young boy growing up in Albany, working as an official scorekeeper for the local Little League organization while reporting game results and scores for the Clinton County News. Later, Cross provided the Clinton County News with weekly sports reports for the Clinton County High School Bulldogs basketball teams.
He also worked at local radio station WANY as a dj.
After graduating from Western Kentucky University where he was the editor of the student newspaper The College Heights Herald, Cross worked in the newspaper industry beginning with weekly newspapers for several years before taking a position with the Louisville Courier Journal.
While with the CJ, he spent some 16 years as that newspaper’s chief political writer. He continues to write a column that appears once a month in the Sunday Forum section of the Courier Journal.
Among his many awards and honors earned during his career as a journalist, Cross was a member of the Courier Journal reporting team that earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for coverage of the nation’s deadliest bus crash.
His career as a journalist hasn’t been completely restricted to the print medium. He is also the longest-running panelist on Kentucky Educational Television’(KET) weekly Comment on Kentucky and he is a fixture on the panel of Kentucky political experts during the network’s coverage of each election in the state.
In 2010, Cross was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.
The public is invited to attend next Tuesday’s presentation at the Clinton County Library.