The late Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter Richard E. Whitt, a self-proclaimed “red-neck journalist,” will be forever remembered as such in his native Greenup County, where a new plaque commemorating his accomplishments was unveiled on Tuesday.
The award will be hung in the hallway of the courthouse for all to see. It reads: “In memory of Richard E. Whitt. Pulitzer prize winner 1978, Pulitzer prize finalist 1984 and 1988, Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame 1995. The red-neck journalist from Greenup County.”
Duane Gilliam, a classmate of Whitt’s at McKell High School who led the push for his friend to receive recognition, explained the “red-neck journalist” moniker.
“He had a desire in his heart to right the wrongs,” Gilliam said. “Richard said, ‘If I do the investigation and I write the article about something that needs to be righted, there is a wrong that needs to be righted if I write it correctly. You will get so mad when you read it, your neck will get red and you will do something about it.”
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2653.