Former J-W editorial page editor wins lifetime achievement award from Kansas Press Association

Lawrence resident and former Journal-World editorial page editor Ann Gardner has received one of the state’s top journalism awards.

Gardner on Friday received the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award from the Kansas Press Association. The award recognizes a Kansas editor for a lifetime of achievement that involves commitment to community, the Kansas newspaper industry and the state.

Gardner said she was honored to receive the award, which is named after the late editor of the Parsons Sun. Gardner started her career at the Sun and worked with Clyde M. Reed Jr. before joining the Journal-World.

“I worked for a lot of people who really cared about what they did, and wanted to put out a quality product,” Gardner said. “They really sweat the details, and taught me that those details are an important part of what we do.”

Gardner joined the Journal-World in 1977 and remained with the newspaper until 2016, when the Simons family sold the company. Gardner worked as a reporter, a features editor and a Sunday editor at various times during her tenure. Gardner won multiple awards for her work as editorial page editor of the paper from 1987 to 2016.

“She was meticulous in her research to make sure she was accurate in her writings,” Dolph C. Simons Jr., former editor and publisher of the Journal-World said in nominating her for the award. “She took an active role in community and state affairs. She was fearless in expressing her opinions in her editorials, and her manner and performance reflected credit on the newspaper business.”

Gardner, a 1975 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism, won awards from the Kansas Press Association, the Inland Press Association, the National Federation of Press Women and the Suburban Newspaper Association for her editorial writing. Gardner also previously served as chair of the Lawrence chamber of commerce, the local United Way board, Friends of the Lied Center, and is a graduate of Leadership Kansas.

Gardner said she is grateful for the award and also for any recognition it brings to the important role journalism plays in society.

“I went into this career with a sort of missionary zeal about how important journalism is to a healthy democracy,” Gardner said. “I think we are really reminded of that today.”

Gardner received the award at the Kansas Press Association’s annual convention in Topeka. Three new members also were inducted into the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame: Rudy Taylor of Taylor Family Newspapers; Tom Throne, a former publisher in McPherson, Junction City and Leavenworth; and Craig McNeal, former publisher of the Council Grove Republican. The convention concludes Saturday with an event that honors the best Kansas newspaper journalism of 2017.