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WJBK’s Al Allen Among 7 to be Inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame

2021 Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame Inductee Al Allen, who retired from WJBK-TV in 2012.

Seven outstanding journalists will be inducted into the 2021 class of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees have made major, sustained contributions in print, broadcast and online media to news, sports, business, automotive and cultural journalism. They include:

    • Al Allen, a radio and TV reporter on the streets of Detroit for 50 years
    • Joanne Gerstner, multiplatform sportswriter, educator, scholar, mentor and author
    • Tom Henderson, reporter of sports, science and tech, venture capital and banking
    • Jean Jennings, 40-year automotive writer, editor and teller of hilarious tales
    • Edward Lapham, news-breaking auto editor, leader and mentor to many
    • Marjorie Sorge, premier auto and labor writer; editor of two auto publications
    • Susan Whitall, music magazine editor, music historian, columnist and author

    The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame was established to recognize those who have advanced the legacy of a free and responsible press and who have elevated journalism in Michigan. Induction memorializes extraordinary and clearly outstanding careers.

    The 2021 Hall of Fame class will be honored at a ceremony in the fall. The Hall of Fame will announce by June 1 how and when the induction will take place. The ceremony will be either an in-person induction banquet or a virtual, online event. Should the Hall of Fame include an in-person banquet, details about reservations and opportunities for tax-deductible sponsorships and ads will be forthcoming.

    Details will be provided on the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame website: Questions may be directed to Betsy DeSantis at 517-353-6431 or via email at

    Meanwhile, the induction of the 2020 class – postponed from last April– will take place in a virtual event on April 25, 2021. The 2020 inductees include The Detroit News’ Baseball Hall of Fame Tigers writer Tom Gage, Wall Street Journal Pulitzer Prize writer Angelo Henderson, Detroit Jewish News Executive Editor and Publisher Arthur Horwitz, longtime Grand Rapids Press Editor Mike Lloyd, 40+ year television reporter, producer and news director Bill Proctor and Detroit Free Press music critic Mark Stryker.

    Co-sponsors of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame are the Michigan chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association; the Detroit chapter of the Association for Women in Communications; Central Michigan University’s Department of Journalism; the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; the Detroit and Mid-Michigan chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists; the Detroit Press Club; the Individual Communicators Network; Wayne State University’s Journalism Program; the Michigan Association of Broadcasters; the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association; the Michigan Press Association Foundation; and the School of Journalism, Michigan State University.

    MSU’s School of Journalism has been the home of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame since 1985, reprising the Michigan Newspaper Hall of Fame, which became dormant in 1968. The Michigan Press Association and the MSU School of Journalism established the original Michigan Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1952.

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