Amos and McKinney Awards

Recognized as two of the highest and most distinguished tributes in community journalism, the Amos and McKinney Awards are presented to a working or retired newspaperman and woman who has provided distinguished service and leadership to the community press and his/her community. Winners are notified in July, and awards are presented at NNA's Annual Convention and Trade Show held in the fall.

History of the Amos & McKinney Awards

General James O. Amos

General James O. AmosThe Amos Award was established in 1938 by E.C. Amos, publisher of The Sidney Daily News, to honor his father, General James O. Amos, a pioneer Ohio journalist and an early-day member of the National Editorial Association. Amos purchased the Shelby County Democrat in 1876, the predecessor of The Sidney Daily News that was started in 1881 but has passed from the Amos family ownership.



Emma C. McKinney

Emma C. McKinneyThe McKinney Memorial Award was created in 1966 to honor Emma C. McKinney, co-publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (Oregon) Argus for 58 years. In 1954 Mrs. McKinney was named dean of Oregon newspapermen and women and in 1957 received the Amos Voorhies Award, the highest state honor that can be awarded to an Oregon newspaper person. Mrs. McKinney was inducted into the Oregon Journalism Hall of Fame in 1982.

Every year, the National Newspaper Association announces the Call for Nominations for the Amos and McKinney Awards, which are the highest honors awarded to working and retired newspapermen and women who have exhibited distinguished service to the community press.

Nomination Criteria

  • Working or retired newspaperman or woman. The nominee must be a working or retired newspaperman or woman whose non-metropolitan newspaper is a member in good standing of the National Newspaper Association, or who, if retired, is a retired member in good standing of NNA. The letter of nomination must include the nominee’s full name, position, newspaper, mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • Professional achievement. Describe in the letter of nomination the nominee’s professional background, achievements, awards and activities that illustrate how the nominee exemplifies the best in journalism and serves as an inspiration to others.
  • Community leadership. The nominee must exhibit continuing and significant contributions to community leadership through advocacy and involvement in his/her community and community journalism. Describe in the letter of nomination how the nominee is an advocate for his/her community; how he/she serves the community on a local, state and/or regional level. Provide specific examples of projects in areas of community service and their outcome.
  • Advancement of the journalism profession. The nominee must exhibit dedication to the advancement of the journalism profession through participation in state and national associations, recognition that a nominee may have moved beyond local or state involvement to a broader level. Describe in the letter of nomination service to NNA and other regional/national/international service organizations or causes in which the nominee has been involved. Evidence of NNA service is required.

Nomination Forms

Amos, McKinney & Phillips Award nomination form.

Nominations due each year in June.

Past winners by state and year