CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - WBTV veteran journalist Steve Crump has won regional Emmy awards, produced dozens of important documentaries and was named the 2016 “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists.
But his most important achievement may be his most recent one - his induction into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.
Crump, a Kentucky native, accepted the honor during a video ceremony on Thursday.
“I’m always a phone call away, and very eager to get home to work on a project or help on a project from our sister station, WAVE in Louiseville,” he said. There have been a number of amazing datelines in my career, from Somolia to Sudan and other parts of Africa. And it’s been amazing to demonstrate the possible, and to have destinations from Selma and the White House and to meet many of the leaders who would make a difference in our society along the way."
Crump said that even though he’s no longer in Kentucky, “I’m still one of you in heart and in spirit. Kentucky-born, Louiseville-bred, smoketown-raised.”
He then reflected on his May 1980 commencement ceremony when he graduated from Eastern Kentucky University. He said one statement from former governor John Y. Brown “stuck with me.”
“Governor Brown told us graduates, ‘Wherever you go in life, always be a good will ambassador for the commonwealth of Kentucky.’ And that, my friends, I have tried to do.”
“Thank you for this amazing award, thank you to members of the judging committee, and thank you Hall of Fame,” Crump concluded.
Back in February, when Crump first heard he was selected for the honor, he called his selection “a wonderful blessing.”
Crump joins the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame alongside a Pulitzer Prize winner, a Washington Post columnist, and one of Kentucky’s longest-tenured sports reporters.
For nearly 40 years, Crump has been telling you stories from around the world and into every corner of the Carolinas, covering both the big picture and small.
He’s taught us about history and the Civil Rights Movement, often giving voice to the voiceless. The awards he’s accumulated for his work could fill a room.
In February 2019, he received a Regional Emmy Award for a documentary remembering the tragic events of the Orangeburg Massacre in South Carolina.
The documentary reexamined the Orangeburg community’s development since 1968, the year when three students were killed and 28 others were injured when troopers opened fire on protesters following racial conflict over African American college students who wanted to integrate what was then an all-white bowling alley.
Crump was recognized as National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) first Journalist of the Year Award recipient in July 2016 for his exceptional coverage of the tragic Mother Emmanuel Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
“To be recognized as the first recipient in a newly-created category is simply amazing and humbling,” said Crump said at the time. “It is recognition not to be taken lightly, because it comes from so many of my colleagues and peers in a profession I value deeply.”
Crump sat down with WBTV’s Jamie Boll two years later to publicly discuss his battle with colon cancer.
Steve returned to WBTV after a nine-month leave of absence with a focus on telling stories that impact the Charlotte community.
“Let me thank the viewers - for your prayers, your thoughts, your gifts, your cards, your well-wishes - as we continue to go through this journey,” Steve said. “I could not have done it, could not have remained this positive, could not have gotten to this destination without the help of you guys.”
A surgical procedure to remove the cancer led to a serious MRSA infection, which caused him to be in the hospital for 51 days. For a time, Steve was on dialysis, breathing through a ventilator and using feeding tubes.
Created by the University of Kentucky Journalism Alumni Association in 1981, the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame honors achieving journalists who are Kentucky natives or have spent a significant portion of their careers working for Kentucky media organizations. More than 200 individuals, both with and without formal ties to UK, have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is housed in the School of Journalism and Media within the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky.