Ex-Detroit News staffers to be inducted into Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame


Two former Detroit News employees are among the youngest newcomers to the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.

Joanne Gerstner and Susan Whitall will join five more journalists in class 2021 when they are honored at a ceremony this fall, according to the hall’s website. Coordinators are expected to announce whether the event will be virtual or in person on June 1st.

Gerstner, a former sports news writer, is an award-winning sports journalist, author, and researcher who teaches at Michigan State University.

“It is a great honor to be selected for the Hall of Fame,” Gerstner told The News. “We have a long and amazing tradition of women in sports media in Michigan, and I am the product of the women who paved my way. And there are many more to come to the arena.”

Gerstner recognized the Association for Women in Communications Detroit for the nomination.

Reporting for News, Whitall is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a music magazine editor, music historian, columnist and writer.

Whitall said on Facebook Friday night that she was “happy to be accepted”.

Marlon Jackson and brother Jackie and famous Detroit News writer Susan Whitall at the Music Hall in Detroit on Thursday, May 17, 2018.

The other initiates are:

  • Al Allen, radio and television reporter on the streets of Detroit for 50 years
  • Tom Henderson, reporter for sports, science and technology, venture capital and banking
  • Jean Jennings, 40 year old car writer, editor and funny story teller
  • Edward Lapham, news editor, leader and mentor
  • Marjorie Sorge, lead auto and working writer; Editor of two auto publications

“This year’s nominees have made important and lasting contributions to news, sports, business, automotive and cultural journalism in print, broadcast and online media,” said the Hall of Fame.

The introduction of class 2020, which was postponed from last spring, is scheduled to take place on April 25th.

New additions include Tom Gage, longtime Tigers beatwriter for The News, and the late Angelo B. Henderson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning print and broadcast journalist.

The Hall of Fame has honored journalists since 1985 and “recognizes reporters, editors, publishers, owners, photographers, broadcasters, educators and others who have made outstanding contributions to the profession,” it says on its website. It started as the Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1952.


Dusty Kennedy