Tom Slaughter, executive Director of the Inland Press Foundation for more than a decade, has been named the 2022 recipient of the foundation’s Distinguished Service Award.

Slaughter received the award at the annual meeting of America’s Newspapers on Oct. 17 in New Orleans.

This year marks the 31st year that the award has been presented. The award recognizes the contributions of newspaper industry leaders and executives. The award criteria honor individuals “who have distinguished themselves in service to the foundation, to their communities, their companies, and the industry. These individuals deserve the recognition of their peers and colleagues.”

Slaughter has served as executive director of the foundation since 2011. He also led the Inland Press Association until its merger with the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association in late 2019, forming America’s Newspapers.

Inland President Marc Wilson said, “Tom has been a rock-solid performer in these times of transition. As executive director of the Inland Press Association, Tom played a key role in the formation of America’s Newspapers through the merger of the Inland Press Association and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.”

Wilson, chairman emeritus of, added, “After the merger, Tom remained at the helm of the Inland Press Foundation. There he led the formation of the Inland Foundation Community News Grants. His deep background in journalism and the news industry helped create important tools for the support of the nation’s newspapers. His leadership and knowledge will continue to play a key role in American journalism.”

Joyce McCullough, foundation vice president, said, “All of us on the Inland Foundation board agreed that Tom was the perfect choice for the 2022 Distinguished Service award. He continues to be committed to the industry and journalism’s role in serving local communities.”

Before joining Inland, Slaughter held several news and executive positions at The Associated Press, in a career lasting nearly 40 years. During his time as AP’s vice president and director of strategic planning, the AP modernized its photo transmission systems, purchased an international television agency, and launched its new media division. He later served as AP’s vice president of U.S. newspaper markets.

He holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas and an MBA in finance from City University of Seattle.

He is a member of the University of Kansas Alumni Association, a trustee of the William Allen White Foundation, and was elected to the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2021.

He and his wife, Pam, live in Lawrence, KS and have two grown children, and three grandchildren.

The Inland Press Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit incorporated in Illinois. Over the last 40 years, the foundation has played a prominent and active role in organizing and funding programs to provide research and educational services to the American newspaper industry, with a special focus on independent and family-owned newspapers.

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