Tallahassee Democrat by Gerald Ensley
August 11, 2017
Bill Cotterell never enters newspaper contests. He says journalists “spend too much time handing out awards for, basically, doing their jobs.”
But just as Major League Baseball has an MVP trophy and the movie world gives out Oscars, it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge the best performers in any field.
Which is why Bill Cotterell will have to accept the award he won Friday: He was inducted in the Florida Press Association’s Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Cotterell spent 45 years as a full-time newspaper reporter, including 27 years with the Tallahassee Democrat. Though he officially retired in 2012, he continues to write a twice-weekly column about political issues for the Tallahassee Democrat.
“Bill was a workmanlike reporter; he wasn’t flashy,” said former Tallahassee Democrat publisher Carrol Dadisman, who spearheaded Cotterell’s nomination. “But you look back at his career and you say, ‘Here’s a reporter who made a difference.’”
Cotterell, 74, is joined in the Class of 2017 by Frances DeVore, who spent 59 years at the Ocala Star-Banner and who passed away in 2007. They become the 49th and 50th members of the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame, which began in 1989.
The hall of fame awards were presented at a luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples, which for the first time brought together four Florida media organizations to present their annual awards. The Tallahassee Democrat won 14 awards from the Florida Society of News Editors.
Cotterell becomes the fourth Hall of Fame member with ties to the Tallahassee Democrat. Previously inducted were Dadisman (2009) and editor Malcolm Johnson (1990), as well as Fred Pettijohn (1991), who began his newspaper career as a Democrat sports editor before rising to publisher of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. [READ MORE]