The Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame was established in 1966 as a joint project of the Tennessee Press Association and the University of Tennessee. It is administered by a committee composed of the administrative head of the UT School of Journalism and Electronic Media as Chair, members appointed by the Tennessee Press Association, and members appointed by the University of Tennessee.
Selection of honorees is made biennially by a five-member committee of past presidents of the Tennessee Press Association, serving on a staggered-term basis. No more than four honorees may be selected at any one time. Forty-four now have been honored.
All honorees (1) must have made an outstanding contribution to Tennessee Newspaper journalism or, through Tennessee journalism, to newspaper journalism generally or (2) must have made an extraordinary contribution to their communities and region, or the state, through newspaper journalism. All honorees must have been dead five years or more before being nominated.
Funding for the Hall of Fame is provided by the Tennessee Press Association Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the support of print journalism education scholarships, research, and other similar activities designed to meet the needs of the newspaper profession in Tennessee.