Bill Ketter is joined by previous SPJ honorees during the society’s President’s Award Banquet.

Bill Ketter, CNHI’s senior vice president of news, received SPJ’s highest honor on September 30 in Las Vegas.

The Society of Professional Journalists feted Ketter with the Wells Memorial Key award, recognizing his distinguished career and contributions to the journalism community.

In addition to numerous other state, regional, and national awards, he received the New England Academy of Journalists Yankee Quill Award in 1985 for exceptional career contributions to New England journalism and is a member of the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Past SPJ National President Alex Jones said in a prepared statement, “For decades, Bill Ketter has been one of the nation’s most respected and admired journalists,” calling the award a “fitting tribute by an organization he has served and loved throughout that exemplary career.”

Named for Chester C. Wells, the second president of SPJ, the Wells Memorial Key is awarded to a member “who has performed outstanding service to the Society in the preceding year or through a period of years.”

The honoree has been a member of SPJ for 62 years and served in various leadership roles.

Jones called Ketter “a repository of wisdom and principle and someone I consider to be one of the Foundation’s and the Society’s top and most influential leaders.”

Ketter received the honor at the SPJ 2023 Journalism Conference at the Planet Hollywood resort in Las Vegas during the society’s President’s Award Banquet.