LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Three journalists who reported for decades on the coal industry and other issues in Appalachia are the winners of this year’s Tom and Pat Gish Award.

The winners announced this week are Ken Ward Jr. of the Charleston Gazette-Mail; the late Paul J. Nyden of the former Charleston Gazette; and Howard Berkes, who recently retired from National Public Radio.

The award presented by the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues recognizes “courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism.” It’s named for a tenacious newspaper publishing couple in Whitesburg, Kentucky.

Al Cross, the institute’s director, says the journalists “overcame adversity in reporting on coal and other topics in rural America.”

The Gish awards will be presented Sept. 26 in Lexington at the Al Smith Awards Dinner.