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2 former RJ editors inducted into Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame

Updated September 25, 2020 - 11:44 am

Two former Las Vegas Review-Journal newsroom leaders were inducted into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame this month.

Thomas Mitchell and Don Digilio were among the five 2020 Hall of Fame inductees.

“I’m very pleased,” Mitchell said. “I’m proud to join an excellent group of journalists.”

Mitchell, who led the Review-Journal newsroom for two decades, is credited by the Nevada Press Association for doing “as much as any other journalist in the history of the state to defend and expand public access to government records.”

The former Review-Journal editor spoke plainly about the importance of government transparency.

“You can’t vote the bums out if you don’t know what the bums are doing,” he said.

During Mitchell’s time at the Review-Journal, the paper filed more than 20 challenges in court to gain access to government information.

Mitchell joined the Review-Journal as the paper’s managing editor in 1989. He is credited with demanding and publishing public payroll information at a time when the information was considered out of reach. Mitchell also supervised and expanded a team that undertook special projects and investigative reporting, in addition to writing a weekly column about access to government and public information.

He was behind the creation of the Review-Journal’s judicial performance evaluation, a survey that allows attorneys to rate elected judges, providing valuable information to voters.

Mitchell left the newspaper in 2010, going on to write award-winning columns and editorials for rural newspapers throughout Nevada for Battle Born Media.

Digilio’s career at the Review-Journal spanned more than 20 years. He climbed the ranks from reporter to become the newspaper’s top editor in 1969.

In his time at the Review-Journal, Digilio broke news that Frank Sinatra would marry Mia Farrow, and he later broke the story of the famed singer’s departure from the Sands.

Digilio left the paper in 1980. The Nebraska native began his career as a reporter at the Las Vegas Sun after coming to Las Vegas in 1958.

Also inducted into the Hall of Fame this year was Nellie Mighels Davis, the first woman to cover the Nevada Legislature. She covered the Assembly in 1877 and 1879.

When her husband, Henry Rust Mighels, owner of the Nevada Morning Appeal, died, she took over as owner and publisher. In 1899, she organized the Red Cross in Nevada and became its first state president.

She died in 1945 at 101.

Cory Farley, a longtime writer for the Reno Gazette-Journal, was also inducted this year. He retired from the newspaper in 2007. He occasionally writes opinion pieces for the Gazette-Journal.

Longtime Northern Nevada journalist Dennis Myers was inducted into the Hall of Fame as well. Myers, who died last year at age 70, was for the last 15 years of his life an award-winning reporter and editor for the now-closed alternative weekly Reno News & Review, which shuttered in March because of coronavirus-related advertising declines. He was also a Sparks Tribune staff writer, a contributing editor at Reno Magazine and a reporter for two Reno television stations.

Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame inductees traditionally are honored during the Nevada Press Association’s annual conference. This year’s gathering was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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