This story was posted on Sept. 19, 2016.
Five journalists with lengthy careers in service to journalism were inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in a ceremony Saturday at the Columbia Club in Indianapoiis.
The inductees, selected by the board of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, included four newspaper journalists and a journalism educator. The hall also awarded its prize for service to journalism.
Tom Bannon accepted the nomination on behalf of his father, the late Jim Bannon, who died in 1998. Bannon was editor of the (Anderson) Herald-Bulletin and assistant publisher and director of communications of Anderson Newspapers. He became known as “Mr. Anderson” because of his tireless advocacy for the town, which placed a bust of him in a plaza bearing his name.
Tom Bannon said even though it’s been 18 years since his father died, not a week goes by without someone asking about him.
One thing that frustrated his dad, the younger Bannon said, was when people would say his dad never said a bad word.
“He did upset people, but he always did it fairly,” Tom Bannon said. “Yes, he was a cheerleader. Yes, he was an advocate. But he would tell you what he was most proud of was being a journalist.”
Ed Breen, former managing editor of The Chronicle-Tribune in Marion and a former assistant managing editor of The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, said when news of his IJHF induction spread, he received congratulatory notes from friends and colleagues, including a woman who once worked for him as a young reporter.
“‘Ed was the one who taught me how to tell stories,’” Breen said the woman wrote. “If that doesn’t make 50 years of working in newspapers worthwhile, I don’t know what would.”
Breen, who spent his career in Indiana while sharing his expertise around the country as a speaker, competition jurist and mentor, said a quote from author William Faulkner sums up how he feels about working as a journalist in the Hoosier state: “I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it.”
“You have no idea how much this means to me today,” he said of the induction into the hall of fame.
Diana Hadley, executive director of the Indiana High School Press Association and a faculty member at Franklin College, called her induction “beyond my imagination.”
Before joining IHSPA, Hadley taught journalism at Mooresville High School for more than 30 years. An English major with one three-credit course in journalism under her belt, Hadley was thrown in at the deep end at Mooresville, but soon found the school newspaper to be “the best teaching tool I had.”
Hadley earned a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University in 1980. She created the First Amendment Symposium that draws together high school journalists and the Indiana legislature in the Capitol rotunda each spring.
“I believe even more strongly that journalism is a hands-on opportunity for teaching students to think critically, write clearly and adapt to new technology as they go,” she said.
John Norberg, who was an investigative reporter and columnist for the Lafayette Journal and Courier for 42 years and spent 13 years on staff at Purdue University, said he started writing in grade school and pursued a journalism career as soon as he graduated from DePauw University
Norberg’s column, which he continued to write at Purdue until his retirement in 2014, chronicled his personal life with his wife, Jeanne, and their family. His reporting included an award-winning series about poverty in Haiti and several one-on-one interviews with Neil Armstrong, one of his personal heroes.
“What an honor for people to tell you about themselves so you can tell everyone else,” he said.
Norberg, author of several books, continues to write for Time, Emergency Magazine and the Smithsonian Institution.
“I’m still writing, and I always will,” he said.
Bill Schrader, former editor and associate publisher of the (Bloomington) Herald-Times and a former editor and general manager of the (Bedford) Times-Mail, said his journalism career dated back to his sophomore year in high school and spanned 72 years.
He didn’t do well as an athlete, he said, so he turned to covering sports for his high school newspaper. Within short order, his high school column began to appear in the Tuscola (Illinois) Journal weekly newspaper, which had no sports reporter on staff. He was paid 5 cents per column inch.
“One thing that taught me was to have through coverage of any event,” he said.
That job also exposed him to newspaper production, including the she
et press, linotype, and “pouring the pigs.”
Schrader thanked former Herald-Times and Times-Mail publisher Scott Schurz, for whom he worked for 29 years.
“He firmly believed in the bottom line, but not at the expense of news,” he said of Schurz, who attended the ceremony.
Former state legislator Steve Moberly received the John P. McMeel Distinguished Service Award during the same ceremony for his work in introducing Indiana’s Open Door law and other legislation the bolstered the free flow of information.
The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame was established by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 1966 to recognize and honor Hoosier journalists who have significantly contributed to the profession. The hall now is housed at Indiana University’s Media School, which partners with the hall for the annual induction ceremony.