This story was posted on March 12, 2019.
An inspiring Indiana University lecturer who wanted to give her students real-world magazine experiences, a broadcaster dubbed the Walter Cronkite of Fort Wayne, a woman who challenged the old boys’ sports reporting network then took on the San Francisco Archdiocese, the author of a Mike Pence biography, and a columnist who rallied the community around the plight of urban schools are among the 2019 inductees to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.
Indiana University lecturer and Indianapolis Star deputy managing editor Nancy Comiskey, Fort Wayne television broadcaster Richard Florea, reporter/editorial page editor and author Andrea Neal, San Francisco and Terre Haute columnist Stephanie Salter, and Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully will be honored in the ceremony May 18 at the Marriott North at Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis.
Meet the 2019 inductees:
Nancy Comiskey became the first woman managing editor of The Indianapolis News in 1992 and served as deputy managing editor of The Indianapolis Star when the papers merged. She moved seamlessly into the classroom at Indiana University, where she taught nearly 1,000 students. She oversaw the launch of the award-winning “812:The Magazine of Southern Indiana” and many students credit her for their careers today. While teaching, she continued to do freelance writing. Her Story “Dear Kate,” about the death of her daughter was chosen as essay of the year by Longreads and later republished by Reader’s Digest in 11 languages. Longreads Editor Mark Armstrong wrote, “It is certainly the most moving piece of writing I read all year.”
Richard Florea was “unflappable in chaos and unmovable about getting all the facts straight,” as he served 48 years in broadcasting, according to former Indianapolis television news producer Lyn Letsinger-Miller. Florea served as news director at WKJG-TV (now WISE) in Fort Wayne, where he was the anchor for 17 years and host of “Editor’s Desk” and “Our Town,” both focused on community issues and people who made the Fort Wayne area a better place. Florea began his career at WMRI radio while still a high school student in Marion, broadcast and edited news at WBAA at Purdue University and was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2015.
Andrea Neal, an Indianapolis area native who graduated from Brown University, covered the Supreme Court for UPI and later brought a diversity of voices to the Indianapolis Star editorial page. Currently a teacher at St. Richards Episcopal School in Indianapolis, she continues writing and published “Road Trip: A Pocket History of Indiana” in 2016. Neal’s 2018 biography, “Pence:The Path to Power,” traces the Vice President’s rise from his Columbus boyhood to second-in-command of the United States. One reviewer called it “as close as we will get to [Pence’s] view of his climb until he writes his own memoirs.”
Stephanie Salter started her career fighting for parity for women sports reporters at Purdue and then Sports Illustrated. She was kicked out of a New York Baseball Writers Association “stag dinner,” yet ultimately became a card-carrying member of the national BBWAA while working at the San Francisco Examiner. After a switch to news side – and long before the Boston Globe’s investigation of sexual abuses by priests – she was part of an award-winning investigative team that exposed financial fraud and sex abuse in the San Francisco Archdiocese. Finishing her career as a Tribune-Star columnist in her native Terre Haute, Salter “was as much an artist as a journalist as she painted with ink on a newspaper palette,” said former boss Susan Duncan, now regional editor for the Community Newspaper Holdings in Jeffersonville.
Matthew Tully was raised in Gary and Portage, graduated from Indiana University, began his career as a reporter for the Gary Post-Tribune and later wrote for the Congressional Quarterly. After joining the Indianapolis Star, first as a political reporter and general columnist, he turned his attention to the community’s needs. Tully’s series of more than 30 columns, The Manual Project, revealed the challenges faced by educators and students in urban schools. The series inspired readers to open their hearts and their checkbooks and volunteer to help at those schools. Tully, who died of cancer at 49 in October, was described by Purdue President and former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels as, “a thorough, tireless, away from the desk journalist, even as technology and market pressures were endangering that valuable species.”
Established in 1966, the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame honors media professionals with Indiana ties in its annual induction ceremony. It is a partner of the Indiana University Media School, which houses its archives and materials. The Hall strives to preserve the history and stories of journalism in Indiana.
Attend the luncheon
The luncheon begins with a 10:30 a.m. reception May 18 at the Marriott North at Keystone Crossing in Indianapolis, followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. and program at 12:30 p.m.
Tickets are $50 each, $25 for children 12 and younger. Contact Lawrence Taylor, IJHF@indiana.edu, to purchase tickets, make recognition or memorial tributes, and donations. Deadline for donations and tributes in the program is April 30th and the deadline to purchase banquet tickets is May 10.