The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame welcomes nominations for new members. Below are the criteria and processes to assist you in making a nomination to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame or for the organization’s John P. McMeel Distinguished Service to Journalism Award.

Rules for nomination and induction

The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame was established in 1966 by the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It is administered by a 17-member board of directors that includes individuals associated with journalism and representatives of SPJ campus and professional chapters throughout the state.

The process of nominating a person for enshrinement in the hall of fame may start at any time of year. But for a nominee to be considered for induction each spring, his or her nomination must be received via e-mail or postal mail by midnight the previous Oct. 31.

  1. Nominees should be selected from the entire period of Indiana journalism history.
  2. Nominees should have a significant connection to Indiana and have been active in journalism for several years.

For these purposes, journalism is defined as including the direction of the editorial policy of, the editing of, or the preparation of, news and editorial content of newspapers, magazines, press or syndicated services, professional or business publications, radio or television; or, the teaching of journalism so defined. The definition is both broad — in the numbers of persons who qualify under it — and narrow, to make it clear that nominees should have been dedicated to the principle of professionalism and to the purely editorial function of the profession.

The board has determined that although some individuals may, as a part of their jobs, write or produce news or other public information, the following are not eligible for nomination to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame:

  • All types of public relations and house-organ personnel and information and press-relations personnel employed by government at any level or by corporations, public relations or advertising agencies, colleges or universities, non-profit corporations or foundations, or financial institutions.
  • Promotion managers employed by an institution or company, including newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations.
  • Government officials and members of the armed services, with the exception of members of the editorial staff of Stars and Stripes.
  • Publications and electronic entities.

Questions regarding nomination may be directed to the executive director.

How to nominate a journalist

The hall does not have an official nominating form. Instead, those wishing to nominate someone must submit letters of nomination and examples of the nominee’s work, such as articles, books and electronic productions. All the material will become a part of the permanent hall of fame collection at Indiana University.

To nominate, submit a nominating letter that includes:

  • Nominee name
  • What is the nominee’s Indiana connection(s)?
  • Is the nominee living or deceased (if deceased, the year, if known)?
  • Nominee’s current and/or past employment
  • Highlights of the nominee’s career, including awards received
  • Nominee’s contributions to journalism
  • Nominee’s contributions to society
  • Nominator’s name
  • Nominator’s telephone number, mail address and e-mail address

The IJHF strongly recommends that at least two seconding letters and examples of the nominee’s work be included as part of the nomination. Also, include archives representing the nominee’s career, such as scanned images of clippings, scanned photographs or other supporting material.

Submit these letters, work samples and supporting materials to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame by midnight Oct. 31 at or to IJHF, P.O. Box 785, Bloomington, IN 47402.

The board encourages submission by email for ease in dissemination to the committee and full board, but Indiana University Media School representatives will scan nomination forms, seconding letters and a limited number of supporting documents for the IJHF nominating committee. All other documents presented will be available to the committee and the full IJHF Board at its respective meetings.

How IJHF selects inductees

The IJHF board of directors reviews the complete nomination materials by mid-October. Each member selects his or her 12 leading candidates for nomination and forwards the choices to the executive director for tallying.

The 12 leading nominations are reviewed by the full board of directors along with any supplemental material at a meeting in Indianapolis by late November. The new class of inductees are selected and notified immediately of the plans for their May induction into the hall of fame.


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