Craig Klugman · 2009

By 
Kerry Hubartt


In 2008, the publisher of the Journal Gazette in Fort Waynewas inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. Among this year’s inductees is the long-time editor of the same newspaper, Craig Klugman.

Klugman’s selection to the hall of fame goes beyond his role as editor of Fort Wayne’s daily morning newspaper, where he has been editor since 1982. He has made an impact on more than just the readers of his newspaper in northeast Indiana. Klugman has worked throughout his career to make journalism better, both in his community and throughout Indiana— for readers and journalists alike.

Born May 11, 1945, in Fargo, North Dakota, Klugman is a 1967 graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in journalism and political science.

He was assistant managing editor/features for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1976-1978. He served as assistant professor of journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern Universityin Evanston, Ill., from 1978-1979. He then served as director of undergraduate studies at Medill from 1979 through 1982.

Klugman’s commitment to improving journalism and creating good journalists in Indianahas been evident throughout his career. He served for many years on the Indiana University Publications Board and has been active in the American Society of Newspaper Editors, where he chaired the Freedom of Information, International and Content committees. He served one year as editor of the society’s magazine.

His hall of fame nomination biography notes that Klugman helped create and coordinate a unique, seven-newspaper investigation into abuses of Indiana’s public access laws in 1998. The resulting series of articles, “The State of Secrecy,” ran simultaneously in all seven newspapers and provided the impetus for further review of compliance with the public’s right to know laws, culminating in the creation of the IndianaPublic Access Counselor’s office. Newspapers in more than 20 states have since emulated this type of investigation.

In 2000 Klugman received the Distinguished Service Award of the HoosierStatePress Association in recognition of more than 20 years’ service on several HSPA committees, including the Newsroom Seminar and Freedom of Information committees.

In 2001 he served as a member of a distinguished panel of journalists, public officials and citizens taking part in a FranklinCollegesymposium on accuracy in media, called, “Getting it Right.”

Klugman was awarded the Hoosier Intellectual Freedom Award from the Indiana Library Federation in 2004 for exemplifying the spirit of intellectual freedom and challenges to censorship for his free press, freedom of information work.

Klugman was meant to be a newspaperman. “In my life, about the only thing that came easily to me was newspaper journalism,” Klugman said in reflecting on his career. “Athletics, schoolwork and music — all required a lot of practice or study, and I was at best adequate. But newspapers? I don’t know what I would have done without them. I love the deadlines, the complexity of the business, and — most of all — the people newspapers attract. My closest friends are in newspapers. So what have newspapers meant to me? My life, probably.”

It is a life that includes his wife, Julie, and their two children, Josh, 32, and Carrie, 29.

In a letter nominating Klugman to the hall of fame, Jack Pate, president of the HSPA board of directors and publisher of the Evansville Courier & Press, wrote: “Throughout his long career, Klugman has demonstrated the traits that both endear him to those who work with him and impress those who see the result of his journalistic efforts. He is a stickler for accuracy, fairness, thoroughness and truth. He has positively influenced the careers of countless young journalists.”

Pate wrote that Klugman “has been a constant, firm voice extolling the need for Indiananewspapers to hold true to their role as watchdogs of the government while maintaining high standards of integrity and professionalism.”

Inskeep, his boss, also contributed comments to his nomination for a place in the hall of fame, writing that he has been a strong advocate for the public’s right to know and that he “adheres to the highest standards of professional journalism and to old-fashioned hard work.” She pointed out that he has stayed at theJournal Gazette for so long because, he says, “This is what I was meant to do.” She adds that she thinks it also has to do with the fact that Fort Wayne is a place where he feels he can make a difference in advocating the public’s right to know, in teaching and mentoring staff members, and in learning to embrace the technology taking journalism into new and sometimes uncharted territory.

Inskeep’s father, Richard G. Inskeep, is the former publisher and current president of the Journal Gazette. He was inducted into the hall of fame in 1991. In his contribution to an impressive portfolio of letters nominating Klugman, he wrote, “Most impressive is how much he is his own man, taking issue on viewpoints, debating policy, asking questions.”

Klugman said, “An editor cannot have a hall of fame career without the support of a publisher, and I’ve had the benefit of two great publishers: Richard Inskeep and Julie Inskeep, both hall of famers themselves. For example, they’ve backed us in our FOI efforts. But more important, they do more than support. They believe in the causes that are important to editors and reporters.”

Former Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke, now the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., wrote in his nominating letter: “As I continue to deal with journalists in my position, I look at Craig Klugman as one of the best examples of what good journalism is all about and how newspapers can play a role in educating, prodding, cajoling and leading a community to be a place where the public makes informed and thought-out decisions for the benefit of all.”

Paul Stevens, vice president of newspaper and new media markets for the Associated Press, wrote that Klugman is “an editor’s editor. He takes great pride in helping develop journalists’ careers — and the ‘graduates’ of‘The KlugmanSchoolof Journalism’ at Fort Wayneare making their mark throughout the country.”

Mary Jacobus, the former publisher of Fort Wayne’s competing newspaper, The News-Sentinel, was also president of Fort Wayne Newspapers, the controlling agent in the joint operating agreement in which the two competitive newspapers share offices, advertising support and a new printing press. While fiercely competitive, she wrote, Klugman “believes, correctly, that the community benefits from two independent, strong news organizations competing to get the story, get it right and get it first.”

And that harks back to Julie Inskeep’s letter of recommendation in which she wrote of Klugman’s long tenure in Fort Wayne: “I think he stays because there are darn few towns with the competition and complexity that a joint operating agreement provides.” By Kerry Hubartt 
Editor, The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne

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