Six new members of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame will be inducted into the organization at a ceremony April 27 at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The new members, honored for their distinguished careers in newspaper or broadcast journalism or journalism education, include:
The late Joe Aaron, a longtime reporter and columnist for the Evansville Courier. Aaron joined the Courier in 1955 after working for newspapers in New Mexico, Montana and Virginia. He began writing a five-days-a-week column for the Courier in 1957, continuing until he died of a heart attack in 1986 at age 57. Aaron won a National Headliner Club Award for best local interest column, but the greatest tribute to his appeal might be that the Evansville Courier & Press continues republishing his columns in its Sunday editions 26 years after his death.
Melissa Farlow, a native of Paoli, Ind., an award-winning photojournalist for National Geographic and several newspapers. She graduated from Indiana University in 1974, after which she became a photographer for the (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal. Her work chronicling riots over court-ordered school desegregation helped the Courier-Journal win the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. She later worked for the Pittsburgh Press before joining National Geographic, for which she has gone on assignments around the globe. She has also been an instructor with the Missouri Photo Workshop for more than 25 years.
The late Jerry Lyst, who was The Indianapolis Star’s editorial page editor for nearly half his 45 years with the newspaper. Lyst grew up in Indianapolis and joined The Star as a police reporter in 1955 after attending Indiana University. He won numerous awards for his work as a Statehouse reporter, financial reporter, columnist and business editor before overseeing the opinion pages from 1979 until his retirement in 2000. His work during that time included a 1990 trip to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to explore the changes happening after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Lyst also was a past president of the Indianapolis Press Club and its foundation, and a member of the Indiana University School of Journalism alumni board. He died in 2009.
The late Lowell Mellett, an Elwood native who was a newspaper executive in Washington before becoming a top aide to President Franklin Roosevelt. Mellett’s journalism career started at age 16 when the The Muncie Star sent him to cover the 1900 Democratic National Convention. He worked at several newspapers around the country and overseas during World War I before becoming editor of Collier’s Weekly and, later, editor of the Washington Daily News in the 1930s. He held several posts in the Roosevelt administration before leaving government in 1944 to start writing what became a nationally syndicated newspaper column that continued until his retirement in 1956. He died in 1960.
Jack Ronald, the longtime publisher of Portland’s Commercial Review who has made numerous trips to former Soviet republics to advocate an independent and free press. Ronald has worked at the Commercial Review since 1974, first as city editor, then editor, before becoming its publisher in 1982. His influence has extended far beyond his small-town daily newspaper as he has joined journalism training trips to countries such as Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Myanmar. He's been blacklisted in some of those countries because of that work.
Paul Tash, a South Bend native who has been editor, CEO and chairman of the Tampa Bay Times and chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Poynter Institute. Tash joined what was then the St. Petersburg Times in 1978 and worked in several reporting and editing roles before rising to its top ranks. Under his leadership, the Times has become Florida’s largest newspaper and won several Pulitzer Prizes. One of those was awarded in 2009 to the newspaper’s PolitiFact.com initiative for fact-checking the statements and promises of politicians. That was the first time a primarily online effort was so honored.
“The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame grows stronger and becomes more significant each year because of the caliber of the people chosen for the 2013 class,” said hall of fame president Ray Moscowitz. “The board of directors deserves a lot of credit for the time and effort it took in selecting these six outstanding people to join the ranks of the IJHF.”
The hall also will honor the Woman's Press Club of Indiana, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It was founded at the Ayres Tea Room in Indianpolis in 1913. Several of its members are also in the hall of fame.
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. It is housed at Indiana University’s School of Journalism.
Attend the induction banquet April 27 at the Tudor Room, Indiana Memorial Union, Bloomington. Tickets are $40 and may be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about previous inductees by browsing the list at left.