Seven journalists have been selected as the 50th anniversary group of inductees into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.
Among the 2015 inductees is John Rumbach, editor and co-publisher of The Herald in Jasper, Indiana, and member of the HSPA Foundation Board of Directors.
“You don’t have to spend much time reading the biographies of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame members to understand what a tremendous honor it is to have been chosen for it,” Rumbach said. “I’m humbled and appreciative.”
Rumbach was selected in part for leading The Herald to the forefront of newspaper photography.
Throughout his career, Rumbach has believed that words and pictures together tell the best stories and provide the best reporting, he said.
“If you want to give your audience quality, visual journalists and editors must be on the same plane and be given the same respect as word journalists and editors,” he said. “That’s especially true today because news delivery platforms are more visual than ever.”
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1973, Rumbach returned home to be a reporter at The Herald. Four years later he succeeded his father as managing editor.
He soon became immersed in photography, as the paper didn’t then have a full-time photographer.
Rumbach has since mentored numerous photographers who’ve become nationally known for their work and won a lengthy list of state and national photography honors, including the
National Press Photographers Association’s Editor of the Year award.
Others to be inducted into the 2015 class of the Hall of Fame are:
• Bob Daugherty, who covered seven presidents during their White House terms as a photographer for The Associated Press. Daugherty got his start in high school as a photographer for his hometown Marion Chronicle-Tribune. He later had a 43-year career with the AP. His distinctive photographs include one of Richard Nixon, arms and fingers raised in a “V” for victory as he boards a helicopter upon his resignation as president.
• Tom French, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter. French grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from Indiana University in 1981. He then started a 27-year career at the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). He won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. In 2009, French turned to full-time teaching.
• Gene Slaymaker, a distinguished longtime Indianapolis radio and television reporter and newsroom leader. Slaymaker worked in radio and television in Ohio before joining WFBM radio and Channel 6 television in Indianapolis, becoming radio news editor in 1960. He produced many documentaries and talk shows for both radio and TV. He died in 2012.
• Lotys B. Stewart, a prolific writer as the fashion and home furnishings editor for The Indianapolis Star. A Butler University graduate, Stewart worked as a publicity director before becoming a women’s column writer for The Star in 1941. Stewart continued writing for The Star until shortly before her death in 1963 at age 55.
• Gary Varvel, Indiana’s premier editorial cartoonist during a more than 35-year career with The Indianapolis Star. Varvel’s work is now syndicated to more than 100 publications and his cartoons have been featured in numerous national newspapers, magazines and television shows.
• Cleve Wilhoit, who spent 36 years as an Indiana University journalism professor and researcher. Wilhoit joined the IU faculty in 1967 and became known as an inspirational teacher and mentor. Wilhoit co-wrote three books published a decade apart beginning in 1986 on the state and status of journalism and journalists around the United States.
The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame 50th anniversary induction ceremony will be held Oct. 24 at Indiana University. For information on attending, visit
www.indianajournalismhof.org or call (812) 856-9898.