The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame has selected five people to be inducted in a ceremony on April 28 in recognition of their distinguished careers in newspaper or broadcast journalism or journalism education.
The Hall of Fame also during that ceremony will present its first Distinguished Service Award in recognition of an individual who has made outstanding career contributions in support of Indiana journalism.
“After the winnowing process, which consumes several hours of each board member’s time, the board met for almost three hours,” board president Ray Moscowitz said of the selection process. “As in the past, the five new inductees were chosen from 12 finalists. The board also voted to present the first Distinguished Service Award to a most-deserving recipient.
“As in past years, I am tremendously proud of the board’s dedication and hard work in selecting people who will add prestige to the IJHF,” he added.
Those to be inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ceremony at Indiana University are:
- The late Mark Ferree, a longtime senior executive of the Scripps-Howard newspaper company who was a national free press advocate as president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1960-62. Ferree grew up in Marion, Ind., and was a writer for the Marion Chronicle before he attended Indiana University in the early 1920s. His career included stints as a reporter for the Evansville Courier, advertising director for the Indianapolis Times and vice president of the Richmond Palladium-Item.
- Skip Hess, who spearheaded numerous prominent investigative projects during more than 30 years as a reporter for the Indianapolis News and Indianapolis Star. His work included exposing inhumane treatment of mentally ill patients at state hospitals that led to state reforms in the 1970s, and disclosure of misuse of taxpayer money after which the state schools superintendent was convicted of official misconduct and the secretary of state repaid thousands of dollars. Hess worked at the Kokomo Morning Times and the Wabash Plain Dealer before going to Indianapolis. He has continued writing an outdoors column for the Star since retiring as a reporter in 1999.
- Steve Kroft, a native of Kokomo, Ind., who has been a correspondent for CBS’ 60 Minutes for more than two decades. He has won numerous national awards for stories such as the vulnerability of the nation’s power grid to computer hackers and the conflict of interests between military contractors and the government in the awarding of contracts. He was a Stars and Stripes correspondent in Vietnam before starting his broadcast journalism career and joining CBS News in 1981.
- The late Kate Milner Rabb, an author, historian and pioneering newspaper columnist. Rabb was a Rockport, Ind., native who wrote columns devoted to the state’s history for The Indianapolis Star from 1920 until 1937 — a time when few women had such opportunities. She was president of the Woman’s Press Club of Indiana in 1929-31, and a residence hall at her alma mater Indiana University was named in her honor in 1961.
- David Weaver, an Indiana University professor whose research on working journalists and on agenda setting in media have gained notoriety. Weaver joined the journalism faculty at IU in 1974 after earlier earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university. He has written or co-written several books, three focusing on data about journalists he helped gather, published in 1986, 1996 and 2007, and others focusing on agenda setting.
Walt Tabak will receive the hall of fame’s first Distinguished Service Award. Tabak spent 25 years providing technical support to Indiana newspapers and broadcast stations that receive The Associated Press. He is credited with helping steer many of the state’s newsrooms through technical changes that saw the delivery of wire stories and photos go from the teletype days to satellite transmission.
The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame was established in 1966 to recognize and honor journalists who have significantly contributed to the profession through their careers and communities.
Housed at Indiana University’s School of Journalism, the Hall of Fame conducts its induction ceremony at the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington. Tickets for the luncheon ceremony are $40. For more information, email the Hall of Fame at email@example.com.