HSPA hires Amelia McClure as future executive director, general counsel

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The Hoosier State Press Association has hired Amelia Dieter McClure as government relations counsel. She will work with executive director and general counsel Stephen Key to forward HSPA’s legislative agenda during the 2022 General Assembly and assume the position of executive director upon his retirement.

Key, who announced his retirement earlier this year, will mentor McClure as his successor through May of 2022. McClure will then lead the association as the Indiana newspaper industry continues to adapt to Hoosiers’ news consumption needs.

McClure comes to HSPA from Indiana University where she has served as assistant director for government relations and compliance for the last two and a half years. Prior to her time at IU, she was manager of government relations for Hosparus Health and a practicing attorney. She lobbied the state legislature on behalf of the university and Hosparus Health, successfully shepherding a bill allowing Indiana to join an interstate nursing compact through its passage in 2019.

McClure was born with ink in her veins. Her mother, Mary Dieter, was a statehouse reporter for the Louisville Courier Journal for many years.

McClure’s father Tim brought the HSPA opening to her attention, which she recognized as the leadership position she coveted.

I am thrilled to join the Hoosier State Press Association to vigorously advocate for newspapers across Indiana. I am deeply committed to the fourth estate and believe local journalism is vital to the health of our democracy.

Amelia McClure

“I am thrilled to join the Hoosier State Press Association to vigorously advocate for newspapers across Indiana. I am deeply committed to the fourth estate and believe local journalism is vital to the health of our democracy,” McClure said.

The new position with HSPA isn’t the only recent life news for McClure. She and her husband Mark Dunbar, a freelance writer who recently completed his first novel, welcomed baby Charlotte four months ago. The family shares its home with pets including two cats named after Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

The Hoosier State Press Association Board of Directors selected McClure to lead the association after an extensive search that included more than 50 candidates.

“We are excited to have Amelia join our team and to continue the legacy of the HSPA moving forward,” said Larry Hensley, HSPA Board president and general manager with Gannett newspapers. “Her vision and desire to lead our organization will provide our members the resources to succeed in the future, and her commitment to protect our rights will endear her to all journalists in the state.”

One of the first things on the agenda for McClure is working on the state’s public notice law.

“We have a bill that addresses modernizing public notice in Indiana. That’s going to be our big focus this session and my big focus initially,” McClure said.

Key looks forward to working with McClure as HSPA attempts to pass that legislation.

“I hope to pass on information that will help her as HSPA’s future executive director, but also expect to learn from her during the 2022 session,” Key said. “I believe Amelia will become a great voice and leader for the state’s journalistic community.”

Key will be in the Statehouse this January lobbying on behalf of newspapers for his 29th legislative session. He spent 13 years working as a reporter, editor or general manager before earning his law degree from Indiana University’s law school in Indianapolis. His bachelor’s degree was in journalism from Butler University.

“While we are sad to see Steve retire, we want to thank him for his years of dedication to not only HSPA and its member newspapers, but to the First Amendment and Indiana’s right of free speech,” Hensley said.

Coming into her new role, McClure said she will be working to meet the people at HSPA’s 142-member newspapers.

“I just want to talk to everyone. My plan is to Zoom with as many publishers as I can and then start meeting them, doing the drives and going out and seeing the newspapers and the towns that they’re in,” McClure said. “I really just want to get to know my members and what their thoughts are and start shaping a portfolio that’s based on their immediate needs.”

McClure said she wanted to express her enthusiasm for and dedication to the job Indiana newspapers are doing.

“They are soldiers on the front line fighting the good fight for our democracy,” McClure said.

“I’m extremely excited to be able to zealously advocate for the people that are doing the work and making sure that they continue to be able to do so in Indiana.”

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