Hall of Fame inducts five new members

This story was posted on May 2, 2011.

See a slideshow of the 2011 ceremony:

The late Jack E. Backer, J. Bruce Baumann, William Nangle, the late Clay Trusty Jr. and the late Charles Werner joined more than 200 journalists across two centuries to be inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in a ceremony April 30 at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus.

Family and colleagues of each of the five talked about the merits of the new members, and Baumann and Nangle also addressed the audience of about 120 people from around the state.

  • Children and grandchildren of Jack Backer spoke about his work and legacy. As Indiana Daily Student publisher in the 1960s and early 70s, Backer guided the student newspaper’s transition from a school-controlled classroom lab to a fully independent news organization paying its own way and dealing with decision-making issues as would any newspaper.
  • J. Bruce Baumann, retired editor of the Evansville Courier and Press who led the newspaper to two Hoosier State Press Association Blue Ribbon awards during his nine years of leadership, thanked the many people who had influenced his long career — including a few who had fired him. He worked as a photographer, newspaper designer, assistant managing editor and editor, and is a four-time Picture Editor of the Year and three-time Photographer of the Year recipient.
  • Bill Nangle, who leads The Times of Northwest Indiana, also spearheaded the State of Secrecy project to uncover abuses of the state’s freedom of public information process, which led to reforms. He recounted the challenges and rewards of operating a large media organization over three decades.
  • The family of Clay Trusty Jr., including daughter Karen Braeckel of Hoosier State Press Association, remembered his dedication to newspapering. David Mannweiler, who worked with Trusty at the Indianapolis News, and Mayer Maloney, who was one of Trusty's high school interns, recounted their mentor's dedication to working with young people to ensure that Indiana newspapers retained state talent. During his long career with the Indianapolis News, Trusty initiated the Indiana Plan to do just that.
  • Board member Ernie Wilkinson recalled working with editorial cartoonist Charles G. Werner at the Indianapolis Star. As a college journalist in Terre Haute, Wilkinson once was physically tossed out of a meeting, a scene Werner depicted in an editorial cartoon. A Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for five decades, Werner also won the 1951 National Headliners Club award and eight Freedom Foundation awards.

The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, founded in 1966, now includes more than 200 members. It is housed at the Indiana University School of Journalism’s Ernie Pyle Hall.

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