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IU School of Journalism

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Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2012

IU School of Journalism to induct its second class of Distinguished Alumni

Aug. 9, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Journalism will honor its second class of alumni journalists, educators and communications professionals with Distinguished Alumni Awards in a ceremony Saturday, Sept. 22.

The group includes alumni who have run the nation's major newspapers and news bureaus around the world; a former student newspaper editor who rose to become governor of Indiana; a photojournalist whose work has graced the pages of National Geographic magazine; a pioneering African-American journalist, author and educator; and an educator who advanced journalism research developing a major theory in mass communication.

"Our Distinguished Alumni represent some of the most innovative, visionary and influential media professionals and scholars in the world. We are honored to count them among our own," said Interim Journalism Dean Michael Evans. "We are confident that their impact will be felt for decades and even centuries to come."

Being honored are E. Ross Bartley, '16, former White House correspondent for The Associated Press and former IU director of university relations; Frank Bourgholtzer, B.A., '40, a former NBC News correspondent; Melissa Farlow, B.A., '74, a freelance photojournalist and National Geographic photographic contributor; Earleen Fisher, B.A., '68, former chief of AP bureaus in New Delhi, Cairo and elsewhere in the Middle East; and Timothy A. Franklin, B.S., '83, managing editor of Bloomberg News' Washington Bureau.

Also being honored are George N. Gill, B.A.,'57, and L.H.D., '94, former publisher of The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal; Gerould W. Kern, B.A., '71, senior vice president and editor of the Chicago Tribune; Paul V. McNutt, B.A., '13, former Indiana governor and ambassador to the Philippines; David H. Weaver, B.A., '68, and M.A., '69, the Roy W. Howard and Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the IU School of Journalism; and Samuel F. Yette, M.A., '59, former Washington correspondent for Newsweek magazine and a Howard University journalism professor.

More information about the ceremony, including how to register to attend, is available at Below is more biographical information about those being honored.

E. Ross Bartley

Bartley, E.Ross

E. Ross Bartley

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Bartley's career took him to Washington, D.C., and beyond before he came full circle, ending his career as IU's director of university relations. Along the way, he worked as a White House correspondent, secretary to a U.S. vice president and press secretary to a presidential candidate.

Born in 1892 in Brookston, Ind., Bartley majored in political science and journalism at IU and worked on the Indiana Daily Student. His journalism skills earned him jobs on newspapers in Indiana and Ohio. In 1916, he was hired by the AP, first in Pittsburgh and then in Washington, D.C., as an editor and correspondent to the U.S. Senate and to the White House, where he covered the Wilson, Harding and Coolidge administrations.

In 1925, Bartley was assigned to cover Gen. Charles G. Dawes, the Republican candidate for vice president. After Dawes won, Bartley became his secretary; when Dawes' term was over, Bartley returned with him to Evanston, Ill. He worked for a brokerage firm before being appointed director of publicity for the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933-34.

In 1936, presidential candidate Alf Landon, governor of Kansas, hired Bartley as his press representative. Landon lost to Franklin Roosevelt, and Bartley went back to the corporate world. Two years later, newly appointed IU President Herman B Wells hired Bartley as head of the IU News Bureau. He later became director of university relations. He retired in 1962 but continued his work for the university at the IU Foundation. He died in 1969.

Frank Bourgholtzer


Frank Bourgholtzer

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Bourgholtzer, NBC News' first full-time White House correspondent and a bureau chief in several European capitals, began his career with the network in 1946 and continued filing stories until his retirement in 1986.

At IU, Bourgholtzer majored in government, with minors in journalism and economics, but he spent much of his time at the IDS. With that experience under his belt, he worked for four Indiana newspapers before moving back to his native New York in 1941 as a freelance writer. There, he wrote scripts for Captain Marvel and Captain Midnight comic books until the Wall Street Journal hired him as a reporter in 1943. In 1945, the Journal named him a Capitol Hill correspondent.

His broadcast career began in 1946, when he joined NBC as a radio news writer. A year later, he became White House correspondent for the network, covering the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. In 1953, NBC News assigned Bourgholtzer to Paris as a foreign correspondent. He spent much of the rest of his career overseas, heading NBC's bureaus in Paris, Bonn, Vienna and Moscow, and reporting from both Eastern and Western Europe during the height of the Cold War.

In 1965, he won the Overseas Press Club Award for foreign TV reporting for his reports on the war in Yemen, and in 1969 he was nominated for an Emmy for his coverage of the rising Soviet naval strength in the Mediterranean. He returned to IU that same year as the Ernie Pyle Lecturer. He retired from NBC in 1986 but continued to do special news assignments, mostly related to the Soviet Union. He died in 2010.

Melissa Farlow

Farlow, Melissa

Melissa Farlow

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Farlow has contributed to National Geographic publications for almost 20 years, traveling around the globe to capture images from Alaska to the Austrian Alps.

Farlow began her career in 1974 at The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times. Two years later, she won a Pulitzer Prize for a team project that documented the desegregation of Louisville schools. She also was a staff photographer at The Pittsburgh Press before becoming a freelance photojournalist.

Much of Farlow's work for National Geographic has taken place in the United States, where she has captured images of racehorses in Kentucky and mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia. Many of her photographs have been published in National Geographic books. She worked in three African countries for "Women in the Material World"; in Central and South America for a book on the Pan American Highway; and, most recently, throughout the western United States for a book called "Wildlands of the West."

Farlow and her husband, National Geographic photographer Randy Olson, supplement their editorial work with campaigns for national corporate and nonprofit clients including Audi, Toyota, the Ford Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. Farlow has a master's degree from Missouri University School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo. For almost 20 years, she has served on the faculty of The Missouri Photo Workshop. She has won numerous awards for her work, including several honors in the Pictures of the Year International competition, sponsored by the Missouri School of Journalism's Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Earleen Fisher


Earleen Fisher

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In more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and bureau chief with the AP, Fisher covered major stories in some of the world's most volatile political regions, interviewing subjects such as former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the Dalai Lama.

Fisher grew up in Milford in northeast Indiana and began reporting for The Milford Mail as a sophomore in high school. At IU, she worked for the IDS, serving as managing editor her senior year. AP hired her as a part-time reporter in its Indianapolis bureau that spring and gave her a full-time job after graduation. She transferred to AP's New York office in 1971 to work on the U.S. news report.

In 1977, Fisher moved to Cairo as a freelance writer, stringing for AP, The New York Times and Voice of America. She covered the rise of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

She rejoined the AP in 1980, working in Beirut and Tel Aviv. In 1985, she returned to New York, supervising the foreign news report. In 1987, AP appointed her bureau chief in New Delhi, and in 1992, she became chief of Middle East Services, based first in Cyprus and later in Cairo. She covered stories such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon; the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan; and the assassination of Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

After leaving the AP in 2004, Fisher taught at the American University in Cairo and worked in Beirut on a U.S.-funded media development program for the Middle East and North Africa. She retired to Milford in 2007.

Timothy A. Franklin

Tim Franklin

Timothy A. Franklin

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After years leading newspapers, Franklin helped launch the IU School of Journalism's National Sports Journalism Center on the Indianapolis campus, taking the project from idea stages to the debut of the nation's first program offering a master's degree in sports journalism.

As with many alumni, his first experience was at the IDS, where he excelled. In 1981, Franklin won the Society of Professional Journalists' Barney Kilgore Award as the top college journalism student in the nation.

After receiving his degree in journalism education in 1983, he joined the Chicago Tribune, first as a reporter, then as senior editor.

His first newspaper top job was as editor of The Indianapolis Star, which under his leadership won a national Polk Award. Next, he served as editor and vice president of the Orlando Sentinel, which won more than two dozen national journalism awards during his tenure, and the Baltimore Sun, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting in 2007.

In 2008, Franklin returned to campus as the Louis A. Weil Jr. Endowed Chair at the School of Journalism, teaching classes and serving as director of the new National Sports Journalism Center, which prepares students for sports journalism careers.

Franklin joined Bloomberg in 2011, where he now is managing editor of the new daily, Bloomberg Insider, which will provide extensive coverage of the 2012 elections.

George N. Gill

Gill, George

George N. Gill

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Gill started out as a copy editor at The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal and retired 33 years later as the paper's publisher. He was a reporter, city editor and managing editor before switching to the business side of the paper. His obituary in The Courier-Journal described his "gruff manner, sardonic wit and abiding passion for good journalism."

He became the paper's general manager and eventually president of all Bingham newspapers. When the Bingham family sold to Gannett in 1986, Gill guided the paper through the sale and was named publisher and president of The Courier-Journal. Under his leadership, the paper won six Pulitzer Prizes.

From his post at The Courier-Journal, Gill led economic development activities in Louisville, bringing together competing interests to improve the city's business climate.

While a student at IU, Gill served as editor of the IDS. He met his wife, Kay Baldwin, in the newsroom. She, too, was an IDS editor. He later served on the Student Media Board, which selects the newspaper's editor. In 1984, he was a recipient of IU's Distinguished Alumni Service Award. He received honorary doctorates from Spalding University and IU and was a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

After his retirement in 1993, Gill enjoyed working on Habitat for Humanity building crews. In 2008, he donated his papers from The Courier-Journal to the School of Journalism. He died in 2010.

Gerould W. Kern

Gerould Kern

Photo by Alex Garcia

Gerould W. Kern

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Kern is senior vice president and editor of the Chicago Tribune, a company he joined in 1991 and for which he has served in several roles, including associate managing editor for metro, deputy managing editor for features and associate editor.

Kern arrived at the Tribune after serving as managing editor and then executive editor of The Daily Herald, a Chicago suburban newspaper, which was one of the fastest-growing dailies in the United States. His first task at the Tribune was to improve suburban coverage.

In 1995, he was appointed deputy managing editor/features. During his tenure, the Tribune won many national journalism awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1999. He became the Tribune's associate editor in 2001 before assuming the corporate role of editorial director.

In response to newspaper industry turbulence, Kern oversaw reorganization of the news operation, including increasing investigative "watchdog" efforts and developing digital strategies. He was named vice president for editorial of the Tribune Co. in 2003, a position he still holds.

In April, Kern was named Illinois Journalist of the Year by faculty at Northern Illinois University, which awards the honor each year. In the NIU press release, Kern was lauded for his dedication to investigative reporting, his support of content sharing across 13 Tribune newsrooms, and his pursuit of new initiatives that reflect innovation amid a challenging climate for the newspaper industry.

Paul V. McNutt

McNutt, Paul

Paul V. McNutt

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As an IU undergraduate, Paul McNutt served as editor of The Indiana Student, forerunner of the IDS. His experiences at IU, along with a law degree from Harvard, launched him into a lifetime of leadership and public service roles. He served as dean of IU's law school (today the IU Maurer School of Law) before winning the Indiana governorship in 1932.

As governor, he reorganized state government, reworked the tax code and burnished his credentials to prepare a run at the presidency of the United States. He had strong popular support, but he stepped aside when Franklin Roosevelt declared his intention to run for a second term.

Roosevelt appointed McNutt high commissioner of the Philippines. He worked with Filipino leaders to persuade the U.S. State Department to allow Jews a legal path out of Europe, effectively rescuing thousands of Jews from the Holocaust.

Later, he spent six years as administrator of the Federal Security Administration, which managed many New Deal programs. From 1942 to 1945, he ran the War Manpower Commission. After the war, he was appointed the first U. S. ambassador to the Philippine Republic.

McNutt retired from public service to practice law in New York, Washington, D.C., and Manila. He was an officer for several life insurance companies and, in 1950, became chairman of the board of United Artists Corp. He died in 1955.

David H. Weaver

IU journalism Professor Emeritus David Weaver has been connected with IU nearly all of his academic life, yet acclaim for his work comes from across the globe.

After earning bachelor's and master's degrees from IU, Weaver received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of North Carolina. He joined the IU journalism faculty the same year. He soon gained acclaim for his research, especially in agenda setting, an exploration of media's effects on the public and the way a media agenda influences news sources, other news media and journalistic traditions.

Weaver is author of more than a dozen books, including the award-winning "American Journalists" series, which he initiated in the 1970s with his then-mentor, professor Cleve Wilhoit. Taking the pulse of journalists to gauge what they think about their jobs and their industry produced information no one else was collecting.

Collaborating with other professors at the school, he conducted subsequent surveys in 1982, 1992 and 2002. The most recent, "The Global Journalist in the 21st Century," was published this year.

Before his retirement in 2011, Weaver was the Roy W. Howard Professor. In 2009, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, an organization he had served as president. In 2010, IU named him Distinguished Professor, the first journalism faculty member to achieve this honor. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

Samuel F. Yette

Yette, Samuel

Samuel F. Yette

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Yette was an influential journalist, author and educator pushing for equality in the civil rights struggle. He was the first black White House correspondent for Newsweek magazine, was executive secretary of the Peace Corps and served as a journalism professor at Howard University.

A native of Tennessee, Yette graduated from Tennessee State University, where he helped found a student newspaper. After leaving Bloomington, Yette accompanied Life magazine photojournalist Gordon Parks on a tour of the south to document segregation.

While working for Newsweek, Yette wrote the 1971 landmark book, "The Choice: The Issue of Black Survival," which asserted that the federal government showed a pattern of repression against African-Americans that, left unaddressed, could lead to genocide. The book was used as a textbook in colleges across the country, and the Library Journal called it "an important book for both its viewpoint and its controversial thesis; most libraries will want to have it available on their current issues shelves."

Yette was fired from Newsweek shortly after the book's release, an action that resulted in a seven-year wrongful dismissal lawsuit. Anticipating the firing, Yette lined up a teaching job at Howard University's School of Communications. He taught at Howard for 14 years.

Yette remained active writing columns for the black press and serving as a political commentator for BET. He also served as an adviser and photographer for Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns in the 1980s.

He died in 2011.