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State journalism Hall to induct 6 new members

– Poynter Institute chairman and South Bend native Paul Tash and longtime Portland Commercial Review publisher Jack Ronald are among six people who will be inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in April.

The other inductees announced Wednesday are the late Joe Aaron, a longtime columnist for the Evansville Courier; Melissa Farlow, a native of Paoli in southern Indiana and an award-winning National Geographic photographer; the late Jerry Lyst, who was the Indianapolis Star’s editorial page editor for nearly half of his 45 years with the newspaper; and the late Lowell Mellett, an Elwood native who was a newspaper executive and columnist in Washington and a top aide to President Franklin Roosevelt.

•Tash joined what was then the St. Petersburg Times in Florida after graduating from Indiana University in 1976. He worked in several reporting and editing roles before rising to become editor, chief executive officer and chairman of the newspaper recently renamed Tampa Bay Times and chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Poynter Institute, which trains journalists. The newspaper has won several Pulitzer Prizes under his leadership.

•Ronald started working in 1974 at The Commercial Review in the eastern Indiana city of Portland, becoming its publisher in 1982. He has made numerous trips to former Soviet republics such as Moldova, Georgia and Kazakhstan to advocate for an independent and free press.

•Aaron began writing a five-days-a-week column for the Evansville Courier in 1957, continuing until he died of a heart attack in 1986 at age 57. Aaron won a National Headliner Club Award for best local interest column, and the Evansville Courier & Press continues republishing his columns in its Sunday editions.

•Farlow went to work as a photographer at the Louisville Courier-Journal after her graduation from Indiana University in 1973. Her work chronicling riots over court-ordered school desegregation helped the Courier-Journal win the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. She has since worked for the Pittsburgh Press and National Geographic.

•Lyst grew up in Indianapolis and joined the Indianapolis Star as a police reporter in 1955 after attending Indiana University. He was a Statehouse reporter, financial reporter and columnist and business editor before overseeing the opinion pages from 1979 until his retirement in 2000. He died in 2009.

•Mellett’s early journalism career included being sent by the Muncie Star as a 16-year-old to cover the 1900 Democratic National Convention. He worked for several newspapers around the country and overseas during World War I before becoming editor of Collier’s Weekly and later editor of the Washington Daily News in the 1930s. He died in 1960.

All six will be inducted during an April 27 ceremony at Indiana University’s Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington.

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