Steve KeyThe Ball State University Department of Journalism recently honored Steve Key, executive director and general counsel at Hoosier State Press Association (HSPA), for his support of journalism and the First Amendment. He was chosen for the 2020 Indiana Journalism Award.

“Key’s advocacy on behalf of professional and student journalists has significantly advanced the First Amendment and journalism in Indiana,” said Johnny Sparks, Department of Journalism chair. “Through his work with HSPA and his additional activities as a legal consultant, who fields hundreds of inquiries from local newspapers and officials each year, Key’s work continues improving Hoosiers’ lives through supporting strong professional journalism.”

Key’s acceptance remarks encouraged students to focus on their journalistic responsibilities of fairness and honesty in all personal and professional matters. He also stressed the significance of local journalism in democracy.

“It’s the local newspaper that covers the county commissioner, city council and school board. It’s the newspaper that covers local events that create the social fabric of the community. If the community loses its connection its newspaper, it loses its eyes on government and the reassuring voice to each other.”

In 2008, Key received the Excellence in Public Information and Education (2008) Award from the Indiana Judges Association. The Indiana High School Press Association recognized Key with the Louis Ingelhart Friend of Journalism Award in 2010.

First awarded in 1965, the Indiana Journalism Award recognizes outstanding achievements by journalists in the Hoosier state.

Continuing a 60-year legacy of honoring international leaders in journalism and strategic communication, the Department of Journalism recognized Key and nine other outstanding alumni and professionals in a virtual awards ceremony on December 1.

Other award recipients include:

  • National Journalism Writing Award: Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Marilyn Weaver Scholastic Journalism Award: Ryan Gunterman, Indiana High School Press Association.
  • Majeri Award for Graphic Journalism: Suzette Moyer, Washington Post.
  • Joseph Costa Award: Tom Fox, Dallas Morning News.
  • Young Journalism Alumna/Alumnus Award: Becky Rother and Jacob Lane.
  • Outstanding Journalism Alumna Award: Sonja Popp-Stahly, Eli Lilly and Company.
  • Journalism Hall of Fame: Kathy Barks Hoffman and Jason Whitlock.

Watch the event: