SPJ Award for Ernie Pyle

By Mike Leonard 

Ernie PyleMore than 65 years after his death, Indiana University alumnus Ernie Pyle is still winning awards.

Pyle was designated as a Fellow of the Society by the Society of Professional Journalists at the group’s annual convention in Los Vegas Tuesday night. “Being named a Fellow of the Society is the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession,” an SPJ news release says.

Brad Hamm, dean of the IU School of Journalism, accepted the award on behalf of Pyle. He said an SPJ member touring Ernie Pyle Hall at IU viewed Pyle memorabilia became curious about when the legendary Hoosier journalist was named a Fellow of the Society. As it turned out, the award, which was established in 1965, never had been awarded to Pyle posthumously.

“I think the group felt this was an oversight it wanted to rectify,” Hamm said.

“The nation’s most recognized historical war correspondent; Ernie Pyle captured the quiet heroism of American troops during World War II. His writings gave readers mesmerizing insight to the tragedy of war, but also showed how the comradeship it built would eventually prevail,” reads the SPJ profile of Pyle.

Also inducted Tuesday were former New York Times reporter and editor Sydney Schanberg and Poynter Institute faculty member and DePauw University professor Bob Steele.

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