Julie Inskeep—the publisher of The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and chairman of Fort Wayne Newspapers, who at the Annual Meeting will receive an award honoring her service to the association and her community—had a lot of “befores” prior to getting deeply involved in Inland, or even the newspaper industry.
While she is a third-generation member of a distinguished Indiana newspaper family, she notes that she had a career entirely apart from newspapers after earning her master’s degree in social work in 1974. (Inskeep worked as a social worker in Bloomington and Fort Wayne and became a director of social services at a Fort Wayne hospital, working there until 1983.)
“I didn’t start my career (in newspapers) until I began sitting on the editorial board beside my father in 1984,” she said, referring to Richard Inskeep who headed the paper from 1973 until his retirement in 1997.
And before Inland, Julie Inskeep was active in other associations.
“While I was really active on the NAA (now the News Media Alliance) board and NAA Foundation and The Associated Press board and very active with Hoosier State Press Association, I hadn’t really had a lot of experience with Inland,” she said.
David Lord of Pioneer Newspapers who served a term as association president, was instrumental in introducing Inskeep to Inland.
“I just didn’t know how welcoming that organization would be to me,” she said, “and how important the networking experience has been to me.”
And Julie Inskeep has been important to Inland, serving on its board and task forces—and as president for the 2013-2014 term.
That service will be honored during the Annual Meeting on Monday, September 10, when Inskeep will be honored with the Ray Carlsen Distinguished Service Award. The award, named after the former executive director who retired in 2009, is, according to its criteria, for “members who have distinguished themselves in service to the association and its affiliated foundation, who have been exemplary in service to their communities and their companies, and who deserve the recognition of their peers and colleagues.”
To Inskeep, Inland bring together “just a fun group of people don’t take themselves or the problems in the industry too seriously.”
“Well,” she corrected herself, “they take (industry issues) seriously—but in a positive way, and always thinking of ways we can succeed…You never leave (an Inland meeting) depressed or angry about the way the industry is going.”
Because The Journal Gazette is in a joint operating agreement majority controlled by The News-Sentinel owner, Ogden Newspaper, Inskeep can keep positive back at her newspaper as well.
“I’m a publisher in a JOA so I’m not responsible for circulation and advertising,” she said. “My focus is on the newsroom and the stuff I love—the journalism and the mission. It’s important to be the place in the community that fosters the conversations and engagement.”
And while the last 18 months has brought a dark cloud over the press with the drumbeat about supposed “fake news” and talk of the press as the enemy—Inskeep finds a lot to be positive about in the public’s real feelings.
“I certainly get (comments like) ‘you are so important, I