Ball State's First Amendment advocate honored by high school press group

Topic: College of Communication Information and Media

October 25, 2007

Warren Watson
The director of Ball State's First Amendment advocacy organization was recently honored by the Indiana High School Press Association (IHSPA).

J-Ideas director Warren Watson received the Louis Ingelhart Friends of the Student Press Award Oct. 19 from the IHSPA during its annual convention in Franklin, Ind.

Nationally recognized as a champion for the freedom of college news media, Ingelhart was professor emeritus of journalism and director emeritus of student publications at Ball State. He died earlier this year.

The IHSPA annually honors people who contribute to scholastic journalism or the First Amendment in a spirit like that of Ingelhart, who first received the honor in 1985.

"It is certainly an honor to be mentioned on the same level as Doc Ingelhart," Watson said. "Over his many years of service, he developed a reputation as a staunch defender of student journalists. As a journalist and educator, I will attempt to uphold his ideals that he held near to his heart."

Watson was named J-Ideas director in 2004. He previously was a vice president at the American Press Institute (API) and a 26-year veteran of American newspapers. 
The 56-year-old has held reporting, editing, art and management positions at newspapers as small as the 2,000-circulation Somerswoth-Berwicks (Maine) Free Press and as large as the 300,000-circulation St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. He is a New Hampshire native and earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of New Hampshire in 1973.

Established in 2003, J-Ideas is designed to raise First Amendment appreciation, promote media literacy and encourage student media in high schools. It is affiliated with Ball State's journalism department and the College of Communication, Information, and Media.

For more information, go to www.jideas.org.

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