Leading the Industry

Indiana publisher Scott Schurz receives 2009 Casey Award

schurz_wifeSM.jpgSJMC director Albert Tims presented the 2009 Ralph D. Casey/Minnesota Award to Scott C. Schurz of Schurz Communications Inc. during the Inland Press Association's annual meeting, held Oct. 27, 2009, in Chicago.
By Jen Keavy

schurz_wife.jpgSchurz, pictured with his wife, Kay.
Photo: Blaze Carlsen

Since 1948, the SJMC and the Inland Press Association have presented the Ralph D. Casey/Minnesota Award annually to a newspaper industry leader. Ralph D. Casey, a onetime newspaperman, came to the University of Minnesota in 1930 and oversaw the journalism program for nearly three decades. Known for his interdisciplinary approach to journalism studies, Casey saw the need for journalists who can put the day's news in the context of the greater forces shaping our communities and our society. Longtime University of Minnesota president James Morrill once said that Casey's work exemplified the "conviction that newspapers and all the media of communication shall accept the obligation of social trusteeship--and shall exercise this trust with courage and an unremitting sense of responsibility to the public interest and welfare."

Like the 60-plus recipients before him, Scott Schurz was honored for this commitment to social trusteeship. In fact, his recognition makes the Schurz family the most celebrated in Casey Award history. Fifty years ago, his father, the late Franklin Schurz, longtime editor and publisher of the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune and chairman of Schurz Communications Inc., received the award. And in 2004, his brother Franklin D. Schurz Jr., chairman of the company, was honored with the award.

For the last 20 years, Scott Schurz has taken his responsibility to social trusteeship far beyond the borders of his home state of Indiana. Logging millions of frequent flyer miles--sometimes to unsafe places--around the globe, Schurz has been a staunch defender of freedom of speech and freedom of the press through his work for the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), with which he has worked to educate government officials about the importance of a free press. Over the years, he's participated in countless international journalism meetings worldwide representing the IAPA, providing a respected and respectful voice for American journalism. For his numerous contributions, Schurz was named honorary life president of the IAPA. Currently, he serves as a member of the organization's executive committee and board.

schurz_podium.jpgSchurz accepts the 2009 Ralph D. Casey/Minnesota Award.
Photo: Adolfo Mendez

Schurz's industry colleagues were passionate in their words of support for his nomination. Ricardo Trotti, assistant executive director of the IAPA, commended Schurz for his ability to bridge cultural differences in his interactions with foreign dignitaries. Trotti noted, "The fact is, it has been no difficult thing for him to get through to people, thanks to his trademark--fine sense of humor, easy, booming laugh and a gallantry that is always defined by his bow tie."

John Sturm, president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, has worked closely with Schurz, who serves on the executive committee of the board for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. "In these challenging economic times for all newspapers," Sturm wrote in his letter of endorsement, "it is extremely difficult to find a board member who is willing to sacrifice the time to really engage ... but Scott has done so unselfishly ... with little concern for the personal time and cost of representing our organization."

In presenting the award to Schurz, Tims said, "From his first job with the Hagerstown, Maryland, Morning Herald and Daily Mail, to his most recent role as chairman of Hoosier-Times Inc., a subsidiary of Schurz Communications, where he serves as a vice-chairman, Scott has embodied the spirit of the Casey/Minnesota Award. ... He has always embraced and lived up to his company's statement of purpose: to put great emphasis on seeking the truth and sharing it with others; and to provide a better understanding of the world, so that readers are more informed and can positively impact the community and society."

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This page contains a single entry by cla published on April 2, 2010 4:12 PM.

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