The Indiana University School of Journalism will honor its second class of alumni journalists, educators and communications professionals with Distinguished Alumni Awards in a ceremony Saturday, Sept. 22.
The group includes alumni who have run the nation’s major newspapers and news bureaus around the world; a former student newspaper editor who rose to become governor of Indiana; a photojournalist whose work has graced the pages of National Geographic magazine; a pioneering African-American journalist, author and educator; and an educator who advanced journalism research developing a major theory in mass communication.
“Our Distinguished Alumni represent some of the most innovative, visionary and influential media professionals and scholars in the world. We are honored to count them among our own,” said Interim Journalism Dean Michael Evans. “We are confident that their impact will be felt for decades and even centuries to come.”Among the distinguished honorees is Earleen Fisher, a Milford native who got her start at The Milford Mail.
In more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and bureau chief with the AP, Fisher covered major stories in some of the world’s most volatile political regions, interviewing subjects such as former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the Dalai Lama.
Having grown up in Milford, Fisher began reporting for The Milford Mail as a sophomore in high school. At IU, she worked for the IDS, serving as managing editor her senior year. AP hired her as a part-time reporter in its Indianapolis bureau that spring and gave her a full-time job after graduation. She transferred to AP’s New York office in 1971 to work on the U.S. news report.
In 1977, Fisher moved to Cairo as a freelance writer, stringing for AP, The New York Times and Voice of America. She covered the rise of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.
She rejoined the AP in 1980, working in Beirut and Tel Aviv. In 1985, she returned to New York, supervising the foreign news report.
In 1987, AP appointed her bureau chief in New Delhi, and in 1992, she became chief of Middle East Services, based first in Cyprus and later in Cairo. She covered stories such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon; the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan; and the assassination of Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
After leaving the AP in 2004, Fisher taught at the American University in Cairo and worked in Beirut on a U.S.-funded media development program for the Middle East and North Africa. She retired back to Milford in 2007.